Each year as the holiday seasons approach, many dog owners start thinking about getting their dog Christmas presents. Fortunately, dogs are a lot easier to shop for than most human beings, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a little thought into their Christmas gifts.
After all, Christmas is the season of giving and a great time to give something back your dog, who does so much for you. Whether it’s introducing them to a new dog food recipe or getting them some Christmas dog treats here are a few suggestions that will help make your dog’s holiday happy and bright.
Christmas Dog Treats
As any dog owner knows, giving your dog one of their favorite treats or enticing them with their favorite dog food is a sure way to make your dog happy. If you want to go beyond wrapping a bag of dog treats and presenting it to them on Christmas morning (which they’d be thrilled with), there are plenty of ways to introduce them to a holiday feast of tasty foods.
Holiday Foods Dogs Can Enjoy
As family and friends begin to arrive, your dog is probably enjoying all the extra attention, but they’re also keenly aware of all the enticing smells coming from the kitchen. The good news for your dog is if you’re planning a Christmas feast, there are plenty of food items you can share with them.
If you’re serving turkey or ham for dinner, giving a little bit to your dog will help make them a part of the holiday feast—just avoid feeding them from the table. Simply put a little bit in their food dish and see if they enjoy it.
You can serve most meats to your dog. Just make sure they’re unprocessed, unseasoned, deboned and fully cooked first. Protein is an essential nutrient for dogs and supports muscle growth, tissue repair, immune function and energy. Since meat protein is already in your dog’s daily food, a little bit of Christmas turkey won’t hurt.
Of course, meats aren’t the only Christmas dinner items that are safe to share with your dog. Vegetables like carrots, corn, steamed broccoli, green beans, peas, boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes are also safe.
The same goes for common fruits like apples, bananas blueberries, pears and cranberries. Just remember, the sugar content in most fruits can be high, so keep portions small to avoid upset stomach and other potential health concerns.
There are many popular Christmas dinner and dessert items that can be harmful to dogs, so be careful. Avoid giving them corn on the cob, garlic, onions, leeks, cherries, grapes or raisins, chocolate or any meats with bones in them. These can all be hazardous to your dog’s health if ingested.
If you’re concerned about anything your dog has eaten or they show any signs of illness, call the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at: (888) 426-4435. They’re available 24/7, including holidays, though they may charge a fee for any services provided.
Dog Christmas Toys
Often the best dog gifts are as simple as getting them a new toy. Whether it’s a ball, pull toy or squeaky toy, your dog will be thrilled to have something new the two of you can add to your activities. The bonus is that taking some time to play with your dog and get them some exercise may help them burn some energy before family and guests arrive, helping them feel calmer and more relaxed.
Showing Your Dog Affection
You don’t have to buy your dog anything new for Christmas. During the hectic holiday season, spending quality time together can help you both feel more relaxed.
Dogs are social animals and for many, having more people around during the holidays will be an enjoyable experience. Regardless, getting plenty of attention from you during this time will help them feel included in the joyful holiday season.