In addition to having a gift under the tree for your pet, another wonderful way to make them a part of the holidays is to include them in the holiday festivities. Just like us, animals need physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis so that they don’t go stir crazy and get cabin fever.

As always, it is very important to play with your pet and exercise 365 days out of the year.  But during the hectic holiday season, it is even more important because animals can notice all of your holiday stress. Knowing this, let’s look at some fun things to do with your pets during the holidays:  

  •      Just like most humans, animals enjoy pretty and bright decorations. Take your furry friend on a walk to see all the shining neighborhood holiday lights! More often than not, fall or winter days will be too chilly for extra long walks, especially if you are going out in the evening to see the decorations. Take some time outside to judge the weather before your walk. Dress your little fur baby in a warm sweater or coat and be aware of his exposed feet at all times. Perhaps even invest in little shoes for those walks in the elements.   
  •      Check out your local community for activities for pets. Many local animal shelters will host special holiday activities specifically for animals. If you look, you can often find games, obstacle courses, playrooms for smaller animals like cats and rabbits, Holiday animal treats, and shelter fundraising fun walks! Go online to your city or county’s event pages, check the paper, and even scan social media for local holiday pet events. There is no reason your pet shouldn’t have fun during the season!
  •      Send out invitations to your pet-loving family and friends for a holiday pet party! Have human guests bring homemade holiday-themed dog or cat treats and have a pet treat “cookie” exchange. For the most part, a fun activity for both dogs and cats is laser pointer chasing. And a dog party can go out on a group walk to a nearby dog park or take the group out to enjoy the nearby holiday lights and decorations. You can even take them caroling with you! The pets will be a hit!
  •      Take your puppy with you to get the Christmas tree. Picking out that special tree is a great outdoor activity that can be even more memorable if you take your furry friend along with you. Most tree farms and tree lots will allow you to bring your dog, provided they are on a leash. Check your local tree lots and farms before heading out to see which will be doggy-friendly.
  •      Take the whole family, including Fido and Fluffy, to have your holiday photos taken. Including your doggy or kitty in the holiday family photo can add excitement into this seasonal activity and turn it into an annual event. You can even dress your pets in special holiday outfits to up the seasonal adorableness factor.
  •      When you are hanging the stockings this year, add one for your fur baby as well. Get your dog or cat his own Christmas stocking and fill it with little treats and toys. Then all the stockings can be hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Santa Paws soon will be there.

  There are endless ways to include your pet in all the holiday festivities. Deck the halls together this holiday season and make memories that will last a lifetime.