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How to Include Your Pet in Holiday Activities

The holiday season brings the joys of parties, Secret Santa, cookie exchanges, gift wrapping, cooking, cleaning, shopping, the list goes on. It’s the most wonderful and overwhelming time of the year! Why even spend the time trying to include your pet? Because your pet will love you and in the future, you will love the pictures and memories made.

Check out Bayside Pet Resort’s helpful list below: 

Get Dressed Up

Not everyone likes dressing up especially when you’re already covered in fur. A cute festive colored collar or leash can definitely put you and your pet in the holiday spirit. Of course full on outfits are just as merry and great for photos. If your dog has light colored fur you can always dye them a holiday color like red, green, blue or more. Just make sure you use pet safe dye or take them to a groomer with experience in dyeing. 

Holiday Pictures

Being a parent of both two and four-legged children, it’s totally understandable if you don’t want to force your fur babies into a traditional family photoshoot. So take a few minutes to grab your phone and a treat to pose your pet in front of the Christmas tree, menorah or whatever decorations you have up for the season. You’ll appreciate the memories and seeing them change year after year. 

Local Sarasota/Manatee spots to get good pictures: 

  • Brohard Dog Beach: Nothing like a White (sand) Christmas. This is also a great way to make your friends and family living up north jealous. 
  • University Town Center: They are known for some amazing holiday decorations and you can easily park your pooch next to one and snap a few good shots. 
  • St.Armands Circle: Also dresses up for the holidays and has numerous restaurants with outdoor doggie dining like Crab & Fin, Cafe L’Europe and Columbia. 

Holiday Treats

Our pets love to get in on holiday feasts, especially at the kids table where food droppings are plenty. Just make sure that they are eating safe food droppings and avoid items like bones, chocolate, grapes, onions and xylitol (artificial sweetener). Check out our guide to Safe Holiday Food for Dogs.  

You can also bake up a batch of pet-friendly cookies right along with the humans ones. Don’t worry, they’re human safe, just not super flavorful. Bayside has a great Pumpkin Pie for Pups recipe that’s great for Thanksgiving and if baking doesn’t fit in the schedule, Kong has a bunch of fun recipes that your dog will enjoy including this Thanksgiving Feast filling. 

Opening Presents

Everyone loves presents during the holidays, even your pet! Loosely wrap up a new bone, squeaky toy or bed and let them try opening it for themselves. 

You can also create DIY toys for your pet. Use old clothes or socks to knot and braid together to make an exciting new chew toy. You can also stick an empty plastic water bottle in a sock to create more entertainment. Just make sure to replace the bottle often as broken plastic shards can injure pets. 

Festive Displays

Who doesn’t love a ride in the car? If the family is going for a drive to look at Christmas lights, take your pet too. As long as they have good car manners it should be a fun trip. If the rest of the family is enjoying hot chocolate and cookies, bring a special treat along for your pet too.

In the end, you’re in it for the memories and the photos. Take the extra time for the photo opportunity and to incorporate our furry friends. Our pets will thank us for the treats and you will love the memories.  

“To the world, you are one person. To your dog, you are the world.”  – Unknown

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