Sometimes in the frenzied rush that is the festive season, we may neglect our furry best friends. Here are six great ideas to ensure your dog has a very merry Christmas.
1. Create a fabulous basket of goodies
Who doesn’t love a Christmas hamper? Make up a canine-themed basket that includes not only toys but special grooming treats and health-inducing products as well. Next to a six-pack of tennis balls, a great chew toy and a frisbee, pack PAW Rose Aroma Grooming Mist, Dermoscent BIO BALM and PAW NutriDerm Replenishing Conditioner, and add goodness-masquerading-as-treats like PAW Wellness & Vitality Chews (kangaroo-based).
2. Organise play dates
Play has multiple benefits for dogs – it’s provides a good mental break (just like it does for humans), it keeps them fit and it’s great stress-buster. So why not set up a couple of play dates with dog-owning friends over the festive season? Choose a large park or reserve with plenty of shade for the humans (it’s December, after all) and ensure there’s a source of fresh water – or pack plenty yourself. Opt for early morning or late afternoon to be sunsafe.
3. Commit to excursions to the dog beach
If your dog is a water-lover, try and get him or her down to the beach or any body of water at least once a week over the Christmas break. Swimming is not only fun, it’s fantastic exercise for dogs. It provides resistance which works all their muscles, and it’s also low-impact – ideal for pooches with joint or arthritis issues. Don’t know where your closest dog-friendly beach is? A quick internet search will bring up your best options.
4. Cook up a doggy-loving storm
With a little time on your hands over Christmas, why not show your pal how much they mean to you by whipping up some homemade recipes. Human-grade raw meat should be the main ingredient, but small amounts of vegetables (avoid onion, corn and mushrooms) and pasta and rice can be added, too. Consider options like: a beef stew with sweet potato and carrot; a little turkey mince cooked with beans and carrots and served with a small amount of cooked rice or pasta; and a dog-friendly meatloaf made with mince, eggs, veggies and fresh breadcrumbs.
5. Plan the perfect pooch-friendly Christmas Day
If you don’t have a turkey to prepare or kids to wrangle, think about all the things your dog really loves – and then plan a Christmas Day that includes all of those elements (spaced out through the day – you need some festive feet-up time, too). Nobody knows your pooch better than you – so you make the perfect party planner for a day you’ll both remember.
6. Take a few trips to a dog-friendly cafe
We love an activity that’s equally satisfying for humans and their canine companions – and a cafe that welcomes dogs strikes the perfect balance. You get to enjoy a great coffee, your pooch gets a few delicious treats from the dog-friendly menu (puppycino, Rex?) and there’ll be plenty of socialising with other café denizens – human and non!
Remember, though, that what your dog values above all else is love and time with you. Neither cost a thing.