I am a self-confessed Christmas fanatic. In fact, pretty much as soon as September 1st rolls around I am thinking, talking and (most importantly) planning for Christmas. However, this Christmas is a little different as we find ourselves also planning to spend the festive season with our lovely little Chihuahua, Dexter.
So even though this may be painfully early for you, here are my top tips to surviving and even thriving through the Christmas period with your four legged friend. Yappy Christmas and a pawsome New Year (Too much…?)!
Planning ahead seems like a simple place to start but it is incredibly vital. Because I’m basically a carbon copy of Monica Geller from Friends, I find this pretty easy but I would advise even the most organisation-shy readers to make a special effort. Are you staying at home and hosting people or young children that your dog hasn’t met yet or may not be comfortable with? Where will your dog spend the majority of the day? Or – like us – are you travelling elsewhere for the holidays and need to plan travel arrangements in advance?
When will your dog have time exercise during the running of the day is also an important thing to consider. The festive period – although a lot of fun – can be pretty busy too and it’s handy to plan when you will be able to take Rover to burn off some energy. An over-excitable dog, a house full of guests and mountains of gifts and turkey probably won’t make for the best combination.
Try not to overfeed your dog and make sure others do the same. Although the Christmas period is renowned and loved for being the time of year that you can put on 5 stone and it be socially acceptable, it’s probably best not to apply that rule to your dog. If you, your partner, distant cousin, nieces and not-really-your-aunt-but-your-mums-friend insist on feeding scraps to the dog for two weeks then you may not be alone in your diet and exercise plan come January.
Spoil your four legged friend other ways. As mentioned above, it’s probably not advisable to let your dog eat the leftovers of 8 and a half turkey dinners but there are loads of other ways you can spoil him this Christmas. Think dog stockings, jumpers and organic treats for a start.
If you are planning to place your dog in boarding kennels make sure that you plan in advance. You want to make sure that come December 25th you can rest assured that your canine companion is being looked after in kennel you are comfortable with. Planning ahead will ensure you beat the rush and can do your research into the best kennels in your area.