‘Tis the season of family gatherings, cookie exchanges, and holiday parties. It’s all fun and games until you have to leave your dog, am I right?! As the old saying goes, life is always better with a dog, so here are eight ways to include your dog in your upcoming holiday festivities.
Host a Dog Friendly Holiday Get-Together
If you participate in Christmas parties and social functions, it’s a good possibility that dogs may not be invited. So how about hosting a celebration at your house for the dogs? Invite your dog mom friends for a fun night of Christmas pupper fun! Offer wine, snacks and treats for the dogs. It’s a great way to socialize with your dog mom friends while your dogs also get to enjoy their buddies!
Watch Holiday Movies
Grab some blankets and cuddle up on the couch with your pups for a night of Christmas movies. Dogs love to snuggle and relax with their humans. You can even consider sharing a dog friendly snack during the movies, like apples, DIY homemade dog treats or reindeer food (carrots). Some holiday relaxation is good for everyone after a long day of work, shopping and baking.
Travel With Your Dogs
Instead of boarding your pups or leaving them with a pet sitter, why not bring them along? Traveling can be so much more fun with dogs, and you don’t have to worry about them while you’re away. Your dogs are your kids, right? So wouldn’t your holiday travels be so much more fun with them?
Play in the Snow
If you’re in an area with snow and your dogs enjoy playing in it, head outside to make some snow angels or build a snowman. Quality time with her human is exactly what your dog wants most. Put your phone down, clear your mind and be mindful of the fresh air and beautiful flurries. It may be the therapy you need during the hustle and bustle of this chaotic season.
Buy Them Presents From Santa
Don’t leave your dogs out on the gift giving this year. Buy them a few presents, wrap them and put them under the tree for Christmas day! Many dogs will love to tear through the wrapping paper, and nothing is quite as entertaining. Of course the best part is watching your furry friends enjoy their goodies afterwards! And remember – dogs are grateful for ANY gifts, unlike your distant, icky relatives…
Go See Christmas Lights
A simple yet fun way to include your dogs in the holiday season is by going to look at Christmas lights. Pack up the car, grab a hot cocoa and hit up a decorated neighborhood near you! If it’s safe, roll down the windows a bit so your dogs can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. You can even check your local area for parks or events that offer special Christmas light displays.
Take Them to See Santa
Find a dog-friendly mall or store near you that may offer Santa visits for dogs. PetSmart has a completely dog-friendly annual Santa event that may be the perfect option! You can possibly find Santa photo ops at events in your local area as well. Wherever you take your pup to see the big guy, remember to bring lots of treats for positive reinforcement. However, if your dog isn’t comfortable in social situations or with humans, it may be best to forget about the Santa visit.
Take Christmas Photos
Practice your photography and your dogs’ basic training by taking some adorable holiday themed photos! Dress up your dogs or create festive backgrounds. This is a great activity to do indoors or outdoors. Your dogs will appreciate the training and attention, and you’ll get some amazing social media content out of the deal!
This time of year is the season to be jolly, so if you find yourself caught up in the hustle and bustle, take some time to enjoy it with your dogs. They are part of the family too, so perhaps some of these activities will be perfect for you to try out. Your dogs will be grateful, and I’m sure you’ll be happy that you included your dogs in this year’s holiday festivities.
Your turn: what’s your favorite way to include your dog in your holiday festivities?
Leave a comment below or join in the conversation over on The Everyday Dog Mom Facebook page!
About the Author:
Amanda is the owner and founder of Dog Mom Days, a blog which focuses on her life as a Millennial dog mom. Amanda’s inspiration is her heart dog Wynston, who is also a PetSmart model. She’s the mom of five other rescue animals and has been involved in animal rescue for over a decade. When she’s not busy dedicating her life to furry friends, Amanda enjoys traveling and gaming.