Most people consider their pets a part of their family so it only seems right that you celebrate the holidays with your pup.
In fact according to a fun survey by the pet medication company VETIQ, 61% of dog owners rather smooth their dog under the mistletoe this holiday rather than their significant other.
Of course the most important thing about involving your dog in the Christmas festivities is to strike the right balance between spending time with your pooch and making sure you aren’t stressing your pet out. This is why I recommend planning ahead a few dog-friendly holiday activities that you can use to spend time with your pup.
5 Ways To Celebrate Christmas With Your Dog
Involve Your Dog In Your Family Christmas Photos
If you consider your pup a part of your family, why not include her in your family Christmas pictures?
Of course you can always include her not only in the picture with the family but you can even include your dog into the color scheme or theme if you have one as well. In fact, last year my cousin sent out the most adorable Christmas card that featured her, her husband and her new pup. Best of all they were all wearing matching Christmas pajamas for people and dogs and sitting in front of their Christmas tree.
Even if you don’t take professional holiday photos or have a picture made into a Christmas card, make sure you do get some pics of your dog with the family so you can have those memories for years to come.
Bake Up Some Holiday Treats For Your Pup
Just like you enjoy some Christmas cookies or special treats during the holidays, let your pup enjoy one here and there as well.
Of course you don’t want to go overboard and completely ruin your dog’s diet, but there are some healthy holiday treats you can make for your pooch. You can have your cookies or dessert during your holiday nights and then let your pup have something different as well.
Jamie over at MyBakingAddiction.com has some great recipes for homemade dog treats that would be perfect for the holidays.
Buy Your Dog A Nice Christmas Gift
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a good gift as there are some really great inexpensive Christmas gifts for dogs.
It’s just nice to buy your pup something new for the holidays and simply include her in the presents under the tree. This can even be a cute way to play up a Santa theme with young kids by saying Santa dropped off a gift for your pet as well.
A simple and practical inexpensive gift idea may be something like a Christmas dog toy or even a special rawhide treat.
Let Your Dog Relax and Cuddle By The Fireplace
During the holidays there can be a lot going on. You may have more people over to your home than usual or you may be gone for longer periods of time, leaving your pup alone. With all that said make sure that you take some time to simply unwind and relax with your dog.
Just cuddling with your dog in front of your fireplace or even while watching a Christmas movie in your living room does a lot to calm her nerves as well as makes for a really nice memory for the future.
Dogs can easily get overstimulated and stressed so you want to make sure you keep an eye on your pup to see how she may be reacting to all the holiday chaos.
Make Sure To Include Your Dog Into Your Family Traditions
Start making some traditions with your pet this holiday and get your pooch their own Christmas ornament and stocking for your home.
When we first got our dog I made sure to get her a puppy’s first Christmas ornament and hung it on the tree that year. From that year on, I got an ornament for the dog, carrying over the tradition of buying my kid’s a new ornament each year.
We also like to include our pet into the Christmas stocking tradition we have as she has her very own stocking hanging up over the fireplace with all of the rest of the family. We even fill her stocking with a few gifts for Christmas morning.
By including your dog into these holiday traditions you just sort of make it know that your pooch is your family and is loved.
Bonus Tip: Be Aware Of Any Poisons Or Toxins For Dogs During The Holidays
When doing any type of celebrating, be sure that you are aware of any items or foods that may be poisonious or toxic to your animal.
For example, some seasonal holiday plants like mistletoe and poinsettias are toxic to animals. You want to keep any of these types of plants away from your pets or simply go with the fake versions for decorating instead.
Also, you need to watch out for certain foods during the holidays as well. This is especialy true if you have kids that may sneak your pup some food or you are planning on having people over who may not know not to feed your dog.
Some foods to be aware of include chocolate, macadamia nuts, and even raisins. You’ll also want to watch out for any food items that your dog may be allergic to as well.
Also, keep any type of turkey bones or duck bones away from your dog as they can pose a choking hazard since the bones can easily sliver off.
Celebrating Christmas with your dog should be a natural thing as your pup is a part of your family. Just try to include your dog in your family traditions and make sure you spend time letting her know how special and loved she is.