Holiday Traditions You Should Start with Your Pet This Winter

Girl sitting with cat and dog in Christmas decorations
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This year has brought a lot of changes in our everyday lives, and the holidays are no different. However, if there is anything that has remained steadfast at home through 2020, it’s our precious animal best friends and the love that they give to us every day. For that reason, this holiday season is the perfect time to come up with some new holiday traditions that you can enjoy with your pet! Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas.

1. There’s Nothing Like a Picture Purrfect Holiday! 

Got some matching holiday pajamas, sweaters or costumes you just can’t wait to show off? Why not take a family photo with the pets this year to share with your family and friends! Dressing up that photogenic pet of yours is always a fun way to include them in any family event or tradition. Whether it’s for a holiday card, a scrapbook, or your annual holiday family update, make sure you’re finding a way to get your pet into those holiday snapshots. Afterall, who doesn’t love a good Instagram moment? Just make sure to get their “good” side.

2. Pupcake Wars!

Ok, you don’t actually have to make an entire cake or themed spread, but you can start a tradition of baking pet-friendly treats to share with you and your pets during the holidays! We’ve all been there before…You’re baking or cooking in the kitchen and your poor pets just sit there and watch, hoping something falls for them to scoop up off the floor. But did you know that you can include them in the kitchen this year?

Pro tip: You can even make it a party! Start a Zoom call with other pet parent friends you may have and bake together with your pets at home.

Need some pet-safe ideas for holiday treats? Try these:

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies (Human & Dog Friendly!)

Red Velvet Biscuits

Sweet Potato Holiday Treat

3. Deck the Paws!

Holiday decorations are fun for everyone, including your pets! If you live near some woods or fields, consider taking your pet out and find some pinecones or leaves to decorate the house with. Not only is this great shedding some of those “holiday calories,” but it’s also a great reason to get out with your pet and celebrate the smaller happy moments we get during a year of chaos. After all, the greatest gift to a pet is the attention you give to them. 

So, grab yourself a bag or a basket and pick up all the decorations that nature has to offer while you’re out on the trail. Plus, it makes for a great story when a family member or friend asks you where you got your various pinecones from! 

Pro tip: Not all holiday decorations are pet-friendly. Here are a few decorations to keep your pets away from while you’re decorating together.

4. Go See Santa Paws!

Ho-Ho-Ho! Who doesn’t love seeing Old Saint Nick during the holiday seasons? Though waiting in lines can be a drag sometimes, having your pet there with you not only gives you someone to talk to, but it also could be a conversation starter with those around you as well. At the end of the wait, you get the cutest holiday photo to share with your family and friends.

Before heading out, make sure your pet is both comfortable around strangers and also capable of being well behaved. Not doing this puts both your pet and those around you in an uncomfortable spot. Also, with the pandemic going on, make sure you follow all your local COVID-19 guidelines while out and about! 

5. Enjoy the Pawliday Lights

There is nothing quite like driving around and seeing the holiday lights during this season. Whether it’s going through a neighborhood, main streets or driving through a display set up at a park, holiday lights can make for memorable moments for both humans and pets alike. 

So, pack those blankets, turn up your favorite holiday tunes and hit the road! If you decide to take the walking route, make sure to keep your pet secure on a leash or in a carrier to ensure they don’t try and make a break for it with everything going on. Also, make sure you’re following your local social distancing guidelines if you’re in areas with crowds or groups of people. 

A Word From Laurel Veterinary Clinic

We wish the very best for you during this holiday season. After all that we’ve been through this past year, we hope for a time of peace, love and celebration as you get to spend time with family, friends and your animal best friends at home or away. We also hope you take some time to try the traditions listed above, or any other new traditions you can think of to make new, memorable moments with your pets during the holidays. 

Before we say goodbye, here’s a little pet jingle for you from your local vet:

Pet the cat and walk the doggie
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don’t let either chew the holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la

That’s all we’ve got, but feel free to finish the song for us! Happy Holidays!

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