How to keep dogs busy while the humans are enjoying the Christmas excess
Make sure in the rush of visiting and hosting that you don't forget to take your dog for a walk. Your dog walker may be able to fit in extra sessions if you need them to. A dog that has had plenty of exercise will be calmer and happier.
Some dogs enjoy watching television and it can offer a distraction whilst you're in the dining room having your turkey. Just be careful to choose one of their favourites. You can even buy special doggy DVDs on Amazon.
It's not just a cute idea to include your dog on the gift list – providing a new toy or two can distract them and keep them occupied as they play. Whether it's a cute fluffy friend, a pull toy or a chew you might find, like children, they prefer playing with the paper more than the toy itself.
Give your dog a food puzzle to solve by hiding treats or in a hollow toy. Toys like a Kong can be filled with peanut butter, cheese or special paste and, optionally frozen, to give your dog a challenge.
If you're feeling crafty you could make your own bottle puzzle. Thread a length of cord through a plastic bottle (use a skewer or long screw as a needle) then tie the ends of the cord to something sturdy at nose height. Drop some smelly treats in and watch your dog work out the best strategy for releasing them.
Dogs like to doze and it is essential that you provide them with somewhere quiet to go to get away from new faces if they are getting overwhelmed. If your dog usually sleeps in the main part of the house it might be an idea to move their bed somewhere else before Christmas so they can get used to the new arrangemen