What Christmas Means to me as a Dog Mom
There are more than a million reasons why we love Christmas; it is the best time of the year. Starting from the tree, presents, Christmas carols, presents, festive decor, and how can I forget seeing dog Christmas puns to friends and relatives, which has recently been added to my favorite Christmas to-do list. But does your dog know it is Christmas time?
Obviously, they do not understand the festival but realize the pattern quite well. Especially when they see you decorate the home, bake a cake, or invite people home they have not met before. The joyful mood at home also makes them happy, and they understand something is going on.
I celebrated Christmas in the typical old fashion for years until I became a dog mom. Once I had my pet, my whole idea of celebration changed. The traditions still existed in my house, but I modified a few to ensure my dog felt included. As a pet is part of the family and Christmas is a festival where the entire family comes together, I could not keep my dog separate. Most of the festival remained the same for me; a few minor modifications were made to ensure my dog felt comfortable.
What really happens is that we do not consider what Christmas must feel like for dogs and how they associate with it. A few dogs may find it exciting, whereas, for others, it might be stressful.
By understanding the perspective of your fur baby, you can analyze if they look forward to this part of the year or not.
Christmas from a Dog’s Perspective:
1. So Many Things to Chew On:
We can also relate Christmas to presents. The home is filled with boxes wrapped with papers under the Christmas tree that is accessible to your dog; as dogs are curious animals, they will definitely get into exploratory mode and may try to rip a few boxes off. While I find it hilarious, I would still like my family to get their gifts in good condition. Hence, I only place my dog’s presents under the tree, and the rest are put on a table next to it which is inaccessible to my dog, so that they are safe until Christmas day.
2. So Much Food But I Get None:
Another exciting thing that happens during Christmas is the variety of food we prepare. With so many aromas the dog can smell, they might want you to share the food with them. It becomes tough to ignore those eyes when they beg for food. When you sit and enjoy your meal while your fur baby stares at you, you may feel guilty and give them table scraps. If not, your guests will definitely be unable to resist those eyes and provide them with food off the table, which should never be allowed.
Some recipes might be dangerous for dogs, especially if they contain spices, bones, chocolate, or grapes. But just feeding my dog the usual food while I got to hog on a tasty meal does not seem to go well with me. Hence, I make a different meal for my dog every Christmas for her to enjoy while I get to eat my food. This way, even when she stares at me while I eat, I do not feel guilty as I know she just had her favorite meal.
3. So Many Favorite People and a Few New Ones:
I usually invite only family over during Christmas and maybe a few close friends every year. Though I have not changed that tradition. I have made sure to introduce my dog individually to each family much before Christmas. This helps my dog be less anxious when so many families come home. In fact, she enjoys the company of people and is usually happy to see the extended family here.
There are always a few people on your guest list who may not be keen to spend their time with a dog. Making them comfortable in your home where your dog lives can get tricky, as you will have to lock your dog in a different room or always keep an eye on her. Over the years, I have realized that this is my dog’s home and anyone who is not comfortable being around her is someone I would not welcome into my house. I want the festival to be a happy time for my dog instead of making it stressful for her by isolating her from others, especially me. It is just too much work and is not worth it; hence I only invite friends who are comfortable being around my girl.
This may not be the case with many dogs, as a few do not like strange at home. Understand your dog’s temperament; avoid a large guest list if this makes him anxious. If it is inevitable, arrange to send our dog on a sleepover with his best friend.
4. Mom Has No Time to Give Me Belly Rubs:
Let me be honest; Christmas is a busy time of the year when you need to clean the house, decorate it, fix dinner for many, welcome guests, and also spend time with them. This always disturbs my daily routine, and I do not have enough time to spend with my dog those few days. This means she gets lesser attention and minimal belly rubs.
The only way I have learned to deal with this is by ensuring my family understands how she needs to feel included and how they should jump to pet her and take her attention so that she does not feel left out. To be honest, I take out some time for her, but as my family loves her, she gets lots of belly rubs from them.
Christmas is also known as a festival of joy, and I love to bring joy to my family, including my fur baby. My priority is to avoid anything that makes her uneasy and ensure she enjoys the time. Dogs have a short life span, so they celebrate a limited number of Christmas years. As a dog mom, I want to make every Christmas memorable with her and make beautiful memories that I can cherish forever.