Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations

Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations

Holiday activities are what make this time of year so special, and the celebrations are even better when we share them with our companions. Whether it's hanging an advent calendar or going for a winter walk, it's time to make new holiday traditions with your dog.

Unfortunately, not everywhere is dog-friendly and not all festive activities are suitable for dogs. The sights, sounds, and smells can be overwhelming for them. Not to mention the crowds! If you're wondering what you can do with your dog at Christmas, here is a list of fun dog-friendly holiday celebrations you can take part in together.

Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations

Outdoor Dog-Friendly Christmas Activities

Shop for the Best Dog Gifts

If you need to make in-person gift purchases, visit your local dog-friendly shops to pick them out together. Not only will you be supporting small independents, you'll also be buying thoughtful handmade gifts for your loved ones.

Even some of the big stores are dog-friendly, including like John Lewis and Fenwick. I've shared where I'm shopping for the best Christmas gifts for dogs in this dog gift guide.

Take Them To A Christmas Market

What better way to embrace the festive season than heading to a Christmas market. From the festive lights and holiday songs to the mulled wine and street food, there's so much to enjoy with your companion. You don't want any paws getting stepped on. So it's best to go on quieter days when there isn't as much of a crowd.

These are a few of the best Christmas markets from around the UK. Our favourite is the Birmingham Christmas Market, which is best visited late afternoon during the week to avoid the crowds.

Look At that Christmas Lights

Combine a winter walk with the joys of the holiday season by taking your companion to see the Christmas lights. There are several dog-friendly light trails to enjoy together featuring large scale projections, theatrical performances, and illuminations.

We've never visited any Christmas light festivals although we'd love to some day. Both the Winter Glow Illuminated Light Trail and Echills Wood Bright Lights are dog-friendly.

Go On A Winter Walks

If large scale Christmas illuminations are too overwhelming for your dog, take a walk around your neighbourhood after dark to view the sparkly lights instead. We enjoy a walk around the Jewellery Quarter to see the festive lights, following the window trail with over 75 Christmas displays.

Alternatively, go on a winter walk during the day time. It's just as fun and your dog might enjoy it more. These are my favourite dog-friendly walks, and you can find many more on the National Trust website.

Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations

Take a Festive Train Ride

What better way to celebrate the holidays than a festive ride on a steam train. Most trains are dog-friendly (just keep their paws off the seats) meaning there are plenty of routes to choose from across the UK. We're keen to take a festive train ride this holiday season. Here are a few to choose from:

Visit Santa Paws

A classic festive pastime is visiting Santa in his grotto, and now your companion can go too! If you want to get a cute photo with Santa and a treat to take away, visit one of these grottos to sing carols, eat mince pies, and meet the big guy himself.

This isn't something we've done but it is a super cute idea. The Bar Hütte Doggy Grotto offers ‘pawsecco’, complimentary dog treats, and props for taking your own festive photos - no booking required. For a traditional Santa's grotto, book tickets for Dobbies Santa Paws or Birmingham Dog's Home Grotto.

Take Part in a Dog Parade

Whether it's a silly Christmas jumper or a fancy holiday outfit, this season is the perfect opportunity to dress up together. Pick an outfit for you and your dog to wear as part of a dog parade or just on Christmas day.

A better choice than a costume (which your dog may be very uncomfortable in) is to opt for a festive accessory instead. A collar with matching lead and harness, or a bowtie or bandana, make nice alternatives.

Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations

Indoor Dog-Friendly Christmas Activities

Hang an Advent Calendar

Whether you make your own or buy a personalised one; your dog can enjoy a traditional advent calendar just as much as you do. Fill it with a mix of their favourite treats with a toy for playing with on the big day.

Making your own eco-friendly advent calendar is easy. I use a basket and let my dog pick his own gift each day. He gets to choose from a small selection of individually wrapped treats, saving the toy until Christmas Day. I've chosen a mix of toys and treats for my companion's advent calendar, picked from this dog gift guide.

Bake Festive Cookies

If your dog isn't a fan of bright lights, loud noises, or crowds, they might prefer to stay indoors and enjoy some at-home festive activities. Try baking holiday treats together. They're easy to make and your dog will love them.

I use a simple 3-ingredient recipe using oats, banana, and peanut butter. Mix one cup of oats, with one banana and 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Add cinnamon for a festive flavour. Shape into biscuits and bake until golden.

Make a Festive Ornament

A really simple way to enjoy the holiday season with your companion is to make a festive ornament together. You can take a paw print using salt dough or air drying clay, poke a hole for a ribbon, and then leave to dry. It can then be hung on your Christmas tree.

I love this idea and it's one I'm definitely going to do this holiday season. I love Christmas decorations with meaning, and our entire tree is full of little gifts, handmade items, and sentimental pieces I enjoy seeing each and every year.

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Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations Dog-Friendly Christmas Celebrations