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17 Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog

11/06/2023 – Embracing holiday traditions to share with your dog can make the festive season all the more joyful for you and your furry companion.

The holidays are a canvas of shared experiences and heartfelt traditions that bring us closer, with every snowflake and carol adding to the season’s collective embrace. As the cold air ushers in a time of festive joy and companionship, our four-legged friends await with eager paws to be part of the magic. They’re our loyal companions throughout the year, and as traditions old and new unfold, they too deserve a spot by the fireplace, basking in the glow of holiday mirth.

Dogs are not just pets; they’re part of the family, and including them in your holiday festivities can make the season even more special. This guide will explore a variety of holiday traditions that you can share with your dog, ensuring they feel just as included in the holiday cheer. From festive feasts they can safely enjoy to cozy winter walks and new playful activities, we’ll cover all the ways you can make this holiday one to remember for every member of your household, paws and all.

Join us as we show you 17 ways you can include your dog in your family’s holiday traditions or maybe start a new one.

Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog - Friends and dog playing in the snow

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17 Holiday Traditions To Share With Your Dog

1. Go to a Christmas Tree Farm

A visit to a Christmas tree farm is a delightful holiday outing that can be shared with your canine companion. Imagine strolling between rows of evergreens, the air fresh with pine scent, as you search for the perfect tree. Dogs typically relish the chance to explore new environments, and a tree farm offers plenty of space and exciting smells that will surely keep their tails wagging.

Holiday Traditions To Share With Your Dog- Christmas Tree Farm with snow

It’s a chance to make memories as your dog trots alongside you, perhaps even helping to ‘select’ the tree with a curious sniff or an approving nuzzle. Just be sure the farm you choose is dog-friendly, and remember to keep your pet on a leash for their safety and the consideration of others enjoying the festive farm atmosphere. You might even find some friendly, working dogs at the farm

In what has become an annual tradition at Plow Farms in Plowville, PA, Newfoundlands are put to work pulling wagons for people who are looking for their perfect tree on the farm. The dogs which are part of the New-Pen-Del Newfoundland Club are trained and certified to pull the wagons. This allows the dogs to do what they were bred to do and brings joy to all those who are visiting. You can learn more about the Newfoundlands of Plow Farm at

2. Dog-Friendly Christmas Market

Venturing into a Christmas market with your dog can be magical. These markets are often bustling with holiday shoppers and filled with the scents of seasonal treats like gingerbread and mulled wine. Many markets welcome well-behaved dogs on leashes and may even have special stalls with dog-friendly products. Your dog will revel in the new smells, sights, and the occasional pat from admiring passersby, while you can enjoy the festive ambiance and perhaps pick up a holiday gift or two. Christmas Markets can be found in many major cities like Chicago and Philadelphia. Just check the rules to make sure dogs are still allowed before going.

Whenever you are outside on this trips, remember to keep your dog safe and comfortable. Ensure they’re on a leash, as the holiday excitement can sometimes be overwhelming, and it’s essential to maintain control in busy areas. Also, consider the temperature and weather conditions—smaller dogs or those with thin coats may need a sweater or coat to keep warm.

Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog - Dog Christmas Sweater

Get your pup a Christmas Sweater to keep away the cool and bring some holiday cheer.

3. Get a Family Ornament

In our home, selecting a Christmas tree ornament that captures the essence of our family has become one of the many cherished annual holiday traditions we hold. We venture to the mall each year on a collective quest for the perfect ornament that, we feel, symbolizes our journey through the past year. Some years, it’s whimsical—like the time we chose a sleigh of penguins. Other times, it reflects our growth, such as when we added a canine companion to the mix.

The specifics are secondary; what matters is that each family member, Bella our dog included, is represented. We add a personal touch by inscribing our names and the year on it. Then, come decorating time, we revel in nostalgia, adorning the tree with an array of ornaments that chronicle our family’s history.

For those looking to celebrate their pets in this tradition, there are wonderful options for personalized dog Christmas ornaments out there. And for the crafty at heart, creating a DIY dog Christmas ornament is a heartfelt and simple project that can become a keepsake for years to follow.

Holiday Traditions To Share With Your Dog- Cozy Christmas Dog Themed Movie Nights

4. Christmas Dog Themed Movie Nights

Another holiday traditions to can enjoy with your pup is curling up to watch a dog-inspired Christmas movie. As you settle in with a blanket, you can watch tales of canine heroes saving Christmas or mischievous pups learning the true meaning of the season. While your dog may not follow the plot, the sound of other dogs barking and playing on the screen may perk up their ears and keep them engaged. This simple pleasure can be a gentle reminder of the special connection you share with your pet, making the holiday spirit all the more meaningful. Here are a few suggests for Dog Christmas Movies to watch.

Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog - Friends playing with dog in snow
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5. Wear Matching Outfits

Have a little fun this holiday season by wearing matching sweaters or pajamas.  With a wide selection of clothes and accessories available for dogs it’s easy to twin with your dog. You can even get the whole family involved. 

6. Bundle Up and Go for a Walk in the Woods

This is a no cost tradition that is sure to please your pup and it’s good for you too. Whether you live in the city or in a rural area find a safe park that allows dogs and go for a hike in the woods.

Remember to bundle up to stay warm and watch for signs that your dog is cold. When you get back to the house you can all enjoy a much deserved cuddle by the fire.

Include your dog in on the holiday decorations with these Dog Inspired Christmas Decorating Ideas

7. Go Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing with your dog is an exhilarating way to embrace the winter season, if you have an athletic breed that thrives in the snow. Snowshoeing allows you to traverse the winter landscape with your dog trotting by your side, both of you decked out in appropriate gear for the adventure. It’s a great workout and an even better way to enjoy the stillness of a winter’s day together.

Before embarking on these snowy escapades, it’s important to ensure your dog is in good physical condition and is trained to respond to commands during the activity.

Holiday Traditions to Share with your Dog - Picture with Santa

8. Get a Family Picture with Santa

A long standing tradition for parents with kids is now available for our canine kids too. All over the country pet stores, rescues and even your local mall are offering the opportunity for your pup to take their picture with Santa.

Bernedoodle Gift Ideas for everyone on your list.

9. Visit Someone in Need

The holidays can be a stressful and lonely time for many people. Especially for people who do not have family nearby. It is well known that well-behaved dogs can bring a sense of calm and peace to people. You can start a new tradition of visiting someone that might like the company of you and your dog during this time.

10. Play in the Snow

Incorporating snow play into your holiday traditions can be a thrill for dogs who love the excitement of winter. A simple game of snowball fetch can provide plenty of exercise and fun for your dog in a snowy yard. Plus, building a snowman offers a curious and interactive experience for them. Just roll a few snowballs, add some pet-safe decorations, and watch your dog investigate the new figure. It’s a straightforward, joyful way to make the most of the season’s snow with your pet. Just remember to keep your dog warm and check the snow for hidden hazards to ensure a safe playtime.

Poodle Gift Ideas of people who love their poodle.

11. Bake Holiday Treats

Baking cookies and other holiday treats has always been a holiday tradition in our family. This year you can include your dog by making a holiday treat just for him. Here is a fun recipe by Kol’s Notes for Peanut Butter Gingerbread Dog Treats

12. Go to a Christmas Parade with your Dog

Many towns across the country hold an annual Christmas light parade for the local residents. Since the parades are outside and generally not that crowed, it is a great way to include your dog in on the holiday fun.

Just remember to make sure your dog is warm enough. Since the temperature will get cold at night you may want to cover them with a warm sweater or winter coat.

Not sure if your dog needs a sweater during the winter? Check out our post titled: Does Your Dog Need a Sweater in the Winter? for helpful tips on how to decide.

Don’t know what to get for the Goldendoodle lover on your list? We have lots of ideas in our Best Goldendoodle Gift Idea post.

13. Hang up a Stocking for Your Pup

Hanging the stockings by the chimney with care has been a Christmas tradition for centuries. Get your dog in on the act by getting (or making) his very own Christmas stocking.

Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog - Christmas Stockings with dog theme hanging by the fireplace.
Pet Christmas Stockings @

14. See the Holiday Lights

Looking at other people’s Christmas decorations has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. Whether you drive around to see the lights or walk around your neighborhood, bring your dog along to enjoy the sights and sounds.

Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog - Personalized Dog Advent Calendar
Personalized Dog Advent Calendar at

15. Advent Calendar for your Dog

Advent calendars, a holiday tradition dating back to the 19th century, count down the 25 days leading to Christmas with daily surprises. For a dog-friendly twist, you can stash a pet-safe treat in an existing advent calendar’s pouch.

Don’t have one? No problem. You can buy an advent calendar specifically designed for dogs, or DIY by boxing up your dog’s favorite treats and labeling each with the countdown numbers.

Have a Labradoodle fan on your gift list, but don’t know what to get them. We have plenty of ideas for fun and unique Labradoodle Gift Ideas.

16. Donate to a Local Animal Shelter

So this tradition really doesn’t involve your dog but you can donate to a local shelter or rescue group in honor of your dog. Animal shelters need help no matter what time of year it is, but while you are in a giving mood why not include your local animal shelter to the list. I am sure they are on the good list for helping a countless number of dogs and cats.

Holiday Traditions to Share with your dog- Scared foster dog with person

17. Become a Foster Parent for a Homeless Dog

Animal shelters and rescue groups all around the country use foster homes to manage the influx of surrendered dogs after the holiday season is over. You can help these dogs by agreeing to foster them while they look for a forever home. For anyone that is thinking about adding another dog to their pack, it is a great way to decide if you are ready.

Plus it will give your dog a playmate for a while. For the dogs it gives them a temporary loving home. It also increases their chance of adoption by introducing them to more people than they would meet in a shelter. Contact your local shelter to see if they have a program in place.

Hopefully you have found a few new holiday traditions to share with your dog. But remember the best holiday tradition for you and your dog is a good snuggle.

Happy Holidays!

More Holiday Ideas from

Looking for a simple eco-friendly craft idea? Check out our DIY Dog Gift Wrap – We provide step by step instructions on how to make your own DIY doggy gift wrap. Our gift wrap is not only beautiful and but can be recycled unlike some store bought gift wrap.

Alyssa BH Green

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

My fur baby Carolina is so so spoiled. She has got gifts for Christmas but this year she has more gifts than we do lol, she went from 1 stocking last year also to having 4 this year. She is jap chin and goes everywhere with me. We want to find her a friend ,like another jap chin eventually.


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

My fur baby Carolina is so spoiled. She has more gifts this year than we do lol, I love my baby girl

Erin Sullivan

Thursday 5th of December 2019

This year is our first Christmas with our Great Pyrenees. Our Golden is 6 and has always gotten a few Christmas presents, but this year they're both getting stockings. Can't wait to hang them on the mantle! Such a great post, I think you really covered something for everyone!


Thursday 5th of December 2019

Hi Erin,

Congratulations on the new pup! The Great Pyreness and Golden Retrievers are such great breeds. We used to have a Golden so I know first hand about them.

Your pups are very lucky to have such a wonderful mom. We also have a stocking for our pup. It is in the shape of a dog paw but there are so many options now.

Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by.

Have a wonderful Christmas! Bonnie