Do Dogs Care About Holidays?

Honey the Golden Retriever stands in snow, thanks to PicMonkey.

No snow yet. So we had to make our own.

Most people buy gifts for their dogs.

You can find pilgrim costumes, Hanukkah sweaters, and reindeer antlers for dogs.

Sure, it’s fun for us. But do dogs care?

What Dogs Enjoy Most About the Holidays

Dogs love holidays as much as we do, if not more. But not for the reasons we’d expect.

  • The garbage quality is much improved. Hey, if you’re going to knock over a trash can wouldn’t you rather find ham trimmings, peanut butter cookies, and latkes?
  • Pee-mail is more varied. Those trips to the Christmas tree farm are awesome. All those trees just waiting to be marked.
  • More toys. No, not the ones wrapped under the tree. The sparkly ones hanging off the branches. And do you know how much fun it is to chase a dreidel?
  • Home for the holidays. For eight nights, everyone comes home right after work. And for Christmas, everyone is stuck at home. All. Day. Long. Barktastic!
  • Presents. Don’t know why  they put paper all over it. But I smell a bully stick.

What I Love Most About Having Dogs at the Holidays

I don’t buy gifts for my dogs. Or, at least, I don’t buy special gifts at the holidays and wrap them.

I do try to give special treats at any old time of the year.

But despite not feeling the need to dress Honey or wrap gifts for her, I can’t imagine Christmas without her.

For me, the joy of the holidays, is having “just enough” to make the time special without becoming trapped in buying “stuff” and being so busy “doing the holidays” that I don’t have time to enjoy them.

Dogs bring something special to every day. It’s a privilege to live with another species who works so hard to understand us.

The secret to a joyous holiday with dogs is slowing down enough to appreciate that specialness they bring to our lives.

What I Enjoy Most About the Holidays

Today is Pet Travel Thursday at A Traveler’s Library where I share my favorite holiday celebrations, with and without dogs.

Why not hop over to say hello and share your favorite holiday celebration with us?

Do you have special holiday traditions that involve your animals? What are they?

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  1. I will make sure the dogs have a special treat on Christmas, it’s also Roxy’s birthday. So she gets double lovin’

  2. Gizmo pays close attention to everything going on in his home so when i bring out something different like our Chanukah menorah he checks it out and watches carefully when I light the (carefully placed above his reach) candles…He loves gifts and treats any time, but I do give him a special cookie each of the eight nights…And he seemed to enjoy the community party we attended a lot, but probably cause of all the extra attention he got there…I think mostly that dogs pick up on the good feelings we tend to have around holidays and special occasions

  3. This is our first Christmas with Rita. She doesn’t do great with visitors in the house (on alert for every small noise) so it will be interesting to see how she does with my mom and sis being here. Hopefully she’ll be okay with the hubbub! (I did get her a present and I do plan to wrap it. My previous dogs loved to unwrap their gift on Christmas morning. Hopefully Rita will too…)

  4. I can’t lie, my favourite part of the holidays is having extra days off to spend with my dog. Every day I don’t have to leave her home alone is a gift. I think she thinks so too.

  5. This is my first christmas with my peeps, so it’s new territory for me! But I suspect I’ve got a few pressies coming my way:-)

  6. Maggie gets her annual Christmas stuffie. I don’t bring home stuffed squeaky toys all year long because they last mere seconds with her around. So on Christmas every year, she gets an uber destroyable stuffed toy and has the most amazing 30 second toy destruction spree of the year. It’s our special Christmas tradition.

  7. I’ll still be recovering so am especially looking forward to more time with dogs. I’ll bring them an Asiago bagel from the bakery as a treat. We’ve been working on being polite while getting snacks en masse. They are doing well. As a non dog new tradition, I look for those fun apparently spontaneous Xmas flash mobs on You Tube and FB.

  8. I love Christmas with the dogs too, even when the unusually rich leftovers lead to three days of doggie diarrhea in the van, as we often take a road trip vacation right after Christmas :)

  9. I don’t know if Buster and Ty even realize that it’s the holidays. Our tree is so small and sits on the table, so I don’t think they’ve even noticed it. And Rod and I are here all day, every day – so that’s nothing new for them. I did stick antlers on Ty’s head yesterday and take some pictures, but it’s also not unusual for me to be pestering him with the camera. I’d say with some confidence that my boys don’t care a bit about the holidays.

  10. I don’t think Georgia knows or cares that it’s the holidays. Especially since we’re both Her fulltime servants now. She’s probably quite grateful there are no antler photo shoots this year though. Have a good one, Pamela! X

  11. I do wrap gifts for Chester and Gretel but know it is for me and not them. They don’t care. Actually, they would prefer I don’t so they can get to playing with them quicker. I think they only thing they might enjoy is their stocking. They like those hide a squirrel in a log toys so they probably see it as a “hide goodies in a stocking” toy.

  12. We buy Silas presents, and we wrap them. He *adores* unwrapping gifts. It amazed the in-laws last year that Silas could (and did) unwrap his own present. Their Golden Retriever mix politely declines to tear up paper.

    Not that we think he understands Christmas, or gifts, but buying dog toys is a nice low-stress way to take a break from shopping for the “hard” people on my list. He also seems thus far to wear even his sturdier toys out in about a year, so it’s a convenient time to replace things.

  13. No, Y-Bo doesn’t get anything special…except a butcher bone…which he gets every time we have company…so he doesn’t get a lot of ’em…LOL. But what I do enjoy about the holidays with him, is taking nighttime walks to look at decorations. Happy Upcoming Weekend!

  14. BJ is so happy we celebrate Hanukkah. I don’t give him presents (doesn’t even play with toys); I do give him a 1/2 Greenie every night after we light the candles. BJ couldn’t care less about the candles and prayer, he just wants his Greenie.

    Whether you and you pups (and cats) celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas have a happy holiday. BJ and I wish you a healthy and peaceful year.

  15. I think pets really don’t care about holidays but they are just swept away by the traditions and emotions that we humans experience. If you know what I mean? Hehe.

    But yeah, I buy gift (if you consider a large bone and meat a gift) for my darling pooch during her birthday and Christmas. 😀

    Anyway, keep warm everybody!

  16. Cali always gets a present and so do the kitties … .it’s the highlight of our Christmas morning! Actually, having them all is the highlight of most days :)

  17. I usually get the dogs something, not anything barktastic, just a new toy or treat. I enjoy just having the day off and having the opportunity to share a special walk with them.

  18. We wrap presents. But the dogs don’t really seem to care, the gift they do enjoy!