Christmas 2020 is certainly one that will make it into the record books. Some families are gathering in celebration after not being able to see one another for the past year (myself included), while others sadly have had their plans cancelled due to the pandemic that has swept the globe and restrictions seeing many spend this day alone.
For those of you who can’t be with your human family, I hope you are surrounded by the love of some four-legged family members and enjoying the unconditional love that our dogs provide.
Christmas 2020 for myself, Darcy and our foster pup Vindi has fortunately seen us return to my parents after 12 months of being apart. This year certainly makes you appreciate the little things, including being able to spend more time with our pets during one of the toughest years of our lives.
I am fortunate that I already get to spend more time than most people hanging out with my furry friends through my line of work but, for many people, being able to work from home has provided this extra benefit during the tough times. Many of you may also be enjoying your first Christmas with a new dog or puppy, which no doubt is keeping you busier than usual.
Keeping your pets safe on Christmas Day
Whether you are a first-time dog owner or not, I always like to use this time to remind people of the need to keep our pets same from many of the dangers that lurk around the home over this time and share some links to the articles that can help keep your pet safe from harm over the festive season.
The big one being the food and drinks that fill our homes over this time that pose a risk to our pets. I just saw a post from a friend whose dog had eaten a whole Christmas pudding while they were out and has spent 5 days on a drip at the Vets, lucky to be alive. It’s a sad reminder that we need to be vigilant when it comes to the food in our homes, so please take a read of my article about the foods to keep away from your dog HERE.
Helping your pet stay cool in the heat
If you live in Australia like we do, it is of course Summer and with that comes many risks for our dogs as well. From heatstroke to burnt paw pads, snake bites to sunburn, it never hurts to have a little reminder on how to keep our pets safe and cool in the heat, so HERE’s an article to help with this.
Prepare your pet for New Year’s fireworks
I also heard a lot of fire crackers being set off on Christmas Eve. Fortunately we were with our dogs so they weren’t afraid, but for many dogs fireworks and loud noises can cause them great distress, many going to great lengths to escape the threat and injuring themselves, or going missing as a result. With New Year’s Eve coming up, it’s a good time to ensure you are well prepared should you dog be afraid of fireworks. This includes considering trying a Thundershirt and Adaptil products for dogs, or Feliway products for cats, to help anxious pets feel calmer.
There are a number of other precautions that you can put in place to help keep your dog safe. Remember for our dogs this fear is very real, they are not just being silly, so keeping them safe during fireworks and thunderstorms can literally mean life or death for your dog, so please take a read HERE of my article on that.
Training tips for new puppy owners
And finally, if Christmas 202o meant a new puppy for your household, check out all of my tips and advice in the ‘Training and Behaviour’ section of this website to help set your puppy up on the right path from the very start. You can also find some puppy specific tips HERE.
Stay safe and, from all the team here at Pooches HQ, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Lara, Darcy & Vindi x
About the Author: Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area, is a sought after pet expert speaker and Author of Eat, Play, Love (Your Dog).