How to keep your puppy happy and occupied whilst you eat Christmas dinner in peace
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Hopefully, you are reading this before you have sat down and pulled your cracker.
However, if you are currently chasing sprouts around your plate, and your puppy around the house whilst googling how to occupy your puppy and eat your Christmas dinner in peace. Good Luck!
Covid restrictions this year may mean fewer people around your table, but you still want to be able to enjoy your Christmas dinner.
My guess is that you are reading this because you want to know how if you have a puppy!
In Delia Smith's CHRISTMAS: THE LAST 36 HOURS
Delia provides a foolproof, timed countdown that will take you from Christmas Eve prep to the main event - lunch/dinner to ensure it is timed to perfection.
In this guide, we provide a foolproof way for you to prep so that you have things to keep your puppy occupied and happy whilst you eat.
Tip 1 - Variety
Have a few things ready and prepped. For puppies, it’s all about the experience and making things exciting. Give your puppy something that they can do independently from you (but under supervision) Having a few things prepped means that if they are finding what you have given them too challenging you can quickly swap it for something else.
Tip 2 - LickiMats
These are a great way to promote calmness and keep your pup occupied. Consider using some of their daily food allowance or a tasty treat topping. Yoghurt, banana, pureed veggies and even baby food ( always check ingredients are safe for your puppy/dog) make great toppings and if popped in the freezer can keep your pup occupied for even longer.
If your pup is not adventurous with their tastes or you have not yet introduced them to other foods you can soften their kibble, then either mash or blitz it in a food processor and spread it across the mat.
Tip 3 - Muffin Tin Discovery
Pop treats or part of your pup’s kibble/food allowance in a muffin or cupcake tin. Cover with tennis balls, or other toys making some more challenging than others for your pup to remove and access the treat.
If your dog likes peanut butter (check that this does NOT contain xylitol) you can smear some around the tin for a few minutes more peace.
Tip 4 - Frozen Tea Towel
Dampen an old tea towel sprinkle in some kibble or little bits of your pups favourite fruit and veggies, then twist or roll up and pop in the freezer. This one is perfect for teething pups. (Don't soak it though or leave it in the freezer too long as it becomes too hard, for those tiny razor teeth)
Take out of the freezer before you need it so that it softens a little for young pups, or quickly run under a tap.
Tip 5 - Snuffle Mats
"A tufted bathmat can work just as well!"
These are great, they provide the opportunity for your puppy to do what comes naturally, snuffle and sniff and discover tasty treats. A tufted bathmat can work just as well! Get prepped by sprinkling on your treats on, give it a little shake so that some bits fall to the bottom. Then roll up and store ready for when you need it. Simply unroll and place at your feet, puppy will snuffle away whilst you eat in peace.
Tip 6 - Kong
The tip with introducing Kongs to your puppy is to choose the right size. Check size here
A small puppy will get frustrated with a Kong that is too large. The Puppy Kong (pink and blue) is made from the softest natural rubber and is gentle for puppy teeth and gums.
The next tip is to not make it too hard for your pup to get to the goodies. Try loosely stuffing with their kibble and create a seal on the top with some mashed banana or dog-safe peanut butter. Our pup likes his kibble mixed in with a little unsweetened Greek yoghurt and banana.
So there you have it, 6 ideas to help you eat your Christmas dinner in peace.
Hopefully, you won’t need to use all 6 and of course, there is every chance that your puppy might, just might, sleep through it all!
Some might call that a Christmas miracle!
For more tips read our blog - How to survive Christmas with a puppy
Merry Christmas x