Generally speaking, Christmas is a pretty fun time for humans and pretty chaotic for pets. There are too many people in the house, decorations can be a hazard, they get fed too much (especially of the wrong things)… Fortunately, the RSPCA are on hand with plenty of helpful information about keeping your pet safe at Christmas.
Most of the things that make Christmas hazardous for pets don’t apply to me, my family and most importantly my dogs. Christmas has never been much of a big deal in my family home, we don’t have decorations nor do we have all the extended family over. The thing that concerns me most, though, is food. I like to think I’m fairly well informed on my boys’ nutrition (more so than my own, go figure), but lots of people are guilty of unknowingly feeding their dogs things which are actually super dangerous to them – especially at Christmas. It’s tempting to spoil our pets, of course it is, but be careful what you spoil them with. We all know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but so are many other Christmas staples – mince pies, Christmas pudding, onion gravy, and COOKED BONES. The amount of people I see giving cooked bones to their dogs, good grief it give me palpitations. STOP DOING THIS. Raw bones are absolutely fine, but for the love of god unless you want to run the risk of cooked bones splintering in your dog’s throat, just don’t give them to them.
And I haven’t even mentioned non-food items yet! If your dogs are anything like one of mine, they are determined that if they can put something in their mouth, it’s edible – like plants. Festive flora like poinsettias, holly, ivy and mistletoe are all toxic to dogs, so it’s not worth having them around. If you must, go for synthetic versions.
To avoid the temptation of spoiling my boys with things I know they shouldn’t have this Christmas, I baked up a batch of honey and banana dog biscuits to the RSCPA’s recipe. All that’s in them is flour, water, banana and honey so you know exactly what’s in them and they’re perfectly safe. Even for humans, as evidenced by my flatmate stealing and eating some before noticing a photo of them on Instagram and realising they were for dogs…
The important part is, the boys enjoyed them just as much as the flatmate. Cheers, RSPCA!