12 TIPS TO GET YOUR DOG READY FOR CHRISTMAS
The unwritten rules of Christmas dictate anything festive should be resisted until 1st December. If you follow me on Instagram you might have spotted I’ve provided little resistance to being swept up in the silly season and have instead embraced all things festive with wild abandon. In my defence, crunching around a snow-covered townhouse, making Christmas jumpers to a Bublé soundtrack and merrily crafting my front-door wreath whilst drinking marshmallow-strewn hot chocolates just weren’t opportunities I wanted to pass up.
But now, ’tis the season! And in keeping with my uncontrollable urge to embrace yuletide festivities in all their glory I’ll be rolling out a series of Christmas-themed posts over the next couple of weeks. Since Olly and I got married last year, this is my first Christmas away from home. And my new family won’t just be welcoming me into their festive fold, as I of course come with a furry four-legged friend in tow wherever I go. So this year I’ll be calling on home comforts for both me and Luna. Without further ado I give you my pooch prep...
1 THE GROOMING
It’s Christmas so you’ve got to look the part. Luna’s a regular at the salon (schnauzers need clipping around every eight weeks) but she’s an outdoorsy girl and often comes in wearing half the garden, which means it also falls to me to make sure she scrubs up well. Whilst she's not the biggest fan of bathtime, she’s always in a blindingly good mood afterwards – nothing like being squeaky clean to leave you feeling fly. Plus her coat feels like cashmere afterwards. Double-whammy. I’ve linked some helpful pointers I refer to for coaxing her into the bath and helping the process run more smoothly, as well as other useful tips.
2 THE TRAVELLING
We’ll be on the road a bit but luckily Luna likes the car. Her bed doubles up as the world’s comfiest booster on the backseat of our Mini and, coupled with hearing mine and Olly’s voices in such close proximity for the entire journey, I’m pretty sure she considers this a pretty dreamy set up. We always make sure we have lots of water on board, which brings me onto my next worth-its-weight-in-gold tip…
3 THE COLLAPSABLE RUBBER BOWL
These are flatpack little lifesavers that mean gone are the days of offering water from the palm of your hand as it dribbles onto the car seats. And talking of keeping seats clean…
4 THE TOWEL
I imagine there’s no faster way to fall out with your in-laws than your filthy pup perkily making a
bee-line for their spotless cream sofa. Having a dog towel to hand throughout winter to keep
muddy paws at bay is key.
5 THE BLANKET
When we're out and about – anywhere from a restaurant or pub to someone's house – Luna finds it hard to know where to settle without an ‘X to mark the spot’. Yet as soon as I lay something on the floor, voila she’s sitting on it. Previous trips have involved coats/jumpers/scarves acting in place of the forgotten blanket, so it’s well worth remembering it so we don’t end up cleaning dusty pub floors with our Christmas cashmere. Boredom can often strike in the pub which means keeping her busy with things like…
6 THE CHEWS
I have two vets in the family who continually stress the importance of teeth brushing. Killing two birds with one stone, DentaStix help reduce plaque plus Luna’s little face lights up when they’re produced from their rustley packet. Whilst they're great, the award for the mother of all treats has to go to…
7 THE MORALE BOOSTER
Two words. Gravy. Bones. Over the years, our dogs have all been able to hear the snap of a gravy bone from an impressive distance. They work wonders for training, rewarding and helping Luna settle into a new place. We'd have a pretty disgruntled schnauzer on our hands if we left these behind.
8 THE TREASURED TOYS
Along with her comfort blankets, Luna’s got an embarrassingly large toy box at home. We’ll most likely have a squeaky chipmunk, a tennis ball and a gopping pink fleecey bone accompany us throughout Christmas.
9 THE ROUTINE
They're little creatures of habit after all. Seasonal chaos equates to doing weird things at weird times of day/night, but even if it’s only making sure she eats at the same time and gets her usual run around (we do 2.5 miles daily) she’ll be happy. Plus it can definitely work to your advantage since…
10 THE TACTICS
I once read somewhere that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Whenever I was freelancing at Vogue House when Luna was a puppy, I’d take her around Green Park pre work and again at lunchtime: a failsafe way of making sure she’d crash out under my desk when work needed to be done. Except that time she escaped to the next door office to see if anyone at Condé Nast Traveller fancied a game…
11 THE COLLAR
Due to an irrepressible desire to chase squirrels/rabbits/just about anything that looks like it might be fun, I’ll be attaching details of our temporary abode to Luna’s collar, plus multiple mobile numbers. Neurotic dog-mother right here.
12 THE PRESENTS
Her stocking is already hanging above our fireplace. This is an example of losing your marbles because an animal has got under your skin. They do that. ❤️
I'd love to hear about any tips you and your faithful hound swear by. Do leave them in the comments section below.
Hattie & Luna X
This post is in collaboration with Pedigree. All opinions are my own.
Sidetone: with two vets in the family, I'm hearing the importance of brushing your dog's teeth more and more. It's a New Year's resolution for us. For tips and advice on getting your dog used to dental care, see here.
Images my own and via Pinterest.