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Holiday Traditions To Share With Your Dog

Written by aslmad.yaz

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Hearts are glowing, tails are wagging, and we sure love sharing our favorite holiday traditions with our dogs. From making homemade dog treats to unwrapping presents just for them, there are many ways to involve your pup in all the joy this season has to offer.

Dog advent calendars

Advent calendars are a beloved holiday tradition, originating from German customs in the 19th century. Typically beginning on December 1, these calendars mark the countdown to Christmas Day. Each day reveals a small, hidden compartment containing a treat or a surprise, adding a delightful element of anticipation leading up to the big day. You can modify this tradition by making the calendar dog-friendly. Many doggy advent calendars are available for purchase, or you could also get creative and make your own. Hide treats and toys for your pup to unwrap daily or fill compartments with a written unique activity to share with your dog.

Ugly sweaters for you and your dog

Happy dog in front of a christmas tree wearing christmas sweater
(Photo Credit: Capuski | Getty Images)

Who can’t help but love an ugly Christmas sweater? In fact, the uglier, the better. You can quickly get your pup into this silly holiday tradition by creating matching sweaters. In fact, many companies now sell matching dog and dog parent outfits — especially for the holidays. However, if you’re feeling crafty, you can put a little extra effort into your do-ups. Head to the value or thrift store and find a sweater or sweatshirt for you and your dog. You can then spend the evening decorating with ribbons, cotton balls, sequins, or other silly craft materials. You can even add battery LED lights to make things extra funky. If you’re taking your pup to any holiday parties this year, the two of you will definitely show up in style. Of course, keep close eyes on your dog when decorating the sweaters to ensure they don’t snack on anything they shouldn’t!

Check out the holiday lights

Grab a leash and a festive hat or headband, and leave your worries at the doorstep! Head out with your pup to look at the holiday lights. Explore neighborhoods known for extravagant displays, turning the outing into an adventure with a car ride jamming to your favorite holiday tunes. Consider making the evening even more special by stopping for a festive drink and a pup cup.

Make paw print ornaments

Add a new favorite ornament to your tree this year, or make it an annual holiday tradition by creating one with your dog each Christmas. You can use homemade salt-dough recipes or look for airdry craft clay. Whichever option you choose, roll out the material, delicately imprint your dog’s paw into the dough, and engrave the year with a toothpick, creating a timeless keepsake. After it hardens, you can add paint or glitter for some added sparkle. A gentle reminder: exercise caution if your pup has a penchant for chewing, as salt-dough can harm dogs. So, be sure to wash all of the dough off your dog’s paws as soon as you’re finished taking the impression.

Take silly holiday photos

A funny Christmas portrait of a couple and their dog, one way to create an annual holiday tradition with your dog.
(Photo Credit: Jason_V | Getty Images)

We can confidently say that one of our favorite traditions is taking dog photos with Santa. These holiday snapshots serve as beautiful keepsakes to look at over the years. They’re also perfect for crafting heartfelt Christmas cards to share with friends and family. You can check nearby pet stores, shelters, or other events to find out who is offering pictures with Santa.

For dogs less comfortable in crowds or with strangers, consider creating a cozy atmosphere for an at-home photoshoot. You can opt for an affordable Santa costume and enlist help from friends to capture these adorable moments with your furry friend. Alternatively, you can go full out and recreate those awkward holiday family photoshoots from yesteryear. Think sweaters or a sweater-vest combo, tinsel, a wintery backdrop, and goofy facial expressions.

Bring them to a Christmas market

Holiday markets — filled with twinkling lights, goods from small businesses, handmade crafts, and delicious food — truly make up one of the season’s most beloved traditions. Many of these events occur outdoors, creating a perfect opportunity to bring your dog along. Just verify that the market is dog-friendly before including them in your excursion.

Homemade dog-friendly treats

Who can deny the fun of baking cookies every year? Some of our most beloved memories are made in the kitchen, looking at old recipe cards passed down through generations. You can add to these heartfelt moments by including your pup and baking them dog-friendly treats. Many recipes are available with a quick internet search or head straight for our absolute favorites. We suggest writing down your favorite dog-friendly cookie recipe and saving it for years to come. You can also bake extra dog cookies, wrap them up, and take them to your pup’s favorite playmates or an animal shelter. Treats always taste best when shared!

Donate to a local shelter

Donating to an animal shelter is a heartwarming gesture that provides essential support for the care and well-being of shelter animals and spreads warmth and compassion. Whether contributing monetary donations, pet supplies, or volunteering time, each act of kindness helps create a more comfortable and nurturing environment for animals in need. Embracing the spirit of giving is a meaningful way to share the essence of the holiday season, fostering hope and a brighter tomorrow for our four-legged companions.

Holiday movie marathon

Sometimes, the best way to celebrate the season is to snuggle up on the couch with your pup, eat snacks, and watch your favorite holiday flicks. If you’re looking for a film for your dog to enjoy, several holiday movies also feature some truly stellar canine actors. The most simple holiday traditions can also be the most memorable.

Holiday traditions and potential hazards

Your dog is sure to love whatever holiday tradition you choose! While you enjoy all the festivities this season has to offer, we recommend keeping your veterinarian’s number close in case of any emergencies. We also encourage you to learn about potential holiday hazards for dogs to ensure the season is a healthy one.

Happy holidays!


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