Monday, 11 December 2017

Dogs and Christmas

With the Christmas season well and truly up us please do take a moment to consider dogs as well as our friends and family as their take on Christmas may not be quite the same as ours. 

Presents for Dogs

Can I let you into a secret? Dogs don't understand Christmas and they really don't need any presents.  Why not spend the money on some wild bird feed or sponsor a wild animal instead?  However if you absolutely must get them something please try and go with something that is plastic-free and maybe also good for them - a new exercise toy for example.  And if you feel totally unable to resist some pet accessory such as these canine antlers, please never leave the dog alone with them as they can all too easily become a choking hazard.

For more tips on how to own a sustainable pet have a read of this blog post.

Getting a New Dog

If you are thinking about giving a puppy or dog as a Christmas present I would urge you to reconsider when you actually bring the dog into the house.  Christmas is generally a very busy time with more people and things (presents, food, decorations) around the house than normal.  It is therefore not really ideal to add a puppy/dog into that mix as well.  If you are thinking about getting a new dog it might be better to wait until after the festivities have finished when a quieter house will be less stressful for your new arrival and it will be easier for you to find the extra time needed to settle in and/or train your new dog.

If you are thinking about getting a dog for please do read this post on questions you need to answer before you make that purchase.

Food and Decorations

Did you know how many foods we enjoy at Christmas are in fact poisonous to dogs?  The image below from Creature Clinic shows what you need to make sure do not become part of your dog's diet.  And remember too, that a dog does not understand that decorations and festive plants can all be a risk to their health - so you need keep these well out of the reach of your dog(s).

Image with permission from Creature Clinic

Crackers and Champagne Corks - scary noises and flying dangers

Remember that whilst we may enjoy the noise from a cracker or a popping champagne cork, these can scare dogs, so consider keeping nervous dogs in another room.  If your dog is not one who scares easily don't forget, though, that they might see flying corks and the gifts from inside crackers as a low flying dog treat and accidentally swallow them.

However careful we are accidents can happen.  It is therefore best to be prepared and make sure you have your vet's phone number to hand, rather than having to search for it in an emergency.

Christmas is a great time of year - just remember it is not always the same for our dogs so Saari wants to say have a Very Happy (and Safe) Canine Christmas!



  1. Great post, I hope people do take note. Christmas is a terrible time to get a dog and it's tragic how many end up in rescues just before and just after the festive season. Getting rid of an old dog to make room for a puppy and then getting rid of a puppy when reality hits. Very tragic. My dogs miss out a bit at Christmas as we are vegetarian. When my dad remembers, he saves them a slice of turkey though and that's the perfect Christmas gift for them!

  2. Great tips Rosie, I never knew so many things were dangerous for dogs. At our local Christmas market last weekend there was a stall selling everything you could ever imagine (and more...!) for dogs for Christmas, it was quite obscene in my mind. It was all such bad taste junk made out of man-made fibres and plastic, just too horrid. I wish people shopping at it could read this post!

  3. Really useful and practical tips, Rosie. As a volunteer at a French rescue, it’s always heartbreaking to see all the dogs that have been abandoned and there are even more towards Christmas. When I used to help at a Greyhound/Lurcher rescue in the UK, they even had dogs tied up at the gates on Christmas morning. I guess it’s better than leaving them to roam...

  4. How refreshing to read the words 'Dogs don't understand Christmas and they really don't need any presents' This is my opinion exactly, yet it seems I'm in the minority and viewed as a Scrooge with my pet owning friends....while I think they are barking....excuse the dreadful pun.
    Great tips especially regarding food. Only yesterday my hairdresser told me that her three dogs had to have their stomachs pumped as they ripped open a box of chocolates left under the xmas tree. They were found soon after and are all ok fortunately.

  5. Bob has no problem with sudden nosies or fireworks, but put the vacuum cleaner on and he runs for the hills. i'm always telling my family not to feed Bob human food especially cooked bones as they can splinter, they just think I'm being mean. As for presents we visit santa every year and our entry fee goes towards sponsoring stray dogs in dubai #animaltales

  6. We are seriously considering getting a dog next year (Don't worry, not for Christmas, that's a crazy time to add a pet to the family, although I did add Jasper the cat to our mix at Christmas but that was because he needed to be rescued then and there) so these are handy things for me to know! #animaltales

  7. Great post - I also say don't buy a pet as a present. Lots of unwanted pets in Jan and Feb. #PoCoLo

  8. This is a fantastic post. So much to think about.
    I really can't understand people getting a new puppy at Christmas. Madness! #PoCoLo

  9. This is really interesting, I didn't know about half this stuff X #pocolo

  10. Hi Rosie, I commented last week but our internet went down in the process! Great post and love the idea of spending on wildlife rather than dog pressies. We've made dog toys over the years too - must do a post on it sometime. Are you able to tweet the Christmas food graphic? It would be a good one to share. Have a great Christmas and a healthy and happy 2018 xx

  11. Great post Rosie - and hope you all had a lovely Christmas - we've never really done the pets presents thing as well, like you say they don't need them. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLO


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