Christmas is here so we asked dog trainer and all-round canine expert Buzz Kennard from D-for-Dogs to give us her top tips for enjoying a happy and safe festive season with your pooch.
1. Give your dog a good walk and a dry off before you guests arrive so they’re clean and calm to meet and greet.
2. Include your dog in the giving and make sure they have a gift – possibly something to chew whilst presents are being opened.
3. Not all dogs appreciate Christmas cheer – allow your dog a quiet space if the house is over run with guests.
4. Let sleeping dogs lie – when your dog is snoozing, they should be left alone to rest and take some time out.
5. Dogs love a Turkey diner, but just give them a small amount of white meat and vegetables. DEFINITELY NO GRAVY OR BONES.
6. Avoid all sweet things – you’re not doing your dog any favours by giving them sweet treats. Christmas cake and pudding contains dried fruit which is poisonous to dogs.
7. Chocolates should also be out of reach as they can be fatal if eaten.
8. When decorating the house, be aware that Holly and Mistletoe berries are toxic to dogs. Yew foliage is also poisonous.
9. Never give a dog as a gift – owning a dog is a huge responsibility that should be well thought through and discussed.
10. New Years Eve – some dogs are very scared of fireworks. Two weeks before, try plugging in a DAP pheromone diffuser close to their bed. Close the curtains and remain calm around the dog to reassure them.
Buzz Kennard is an expert dog trainer and Founder of D for Dogs – d-fordogs.co.uk.