I don’t know about your families, but in my house my cats love it when I bring home something new or even rearrange my furniture. Imagine the thrill when we put up blinking lights or decorate a holiday tree with all kinds of “cat toys” (I’m certain my cats think the tree decorations are really just cat toys that I put on the tree).

Regardless of your religious beliefs, the holidays usually involve decorations and candles, offspring coming home, and tasty meals that fill the house with delicious aromas. This week I thought I might offer some fun holiday pet ideas:

  • Go have a picture taken of your pet with Santa! This would probably be more fun for dogs than for cats. (Cats might think you’ve lost your marbles if you stuffed them into the cat carrier, drove to the mall, waited in line and then handed them over to a round man in a red suit for a Kodak moment.) You could use this picture on a coffee mug or holiday greeting card. There is no end to the ways you could use such a goofy picture to embarrass your dog and bring you to giggles down the road. Years from now your adult children may fight over the prized Santa/Dog mug.
  • If your family partakes in a holiday stocking, make one for your pet! It’s only fair that the furry family members get a sock filled with goodies and toys if everyone else gets one. Make a show of it when you open the stocking to take out your pet’s prizes – these might include a rawhide bone for your dog or a new laser light to chase for your cat.
  • Put a bow on your pet’s collar. Or, perhaps your pet would like a festive red and green collar? A particularly forgiving pet might even let you get away with a set of antlers or a bit of bling. Last December one of my canine housecall patients sported a cute red “Fleas Navidad” jacket.
  • If you are making cookies for friends, consider making healthy dog cookies for your dog! You don’t need to go to a posh dog bakery to please your dog! Or, sew cat toys filled with cat nip for your feline friends!
  • Take your dog to a parade! For the outgoing pooch, little could compare to the fun and excitement of a parade. People are dressed in costumes as they parade by, one after another. Music plays. Strangers stop to pet them. That’s a dog gone good time!
  • Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story” all snuggled up with your pet. Your pet may not pay attention to the story line but will appreciate the quality time spent with you. In the end, holidays are about spending time with those you love.

Happy holidays from all of us at ADW!


NOTE: Consult your Veterinarian first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr. Joi Sutton is a 1993 graduate from Oregon State University. She has practiced both in emergency medicine and general practice. Dr. Sutton has done extensive international volunteer work and is the President and Founder of Veterinary Ventures, a nonprofit organization that takes teams of veterinarians to undeveloped countries for humane medical care. She also runs a small animal practice in South Florida.
Dr . Joi Sutton