Including your four-legged family member in your holiday celebrations makes the season more special. Our All Creatures Animal Hospital team is here to help with suggestions for fun activities you and your pet can enjoy during the holiday season.
Hang a Christmas stocking for your pet
When you hang your stockings by the chimney with care, your four-legged family members need representation. Suggestions for pet stocking stuffers include:
- Treats — Your pet provides love and loyalty all year long, and they deserve a treat to reward their good behavior. Put a bag of their favorite treats in their stocking to enjoy on Christmas morning.
- Chew toys — Choose appropriately sized chew toys for your pet—then they won’t be tempted to chew on your new Christmas presents.
- Holiday collar — Find a fun, festive collar that your pet can wear during the seasonal celebrations and express their holiday spirit.
- Dental supplies — At-home dental care helps keep your pet healthy. Give your pet a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste, which can be found in many pet-approved flavors, such as poultry, beef, peanut butter, and seafood.
Include your pet in your family holiday photo shoot
Many families take a group photograph during the holidays to commemorate the occasion, and you want to include your pet. Tips to ensure you capture your pet’s best side include:
- Exercise your pet — Take your pet for a vigorous walk or play a rousing game of fetch to ensure they are calm for the photo session.
- Prepare the shot — Determine beforehand everyone’s position, including your pet’s, so they don’t get restless waiting for the picture to be taken.
- Hold your pet — Have a family member hold your cat or small dog, and keep larger dogs on a leash, so they don’t wander off as the picture is taken.
- Get your pet’s attention — The photographer should use a squeaky toy to get your pet’s attention, so they are looking at the camera when the picture is taken.
- Provide treats — Have a hefty treat supply on hand to make the experience enjoyable for your pet.
Ensure your pet has a gift to open Christmas morning
When your family is unwrapping their gifts from Santa, ensure your pet also has a present to open. Suggestions for exciting pet gifts include:
- Glow in the dark ball — For the dog who is addicted to fetch, give them a glow in the dark ball so your game can continue after dark.
- Catnip toys — If your cat enjoys catnip, give them catnip filled toys to help them de-stress as they play.
- Interactive puzzle game — Interactive puzzle games are a great way to feed your pet or give them treats. They provide excellent mental stimulation and make meals more interesting.
- Orthopedic bed — Your pet may enjoy lounging on your bed, but they will also appreciate their own luxury resting place. Comfortable, supportive beds are especially good for older pets who may suffer from joint pain.
Throw a pet Christmas party
If your pet has friends they enjoy playing with, invite them over for a pet Christmas party. Pet parents are welcome, too. Party ideas include:
- Pet-friendly treats — Offer your pet guests pet-friendly treats, remembering that chocolate, raisins, xylitol, and macadamia nuts are toxic for pets.
- Holiday themed obstacle course — Use holiday decorations to create an obstacle course for your pet guests to navigate.
- Costume competition — Have your pet guests dress up in Christmas themed costumes. Ensure your pet isn’t stressed by wearing a costume, and give them time to acclimate to the costume before party time.
Include your pet in a holiday fun run
Many communities host races to celebrate the holiday season. If you enjoy running, sign up to participate with your pet, but first schedule a wellness examination to ensure your pet can handle a long run. If your veterinarian deems them healthy, start preparing for the run weeks in advance to ensure your pet is fit enough for the race.
Spend time with your pet
Your pet’s favorite gift during the holiday season is time with you. Ideas to make the time special include:
- Watch a holiday movie — Watch your favorite holiday movie, while cuddling with your pet.
- Enjoy neighborhood Christmas lights — Stroll around your neighborhood with your pet after dark to enjoy the neighborhood Christmas lights.
- Listen to holiday music — Play holiday music while enjoying time with your pet, but ensure the volume level doesn’t overwhelm your pet.
Make a donation in your pet’s name
Many pet-help organizations appreciate donations during the holiday season. Make a donation in your pet’s name to help less fortunate pets. Most organizations welcome not only monetary donations, but also supplies such as cleaning items, litter, pet food, and chew toys.
These celebration suggestions that include your pet should mean you both enjoy a merrier holiday season. If you plan on participating in a fun run and would like to schedule your pet’s wellness examination, contact our All Creatures Animal Hospital team and we will ensure they are ready to lead the way.
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