The holidays are upon us, and whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or none of the above, it’s a special time to be spent with your family, friends, and loved ones—including those furry ones with four legs. Here are some holiday crafts, gifts, and accessories for your favorite canine companions.
Crafting is a staple of the holiday season, giving you the opportunity to decorate your home and create something fun and interesting for next to no cost. Here are a few crafts you and your dog can enjoy.
- Ornaments: Ornaments are a great, easy craft for trimming the Christmas tree or adding that extra bit of holiday cheer to your walls. Buy a classic tinsel ornament and personalize it with your pup’s name. For an even more personal ornament, purchase some Sculpey or clay and press your dog’s paw into the clay to make an imprint. Add paint, rhinestones, glitter, and other decorations for extra pizzazz. This gives your dog an opportunity to lend a paw and results in a wholly unique craft creation.
- Placemat: Dogs may have their manners, but they’re not the neatest eaters. A simple placemat under your dog’s food and water bowls makes cleanup a breeze. All you need is some holiday print paper (wrapping paper works great,) some card stock, and a laminating machine. Visit your local copy center if you don’t own a laminator of your own. This is a fun and easy project you can do each season to add some flair to your dog’s dining area.
- Jingle bell collar: A jingle bell collar is a great way to ring in the holiday season and give your dog an extra pop of stylish color. The soft jingle sound will let you know your dog is near, and provide a happy holiday sound that brings a smile to everyone’s faces. You can find some in-depth instructions for a jingle bell collar here. Always feel free to change it up and put your own spin on it.
Unwrapping gifts is one of the best parts of the holidays, and now your dog can get in on the action. Some great homemade holiday gifts include:
- Dog treats: Food is the great equalizer, and more than any human, dogs love to think with their stomachs. Instead of springing for packaged snacks at your local pet store, you can mix and bake your own tasty and healthy dog treats. Here are a handful of dog treat recipes, and you can find even more online. Most recipes use peanut butter, which dogs can’t get enough of. Chocolate is the main ingredient you’ll want to be sure to avoid, but also consider your pup’s other allergies to avoid any irritating ingredients.
- Sweater, coat, or jacket: Although dogs have natural traits to stand up to the winter cold, some dogs need more help than others. Smaller breeds or those without much fur, like Chihuahuas, often need an extra layer to keep warm in winter, especially if you plan to spend time a lot of time outside. This is your opportunity to knit your pup a comfy sweater, coat, or jacket. You can find several easy patterns and designs to follow online.
- Doggy bed/pillow: The only thing dogs love more than food, love, and play is a good nap. Instead of sleeping on the floor, your dog can sleep in complete comfort and splendor with a cushy dog bed or pillow made with festive holiday fabric. A bed gives your dog his own private space and can help you with cleanup when your dog finally sheds that winter coat. All you have to do is change the covers every so often.
The holidays are about more than just material items. There’s a great deal of fun to be had with your pup. Some activities you and Fido can take part in:
- Caroling: Round up your friends, family, and four-legged buddies and sing to your heart’s content throughout the neighborhood. Whether you’re jingling those bells or wishing for a silent night, your dogs can come along and help to spread holiday cheer.
- Romping in the snow: Dogs love playing in snow. They love getting in on those snowball fights and sliding down hills. Shorthaired dogs should wear a weather-proof layer to stay warm. Make sure you dry off and wipe down your pup when you return home.
- Volunteering: It’s better to give than to receive, and the holidays are the best time to volunteer a bit of your time to help the less fortunate. Dogs have the natural ability to bring smiles to people’s faces, so whether you volunteer at a nearby nursing home or the local soup kitchen, bring your pup with you to warm some hearts.
Happy Holidays to you and your canine friends!
Photo Credit: Green Christmas Balls
Photo Credit: Mike Lav
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