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Remember your pets this Christmas!

By By Anna Webb Broadcaster, Author, Naturopath has studied with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) 8 days ago 292 Views

This Christmas we’re set to spend over £166 million on our pets, proving that the ‘hound pound’ is booming.

It’s proof that we’re gifting our dogs with the latest must have’s, but is that what your dog really wants for Christmas?

Christmas is for spending time with family and friends. Yet despite our best intentions, our pets can be ignored as the festivities take over.

Dogs CAN detect stress!

Apart from their routine being disrupted, at Christmas we can pass our stresses onto our pets.

Being too stressed out around our pets can only have a negative impact on their moods, even if we don’t mean it to!

It’s impossible to lie to a dog and pretend you’re not worried about all the shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping and planning that’s on the horizon.

As it’s been scientifically proven that dogs can smell the changes in our cortisol levels, that’s proof that dogs can ‘smell’ our moods through our breath and our sweat.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that rises in our bodies when we get frustrated, anxious or stressed out.

Dogs can detect these cortisol fluctuations with their huge olfactory capacity that’s about a million times more acute than ours.

The problem is dogs can also read us like a book. Apart from ‘sniffing’ our moods dogs have learnt to read minute facial expressions and associate them with actions and moods.

In fact, over 30 thousand years of domestication, dogs are born understanding gestures like pointing (even Chimpanzees don’t understand this!).

It’s no surprise that studies have even proved that dogs respond to happy faces rather than angry ones!

Bearing this in mind, this Christmas spare a thought for how your dog is interpreting the festivities.

Plan ahead

It’s easy to give your dog what he wants for Christmas with a bit of planning and simply keeping up a routine. Not just with regular walks and proactive playtime, but by keeping their mealtimes consistent.

Rather than risking a bout of stomach upset from over rich food, it’s advisable to avoid giving dogs leftovers.

Or accidentally leaving potential festive foodie hazards accessible like mince pies, Christmas cake, nuts, grapes and chocolate.

Dogs are natural scavengers and opportunists, so rather than leaving your dog open to the temptation of a mouth watering cheese board, be mindful to pre-empt possible thieving behaviours.

Treat them too!

To mark Christmas I give Prudence, my Miniature Bull terrier and Mr Binks, my Toy Terrier, Natural Instinct’s Christmas Feast.

Made using species appropriate human grade ingredients like raw Turkey, raw seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s a completely balanced nourishing Christmas dinner for dogs (they also have a cat version too!)

Packed with functional foods for your dogs and cats, Natural Instinct’s range of complete raw meals couldn’t be simpler to simply thaw and serve.

Another great idea is a supply of KONGs packed with Natural Instinct’s treats like chicken hearts, or Beef Jerky can be frozen in advance.

Ready to serve for a long lasting boredom buster and nutritious snack, its best to be safe than sorry.

Prevention is always better than cure, especially over Christmas when a trip to the vet could be costly.

Living with Prudence and Gremlin, my very large cat, means we won’t have a Christmas Tree for the third year running. The risk to benefit is too high, especially for my prized ‘Bull Terrier’ themed baubles!

We will be stocking up on a Pet remedy diffuser, which wafts a natural herbal calming solution through the home. Formulated to de-stress dogs and cats, it’s added bonus is that it also works on people.

As Christmas comes by once a year, I can’t resist a little festive photo shoot, but not at the expense of your dog – a dog is for life!

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