Top Tips To Keep Your Furry Friend Happy And Healthy This Christmas
Christmas is coming, and who wouldn’t want their furry friend to join in all the festive fun?
But did you know that you have to be extra careful when planning a dog’s Christmas? Especially because some of the treats that delight the rest of us can be downright dangerous for dogs.
So we’ve compiled these top tips to make sure that your beloved pooch is enjoying the most wonderful time of the year rather than going through the nightmare before, during or after Christmas.
Tip 1 – Never give a dog chocolate (even at Christmas)
Most of us could do with cutting down our chocolate consumption over the festive period. But when it comes to dogs, the rule is simple: no chocolate whatsoever.
Tempting as it might be for a well-intentioned child to slip something from their selection box to their furry best friend, the consequences can be very serious. The reason is that chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs.
Levels of theobromine vary between different types of chocolate (with dark chocolate containing the most), but all chocolates pose a risk to dogs. So, please make sure that no one gives them any and that no part of your Christmas chocolate mountain is left in any place where a curious canine could pilfer it.
If your dog does eat chocolate, symptoms of theobromine poisoning typically manifest sometime from six to twelve hours later. The range of symptoms includes restlessness, urinating more frequently, diarrhoea, vomiting, tremors and an abnormal heart rate.
If your dog is showing those symptoms, please consult your vet as soon as possible.
Of course, dog-friendly advent calendars provide a perfect solution for anyone looking to include their pet safely in the Christmas treats. You could even have fun making your own versions, packed with your dog’s favourite healthy treats, to make the run-up to Christmas even more special.
Tip 2 – Make a special dog’s Christmas dinner
What is Christmas Day without a Christmas dinner? But if you want your dog to enjoy the festive food, our top tip is to make them their own yummy version that they can feast on without compromising their health.
When putting together a dog’s Christmas dinner, some great ingredients to throw in are the lean bits of white meat, mash made from carrot or swede, raw carrot, nutritional yeast and such classic roast dinner favourites as boiled carrots, parsnips, sprouts, peas and broccoli.
However, it is equally important to remember what NOT to put in the dog’s Christmas dinner. For example, when making the mash, be sure to avoid using salt, onions or butter (all ingredients that should never be in your dog’s diet – even at Christmas).
Similarly, you should also not give your dog anything that has been cooked in fat or oil, anything containing garlic, potatoes, leeks, bones from meat that has been cooked or pigs in blankets.
Tip 3 – Sniff out some dog-friendly Christmas desserts
Full of festive cheer, you might find yourself tempted to share some of your Christmas cake with your dog. However, it’s really important that you avoid that temptation. Traditional Christmas cake recipes are stuffed with sultanas or raisins, toxic ingredients for dogs that can cause digestion problems and even kidney failure.
In fact, any dessert being fed to a dog needs to be very carefully checked first. Another ingredient to watch out for is dairy. Although it won’t poison your dog as seriously as the Christmas cake, it can cause digestive problems including diarrhoea and gas.
Dogs can, however, be given a couple of very small samples from your Christmas cheese board. But make sure that any samples are only of those cheeses that don’t contain other ingredients that are potentially harmful to dogs, such as onion and garlic. As a rule, very rich cheeses should also be avoided.
Once again, when it comes to finding alternatives to the desserts mentioned above, there are plenty of products out there designed to cater to dogs on special occasions such as Christmas. You can also get creative and make your own with lots of recipe options available on the internet.
We hope you’ve found our guide to giving your dog a happy and healthy Christmas helpful. And, of course, everyone at Project Blu would like to sign off by wishing you, your family and your furry best friends all the best for a fantastic festive period!