“Deck the halls with bones and holly, fa la la la la, la la la la!” No one wants to leave her doggie family member at home while attending holiday events. Now you don’t have to! This list of festive events has something for every dog, from the outdoorsy type to the pampered pup! What’s even better is that these fun activities, like a Christmas light trail, pet expos, cookie walks and holiday glamour photos, also support dogs and their local communities. So, pull out your ugly Christmas sweater, your dog’s reindeer ears, and head out to spread some holiday cheer!
Holiday Dog Photos in Owensboro, Kentucky
Every good dog owner needs to have the perfect holiday pet photo and SparKY (Saving Paws Animal Rescue of Kentucky) takes that up a notch with professional pet holiday portraits. Every December SparKY partners with national award-winning Dream Copy Photography to create overthe-top magical sets fit for a doggie supermodel. The best part, besides having the perfect photo for your social media, is that all proceeds go to help animals in need.
Dates & details at sparkyrescue.com
Home 4 the Holidays, national
The Helen Woodward Center, in partnership with over 4,000 pet adoption agencies and Blue Buffalo Dog food, wants to encourage people to choose adoption this holiday season. Last year’s three-month-long event had over 1.3 million animals adopted. They hope to beat that number this year so even more animals are truly “home for the holidays” with their new families. Many participating rescue groups plan fun holiday adoption events in their city.
Dates & details at Home4theHolidays.org
Cookie Walk in Easton, Maryland
Who wouldn’t like eating a box of delicious homemade holiday cookies while supporting animals in need? Over 40 Talbot Humane volunteers bake dozens of their favorite, festive holiday cookies each year and donate them to raise funds for animals in need on Maryland’s eastern shore. Typically, tables were lined with boxes of the cookies, and shoppers were able create their own custom box with their favorites. However, due to COVID, now all cookies are pre-boxed and ready to pick up at the local farmer’s market.
Dates & details at talbothumane.org or call 410-822-0107
Novi Pet Expo in Novi, Michigan
This ultimate, pet-friendly expo is held annually in Novi just outside of Detroit, Michigan. The fun family event is a celebration of all furry, feathered and finned family members. The expo features over 30 pet rescues with a wide variety of adoptable pets from across the region. There are many vendors with booths stocked full of holiday gifts, so you have no excuse to not have something under the tree this year for your dog. Pet expo admission is also discounted with a donation of pet food and pet supplies that are given to area rescues.
Dates & details at novipetexpo.com
Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Your pup might “Arrooo” and “Ahhh” right along with you at this spectacular display of colorful lights in a unique night-walking stroll. Rock City is transformed into a magical wonderland with 30 holiday scenes and over a million lights. Just make sure your dog is leashed and wellbehaved. Also, don’t forget to take your pup’s photos with Santa at the Christmas shops!
Dates, details and to purchase tickets (available online only): seerockcity.com/lights
Deck the Paws Parade in San Antonio, Texas
Dress up your furry family member in their best holiday attire and join this unique parade, which supports the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Start planning now for the costume contest because there will be stiff competition for the best overall holiday costume as well as the dog and owner matching costume. There are also pet vendors set up so you can buy any last-minute holiday gifts.
Dates & details at sabot.org/events/deck-the-paws-parade
Feliz Navidad Open House in La Misión, Mexico
Who says dogs can’t have holiday fun south of the border? Shorty’s Rescue, a Pit Bull rescue located just south of San Diego, California, combines Mexican holiday traditions with helping their area. The town’s residents stop by their community pet store and pet food bank to drink Mexican hot chocolate and munch on holiday cookies. The kids also take a swing at the holiday piñata that’s full of dog treats for the adoptable Pit Bulls.
Dates & details at shortysrescue.org
Canine Christmas Doggie Slumber Party Weekend in Manchester, Vermont
Even dogs want a weekend away! The Wilburton Resort has gone to the dogs with a special holiday slumber party. The weekend kicks off on Friday with a welcome party and a canine ugly sweater fashion parade. You can’t have a proper slumber party without snacks. At check-in, every pup receives Wagatha’s treats made in Manchester, Vermont. The weekend wraps up on Saturday evening with a fireside PJ party sing-along, or should we say, “howl along”?
Dates & details at wilburtoninn.com/pet-events
San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Holiday Windows
It’s that time of year again to join the San Francisco SPCA for the 35th annual Holiday Windows event at Macy’s Union Square! Over the years this holiday tradition has helped more than 10,000 homeless animals find their forever families. In addition, donations are raised to support the SF SPCA’s yearround lifesaving work.
Dates & details on this year’s event at sfspca.org/holiday
No matter what holiday event you choose, these top picks are sure to help you, your family and even your dog get in the holiday spirit!
NOTE: Due to the ever-changing state and local COVID requirements, please make sure to contact the host organization before hitting the road, or you may have a disappointed pup if the event is postponed or cancelled.