5 Ways to Include Your Dog in the Holiday Season

Nov 01, 2019     |      Sophie's Circle

Dog in back of car with kids and luggage.The holidays are a wonderful opportunity for people to connect with friends and family. But, dogs generally enjoy any good excuse to mingle with others as well. Pets can also help reduce stress brought on by planning or attending a large social event. If you are looking for ideas on how to include your pet in the celebrations this season, consider these options that will help both you and your dog stay in the holiday spirit. 

  1. Flying Dogs? 
    If you are planning a trip that involves airline travel and you are staying in a pet-friendly home where your dog will feel welcome, you may be able to bring your dog with you on the airplane. Although every airline has its own pet restrictions to review before booking your flight, there are lots of dog breeds and working trained therapy or service dogs that meet most standards for this form of travel without having to be checked into cargo. For example, if you have a well-behaved dog that is smaller than the size of a two-year-old child and if the dog does not have a short nose which can be a health hazard at higher altitudes, you can generally expect the airlines to allow your furry baby to sit at your feet, ride in a crate under your seat, or sit on your lap. One thing to consider is the length of time the dog will be unable to receive a potty break. For those dogs that do not meet the flight criteria, please keep in mind all airline restrictions are put in place for both passenger and pet safety.

  2. Holiday Road Trip 
    One way to travel with your dog without having to worry about airline restrictions is to drive to your destination. Generally speaking, dogs love to go on car rides! For those that are timid or get super excited about the car, a kennel may be used to offer safety and comfort during transport. Some other safety tips for this form of travel include bringing plenty of water, remaining on the alert for extreme weather that may impact your dog's health, and allowing stretching stops every couple of hours or so along the way. Also, with a little planning ahead and a few phone calls to verify, you can find stores and other places that allow dogs to come inside both along the way and nearby your destination, which means your dog can feel he is a part of the action for most of the trip.

  3. Where to Stay
    Thankfully, there is a number of hotels that welcome dogs plus a few that cater to pet owners with lavish services, activities, and treat options. Pet rules at hotels vary, though they are usually similar to what you would expect in a home. They will likely require a leash and collar with current tags when outside of the room as well as up-to-date vaccinations. Some have size and breed restrictions. Just as with the car, you may find a portable kennel is the safest and most comforting place for him to stay when you have to leave the room for specific events. As long as you are not gone longer than five hours and he was able to potty just before you leave, a familiar kennel can have a calming effect like a personal bedroom. 

  4. Be the Host!
    These days, pot lucks and more casual meals are trending with families. The emphasis of the event is often placed more heavily on bringing people together and less on the food or decor. With that in mind, it may be simpler to stay home and invite friends and family to come over to your place.

  5. Outdoor Activities
    The best part about the fall could arguably be the festivals and outdoor events. Social dogs with nice manners will thrive on all the attention they receive while strolling through all the sights, sounds, and smells that bring joy to both people and their pets. If there are no pet-friendly happenings in your area, try taking walks somewhere new or, if you are lucky enough to have nice weather, meet friends and family at a restaurant that has outdoor seating. 

As you can see from the above examples, there are many ways to include your canine companion in your holiday plans this year. One idea may work better for your dog or family over another, but the important thing is you have options. If you were planning to adopt a dog yet held off because of holiday travels, we hope this list helps you feel you can still enjoy your time with your loved ones with your rescue in tow. To learn more about the dogs waiting for a home, visit our adoption page. Wherever you and your pet roam this season, Happy Holidays and may your adventures together be great!