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    • 04 Nov, 2019

    Your dog’s first Christmas in their forever home

    Christmas with a new pet is a very exciting time, and with a rescue it can be particularly special.

    Here you’ll find some advice and tips we’ve put together to help you have a happy, healthy Christmas with your dog.

    Prepping for the festive period

    There’s lots you can do to make sure your furry family member has a fun and stress free experience this Christmas. There will be many new and exciting things happening during the festive period, so try to stick to their regular routine as the more normality you can give your pet the better.

    Keeping your dog calm and safe

    Meeting unfamiliar people can be very overwhelming for some dogs, so make sure you have a safe space or den set up for them to escape to if they are feeling stressed. You could also buy them some new, interesting toys or a puzzle feeder to keep them distracted during social visits. If they seem distressed by the arrival of guests, keep them in a room away from the front door to minimise the impact of household traffic. You could also consider taking them for slightly longer walks over Christmas, allowing them to work off excess energy.

    Keep tasty Christmas treats out of reach of your pup and avoid small decorations around the house as these can be a hazard. Seasonal plants such as poinsettia, holly, ivy and mistletoe are beautiful, but they are toxic to dogs. By not having them in the house you can avoid potential cases of vomiting, diarrhoea or contact dermatitis. If you are fond of a real Christmas tree, be aware that the oil on the needles can be mildly toxic if consumed. They can also get stuck in your dog’s throat or paws.

    All those bright, shiny presents under the tree can be very tempting for a pooch and will often warrant an early inspection by them! Make sure Santa keeps presents safely stored away until Christmas Day to avoid any premature unwrapping. Wrapping paper and ribbons can also be a choking hazard, so make sure you clean up as you go on Christmas morning.

    Seasonal plants such as poinsettia, holly, ivy and mistletoe are beautiful, but they are toxic to dogs.

    ‘Tis the season (of treats)!

    Mince pies, Christmas cake, cheese boards and Quality Street – these delicious festive treats are almost too good to turn down. Christmas is often a period of eating more than usual for us humans, and dogs are at risk of overindulging from their own doggy stocking too.

    We want to spoil our four-legged family members, but too many special treats can lead to stomach upsets and weight issues. Consider whether your dog would be just as pleased with a new toy or a fun-filled walk before you hand out their edible Christmas treats.

    Sharing Christmas dinner

    Giving your dog leftovers can mean additional calories that put stress on their body. If you do decide to share some of your Christmas dinner, make sure that you reduce their other food to account for the extra calorie intake. Not all of the things that we eat are suitable for dogs, so please be careful with what you serve up!

    Their first Christmas

    Rolo and Pickle

    Two-year-old saluki/whippet cross Rolo arrived at Mayhew with a litter of siblings. He was adopted in April 2018 and lives in Buckinghamshire with his new family.

    “We were really excited about Rolo’s first Christmas with us. He loved having his family all around him and we took him for lots of lovely walks in the snow.”

    Rolo’s family have also recently adopted lurcher puppy Pickle for Mayhew.

    “We are really looking forward to having Pickle with us this Christmas. He loves doing everything with Rolo (like a big brother!). It will be a very special Christmas – Pickle is absolutely adorable and the missing piece in our family.”


    Adorable Shih-tzu Benny found his forever family in March this year after a couple of months at Mayhew. His new family told us “Christmas is our favourite time of the year and being able to share it with our little furry family member is going to be amazing! He’ll be most excited about bits of turkey that fall on the floor and a Christmas swim in the sea (we’ve discovered he has quite a big love for swimming.) He may not resist the temptation to open presents under the tree before the big day, but he’s so cute we’ll probably let him get away with it!”.

    Looking for advice?

    If your pet is looking a little portly, we run special weight clinics at our Community Vet Clinic. These include four private consultations with one of our qualified Vet Nurses to help get your pet to a healthy weight. Get in touch to book your appointment today.

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