Even the Grinch found a way to include his dog, Max, in his holiday plans! 😉 While there are many hazards and toxins that surround the winter holidays, there are still ways you can make Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa fun for you and your pets. Here are just a few ideas to help inspire your holiday plans!
1. Holiday Cards
If your family sends out holiday cards, include your pet in the family photo. Many websites also have pet-themed templates. Remember to send a card to your pet’s veterinary team, too!
2. Meet Santa or the Grinch
If your pet has noise or social anxiety or is reactive, it’s best to skip this one. But if you have a well-behaved pet who thrives in loud and busy environments, you may want to consider finding a pet-friendly photo opportunity with Santa or even the Grinch. Many holiday events hosted by local rescue organizations welcome pets, as do some stores and malls.
- Rosedale Mall (Santa Paws every Monday from 4-7PM)
- Cabela’s (Nov. 5th – Dec. 24th)
- No Dog Left Behind (Dec. 9th)
- Ruff Start Rescue (Dec. 9th at Headflyer Brewing)
- Palace Community Center in St. Paul (Dec. 12th)
- Ruff Start Rescue (Dec. 16th at Inbound BrewCo)
Know of other options? Mention them in the comments!
3. Winter Enrichment
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your pet doesn’t need daily exercise! On warmer winter days, you can find dog-friendly activities such as skijoring, hiking, or dog sledding. You could also dig a snow maze in your backyard and hide treats throughout. Of course, when it’s too cold to go outside, you can still find ways to keep your pet active and mentally stimulated with food puzzles, nosework, and other indoor enrichment!
4. Homemade Pet Treats
Find a pet-friendly recipe and make homemade treats for your pets. Before you start baking, triple-check that ingredients are safe for your pet. Ingredients that are toxic to pets include xylitol (check your peanut butter label), chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins, and spices like nutmeg or allspice. Learn more about pet-friendly baking here.
5. Holiday-Themed Attire
If your pet enjoys dressing up, you can find some cute holiday accessories like handkerchiefs, collars, bow ties, and more. There are options from Etsy, as well as local vendors like Fuzzbutt Boutique or Dreamy Pups. If you don’t celebrate winter holidays, consider a snowman or snowflake pattern instead!
When you are holiday shopping, don’t forget to purchase a gift for your pet! Here are a few ideas for cats and here are some great vet-approved stocking stuffers for dogs. Also consider winter gear such as booties, paw balm, or a jacket. For those with avian or exotic pets, you may also want to consider habitat enrichment ideas. When in doubt, ask your family veterinarian for recommendations of toys that are best for your pet’s size and dental health.
7. Quality Time
Last but certainly not least – be sure to spend plenty of time with your pet this holiday season! This can include playtime or just snuggles while watching your favorite holiday movie.
We hope you and your pet have a safe and fun holiday season. If your pet does need emergency or urgent care, call our Contact Center at (651) 501-3766 to determine the best course of action.