Orin and I adopted our dog Emmy during our first year of marriage. She was our “child” long before Maggie was ever born and we all love her dearly. Christmastime for us is about family and since Emmy is a part of our family, she’s part of our celebrations too. Do you have a canine celebrating the holidays with your family? Here are some tips to keep him safe and happy this holiday season.
This time of the year, many families are traveling. You’ll want to book your dog boarding well in advance since this is the busiest time of the year. I’ve got a full post with tips on dog boarding HERE.
Prepare a Special Meal
When it comes time to sit down for Christmas dinner, your dog will probably stare at you with longing eyes. Don’t give in! Human food can make canines sick and it’s not nutritionally balanced for them either. Emmy regularly gets Beneful dry food but on special occasions, like Christmas, we also will give her Beneful wet food, which she loves. This year I picked up a container of Beneful Roasted Turkey Medley wet food for Emmy. It has turkey, corn, wild rice, peas, and barley — perfect for her Christmas Day meal!
You’ll probably also be enjoying a lot of holiday treats: pies, cookies, candies. You really don’t want to share those with your dog either because they can also make them sick. Instead, load up on treats that are made specially for dogs, like Beneful Baked Delights or Healthy Smile treats. I always pick up a few extra bags around the holidays so Emmy doesn’t feel left out when we’re all snacking.
All the plants and greenery this time of the year can be absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous to your dogs. Holly and mistletoe can cause your dog quite a bit of discomfort. Symptoms of illness from ingesting these plants include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain. If a large enough amount of these plants are ingested, seizures and death could follow. While not quite as dangerous as holly and mistletoe, poinsettias will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning. Keep in mind that any plants you’ve brought into your home (including the Christmas tree) may also be treated with pesticides harmful to your dog(s). We try to make sure their type of plants are not within reach of Emmy.
I have found that the life of a dog bed, at least for Emmy, is about 1 year. So, every year at Christmas I head out to T.J.Maxx and buy Emmy a new bed. She’s getting older so this year I spent a little bit extra to get her one with memory foam. I hope she loves it! I also buy her a new toy or 2 and stuff her stocking with a few treats. Because I know how much she enjoys the wet food, I also bought her a few extra containers of that this year.
While taking some pictures for this post Emmy happened to notice her new bed. She’s such an old, sweet girl that I just couldn’t tell her no when she wanted to climb in there and check it out already. It’s a little early but oh well. I’ll save the toys for Christmas morning.
We visit a lot of people over the holidays and most of them have dogs too. One of the things I love to do is take dog treats along with us. It’s a great way to greet a new dog and let him know you’re a friend. My kids especially love being able to give the dog(s) treats. Just make sure you check with the dog’s owner first, in case they have any dietary issues.
How do you celebrate Christmas with your dog?
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Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Beneful for this post. All opinions are my own.