To Give and Get Joy

“We gather together…” as goes the old song. Yes, Thanksgiving has passed, but now the holiday ‘biggies’ are here and we will surely gather again and again! Many of us feel that the non-human parts of our households—our doggies—are part of the family too. So, how can we ANIMATE the festivities by adding furry fun for everyone?

Let’s see what holiday hurrahs can be TAILored just for your precious pooch:

  1. Romp, Run and Catch: As long as the weather’s not too extreme, beckon your best buddy outside to play. Dog parks may still be an option maybe a nearby school ground, or your yard will work wonders. Toss and fetch; tug a rope; or run around with her and maybe friends and neighbors too. Bonus: If you’re having guests later, your pup will be pleasantly pooped to doze on the side while you enjoy your human playmates. 
  2. Homemade Holiday Dog Treat’s Fido can’t knead dough or operate an oven (or be too close to one!) but much enjoyment can be had barking up some tasty doggie biscuits and the like. Cooking together with your family during holidays breeds wholesome fun AND your furriest family member will chew and crunch his way to hog (wait, DOG) heaven!
  3. Game Night (or Day 😉 ) A great time and a cognitive booster, go for some indoor games with your dog.  Hide and … treat! Tuck a few goodies away and practice voice cues and/or pointing to help your pup find the goods. He’ll be rewarded for his wins in deliciousness.
  4. Couch Potatoes Hunkering in all warm and cozy during holiday vacation is ideal for quality bonding and spoiling time. Most mammals are nurtured by contact—a snuggle, a hug and a belly rub. Reclined on the sofa, surround yourself with pillows, but leave one spot for Spot. Turn on your fave holiday movie or binge a good series, all with your precious pooch curled up beside you. With or without the TV, petting sessions are priceless.
  5. Walkin’ In Sunshine Some dogs don’t love the cold (nor do some people.) Yet, if your pooch and you are copacetic, saunter around the great outdoors. Share the experience of breathing in fresh are while you awe at Mother Nature’s autumn and winter beauty. Wink and wave at passersby. Enjoy holiday decorations and lights in the neighborhood with your dearest dog in tow.
  6. Photo-Ops for Pooch Did you know that some venues invite your dog for holiday photos? You and your furry family member might want to check out the December events calendar at malls, town centers and even camera stores in and around  town!
  7. Parade on By Many Turkey Day parades, Menorah and Christmas tree lightings, and plenty of other outdoor public events will allow pets on leashes. Faces, places, sparkle, and music abound. Your doggie need not be left out of the festivities. Have her by your side as people—and hopefully other dogs–congregate and celebrate in crisp, cool air. Stimulation, socialization, and full family bonding are on the schedule.

In the End, We all Give and Get Joy

Sure, there’s a time and place for get-togethers with family and friends outside of the home, sans pups. And, yes, many of you scoot off on vacation, particularly during the winter months. Those times, of course, are perfect for placing your dog in the care of Pups@Play where socialization and love abound year-round.

Nevertheless, holidays highlight family and spirit. Since your dog is a beloved part of yours, you can expand the repertoire of festivities to include her…Or even cater some activities specifically to her. You’ll see that by giving holiday love you’ll nurture your cherished canine …Your family and yourself.