Dog-friendly gifts for a safe Christmas

Christmas can be a stressful time for many dogs. We have visits from loved ones that the dog may not know, the home is decorated with strange things and the tables are crammed with treats that they are happy to partake of. Some dogs can even be a little wary and fearful in these situations, so we thought we'd give them the best Christmas gifts to create a safe Christmas and calming activation that increases wellbeing.

Indoor activation that creates harmony

Activation doesn't have to and shouldn't always mean a full house and a high level of activity. Activation that brings well-being should create balance and harmony. Therefore, this type of activation often includes sniffing, licking and chewing. All three of these are behaviours that make your dog calm and harmonious. Something that dogs need every day and especially on stressful days around and on Christmas Eve. In addition, there are a few other Christmas gifts you can give your dog to maintain a safe and harmonious dog that doesn't get too stressed by everything going on around it. Whether that stress is joy or caution and fear.

  • Slow feeder. There are now a variety of ways to feed your dog. A slow feeder usually has patterns that make your dog have to work a little extra to get his food.

  • Stuffed Kong. A favorite for many dogs is getting a Kong filled with food or other treats that they can snack on. Tip, if you freeze the contents it will take longer for the dog to get it out.

  • Snuffle Mat. A Snuffle Mat is sewn in fleece fabric that allows you to hide the treat in it and let your dog use his nose to find the food.

  • Licki Mat. There are now a variety of shapes of the so-called Licki Mat. You can squeeze out some soft cheese or fresh food and then let your dog lick up the contents.

  • Long-lasting chew. Chew bones are often a big favourite for dogs. Wrap your dog's favourite chew and see if he can open the package on his own. Give the chew bone at the time of Christmas when it's most messy for your dog. For some, it may be when all the guests arrive, for others when it's time to eat Christmas dinner.

Dogs thrive on alone time away from the chaos

Whether your dog is happy around everyone and everything or wary and perhaps afraid of new people, they thrive on quiet alone time. Give your dog some alone time away from the messy Christmas celebrations to gather their new energy. You can either let your dog sleep in a secluded room or offer a bed for them to rest on.

  • Cosy dog bed. Does your dog find it hard to relax when his surroundings are cluttered? Then perhaps this year's Christmas gift could be a cosy dog bed for your dog to rest on. Remember to always put precious things on your dog's bed to make it feel comfortable. It could be the daily frozen cone, the chew bone or the dog's meal. It is important that everyone in the party knows not to approach the dog when it is resting on the bed. This makes the bed a free zone for your dog to gather new energy.

  • A long walk in the woods. Give your dog a long walk in the woods away from the Christmas baking and the messy environment that Christmas can bring. Your dog will need a break from the Christmas festivities and one way to do that is to take a long walk in the woods together. Let your dog go at his own pace and use his natural behavioural needs such as sniffing, digging, galloping and balancing on logs.

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