Maybe you’ve decided to take a break from the holiday craziness this year. Or maybe you’re just trying to set aside some special time for your furbaby. Either way, you probably want to find a special way to celebrate the holidays with your dog.
Taking time out of your schedule just for quality time with your dog will help you decompress from the stress of the season. Since our dogs pick up on our stress cues, a more relaxed holiday for you equals a more relaxed holiday for your dog.
So how do you celebrate your number one pal during the holidays? From maximum effort to things you can do in your jammies, we’ve put together 14 unique ways to celebrate the holidays with your dog.
How To Celebrate The Holidays With Your Dog
1. Declare a snow day! If you get snow near you, take your dog out for some snowy fun. If you don’t get snow, go somewhere off the beaten path and enjoy a day of exploring with your dog. Don’t forget to bundle them up for the weather, and don’t spend too long out in the cold.
2. Throw a dog-friendly holiday party. Invite your dog’s pals over, and set up a dog-safe feast. You can make a barkcuterie board for the canine guests, jazz up their water bowls with some fancy (plain) bottled water instead of tap water, and liven things up with an ugly sweater contest for the dogs.
3. Sign up for a dog-friendly holiday 5k. Your dog will love the exercise, and you won’t feel as guilty about all the holiday meals and parties you are obligated to attend.
4. Plan a cheesy holiday photo shoot. It doesn’t have to be for holiday cards. These pictures can be just for you. DIY a fun holiday backdrop, and use fun and dog-safe holiday props. Make it a family photo by setting the timer and getting in the picture with your dog.
5. Speaking of holiday cards, if you want to send out something fun and festive this holiday season, you don’t have to get fancy. DIY some holiday cards with your dog - not with a computer and photos. Get old school with it. It may take some coaxing and lots of treats. First, clean your dog’s feet well. Get some cardstock and using an ink pad or non-toxic paint, paint your dog’s paw and try to get a good impression. It may take a few tries, but when you’re done, you’ll have cute personalized cards and a fun memory with your dog.
6. Make your dog a holiday treat game. Set up a fun sniffing game that ends in a holiday treat or a special, festive toy for your dog.
7. Make some traditional holiday treats to share with your dog. Be sure to keep them dog friendly of course. Sweet potatoes, applesauce, pumpkin, cranberries, even a little bit of sliced turkey are all things your dog can enjoy with you during the holiday season. Be sure not to season or add sugar to your dog’s portions.
P.S. Needing a fun recipe? Check out some of these dog-friendly pumpkin treat recipes that they’ll LOVE!
8. Take your dog cruising for Christmas lights. This is such a relaxing way for you to hang out with your pup. Put on some holiday music, pack a few treats, and cruise the neighborhoods looking for the best light displays. Your dog may not be able to tell you his favorite light display, but he’ll love spending time with his favorite person.
9. Book a holiday vacay for just you and your dog. Why not use the holidays to treat yourself and your dog? Sometimes you need self-care more than a ton of holiday obligations. Book a dog-friendly Airbnb where you and your dog can get away from it all and relax before the New Year.
10. Take your dog shopping for donations. Bring your dog with you to a pet store and let her pick out some toys. Donate these toys to a rescue. Make sure you get your dog her own special toy for being a generous girl.
11. Treat your dog to a spa day! We all know how dry our skin gets during the winter. This is true for our dogs too. Get some dog-friendly bath products for moisturizing dry winter skin. After a moisturizing bath, treat her to a spa-style lunch with a little bone broth on her food and a healthy topper. Put on a face mask and have a spa day with your dog. Wondering what this has to do with the holidays? You and your pup should start the season feeling and looking good.
12. Get matching socks for you and your dog, and spend the evening watching holiday movies and eating cookies. Don’t worry about baking special holiday treats for you and your dog. Just pick some up from the store, you can even find iced holiday cookies for dogs if you’re feeling super festive.
13. Get your dog a picture with Santa. It may be a little cliche, but hey, it will also be incredibly cute. If your dog will tolerate it, pop them in an ugly sweater to make the picture even cuter. Large pet stores and even some shopping centers have special times scheduled just for pet pictures with Santa.
14. Include your dog in the gift-giving with his very own stocking. Just the process of removing the gifts from the stocking will keep your dog totally entertained. Make sure you get a sturdy stocking that will hold up to pawing and shaking so your dog can be an active participant in the gift opening.
These are just a few ideas to get your imagination going! There are endless ideas for ways to celebrate holidays with your dog depending on how you like to celebrate.
Looking for ideas for the rest of the year? Check out these 17 unique activities you can do with your dog!
Do you have any holiday traditions with your pup? Don’t forget to share them in the comments!