Helping Your Dog Enjoy the Festive Season Safely - Alba Physiotherapy
Brid Walsh Health Tips

"Almost Daily Health Tips From Expert Physiotherapist Brid Walsh..."

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

Helping Your Dog Enjoy the Festive Season Safely

How to help your pet over the festive period and what festive favourites should your dog avoid?

Christmas can be a stressful time for dog’s.  40% of owners notice a difference in their dog’s mood and 25% report behavioural changes at Christmas time.

This can be attributed to disrupted routines, lots of new people and different noises around the home. There are many ways we can  help our pets deal with these changes and adjustments.



  •   Try to stick to your dogs routine during the holiday season for example,  stick to the usual exercise schedule and feeding times.
  •    If you do need to make charges to your dogs routine then plan ahead and try to make those changes gradually
  •   Decorate gradually to avoid overwhelming your dog
  •   Make sure you have a safe place for your dog to go when they need a break and the festivities are getting too much for them.  Ensure it is quiet and leave some of their favourite toys and a comfy bed in this area.
  •   Keep an eye on room temperature – some rooms can get very hot and stuffy at Christmas.  The heat coupled with your dogs anxiety can even result in seizures in extreme cases.
  •   If your dog is nervous around new people get them to come in and take a seat before introducing your dog. That way they do not seem as big and intimidating. They can even drop treats to help your dog build positive associations!
  •   Practice basic commands: sit, leave it, come and drop it; these will really help you prevent bad situations from occurring and give you more control.
  •   Take precautions and always supervise your dog when around children.  Some children may not be used to seeing dogs and both the dog and children can be unpredictable. If it is not possible to supervise, it can be a good time for your dog to go to their safe place
  •   Fireworks can also be common at this time of year, for more advise have a look at our previous blog on fireworks.

At Christmas time there is never a shortage of treats and foods on the go, we have all heard that dogs can not have chocolate and that it is bad for them but there are many other common foods that can be just as harmful! Here are some of the foods to watch out for:

  •   Onions, shallots, scallions and garlic – These can cause gastrointestinal irritation
  •   Cooked bones – Cooked bones become brittle and can splinter and lodge themselves in your dog’s digestion tract
  •   Rich and fatty foods – These can be detrimental to vital organs in your dog’s digestive system
  •   Alcohol – This seems like common knowledge, but even many foods at Christmas contain alcohol so be sure no to leave these unattended
  •   Raisins/Grapes – These delicious snacks are often in our favourite Christmas treats but can cause serious harm to our dog’s kidneys if they consume them
  •   Nuts – Some nuts are good for our dogs but NOT ALL. Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans and pistachios should be avoided as they can be very dangerous for dogs

Your practice of basic commands will be beneficial in stopping your dog from getting some of these festive favourites. If your dog eats any of these or some of the Christmas decorations it is best to seek advice from your vet immediately!

Everyone here at Alba physiotherapy wishes you and your pets a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to hearing what you are getting up to with your pet this Christmas.


Enquire About How We Can Help Your Animal Click Here »

Brid Walsh

Brid Walsh

Brid qualified in 2004 with a BSC Honours Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick, Ireland. In evaluating her future path, she spent a summer in Alaska with the Hope Foundation supporting disabilities of various sorts. Her further work experience in the Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin convinced her that Physiotherapy was the direction she wished to specialise in. In 2007 she subsequently qualified from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with an MSC in Physiotherapy.
Brid Walsh

Latest posts by Brid Walsh (see all)

Share This
Google Rating
Based on 37 reviews