long-coated white puppy wearing santa hat

This Year, Consider Spending Christmas With Your Favorite Furry Friend

As the COVID crisis rages on, getting together with two-legged friends and family to celebrate Christmas is looking bleak. Woof.

Thankfully, shelter in place doesn’t prevent you from celebrating an especially merry, warm, snuggly Dogmas with your favorite four-legged companion.

Even if you are able to gather with friends and family this holiday season, consider devoting one day of this wacky and wild 2020 to your most loyal and COVID-friendly relationship— the one you have with your dog.

Here are five tips for planning your very own Dogmas celebration.

1. Choose A Day To Do All Your Favorite Things

Pick a date, mark it on the calendar, and get excited — it’s almost Dogmas! Me and Beau’s (my dog) Dogmas will take place on December 23, but any day during the holiday season will work.

You may find yourself thinking, “Now, a whole day for me and doggo…what to do?” Glad you asked!

Here are some of our favorite Dogmas activities to enjoy together:

  • Go for a long walk or hike
  • Open presents (“I LOVE SHREDDING!” — Beau)
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Go for a drive
  • Nap (THE pass time of 2020)
  • Go to the beach
  • Play fetch (Beau doesn’t actually play fetch but he hears some dogs like it)
  • Bark at squirrels (Beau recommends this one highly)
  • Play tug of war
  • Visit the dog park (If open, and observing all local distancing regulations)
  • Stroll to the coffee shop for a Gingerbread Spiced Latte and a Puppuccino
  • Volunteer (You may have to get creative with this one, but picking up trash on your walk, visiting elderly neighbors at a distance, or fostering a shelter dog for a night or more are all ways to give back)

2. Decorate With Dog-friendly Decor

Think decor is out of the idea with a four-legged chew machine in the house? Think again! Here are some dog-friendly ways to decorate:

  • Trees outside the house = okay to pee on. Trees inside the house, not so much! This could understandably be a point of confusion for your pup. Solution: Elevate your tree (literally and figuratively) by placing it on a coffee table, side table, or box/crate at least 1’ off the ground. This makes even the tiniest tree seem more regal and prevents any extra tinsel — or tinkle — from making it onto the tree.
  • If you elevate your tree, adornments should be out of pup’s-way. If not, consider spritzing your ornaments with a chew-prevention spray.
  • Be mindful of what’s within wag-range: candles, glasses of wine, and fragile keepsakes should be on shelves or elevated tables to prevent a wag-ccident!

3. Bake, Make, And Be Merry!

It wouldn’t be Christmas Dogmas without some delectable delicacies for doggos and humans alike! Whip up some dog-friendly cookies or prepare a holiday feast to share with your pup.

  • Prepare your pupperino’s treats at home with dog cookie mix or purchase premade from any pet food store!
  • Whip up a Dogmas feast that is person and puppy-approved! Turkey, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, beans, and pumpkin are all dog-friendly (in plain form — no gravy needed). For more information on what fido can and cannot eat at your feast check out this guide from the ACK.

4. Exchange Gifts, Open Stockings, And Donate

Santa Paws is bringing Beau a HUGE bone for Christmas this year! What would your dog like? How about a new toy, big bone, some treats, or even a Furbo?

Beautiful gifts sitting under the tree make a nice picture, but stockings are the darkhorse of Christmas IMO. I went full Cameron Diaz in The Holiday and filled my cart with little treats, junk food, wine, dog treats, dog toys, and pampering items to stuff our stockings.

  • Gift something from your pup that makes you say “Aww, how’d you know Fido?” This year, Beau’s getting me a cozy PJ set perfect for lounging.
  • Consider making a donation to a local animal shelter or dog rescue in you and your pup’s name. The COVID crisis has created a shortage of volunteers and funds, and these organizations need all the help they can get at this time of year!

5. Snuggle Up

“…and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.” — Buddy the Elf. Also, your Dog.

Gifts are great, but I bet what your dog would love most is some quality time spent snuggling on the couch with their favorite human.

Wind down your Dogmas (or spend all day) curled up cuddling listening to your favorite music and admiring the tree or watching some of your favorite Christmas movies.

Merry Dogmas to all, and to all a good night!

I taped a Dr. Drew talk show pilot when I was in college.

Keep up with Samantha on Instagram and samantha-rohman.medium.com