Christmas is such a magical time of year. It’s a time when we reflect on all the good things in life, things like good family, great friends, and, of course, delicious food.

It is also a time when we tend to reflect more on those who have less than us and often those thoughts naturally turn to the things we can do to give back and help our local communities, both human and animal.

If you want to ensure that your home and community is filled with the Christmas spirit this year, why not get your four-legged friend involved?

We here at Barking Heads are big on charity, which is why we include a charity giveaway with every order, but there are lots of things individual families can do to help out too. Here are just a few ideas:


Remind People that Dogs are for Life 

feeding dog treats

Dogs are for life not just for Christmas. It might be a well-worn phrase, but it is one cliche that we really should take seriously and pay attention too.

We know all too well that dogs given as well-meaning Christmas gifts are often abandoned once the novelty has worn off. That is why so many animal rescues refuse to handle adoptions in the run-up to Christmas. 

What can you do to help? If you know of anyone who is thinking of gifting a pet this Christmas, have a serious chat with them. Let them see your dog and talk about just how much time and money is involved in looking after him.

From regular vaccinations and the cost of pet insurance to feeding, walking and playing. Give them paws for thought (see what we did there), and you might just be able to prevent another poor puppy from being abandoned when reality sets in.


Donate a Dog’s Dinner

giving a gift to a dog

At this time of year, we often think about the many people who do not have enough to eat.

It’s a really kind thing to donate to a local food bank during the festive period ( and at any time of the year for that matter) but while you’re doing so, take the time to think about the many pets who may be struggling too.

It stands to reason that if dog owners are struggling to feed themselves, they’ll be struggling to feed their animals too and that is where you can inject some Christmas spirit into their lives by adding a can or two of pet food to your donation.

If your local food bank doesn’t accept pet food donations (most too) why not donate a dog’s dinner by giving a little cash or, even better, a few cans of our delicious turkey-flavoured dog food to your local animal rescue?

Deliver it in person and you can increase your own festive cheer by playing with the puppies, too.


Calendar Grrls

dog with reindeer antlers

If you’re serious about doing something to dogs and cats, why not rope the neighbourhoods pets into creating their very own calendar?

You can dress your dog up, if he’s not the type to mind, and take lots of cute pictures. Do the same with the other animals in your street and have a run of pawsome calendars printed off.

You can then sell them to friends, family and perhaps at the local animal rescue, as well as local businesses, to raise money for pets in need. It’s the perfect time of year for calendars to sell and you can have a lot of fun doing it.


Keep the Christmas Hazards at Bay

dog chewing christmas lights

Just like us, dogs love noshing on something special at Christmas, but they can’t always enjoy the things we love most.

So, why not get into the spirit this Christmas by sharing a few of the things that your dog, and others, should stay away from. Popular Christmas fayre that dogs should stay away from include:

  • Chocolate
  • Blue cheese
  • Mince pies
  • Macadamia nuts

That’s why it’s far safer to buy treats specifically made for dogs. That way they’ll get to join in the fun while staying safe.

There are also a number of festive decorations that could prove to be hazardous to the four-legged members of the family. For example, tinsel can be problematic; it can cause blockages in the stomach if it’s ingested. 

The insides of snow globes can also contain anti-freeze, which can kill if ingested, and fairy lights should be carefully monitored because, should your dog decide to chew on them, they could be electrocuted.

That doesn’t mean you can’t decorate for Christmas, just be mindful of every member of the family when you do so.


Go Carol Barking

dogs barking

Yes, carol singing might be more traditional, but if you take your dog along for the experience, you can guarantee that you’ll delight the audiences far more than you would with humans alone.

By taking your dog out with you, you can increase the cuteness factor ten-fold, bring joy to people in your neighbourhood, and if you ask for donations, make a little money for the charities that are most important to you all.


Bake 

christmas baking with family and a dog

Humans love to eat. Dogs love to eat even more, So, why not spend some time getting into the Christmas spirit by baking handmade treats for both your human family and your doggy family and friends too.

There are so many recipes for Christmas biscuits that can be enjoyed by humans and dogs that you won’t have trouble finding something delicious to try.

If you want to really get into the spirit, you could hand out your creations to your human and doggy neighbours, or you could even sell them to make money for charity too.

 

Christmas is, for many, the best time of year, and it is a time of year that dogs can enjoy just as much as us, providing we put the effort in to include them.

What’s more our dogs can be used as a force for good when it comes to spreading Christmas cheer in the community. So whatever you do this Christmas season, bring the dog and do some good.