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As a loving pet parent, naturally you want to include your dog or cat as you celebrate the season! Here are some of our favorite ways to make the holidays extra special for your pets this year.

Have a Holiday Play Date with Friends

Take advantage of the time off work to make plans with other dog or cat parents. You can plan special activities for your pets, or just let them play and socialize while you catch up with your  friends – it’s a win/win!

white dog getting a treat by the Christmas tree

Take Your Dog or Cat with You

If you’re traveling to visit friends or family for the holidays, consider bringing your pet along! We’ve gathered up the best tips from experts to help you navigate traveling with a dog or traveling with a cat—by car, train, air or however you’re getting there.

Spoil Your Good Boy or Girl with Gifts

As their parent, you know your dog or cat best – think about what makes them happiest, and how to make it happen for Christmas this year. The best part? You don’t even need to spend a dime: what your dog or cat wants most is to spend more quality time with you! 

Here are some no-cost ways to celebrate togetherness that your pet will love:

But if you love to shower your pet with gifts, check out our holiday gift guide for dogs, Christmas gift guide for dogs, and holiday gift guide for cats to find inspiration. You can also sign up for a pet subscription box and surprise your dog or cat with a new batch of gifts every month of the year!

orange cat ready for the holidays

Give a Gift to Less Fortunate Dogs & Cats

Take your dog or cat shopping at a pet-friendly store, or let them “help you” shop online as you pick out some gifts for shelter pets who aren’t spending the holidays in their forever home.

Use this list of pet shelter holiday wish lists to get started, or contact a local shelter and ask them what they need most.

husky watching a Disney movie

Make Special Holiday Treats for Your Pet

Nothing says love like homemade goodies—especially these raw and raw-inspired festive recipes for dogs and cats!

Bake some healthy dog treats and decorate them with dog-safe food coloring for an extra festive touch. Or try making a “barkuterie board” so your dog can enjoy a special holiday spread.

For your cat, you can also add some of Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust to their bowl, or sprinkle some catnip on a toy or scratching post to add extra excitement.

Safely Share Seasonal Human Foods

There are some safe human foods that dogs can eat as well as safe human foods that cats can eat, so if your pet really loves people food you can share a few nibbles with them on special occasions.

Keep in mind that your dog or cat’s caloric needs are much lower than yours, so don’t overindulge them, and get your vet’s blessing first if your pet is on any medication or has a preexisting condition.

orange cat for Christmas

Take More Photos

You can never have too many pictures of your dog or cat, and holiday decorations create a perfect backdrop! Get creative and take portraits, selfies and videos with your pet – whatever captures their personality best.

Play around with photo editing and share the jazzed-up snaps with friends and family. You can include your dog or cat on a holiday card, show them off on social media, or even make a Christmas tree ornament using pet photos.

You can also dress your dog or cat in a Christmas sweater or other holiday outfit for pictures – just make sure it’s a pet-safe outfit and they’re enjoying it as much as you are.

Samoyed stocking stuffers

Hang a Christmas Stocking for Your Pet

If you hang Christmas stockings for the people in your household, include your dog or cat in the lineup this year! You can decorate their stocking with pet-themed decor (also a great prop for holiday photos!) and fill it with special treats and gifts they’ll love. Just make sure to hang the stocking out of reach if it has treats in it, or wait until Christmas morning to add them. 

Celebrate a Safe Holiday Season

However you choose to celebrate the holidays, keeping your dog or cat safe and healthy is at the top of every pet parent’s list. Check out our guide to keeping your dog or cat safe during the festivities, and enjoy a peaceful Christmas and New Year!

More Holiday Ideas