During the festive period, it can be a very exciting and special time for you and your dogs. With extra treats, plenty of boxes and wrapping paper to play with, your dogs will not know where to start their day.

However, with everything in our day-to-day life, there comes risks and things may not go as smoothly and as planned as you may initially hope they would.

Here are 8 ways to try and help you keep the festive period joyful and safer for you and your dog.

1. Festive Plants

When it comes to the festive period, we all love to decorate our houses and make it feel like Christmas. This, however, can come at a huge safety risk for any dog involved.

One of the very popular plants people bring into their house during the festive period is Mistletoe. As beautiful and festive as these plants are, the berries can be deadly to your pet.

Other poisonous plants, such as, Poinsettia, Holly and Ivy can also be poisonous to your dog due to a variety of different toxicity levels.

Therefore, it is safer to either avoid these plants, or keep them out of reach of your dogs to help keep your Christmas safe and merry, avoiding any unnecessary and expensive vet bills over the festive period.

2. Candles

During the festive period, there are many different candles on the market to make your house smell just like Christmas. But with candles comes fire, and with fire comes risks.

We all know, pet owners or otherwise, how inquisitive dogs are when it comes to new things in the house. Candles can be a large risk factor when it comes to our beloved pets and their curious minds.

When you have candles lit, you should never leave your dog unattended with a lit candle. Whether they get too close to the flame and accidentally burn themselves or they could knock the lit candle off and create a bigger fire in your home!

Another thing to be aware of, is the certain candles you can and cannot use whilst being a dog owner. It is not recommended to burn a candle with paraffin wax, lead wick, or any synthetic oils. These can give off toxins which can be harmful to both your pet and you.

3. Chocolate

We all know that chocolate Is very popular during the Christmas period and who doesn’t love some chocolate over Christmas. Afterall, Christmas is a great excuse to eat as much chocolate as you possibly can!

It can be very easy to leave half eaten chocolate on the table or on the side. Maybe you’ve had a chocolate pudding for tea, but you are too full to clean up. Your dog can be inquisitive and try it.

But this is fatal to your dog and if they get hold of any chocolate, you must take them to the vets as soon as possible before the side effects take hold.

Chocolate is dangerous to dogs mostly due to theobromine content, which canines are unable to digest adequately. Chocolate is also toxic to cats. Always make sure to keep chocolate away from your pet, with dog owners being especially cautious.

4. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights can make the house look very pretty and festive with the different colours and shapes what you can get them in but as with all bulbs, big or small, they can become very hot!

Fairy lights are also electrical, which can be fatal if your dog decides to chew through the wires whilst they are live.

Lights can be very appealing to any dog, but it may be wise to have your lights at a safe height out of the way of them. Also, it may be safe to only turn them on whilst you are present and supervising them to avoid any chewing or touching.

5. Too Many Treats

We all know that it is always very tempting when you are making a Christmas dinner to make one up for your pet. However, this can give them an upset stomach as this is not part of their normal diet.

If you are wanting to give them a special meal for Christmas. Make sure you do your research first and only feed them white skinless, boneless meat. Dark meat is too rich for them to process.

Also keep the meal size the same, just because it is Christmas, you don’t want to be feeding them excessive amounts of food what their body cannot process and digest.

6. Unwrap Your Presents

Sometimes, we wrap presents up for our pets. Whether that be some tasty treats or an exciting new toy, we love to include our dogs in our festive traditions. But it is important to not leave these presents unattended under the tree.

Most dogs have a great sense of smell and if they believe that they can smell some scrumptious gravy bones under the tree, they’re sure to have a go at unwrapping that present themselves.

This could lead to digesting wrapping paper which can cause blockages. Nobody wants to be taking their dog to the vets near Christmas, so make sure to hide those presents until it’s time to open them and prevent any early peeking!

7. Cold Paws

Christmas is a cold time of the year with wind, rain, snow, and ice. Therefore, it is very important to be mindful when walking your dog in these conditions due to the ground being very cold or frozen.

These conditions can lead to your dog’s pads drying out, increasing the risk of frostbite, cracked skin on their paws, or snow becoming stuck between their toes. All of this can be very uncomfortable and painful for them.

If it is very cold and frozen where you usually walk, or your dog’s paws are starting to become sore or cracked, you can purchase some protective boots for them if they will accept wearing them.

To keep them comfortable and happy, clean their paws every time they walk in the snow with a baby wipe or a damp towel.

8. Too Many Faces

This is a very busy time of the year with lots of friends and family visiting. All dogs will react differently to a busy home. Some may love the attention and be excited to see everyone, others may become stressed and overwhelmed.

With new faces and lots of loud noises, a dog can become very stressed and display out of the ordinary characteristics due to being overwhelmed by this external stimulus.

It is very important to not be frustrated with your pet if this is to happen. If they are socialising with you all, always keep an eye on them and their body language.

Take note of any changes within their body and behaviour to prevent any accidents happening.

Instead, work with your dog. Offer them a safe room to escape all the hustle and bustle. Always stick to your pet’s regular routine, no matter what the circumstance is.

A dog thrives off a routine, so it is important that you stick to this by feeding them at the same time, letting them out, and walking them at the same time you regularly do.

By reading these 8 tips, you can have a merry Christmas with your furry best friends whilst minimising stress or any problems arising. Hopefully these insightful tips will allow you to enjoy yourself whilst keeping your dogs happy and safe.