7 Tips for a Merry Christmas with your Dog

Wishing you and your dog a Happy Christmas!

The festive season is upon us and at the centre of the frivolities are our four-pawed friends. Watching on with interest as our routines, households and behaviors change with the ‘silly season”. If only we could read their thoughts!

Most dogs love being swept along with Christmas festivities however timid types can find it a little overwhelming. These 7 tips will help you ace your Santa Paws role to ensure an enjoyable, fun-filled Christmas for your doggo!

1. Make your Christmas Tree a Dog-safe Zone

Brightly colored decorations, flashing lights and wrapped presents are a magnet for many dogs especially puppies. So, if your dog is paying your Christmas tree a little too much interest, play it safe by moving it out of reach. (A simple hack for smaller dogs is to place children’s play pen fencing around your tree.)

This way you can avoid broken decorations, ripped up presents and more importantly you can prevent safety hazards such as accidental poisoning (think wrapped boxes of chocolate and nuts), electrocution and ingestion of foreign objects (baubles and tinsel). As a rule place all household decorations out of your dog’s reach and ensure tripper and safety switches are installed for Christmas lights.

Christmas tree decorations
Tinsel and baubles can be irresistible for many dogs.

2. Extend Christmas traditions to your dog

What’s your family tradition? Wearing knitted Christmas sweaters whilst staying warm by the fireplace, or perhaps you are enjoying a summer Christmas with backyard cricket and a swim at the beach? Whatever your tradition, include your dog, they are family after all. With 87% of dog owners buying their dog’s presents, now is the ideal time to spoil your pup.

Stuck for dog Christmas gift ideas? How about a dog Christmas sweater, a toy to help keep your dog entertained, a collar and leash combo for those upcoming New Year’s exercise resolutions, or a tasty chew to polish those pearly whites.

Dog in christmas sweater
Gaining popularity, the Christmas Dog sweater is a must-have in cold climates!

3. Up-cycle wrapping paper and boxes.

Just like small children, dogs often get as much fun out of packaging as they do the gift within! Wrapping paper and empty boxes can provide hours of entertainment.

Use boxes to create dens for your dog to hide in, or to create funnels and obstacle courses. Dogs love ripping up wrapping paper. Better still, ball it up for a great game of indoor fetch. (Remove tape, ribbon and staples first)

dog with christmas presents
Wrapping paper and boxes galore. Just wait until those presents are opened!

4. Take a Christmas Dog & Family photo

Capture memories by including your dog in your Christmas family pic. Including your pup will make your photos all the better and entertaining to look back on in future years. Photo tip – a Christmas dog treat (piece of ham or roast turkey) never goes amiss in getting your dog’s attention for the camera!

5. Treat your dog to Christmas dinner.

Just hold back from offering your dog the full spread! Sharing a little roast turkey and Christmas ham is a nice way to include your dog in festivities. Prevent over eating which may result in tummy upset and bloat. And remember to play it safe by avoiding toxic human foods- avoid feeding fatty foods (which are likely to trigger tummy upset), avoid stuffing (cooked onion is toxic to dogs), and do not feed anything containing chocolate, nuts or alcohol (Christmas pudding and cake).

a christmas roast turkey
A small amount of Christmas ham, Roast turkey and vegetables makes a special Christmas treat for your doggo!

6. Take time out for an after-dinner nap

All that excitement can be exhausting. So, allow your dog time to curl up for a nap. The extra stimulation of Christmas visitors (especially children),and new smells, sights and sounds can be a little too much for some dogs, so make sure you give you dog time out and provide a quiet place they can retreat to.

Dog in christmas spirit
A little quiet time never goes amiss during the festive season!

7. Stretch those legs

Burn off excess Christmas calories with a Boxing Day dog walk.  This is becoming a tradition in many parts of the world (such as the UK), making the Boxing Day walk the highlight of many a doggo’s Christmas. Meet up with friends and let your dog run, play and burn off their Christmas dinners together😊

dog playing in the snow
Full of the joys of Christmas! The Boxing Day walk is a highlight for dogs world over!

Now over to you, Santa Paws! Let the furred festivities begin 🙂

P.S .Don’t forget to track your Christmas adventures with your WAGSTA app. Make the most of the festive season with walk, weight and wellness tracking for you and your best friend!

Happy dog and owner




WAGSTA Wellness Testimonials and Endorsements


Thinking of joining WAGSTA Wellness to help your dog get back in shape? Hear what our happy members have to say about their WAGSTA slimming experience!

Wagsta member - Gyp


“Overall Gyp has lost about 13 pounds which is fabulous!  We’ve had comments that Gyp does not even look like the same dog as he did before we put him on the diet.  I really do not think we could have accomplished his weight loss without this program.

 We had put Gyp on diet food before, but we were never very consistent about tracking extra treats, preventing him from licking the dishes in the dishwasher or staying with his diet after he lost the first few pounds. Because both my husband and I are very active and take our dogs on hikes and runs almost daily, we always thought he could burn off the extra weight through exercise – but after having done WAGSTAs weight plan we have learned that it is not the case.  It is important to feed not only the correct proportions but the correct food and still make sure he gets daily exercise. I was very pleased with the program and I am very happy with the results.” 

Sarah Oates and Gyp (6-year-old Australian Cattle Dog) Colorado, USA.

Wagsta member - Summer

We rescued overweight 6-year-old Labrador, Summer who suffered from arthritis, over-heating and general poor health. For this reason, we chose WAGSTA to guide our family with a healthy weight loss regime. 

WAGSTA uses techniques that are easy, educational and fun for the whole family. The most helpful advice for us was pet food nutritional contents (an eye-opener!), fun games and activity suggestions that keep your pup moving without leaving home, overcoming weight loss plateaus, snack ideas and the weight loss tracker to ensure that Summer lost weight at a healthy rate. We also really loved the fact that she never went hungry or seems deprived at all. No easy feat for a Labrador!

Summer lost 10.4 kg on the program is now a happy, healthy and active 7-year-old dog. Our whole family highly recommends the Wagsta weight plan.”

Leisa Hale and Summer (7-year-old Labrador) Gold Coast, Australia.

Wagsta member - Delta

“Delta has dropped from 68 to 56 lbs! She no longer has hip fat pads and now has a waist. She has also rediscovered that she can jump on the bed again! This program has been the one thing I’ve been able to put my hands on that has finally given me the incentive to manage Delta’s weight. I feel so much better at night knowing Delta is a healthy weight.” 

Joan Howe and Delta. Wisconsin, USA.

Wagsta member - Harley

Goodbye muffin top, hello waist line! Harley may be the cutest pooch on the block but his fluffy coat was disguising a growing number of fat rolls. This program soon put a stop to Harley’s middle-age spread. Not only has Harley achieved his healthy weight, he is happier and more responsive. Harley’s diet has been a real bonding exercise and we are now closer than ever!

Claire Hawkins and Harley. Queensland, Australia.


Dr Michelle Felten


“In practice, many dedicated dog owners have found that weight management can be a challenging process. The professional and dedicated support from Dr Williamson through WAGSTA’s weight program provides a comprehensive, informed and genuinely caring guide for dog weight management.”  

Dr Michelle Felten BVSC (Hons) BSc (Epidemiology).


Wagsta member - True


“Just want to encourage anyone with a furry friend who is a bit pudgy, this program is excellent! My dog was quite overweight (I kept saying that it was all muscle!) but sadly it wasn’t. I realized with Charlotte’s help that True’s weight was a contributing factor to her occasional lameness in her back legs. Just too much weight! The fact that her legs were sore meant less exercise and so the problem just got worse, but with the guidance given with this program, she has lost 6 kilograms and is now a much happier and active girl. I highly recommend this program!

Marilyn Gosney and True (8-year-old Blue Heeler/ Australian Cattle Dog).

Dr Richard Mitchell

Excess weight is a significant causal factor in many of the orthopedic conditions I see as a surgical specialist. Maintaining your dog at a healthy weight is the best prevention against the onset of joint disease.  I believe WAGSTAs diet programs provide an invaluable service for owners wanting to return their dog to a healthy weight. Dr Williamson’s passionate and supportive approach to dog weight management transforms lives for the better.”

Dr Richard Mitchell, BSc BVSc Cert Small Animal Surgery, DECVS.

Wagsta member - Ebony

‘My girl lost 5.7 kilograms and 26.7 cm over 12 weeks!  This plan made it really easy to work out the correct meal size for Ebony. And receiving support and feedback from Dr Charlotte, a vet with first-hand experience in dieting her own dog, was really valuable! Thanks to this program both Ebony and I are now on the right track!”

Jenny Sheehan and Ebony (2-year-old Labrador) Victoria, Australia.


Dr Stephen Butterton

Having worked alongside Dr Charlotte Williamson for many years I can personally vouch for her expertise and professionalism. Charlotte’s positive and understanding approach to weight management is exemplified through WAGSTA. This modern-day approach to dog weight management provides owners with all the tools and support needed to safely and successfully diet their dogs. WAGSTAs diet programs are a boon for all owners serious about helping their dogs lose weight.”

Dr Stephen Butterton BSc (Hons), BVetMed, MRCVS.

Wagsta member - Roxy


 “I would wholeheartedly recommend WAGSTA to anyone with a shall we say ‘ample’ over loved doggy. My Roxy is like a different dog since starting her weight plan, she has so much more energy, looks 5 years younger (she is a spritely 13 years young!) and moves so much easier. Roxy is losing her extra weight in a safe and managed manner. Dr. Charlotte, who is offering this assistance is a wonderfully friendly and helpful professional vet and I could not recommend her and this program any more highly. Thank you for this wonderful program and so much more time with my beautiful girl.”

Jan Polaris and Roxy, Cairns Australia.

Wagsta member - Saltie


“Our Fur Baby, Saltie, has just successfully finished his doggy weight plan. Saltie was about 15% overweight which was contributing to Patella luxation (dislocated kneecap). Our options for treatment included surgery which would cost $2000 or weight loss. We obviously opted for the weight loss option. Through Dr Charlotte Williamson’s amazing and highly professional program – WAGSTA, Saltie is now back to his healthy weight and his lameness has disappeared. Thanks to this program we’ve identified and overcome some of our not-so-healthy feeding habits and we can confidently say Saltie is set up for long term weight loss success. I highly recommend WAGSTA Weight Plans if you have a fur baby that is carrying a bit of extra weight.”

Teresa Howard and Saltie (2-year-old King Charlies Cavalier X Spaniel).

Wagsta member - Sophie-Margaret


“This program really works. Sophie looks and feels so much slimmer! We highly recommend the WAGSTA weight program to all dog lovers. We found this program highly informative with Charlotte available to us throughout the program providing plenty of helpful advice. We now understand about proper portion control and suitable foods to feed Sophie. And as a household we’ve also learnt to communicate better regarding Sophie’s feeding and treats. We have no hesitations in recommending this program to others.”

Trish and Peter Mowett with Sophie Margaret. QLD, Australia.

Wagsta member - Charlie


“This course is very user friendly and I have recommended it my dog-loving family and friends. Thanks to this program I now understand how to count calories for my dog and I have cut back on my Charlie’s snacking. I found Dr Charlotte very approachable and her passion and knowledge about dog weight management reassuring.”

Sheryl McKenzie and Charlie (4-year-old Labrador Retriever), Melbourne, Australia.

Join WAGSTA Wellness and follow Maxo’s lead!


Dog Slim Weight Loss Plan