The holiday season is here and with it the many pleasures we have come to expect and welcome. The heavenly aroma of fresh home cooked meals and sweet scented sweets, gift buying, tree decorating, and a variety of holiday activities that keep you busy and create memories are some of our treasured favorites. The holidays are a time to enjoy with the friends and family that have meant so much to us. That means including your furry best friend in your favorite holiday activities as well.
Including your dog in the holiday can be tricky- you have to be careful of the tree decorations you use in case your pet decides to nibble on a cord, chew some garland or tinsel, or play with the ornaments. Not to mention you need to be very careful where you place the platters of cookies and other baked goodies- or the whole bounty will likely be resting in his belly in no time.And all that holiday chocolate has to be kept out of Fido’s reach! Yet the holidays are also a time that can be even more memorable and joyous because of the inclusion of your furry pet. Below is a list of 12 fun ways to include your dog in your holiday adventures, and make this joyous season even more special.
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1. Picking out the Perfect Christmas Tree
Picking out that special Christmas tree is a fun outdoor activity that can be even more memorable if you take you furry friend with you. Many tree farms and tree lots will allow you to take your dog provided he is on a leash.
2. Outdoor Fun
The Christmas season brings a wealth of fun outdoor activities, from parades to outdoor markets to tree lighting ceremonies. Put your dog on a leash and take him to these events and it will surely help warm up the experience for the both of you.
3. Take a Walk to View all the Christmas Lights
Neighborhoods light up with Christmas decor and brilliant lighting and enjoying these wondrous displays during an evening walk with your dog on a crisp night will fill you with joy and ready you for a cup of cocoa when you get back home.
4. Dress the Doggie in Christmas Apparel
Christmas is a fun time in which our wardrobes often take on a more colorful and less self-conscious approach. Bright colors and Christmas scenes are depicted on our shirts, ties, scarfs, and especially our infamous ugly Christmas sweaters. Why should humans have all the fun? Go shopping for some fun and warm Christmas attire to deck your dog in his finest and perhaps get him his very own ugly Christmas sweater.
5. Groomed to Perfection
Getting your hair done and being all spiffed up and properly presentable for the holidays is a tradition that would help your four legged friend make a great impression on family and friends. Get your dog well groomed at a doggie grooming business and let his coat shine bright this holiday season.
6. Family Photo Time
Getting the annual Christmas photo can often be a chore to accomplish, but including your dog in the Christmas family photo can liven up this activity and turn it into an event. It may be so much fun that you may want to have his own individual Christmas photo made for special Christmas cards. Go ahead and roll with those puppy photo bombs!
7. Visit a Shelter
Many dog shelters have holiday events and this will allow your dog the opportunity to play with other less fortunate dogs and create a special holiday moment. You may even be tempted to adopt one of these lovely pets- and wouldn’t that be a special Christmas memory.
8. Bake Me Some, Too
The abundance of fresh baked goodies is one of the most appealing parts of the Christmas season. Bake some healthy goodies for your dog so he doesn’t feel left out, and it may also prevent him from hijacking your baked goods. Check out these pup and people friendly pupcake recipes for some ideas!
9. A Treasure Trove of Treats
Create a treasure hunt for doggie treats- so your pet doesn’t feel left out when you’re nibbling on all the holiday chocolates and candies. This can be done by hiding the treats in when he’s in another room and then bringing him back in to search for the treats. It is sure to entertain your family and friends as well.
10. A Spot on the Tree
Your decorated Christmas tree is all done up to perfection, but yet something is missing. Have a special Christmas ornament made with your dog’s picture. Perhaps this can become a yearly tradition.
11. A Stocking of His Own
Get your dog his own Christmas stocking and fill it with little treats and toys. The creation of the doggie stocking could also be a fun family activity (especially for the kids), and your dogs’ purging of the stocking’s contents will be sure to delight.
12. Gifts Galore
Christmas Eve or Christmas morning- depending on your tradition- is a fun time highlighted by furiously unwrapping gifts to see what Santa brought. Allow your loyal dog to join in on the fun. Pamper your pet with wrapped toys and take a moment to watch as he joyfully unwraps his gifts.
Hamilton Wright Mable once praised the Christmas season with the following quote “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” If one were to replace the word season with the word dog- the quote would still ring true. Sharing the Christmas season with your dog seems to create endless opportunities for loving moments.
How are you including your dog in this season’s activities? Share your ideas and pictures in the comments. Check out these bonus ideas from OneGreenPlanet!