The best part of the holiday season is spending time with friends and family. Dropping off letters to the North Pole and visiting Santa are just a few of the common activities many families participate in. As many people begin to treat their pets like their own children, our furry best friends are now getting into the holiday spirit.

As more places become dog-friendly, the options for including your dog in the family holiday are increasing. Keep reading to see what three dog-friendly holiday activities you can include your dog in:

1.       Visit Santa Paws

Most people that celebrate Christmas have gone to the mall, or nearly anywhere, to meet Santa and have a photo taken. This tradition is no longer just for little kids. Now you can include your dog in the Christmas magic.

Many dog daycares, groomers, and veterinary offices now offer special days and events where you can bring your pet (of any kind!) to have a photo taken with Santa. This adorable moment will only cost a few dollars or a donation at most. And for those who send them, it will make a perfect Christmas card.

2.       Tour a holiday light display

Neighborhoods are alight in the holiday glow. Walking and drive-thru light displays are gaining popularity and offer a gorgeously unique opportunity for people to enjoy a nighttime experience.

You can pack up the pooch and hit the road to marvel at some well-decorated neighborhoods. Or see if any local botanical gardens or state parks offer light displays on walking trails. 

3.       Bake dog-safe holiday cookies

No holiday is complete without a batch (or two, or three) of freshly baked cookies. We all know that our dogs should not be eating our table scraps, but we can whip up some dog-safe baked goods. Consider cookies that utilize peanut butter, pumpkin, or bananas in place of eggs and sugar. Give them a festive twist with some fun cookie-cutter shapes and food coloring.

Do your research before you bake and be conscious of any food sensitivities or allergies your dog may have. Unexpected vet bills are no way to celebrate this time of year. 

The most important part of all of these dog-friendly holiday activities is to enjoy the time you spend with your dog. If any of the above activities are unavailable to you, find other ways to include your dog. Bring them along for any family photos – your friends will love seeing them on the seasonal greeting cards. Have your dog tag along for Christmas tree cutting (if permitted) and dress them in seasonal sweaters.

No matter what and how you celebrate, there is nothing better than sharing this special time with the people and animals you love.