For us pet “fanatics,” there is absolutely no question of whether our animals are considered family or not. So, since they are family, they obviously deserve the same special holiday experience that we humans celebrate with each other, right? That was a rhetorical question, because the answer is obviously YES. Here are some holiday traditions that you should start with your pets as soon as possible:
- Decorating Your Pet’s Cage/Tank/Crate/Enclosure – Sure, the average person decorates their house with festive items – but what about your pet’s home? Doesn’t it deserve to embody the holiday spirit? The answer again, is YES, of course! Just because it’s a snake, or a parrot, or even a tarantula, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be left out of the festivities.I mean, check out this amazing Christmas-themed hamster home! This person creatively used bedding, stickers, dishes, and toys to create a display that would surely win best in show; if there was a contest in hamster cage decorating! Obviously before you put anything in there you need to make sure it’s safe just in case the hamster decides to chew on it or eat it. Here’s another lovely example of a winter-themed hamster home! You can find out how to make the adorable candy-shaped treat dispenser in this video! If you are too paranoid about items being unsafe for your little pet, just decorate the outside instead. If you are feeling ambitious, decorate inside and outside! Don’t have a small animal?
- Photo Cards For Friends and Family – You’ve received holiday cards from families before, with a photo of the whole gang on the front of it, posed with decorations in the background. Those are fine and all, but don’t you think they’d be better if it was their pets instead?
If I received one of the above pictures in card form, I would be instantly filled with holiday cheer. Be inspired, take risks, and use any decorations you want! If you need some inspiration, check out this post I wrote about photo shoot ideas.
3. Paw Print Cards and Ornaments – There are countless different holiday crafts you can make that use your pet’s paw prints, but we will focus on cards and ornaments because of their simplistic charm. These are gifts that you can “give” to your pet, display, or give out to fellow animal lovers that you know will appreciate the sentiment.
You can use any type of clay or dough that you’d like, just make sure that it won’t irritate the skin on your pet’s paw. Same with the paw print card, check to see that the ink being used is non-toxic and wash it off after you’re done! I should also note that although these pictures are using dog paws, ANY animal paws can be used! How adorable would it be to have rabbit paw prints on a card?!
4. Caroling With Pets – If you have gone holiday caroling before, you know that it’s a very fulfilling way to spread cheer to the public. Whether you are going door-to-door, visiting a nursing home or hospital, or going around at your workplace, you should add your pet to the tradition! They may even “sing” along with you if you train them to!
Don’t limit yourself to just taking your large animals – enlist the talent of your small animal, reptile, amphibian, or even fish! Do make sure that it isn’t too cold for your little friend, otherwise the caroling will not be a happy memory. If it is too cold to go outside (I’m looking at you, Midwest people), then record a video of you and the whole gang singing and post it online! If it’s awesome maybe it’ll go viral!
5. Baking Pet-Safe “Gingerbread” – Make some adorable and delicious cookies for your pet with this recipe for dog gingerbread or cinnamon cookies! As far as the icing is concerned, use it sparingly due to the high amount of sugar in classic icing. If possible, use sugar-free icing, because the cookie will still taste pretty sweet to the dog regardless! Other alternatives for the gluing agent are good old peanut butter, or cream cheese.
If you are feeling super adventurous, bake large sheets of the gingerbread or cinnamon cookies, and cut them accordingly to be used as the floor, walls, and roof of a gingerbread house! Then, use some sugar-free icing (or peanut butter) to “glue” the pieces together. After all of the pieces are stuck together, you can embellish the gingerbread house with literally any pet treats or chews that you have. If you need some treats and would like lots of options for your artistic vision, get some from us and save money! Get creative and crush up a pet chew to sprinkle on the roof for snow, or break a chew stick into several pieces to form icicles!
This should be a good list to get you started, and I’m sure that you all will come up with your own creative and fun ideas. There is no doubt in my mind that if you implement these traditions this year, you will have immediate results: enjoyable memories with your beloved pet. Please post pictures here if you decide to try one or more of these projects; I’d love to see the results!