Taking care of your dog at Christmas



From left TengelMan, Wild Villemo, Little Heike-Mother

It’s soon Christmas and of course we also want to give our dogs some fantastic days.

We have though some things to think about, to make Christmas safe for our fur-babies:


First the Christmas tree.  It might be a

good idea to place it in a corner.  We had our

Christmas tree in the middle of the floor

without tying it to something – I can say

that this is not a good idea.  My Collie Crew

have always loved to run around it with the

result of it falling over and the ornaments

flying all over the place. I had to tie the

tree to the roof.

Another thing to considerate is all the

Christmas ornaments.  Fluffy ones are not a

good idea to place low, many of my Santa’s has been mauled and “killed”. Christmas ornament that can crush, might cut the dogs paws.

It’s not necessary for your dogs to drink from the water the tree stands in – put a couple of spruce twigs over the waterbowl and “cover” it (or you can use aluminum foil). It can be a good idea to put a baby-gate around the tree too.

Don’t place tinsel low, they might eat it, and can cause a disaster – and an operation (can block the intestines).  Neither you or your dog want to spend the day at the veterinaryhospital.

Here we only use live Christmas trees and brush up the “needles” as they fall off.


Lots of plants are poisonous, see here – keep

the plants where your dog can’t reach them.

Also if you should have edible tree decoration

– and  have dogs like me that loves treats -

hang it high so your dog can’t reach it.

Should your dog have eaten plants and you are

not sure about toxicity – call your poison

control – here in Norway it’s : 22 59 13 00


Candles, never leave dogs alone with it.

They can knock it over and set the whole

house on fire including themselves. If you

use candles, always be in the room together

with your dog. Christmas lights and the

electric cords might get chewed on, be sure

your dog can’t get to the electric cords


Of course we give our fur-babies Christmas-presents. How about baking some treats yourself that you wrap up and give? I can promise your fur-babies will love them – you can find some recipes here

And when you make treats yourself

you know exactly what’s in them, no

unknown ingredients.

Fill a kong with some yummy stuff

wrap it up and give them.

Give “intelligent toys” like

“hide and slide puzzle”,

“dog activity flip board”,

“dogtwister”, “IQ treatball”,

there are lots of things to buy

or make yourself.

My crew have always love to use

their heads (and they need that to

feel good) and then giving them a

puzzle to solve is superb and keep

them busy. If you buy toys be sure it’s a type that’s solid and safe for your dog.


And when you eat your Christmas dinner you will of course share some with your dogs.  My crew have always gotten some turkey, gravy and vegetable on Christmas Eve. 

Unfortunately many dogs get diarrhea when they get food they are not used to, I think mush of the reason is because of the terrible kibble they are given.


Using homemade food for your dogs will give them a perfect digestion, at least that have been the case in my household. Be aware of food that’s poisonous for our dogs – read more here




Be very careful when it comes to chocolate – your dog don’t need that at all.  I know I always give my crew a tiny bit of it from 1th  to 24th of December when they get their advent-calendar (the chocolate bite they get weigh a couple of grams and it’s milk chocolate).

Read more about toxic food for dogs (including chocolate) here

Be aware of poisonous food as that can give seriously damage to kidney etc. Contact your veterinarian if you know your dog has stolen/eaten food he/she shouldn't have


Often people have more free time at Christmas, and your dog loves some extra-long hiking’s. It’s no reason not giving your dog’s lots of exercise and keep the routine during the holidays.

If you live in a snowy region and want your dog’s to pull you when you are skiing – always use a harness on your dog.


There are dogs that are not very fond of lots of people and parties, much noise etc.  Have a safe place for them where they can relax and get away from most of the noise when they want to.

Fireworks – read more here


Many people travel during the holidays, don’t let your dog spend many hours alone at home or in the car.  Dogs love their normal routines.

Dogs (or any kind of pets) ARE NOT presents. Do not give a dog as a Christmas present

Little Heike-Mother
Wild Villemo

When you are indoors there are lots of stuff you can do with your dog.

Collies need to use their brain to be happy

Here are some indoor-fun-tips :


Nosework.  My Collies love to find treats I have hidden around the house, some treats in the bookshelf and some treats under a pillow etc.  Put treats in different kind of levels. My Collies have to wait outside the house when I hid treats. 

If your dog has never played that game let him/her see the first times you put out the treats. And then let the nose begin.


Sharpen their brain.  Have three cups and hide a treat under one of them, shuffle the cups and let the dog find the cup with the treat.


Fill a toy (like a kong) with some yummy treats, put it in the freezer and then give it to your dog.  They have hours of “work” before they get all of it out.


Learn them name of their toys, when they know that, hide the toy and let them search


Give your dog a massage


Let them help. Learn them how to put their toys in the toy-box.


Bake tasty treats.  I don’t buy biscuits anymore, but bake myself. 

Here are some recipes : homemade cookies



Learn your dog cool tricks, like “high five”.  It’s both fun and easy

From left TengelMan and Wild Villemo