Have a very Merry Christmas with your dog

2020 has been an odd sort of a year and for most of us, our dogs have been a comfort and a joy. I’m going to be treating my dogs to an extra Merry Christmas this year. Here’s a taster of what we’ll be up to.

Safety First

Many human treats are poisonous to our canine companions – some are even deadly. Be sure to keep the dangerous stuff well out of their reach

  • Chocolate – can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Onions and garlic – cause tummy upsets and can damage red blood cells. Keep those chutneys and relishes well out of reach
  • Macadamia nuts – can have a nasty effect on the nervous system
  • Cooked bones – there’s a danger of them splintering and damaging gums, throats and/or intestines
  • Raisins and grapes – are calamitous to kidneys. You may not see symptoms straight away and by the time you do, it could be too late. No mince pies or fruit cake for Fido!
  • Alcohol – could result in sickness, diarrhoea and nerve damage
  • Artificial sweetener – often found in diet drinks and sometimes in peanut butter. Check the labels for Xylitol which is linked to liver failure in dogs.

Some xmas decorations can be hazardous too – tinsel isn’t toxic but it can get tangled up inside if it’s eaten. Nobody wants their pet to spend Christmas day having emergency surgery so keep the shiny stuff out of reach.  Watch out too for glass ornaments that could shatter, cuddly toys with eyes and accessories that might get swallowed, and of course, if your pup likes to chew, electrical wires.  

Fun activities for dogs at Christmas

The most valuable gift you can ever give your dog is not a diamond encrusted collar, it’s your time. This Christmas, why not resolve to spend some quality time with your dog every single day. Here are some ideas

  • Take an extra-long “sniffy” walk – allowing your dog plenty of time to investigate the neighbourhood with is nose. Remember to wash paws when you get home – road salt can play havoc with doggy feet.
  • Play “hunt the treat” – hiding tasty treats around the house or garden and encouraging your dog to sniff them out
  • Trick training – teach your pooch something new. They love to learn and they’ll really enjoy spending the time with you.  Click here for some trick training ideas.
  • Introduce your dog to a new place, thing or experience. Try walking somewhere different or build some agility equipment in your garden and have fun together.
  • Scentwork exercises will tire your pooch out and you can do them indoors. Fill a box with scrunched up paper and mix in some treats. Your pup will spend ages rootling about to find every single scrap.
  • The egg box game. Take an empty cardboard egg box. Pop a tasty treat or two in each compartment, then “hide” the treat under scrunched up newspaper. Close the box and let your dog work out how to get the treats.
  • Rucksack walk – click here to watch the video (you can adapt this for indoors if the weather is nasty)
  • Scatter feeding – tip your dog’s food out on the floor – or even on the lawn if it’s fairly dry. Let him or her forage for his meal. This one is especially good for dogs who “bolt” their food.

Your dog’s new year’s resolution

What would make next year fantastic for you and your dog? A new sport or hobby? Solving behavioural problems like pulling on the lead or not listening? More walks with friends?

Make your new year’s resolution to enjoy life more.  CK9 Training offer lots of activities and solutions to help dogs and their humans make the most of their life together.  Explore our website to discover workshops, dog training classes, online dog training, social dog walks and more.

And from all of us at CK9 – have a very Merry Christmas with your dog.

Useful links

Dog training workshops for fun

Banish bad habits with our dog behaviour consultations