Christmas time is a favorite for many with its festive decorations, good food, joyful music and overall happy mood. As a pet owner you might be looking ways how to include your dog into your festivities, so here are some ideas.
Note: Please always approach everything with your dog’s best interest in mind. Never have your dog do something that stresses him out unnecessarily or is of danger to him or yourself. Also be safe with decorations and Christmas foods that are either dangerous or even toxic to dogs. If your dog is overwhelmed with all the Christmas activities that are happening around him, please make sure that he has his own nook to feel safe and calm in.
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1. Get A Christmas Countdown Calendar For Your Dog
Many pet stores sell Christmas advent calendars for dogs. They often include some kind of treats for each of the 24 days. Smart dogs will enjoy helping you open the calendar for each day to receive their daily price.
You could also consider making an advent calendar on your own to make the prices tailored to your pet specifically.
2. Get Your Pet His Very Own Christmas Stocking
Dogs are family and their Christmas stocking belongs right next to the rest of the family’s. Your dog will certainly love to discover some extra snacks and toys from his personal stocking on Christmas day.
3. DIY Dog Treats
Consider making some healthy homemade dog treats for your pup. You can find recipe inspiration through Pinterest, for example.
I’m sure you already know, but remember that many Holiday treats and food are toxic to dogs. For example, never give chocolate or raisins to dogs.
Related post: Poisonous Foods For Dogs
4. Get Your Dog A Present
Pamper your dog this Holiday season with a new toy, bed, collar, yummy chews or a pet ID-tag, for example.
Some dogs are even really good at opening wrapped presents (under supervision, of course), so you can make it a fun activity for them as well.
5. Take A Walk In A Festive Setting
Consider going for a special Christmas time walk with your dog. You could opt for a walk in a neighborhood that has been decorate with Christmas decorations or a hike in a snow filled place, for example.
6. Have Your Dog Wear A Holiday Accessory Or An Outfit
A fun way to add some festive style to your dog’s look could be by having him wear a festive outfit, bandana, dog collar, bow or an ID-tag, for example.
Gentle reminder: Please never make your dog wear a costume if he is uncomfortable doing so. Also always make sure that the costume does not restrict your dog’s movement or breathing in any way. Also ensure that the costume does not have any dangerous or harmful parts that your dog could end up chewing or swallowing and thus getting hurt.
7. Visit A Pet-Friendly Christmas Market
Many places often have Christmas markets during the December month. If your dog doesn’t get stressed about crowds and new places, consider visiting a Christmas market together with your dog to feel the festive spirit together.
8. Go Cross Country Skiing With Your Dog
If you have an opportunity to go cross country skiing, consider making it a fun winter time activity for both you and your dog. This will most likely need some training before hands though, but if it sounds like something you and your dog could safely do together, why not try?
This activity is actually called Skijoring and you can learn more about it in this article I found:
9. Volunteer To Help Or Donate To Shelters
Consider if you are able to foster an animal in need, volunteer in an animal shelter or maybe you can donate to organizations that help animals in some way.
10. Take Christmas Theme Photos
Bring out your camera and make some Christmas memories by taking festive photos. Have your dog pose in festive settings such as a snowy environment, in a neighborhood filled with Christmas decorations, by your Christmas tree or dress up in festive outifts to take some photos.
11. Make A Holiday Card Including Your Dog
Send a Holiday greeting to your loved ones that somehow includes your dog. Use festive photos of your dog or get his paw print printed on a card, for example.
12. Take A Christmas Trip With Your Dog
Make this Holiday season memorable by doing a Christmas theme road trip with your dog right by your side. Consider traveling anywhere with snow, rent a winter lodge for a few days or spend a night in one of those igloo ice hotels, for example. Granted that the places you plan to visit welcome dogs, of course.
13. Teach Your Dog To Pull A Sled Or A Cart
If you dog is on the larger side, consider teaching him how to pull a sled or a cart. This will, of course, need proper equipment and patience in training. Remember to keep in mind the right weight limit your dog is able to pull as well.
14. Start An Annual Tradition
Create long lasting memories by starting an annual tradition. For example, you could buy or make a Christmas ornament every year that has something to do with your pet. Think ornaments that include his paw print or photos or simply get an ornament with your dog’s name on it, for example. Seeing these special ornaments fill up your Christmas tree in the years to come are sure going to spark some fun memories in the future.
Related Post: Wire Pet Ornaments
15. Spend Time Together
Most of all Christmas is about spending time with our loved ones including our pets. Besides your regular activities, make time to spend some extra quality time with your dog as well.
Stay safe with your pup and enjoy the Holidays!