A picture of a grumpy Beagle wearing a Christmas hat, sat in front of a Christmas tree

How to celebrate a dog-friendly Christmas

Allie Simpson

It’s the time of the year for festive cheer. As you wait patiently and prepare for the big day, it’s an ideal opportunity to make sure your canine is safe and happy during the festive season. Bringing in advice from veterinary surgeon Dr Scott Miller, we delve into some of the ways your whole family could celebrate a dog-friendly Christmas.


What safe dog toys can I give my pup as Christmas gifts?

Bring your pup into the excitement of Christmas day presents by giving them their own gift to open (well, let’s be honest, it will be gifts plural). Not only does this help to include them in the fun, it may also distract your dog from all the wrapping flying around.

Always be aware of possible chewing hazards when shopping for dog Christmas gifts. It’s generally a good idea to avoid any ribbons or string attached to toys, and make sure that there aren’t any parts small enough to be swallowed.

Safe dog toys include hard rubber chews, squeak-free toys, and dog balls (don’t forget to pick the right size for your pup). There’s also plenty of festive-themed soft toys in pet shops for your dog to fall in love with. Need some more inspiration? Check out our UK dog Christmas presents ideas. Remember to take away any toys from your canine when they’re showing signs of damage.


Can I give my dog Christmas dinner?

Despite your dog’s best efforts to feast on any Christmas dinner leftovers, it might not be a good idea to give in to those puppy eyes. Some of the foods included in traditional festive dinners could be toxic or overly rich for a pup’s stomach (like dishes cooked in goose fat), making them upset or unwell. Try swapping food with hugs and attention instead.


> What vegetables can dogs eat at Christmas?

There are many vegetables that are great for your canine, but there are also some that can be harmful. Pet safe Christmas vegetables include carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, green beans, and potatoes. As always, keep in mind your dog’s dietary needs and give things in moderation.


> What could my dog have for Christmas dinner?

Want your dog to join in on the festive menu? Look at preparing a dog Christmas dinner that suits their diet. Include some of the dog-friendly vegetables mentioned above with some boneless lean meats like chicken or turkey. For dessert, many pet shops offer Christmas based treats at this time of year too, like dog-friendly gingerbread men – just watch out for those sugar levels.


> Are onions toxic to dogs?

Onions and foods containing onion or garlic powder are toxic to your dog. It only takes a small amount (less than one onion) to pose a risk, so take care. It’s also worth noting that some gravy and stuffing contains onion powder, so be sure to read the ingredients of anything you’re thinking of giving to your pooch. If in doubt, don’t give it to them.


Common Christmas household hazards for dogs

It’s easy for the house to get a bit messy over the festive period, which means it’s also easy to leave hazardous things lying around for your dog to reach. Keep the floor clear and your pooch far away from potential Christmas household hazards such as:

  • Scissors and sticky tape.
  • Wrapping paper.
  • Any human foods that dogs can’t eat (this includes those Christmas Eve cookies for Santa).
  • Festive plants which are toxic to dogs, like holly, poinsettia, ivy, mistletoe, and lillies.
  • Kids toys and batteries.
  • Christmas decorations.


> Are Christmas trees poisonous to dogs?

Traditional pine Christmas trees aren’t poisonous to dogs but may cause an upset stomach if chewed, and some dogs could be allergic. Another concern is your pup getting injured because of the sharpness of the pine needles.

Plastic Christmas trees could also irritate a dog’s mouth and cause pancreatitis if eaten. The symptoms of pancreatitis range from mild to severe.

As we know, dogs are naturally curious about anything new in the house. One way that could stop them from getting close to your Christmas tree is by fencing it off with a tree guard or dog gate. You could also place it in a room that your dog can’t access.


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