Dec 01, 2019 | By, For Pet's Sake

Holiday activities for you and your pet

Whether this is the first holiday season you’ve spent with your pet, or you’ve been a pet owner for years, you know it’s hard to imagine this time of year without your furry loved ones.

Sometimes, words like “Christmas” and “presents” will cause your pet to perk up just as much as when they hear “treats” or “walk.” And by incorporating these activities into your schedule this month, you can make this the most wonderful time of year for your pet, too.

Pictures with Santa and his reindeer
The only thing better than an old-fashioned ugly sweater picture with Santa is one that includes your pet. If you’re lucky, you might be able to squeeze them into a sweater of their own, or you could try putting some antlers on their head. It’s the perfect photo for your Christmas card or your wall. Just put in plenty of practice on your pet’s ability to sit and stay. Also, bring the treats to make sure your pet follows through on those commands.

Santa likes cookies, and so does your dog
Speaking of treats, this is a fun time of year to teach your pet new things and reward them for what they’ve learned. Perhaps you can surprise them with a new kind of treat, or you can give them a puzzle toy that hides and guards the treats so they have to work for their reward.

Give them a puzzle by wrapping their gifts
Another great puzzle that your pet might not be used to is the unwrapping of gifts. Put their presents in a bag or a box, and let them sniff away. Keep your camera close to capture those important pictures and videos to remember for years to come.

Sledding or wagon rides
Part of the fun around the holidays is the hope of a white Christmas. If a snowstorm does come your way, grab your coat (and maybe your pet’s coat too) and head outside for a snow day. If your pet is the brave type, you might be able to hold onto them while you sled down some smaller hills.

On the other hand, just taking them for a walk in the snow is plenty of good exercise for them. For an even more festive spin on a traditional walk, find a neighborhood (maybe yours) that has several homes decorated with colorful lights.

Dog park games
For the more energetic animals in the home, a dog park is a tried-and-true method to burn some energy before those cuddle-worthy moments by the fire. Let your dog run around in the snow, or toss up a snowball for them to catch. They’ll surely appreciate the extra (ice) water.

No matter what you decide to do this year with your pet, the holidays can be one of the most enjoyable times to bond with them.

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