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Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

Boy with Golden Retriever ready for holidays.

Happy Holidays!


The holidays are here! It's a terrific time of year! There will be lots of food, family, and conversation. It's also fun to share the holidays with your dog.

Your dog can have fun, too, if you remember that he needs love and attention during the holidays. Include your dog in your holiday activities whenever you can. 

Adorable white pup with ornaments.

Collie dog jumping up on couch to see out the window.

Holidays are fun for dogs. When they hear someone drive up they'll get excited, too. And when people arrive at the door, your dog may try to jump on the company. It's not good manners to let your dog jump on people.

If your dog has a problem with keeping his feet on the floor, teach him to have better manners by reading the page, Jumping Up. Go ahead, you have time - teach your dog some manners for Christmas!

No matter what holiday you celebrate, try to get your dog out for some exercise and fun. A walk in the neighborhood, a ride in the car, or just playtime in the yard (yes, dogs like snow!) will help your dog to relax and stay out of trouble. It's good to exercise your dog before the company comes, or before you go away.

German Shepherd playing in the snow.

Chihuahua standing on hind legs.

If your dog is in the house and part of the celebration, share him with friends and relatives. Show them the tricks that he can do. Don't know any tricks? Well, get started with our Tricks page!

Some of the easiest tricks are shake, turn around, sit, which one, and come (to a whistle). Start now and practice for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Make it fun by praising your dog and giving treats for rewards. If you get tired or frustrated, stop and go back to it later. Always play with your dog for a few minutes after training. Have fun and good luck!

Here are some tricks that kids are doing with their dogs: Kids Teaching Tricks


Everyone will probably be very busy cooking and visiting with friends and family. You might help out by preparing your dog's regular meal and feeding him before the company arrives.
Dog dish full of food.


Turkey and ham are great! They smell good and taste even better. You might be tempted to give your dog some meat when he looks at you with his big puppy-dog eyes. These foods have a lot of fat and may cause your dog to have a painful upset stomach. 

Turkey bones left after a meal are unsafe for your dog.

Bones from turkey and chicken can be very dangerous for your dog. They are too small and sharp for any dog to chew on and they can be swallowed. If you must feed your dog some turkey, give him only meat (not fat) and be very careful there are no bones in it. Covering the trash will also keep your dog safe from these harmful bones.


  Rusty's Ridiculous Riddles!

What two letters are used by the elves to describe Santa's bag the day after Christmas?


Thanks to Beth, age 9, in Massachusetts USA, for sharing this cute riddle.



Keep your pets away from these items!

Dachshund with head on Christmas gift.
Chocolate can make your dog very sick. Mistletoe, Poinsettias, and Holly
are poisonous when eaten.
Keep them away from your pets.

Ribbons, yarn, string, and tinsel
can cause severe stomach problems and may require surgery if eaten by your dog or cat.


Christmas TreeTrees have been known to fall on pets if they are not stable. Ask your parents to make sure your tree has a good stand or is tied so that it won't fall if your pet bumps into it.

White dog entangled in Christmas ornaments.

Rottweiler puppy with Santa hat.

If your puppy or dog likes to chew, be sure to keep him away from electrical cords that help to light up your tree. Dogs and cats can be hurt from the shock of an electrical cord when it is plugged in.

Check your house to make sure that it's safe for your dog or puppy. Christmas tree ornaments and candles are very interesting to pets, but are dangerous. Always stay with your dog or cat when there are things in the room that could hurt them.


If your dog seems to be tired or stressed during the holiday party, give him a place to go where he can relax and get away from the activity. Put him in a bedroom or in his own doghouse and give him a new toy. It will help him to calm down and rest.

A private place to rest

Trash can to throw away leftovers. There is a lot of trash during the holidays. Make sure that the trash is not where your dog can get into it. Have your parents buy a trash can with a lid, or put the trash can under the sink in a cupboard. Help your parents by keeping an eye on your dog as much as possible. If you can't watch your dog, find a quiet, safe place for him to relax.


  Rusty's Ridiculous Riddles!

What did Santa say to Mrs. Claus while he looked out the window?

"It looks like rain, dear!"
Thanks to Stephan, age 7, in British Columbia, Canada, for sharing this clever riddle.


Dachshund with santa claus hat.

If you are thinking about getting a new puppy for Christmas, please click on the cute puppy or here to go to a special page just for you.


 Have a happy and safe holiday season!



Below are some good holiday stories about dogs or you can visit our
Holiday Shop!

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Emma Kragen, Donal Fuller
This delightful take on the traditional song, The Twelve Days of Christmas is the funniest, furriest, freshest way for little ones to learn to count. Each day in the song now reflects a dog--replacing the Partridge in a pear tree with a Poodle in a doghouse! With original photography of snoring Sheepdogs, chomping Chihuahuas, and even dancing Dalmatians. Ages Baby to Preschool
Claude the Dog: A Christmas Story by Dick Gackenbach
an Amazon.com reader writes: My mom first read this book to me when I was three (25 years ago), and it has been my favorite Christmas story ever since. The message is simple and sweet, the illustrations are charming, and it appeals to all ages. Ages 4-8
the christmas collie
Christmas Collie
The Christmas Collie, by Ted Paul, Mary Kummer
The Christmas Collie is a beautiful story, using Suess-like poetry, of a child and his dog as they grow together. It is a story of friendship, love, and sharing through all stages of life. Beautiful, professional art work and hardcover. A real treasure. Ages 8 to adult

Charlie Brown
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! (Peanuts), by Charles Schultz, Little Simon; (October 1, 2004) It's Christmas time again! Lucy and Linus's younger brother Rerun really wants a dog of his own. He can't have Snoopy, so he asks Snoopy's brother Spike to come stay. They have a great time, but Rerun's mom thinks dogs are too much trouble! When Spike goes home to the desert, will Rerun's Christmas be ruined?
Ages 4-8. See the DVD version!



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