Christmas is just around the corner – here is some handy tips to make sure your pooch enjoys the holidays as much as you.

1.    Safely secure your Christmas trees

Ensure your tree is anchored securely to avoid a tree-tipping disaster and if possible place it in a corner or create a barrier so your dog can’t get to it. If you have a real tree, keep the surrounding area clear of pine needles as they can cause stomach upsets, and irritate or puncture internal organs if swallowed.

2.    Secure your Christmas decorations

Tree decorations can look like toys to dogs, so ensure ornaments are well secured and avoid placing tinsel and lights on lower branches. Ornaments are a choking hazard and broken shards can injure paws, mouths or other parts of your dog. If ingested, tinsel can cause intestinal blockages and dogs can inadvertently get a shock if they bite through wires from lights.

3.    Burn candles in a safe space

Place burning candles high up where wagging tails cannot accidently knock them over. Don’t forget to put the candle out when you leave the room too.

4.    Keep holiday food for humans

Some of our favourite holiday foods contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Keep an eye out for these ingredients, (on the table, wrapped as presents and in stockings) and keep them out of reach from your guide dog:

Chocolate, table scrapes, xylitol (an artificial sweetener often found in lollies, chewing gum and baked goods), grapes and raisins (often found in fruit cakes and mince tarts) and alcohol.

5.    Time out zone

If you’re hosting guests it’s always a good idea to give your guide dog their own quiet space, complete with water and blankets, to retreat to. Even for dogs that don’t suffer from fear or anxiety it can be reassuring to have their own space to be alone and not pet or played with.