The festive season is for the whole family – dogs included, so why not go out and about together and get stuck into some activities with your furry friend? From Doggy Advent Calendars to festive photos and paw-naments, here is a selection of dog-friendly activities the whole family can do together.
Ready to have a tail-wagging good season? Read on to discover some fun things you can do with your dog this Christmas…
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic time going to all the festive events and making dog-friendly Christmas treasures together, does it?
So, what are the best things to do at Christmas with your Dog:
1. Get Them All Dressed Up
From snowflake-covered neckerchiefs to reflective festive coats, your dog can get into the spirit of things every day with winter-themed clothing.
As well as making them fit in with your terrible Christmas jumpers, reflective and decorative dog coats also help your dog stay warm (and visible) in darker, cooler temperatures. Add some booties for their feet if needed, and they’ll be well-prepared for the extreme cold weather they may face on their daily exercise outing.
Of course, not all breeds need help staying warm, so make sure you know what’s best for your pup.
2. Create a DIY Dog Advent Calendar
You can buy dog-friendly advent calendars from most good pet stores but making one yourself ensures your pup isn’t ingesting anything that may upset their stomach.
Most craft stores have plain Advent Calendars you can decorate and fill yourself, so why not get one of those, ask the whole family and your dog to help decorate it, and fill it with some of their favourite goodies? Think individually-wrapped natural treats, new toys, dental items, or new food.
3. Make a Paw-nament
What better way to include your dog in the festivities than with their own decoration? When the whole family are painting and decorating theirs, you can help your dog make one with a ready-made kit. It could be a clay imprint or an ink stamp of their nose or paw, just make sure to hang it on the tree with the rest and make a big old fuss.
4. Head to the Christmas markets
The UK is known for having some brilliant Christmas markets – from Lincoln to Edinburgh, Bath to London, there are loads to choose from, and the majority are pet-friendly. So, dress up your family and dog in their best Christmas kit and hit the stalls for some excellent gifts, food and fun.
5. Take Photos With Santa
Why should kids get all the fun with Father Christmas photos? If they’ll allow it, let your dog get in on it too. A photo of your kids and dog with Father Christmas is a memory to cherish, so check your local dog-friendly garden centres, markets and department stores and see if they allow dogs inside to see the big man.
To go that extra mile, why not ask for a picture which includes the whole family and make it your Christmas card?
6. Frolic In The Snow
On the off chance we get snow this Christmas, you should choose your dog to be on your snowball-fighting team. They’re great at catching snowballs so you can stay in the game longer.
Alternatively, see if the family can recreate a snowdog in your pup’s likeness.
7. Include Them In The Big Day
The best way to make your dog feel included and part of the family is to give them presents on the day too. They may prefer the big pile of wrapping paper to play in but giving them a gift on Christmas day is a great way to finish off the festive season.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure your dog is happy, fed and healthy by avoiding some common Christmas pet pitfalls.
Avoid things like:
- Onions and garlic – anything in the Allium family.
- Grapes and mincemeat
- Anything with alcohol
- Poinsettia plants
- Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe
- Real Christmas Trees
Instead, give them things like:
- Turkey breast meat
- Carrots and swede
- New potatoes
Christmas should be a time for the whole family, including your furry friends, so involve them where you can, give them plenty of fuss, prepare them for the cold and make sure they stay clear of any dangerous festive items. If you do all that, it’ll be a barking good Christmas for sure.