Christmas is a time to be with family, whether that’s the family we grew up with or the family we choose; our pets. My dogs are definitely treasured family members who I want to spend as much time with as possible. Yet at a time of year filled with festive fun, it’s easy for our pets to spend more time at home than we’d like them to. So we’ve teamed up with the UK’s leading pet insurers, Petplan, to share our tips on how to make your dog’s Christmas fabulous, both at home and around town, as well as how to win pawsome presents on the Petplan’s Pet Advent Calendar for pets every day up to Christmas!
And it goes without saying that there are some dog-friendly London ideas on the list, so your dog doesn’t have to stay behind and can join in the Christmas celebrations too…
1. Countdown the Days To Christmas With A Doggy Advent Calendar
As a child, opening a new door on an advent calendar throughout December was a real treat. Now, it’s a treat for me to give my dogs their own doggy advent calendars. They may not fully appreciate the significance of a pet advent calendar, but they will love the daily treats and will tune in to your excitement at giving them. You can pick up a doggy advent calendar from dog-friendly Peter Jones or John Lewis while doing the rest of your Christmas shopping…more on that in a moment.
Or why not try your luck with the Petplan’s Pet Advent Calendar? Throughout December, Petplan will be giving away thousands of amazing gifts to the nation’s pets every day online.
Petplan kindly sent us a gorgeous Doggy Hamper full of treats and personalised presents as a taste of what’s to come and it was just perfect for getting Belinha and Moleque into the Christmas spirit.
On the Petplan Advent Calendar, thousands of pawsome prizes will be revealed every day in the run up to Christmas from treats and toys to dog beds and dog-friendly getaways. So don’t delay, open today’s door on the calendar and enter the prize draw to be in with a chance to win!
2. Go Christmas Shopping At A London Dog-friendly Department Store
Much as we try and buy all our Christmas gifts online we never quite manage to do so. In any case there’s something special about visiting one of London’s department stores at Christmas, especially the dog-friendly ones!
Our favourite has to be Peter Jones who always give pups a warm welcome. When we visited recently, Belinha had so many customers and staff come and say hello, which made the experience even more enjoyable.
It’s also far less stressful to go shopping and know that you can take your pup rather than leave them at home. John Lewis stores and Fenwick also have an ‘all dogs welcome’ policy.
3. Break A Doggy World Record
If you love a dog in a Christmas jumper, how about hundreds of dogs in Christmas jumpers? On Saturday 8th December, Borrow My Doggy will be attempting to bark their way into the world record books again for the most pups (and people) in Christmas jumpers on Doggy Christmas Jumper Day. And it’s all for a wonderful cause too…Save The Children. So if you need an excuse to go, that should cover it.
4. Howl Along At A Christmas Carol Concert
Nothing says Christmas like a Christmas Carol Concert, especially a dog-friendly one. Take your pick from the Dogs Trust Christmas Carol Concert (5th December) or the Wild at Heart Foundation Carol Concert (16th December) where dogs are welcome to join their humans. Your dog can sing along to Bark The Howling Angels Sing in style while lending a paw to dogs in need at the same time.
5. Hang A Stocking for Santa Paws
According to Petplan research, 43% of UK pet owners will buy their pet a gift at Christmas although we have a sneaking suspicion this may be higher for dog owners! And if Santa Paws is paying a visit, he’ll need a place to leave the presents. So why not spoil your pup with a personalised pup stocking to hang under the tree or even some personalised decorations to hang on the tree as well?
6. Take a Tour of London’s Dog-friendly Christmas Markets
London lights up at Christmas, and all over town beautiful Christmas Markets line the capital’s streets. We recently shared our Guide to London’s Dog-friendly Christmas Markets, including some curated especially for dogs, so why not soak up the festive atmosphere together with your pup at one of these or take a tour of them all!
7. Prepare Some Canine Christmas Treats
We’ve all had puppy dog eyes begging for a taste of our Christmas dinner but many human Christmas foods can be dangerous for dogs so resisting those pleas is essential.
Instead, why not get them their own dog-friendly versions and pick up some Dog Mince Pies or Canine Christmas Crackers full of festive treats to enjoy.
8. Play a Board Game Together
After Christmas dinner, it will no doubt be time for a board game or two. This year, why not get the whole family involved including your dog. With a game designed for people and pups like Woof, not only can your dog join in but they could even win!
9. Deliver A Letter to Santa Paws
Put a visit to Santa’s Grotto on your dog’s to-do list this December. That way pups can ‘paw’-sonally deliver their letter to Santa Paws to tell him what they’d most like for Christmas. Hint: we’re pretty sure that spending it with you will be top of the list!
10. Visit A Dog-friendly London Pub
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive tipple at the pub (that’s a dog-friendly pub of course). And what’s more, some of London’s pubs put pups at the heart of their festivities.
The annual Dog Christmas Jumper Competition at The Windmill Clapham (22nd December) is a firm favourite with London’s four-legged friends. The Duke on The Green in Parsons Green also make sure dogs are included with their ‘Christmas Has Gone To The Dogs’ Best-dressed Competition (21st December). Both have pawsome prizes up for grabs and resident dogs Max (The Windmill) and Duke (The Duke on The Green ) will be ready to welcome you.