Nov 28

Navigating Christmas Decorations with Your Pup!

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The twinkling lights, the scent of pine, and the sound of carols – it's the most wonderful time of the year! But if you're a proud dog owner, the holiday season can bring about a unique set of challenges when it comes to transforming your home into a winter wonderland. Here are some tips to make sure your festive season is filled with wagging tails and not frazzled nerves.

1. Management magic

You know your dog better than anyone. If your furry friend hasn't quite mastered the art of self-control around decorations, consider a little management magic. Place your decorations where your pup can't turn ornaments into playthings.

For Mango’s first Christmas, this meant we put our tree up in the kitchen as she wasn’t allowed in there!

2. Unleash the right amount of freedom

Finding that sweet spot between freedom and safety is the key to holiday harmony. Gradually introduce decorations as your dog grows their self-control skills.

If you need to, think about employing baby gates or playpens to help keep your dog and your decorations separate. For Mango’s second Christmas the tree made it to the living room, behind a few panels of her puppy pen.

3. Adjusting plans: because every dog is different!

Sometimes, you've got to adjust your plans based on your dog's capabilities. Did we want our Christmas tree in our kitchen? No, not really! But it kept Mango safe and our lives stress free.

This year I’m aiming to put the tree up as normal in the living room, however I’ve got the puppy pen on standby in case it’s all a bit too much for Mango to resist!

What about our older dog EB? She never looked twice at the tree or any presents so she’s had full access to both since she was a puppy. The adjustments you’ll need to make are very dog dependent.

4. Keep hazards out of reach!

Your pup might see those presents under the tree as a treasure trove of delights, but some may pose a risk to your dog. Chocolates, toys with small parts, alcohol - these can all be dangerous to your dog if eaten.

Some Christmas decorations can also be hazardous to your dog, especially those made of glass or small enough to be swallowed, as they can pose a choking hazard or cause internal injuries if ingested. Tinsel can also cause intestinal blockages.

5. Take it slow when decorating

If you’re anything like me, once you get into the holiday spirit you want to get all of your decorations up as quickly as possible! However this sudden change in decor can really throw some dogs.

Introduce decorations gradually so that your dog has time to get used to them. You could show your dog the Christmas tree in the garden before bringing it inside. Or do you have a fake tree? Let your have a sniff of the box and each of the sections first.

A slow and steady approach can turn potential frights into festive delights.
With a sprinkle of patience, a dash of training, and a whole lot of love, your holiday season can be full of joy and festivity for both you and your dog. Here's to a season filled with paw prints, laughter, and memories that'll last a lifetime.
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