There’s nothing better than celebrating the holidays with your family, and anyone with a dog knows those holidays heavily include them, as well, as if they were another kid. No matter how you plan to enjoy your festivities, you can include your pup in the celebrations. Show your dog how much you love him by giving him a happy, healthy holiday season with these fun ideas!
Give your dog good health
Give your dog the gift of health this year by prioritizing exercise during the holiday season. Take your dog on plenty of walks where you can enjoy some time together and stay active, benefitting you as well, as we all naturally want to curl up inside for the duration of the cold season. If your dog loves the snow, you can make some small snowballs (but make sure they don’t contain any ice!) for a winter-themed game of fetch. You might also consider some healthy treats and chews for your dog so he can enjoy Christmas snacks and games along with the rest of the family. Looking for something for the youngest family members? Check out Born Cute for some Christmas gifts.
During the holidays, you’ll need to keep your dog safe indoors, too. Holiday decorations and even everyday houseplants can be toxic for dogs, and with new decorations coming out of storage, there’s more to worry about than ever. Poinsettias, holly, Star-of-Bethlehem, and Balsam Fur, for example, are poisonous to dogs, so use only dog-friendly plants to decorate for the holidays.
Avoid holiday dangers
Even your Christmas tree could potentially be unsafe. Fir oils and pine needles from live trees can irritate your dog’s mouth and upset his digestive tract if he chews on the branches or bark. Some of the preserves used on live trees can also make the water in the tree stand poisonous, so make sure that you cover it up so your dog doesn’t take a drink from it. Ornaments and tinsel are also potential dangers if your dog ingests them, so either hang ornaments up high or place your tree in a room where your dog can’t get into. If your dog is older and well-trained, he may do just fine socializing with the family in the room with your tree, but when your dog is left unsupervised, make sure that he can’t get to the Christmas tree, just in case!
While it’s never good to feed your dog human foods without checking with a vet first, holiday foods, in particular, can especially make your dog sick. During meals and parties, keep all of the food positioned so that it’s back from the edge of the counter. Remember that common holiday food like chocolate, bread dough, and alcohol are toxic to dogs. After a party, pack up leftovers right away and take out your trash so that your dog can’t get to it. If your dog does manage to eat food that he shouldn’t, call your vet right away.
Make the holidays stress-free for your dog
You may love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but your dog might not feel the same way. Schedules change during the holidays, and with lots of big get-togethers and unexpected events, your dog may be feeling stressed.
All of the holiday activities can put your dog on edge, so he may react to common occurrences in unusual ways. Particularly because online shopping has increased over the last few years, postal carriers are encountering a higher incidence of dog bites. If you’re expecting to have holiday packages delivered, it’s best to secure your dog in an area of your home where he can’t get to the front door, just in case.
During holiday gatherings and parties, keep a close eye on your dog and look for signs that he’s feeling stressed. If you see your dog pacing, shaking, yawning, panting, or displaying other signs that he’s uncomfortable, remove him from the situation. Have a quiet room ready where your dog can spend some time during the party and then let him out again when the gathering is over.
You can help to keep your dog safe and relaxed this holiday season with CBD oil, too. CBD oil can help to ease your dog’s anxiety, calming him and encouraging him to relax. It can also reduce your dog’s stress levels, which is particularly important during the holidays. Best of all, CBD is natural and doesn’t have any harsh side effects, so your dog can enjoy its benefits safely.
Take your dog on a holiday trip
If you’re dreading the cold and the snow this holiday, you may opt to just take your family — and your dog — on a trip, instead. Christmas on a warm and sandy beach can be the perfect way to change up your holiday routine, and your dog will enjoy rolling in the warm sand and playing in the ocean. Warm destinations like Rio de Janeiro, the Canary Islands, and Punta Cana have plenty of great beaches that you and your dog can enjoy. Rather than packing winter coats and boots, think about how nice it would be to pack T-shirts and shorts for your holiday getaway!