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The holidays are a great opportunity to have some fun with your #JollyPet. At first glance, it seems the cold weather would prohibit a lot of activities, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here are some suggestions on how to involve your dog in the holidays.

Dogs make excellent companions when shopping for a natural Christmas tree. If your family enjoys finding a tree out in the wild and cutting it down, make sure it’s not too cold for your dog and be sure not to stay out too long.
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One of the most fun and enjoyable winter activities is skiing or sled riding, but skijoring can be a great way for your dogs to get some exercise. Skijoring is a classic sport that requires training and the right equipment, but it could be worth looking into if you have the appropriate breed of dog.

For all outdoor activities, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your dog’s feet offers great protection against salt and deicing chemicals which can cause dryness and irritation.
  • Dogs can expend extra energy staying warm, so consider adjusting their caloric content to compensate for this, and always make sure they have plenty of water.
  • Bathe your dog less and make sure they are completely dry before allowing them outside.
  • Reserve your outdoor activities for the warmer winter days.

The holidays often involve a fair amount of time spent shopping. Photos of your dog with Santa make great holiday gifts and cards. Many pet stores and shopping malls have pet-friendly photo opportunities.

If you want to do something extra special this holiday season, consider being a short-term foster home for a rescue. Many shelters have programs that allow dogs families to adopt rescues for a temporary basis. It could make all of the difference in the world to a pet that needs love, affection, and a warm bed. Who knows? You may decide to adopt her.

For those days that are just too cold to spend a lot of time outside, consider a play date with another Jolly Pet. We make a great assortment of toys designed for dogs to enjoy playing together. Check out our Flathead, Jolly Tug or Tug-A-Mals for more gentle tuggers.

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On those big holidays, make sure your dog has a plenty of space to herself, so if she gets overwhelmed with all of the guests she can find a safe place to relax. At dinner time, make her a special bowl of food. She will love being part of the festivities, and may prevent her from begging at the table.

We would love to hear how you spend the holiday season with your #JollyPet. Connect with us through social media on Facebook and Twitter and share your holiday memories with us!