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Home Journal A Guide to Caring for Your Dog During the Festive Season

Festive Decorations

Festive decorations can help us all get into the holiday spirit, but its important these are kept out of reach of curious paws and noses. Always be careful if you’re putting up fairy lights, baubles, and tinsel which can easily be chewed or swallowed and cause serious problems, so make sure they’re kept well out of reach of your dog.

It’s also important to note that some of our favourite festive plants are highly poisonous to dogs. These include holly, ivy and poinsettia which are all toxic to pets. If you are choosing to use these to help decorate your home, make sure they are at heights no animal can take a cheeky nibble.

Likewise, our dogs can be very interested in the gifts we’ve hidden under the Christmas Tree, especially those of the edible kind! If your pet has eaten anything they shouldn’t have – contact your vet immediately for advice. Plus keep an eye out for silica gel which comes in small sachets and is often found in packaging.

Festive Parties

You may be hosting or attending plenty of parties over Festive period. Great fun for you, but it could be a bit overwhelming or over-exciting for your dog. If you will be having friends and family over to your house or you plan to visit them, think about whether your dog might prefer to sit the party out and instead enjoy a relaxing nap somewhere else in the house.

Create a Safe Haven

With the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings, your dog might appreciate a quiet retreat. Set up a cozy corner with their bed, favorite toys, and some soft blankets. This gives them a place to relax if the festivities become a bit overwhelming. Let your guests know about your dog's haven, so they can approach with care.

Festive Walks

Maintain your dog's regular exercise routine, even during the busy festive season. A brisk walk in the crisp winter air can be invigorating for both you and your pup. Consider exploring festive light displays or taking a stroll through a nearby park adorned with holiday decorations. It's a great way to bond and burn off some of that holiday energy.

Festive Food

A table full of delicious festive food can often be too tempting to ignore, especially for curious pups. Christmas food which your dog should avoid is Chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, (these are in a lot of Christmas food such as mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding) - If your dog eats any of these they should be taken to see your vet ASAP.

Turkey Skin and Fat from the Christmas Ham and other meat should also be avoided, as these foods are too rich for your dog and can lead to gastroenteritis. Signs of that your dog may have gastroenteritis and will need to see a vet ASAP are listed below;

• Vomiting (may appear foamy and yellow in colour once the stomach has been emptied)
• Diarrhoea
• Stomach pain (your dog may be restless or adopting a praying position with the front legs stretched and the back end raised)
• Lack of appetite
• Gagging or non-productive heaving
• Lethargy


Alcohol can have a similar effect in dogs as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. They can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma. Dogs may help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around over Christmas, so ensure it's always out of their reach.

A Guide to Caring for Your Dog During the Festive Season