Gen Y Dogma: How To Do Your Dog’s First Christmas Up In Style

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
Christina is in the holiday spirit and she’s decking her dog out in all the festive gear she can get her hands on.

I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I love Christmas — it’s my absolute favorite holiday and I get super-excited for it year in and year out. It’s not about the gifts; I just love the magic and wonder the season brings, the beautiful Christmas lights everywhere, watching Christmas movies and snuggling up with a mug of hot chocolate and a cosy sweater in front of my (as of yet) imaginary fireplace.

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I also love seeing Christmas through children’s’ eyes: my cousin has a 1-year-old son, and I can’t wait to watch his excitement as he opens presents this year. I’m probably dating myself here, but experiencing Christmas with kids makes me feel young again (not that I’m like, 80 or anything, but still). It gives me the warm fuzzies, okay? And I happen to love the warm fuzzies.

Now, I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I do have a dog. And it just so happens that this is her first Christmas, and we’re going to celebrate in style, doggone it!

Here’s the rub: my boyfriend, Ryan, is NOT a fan of Christmas. In fact, I may or may not have nicknamed him “The Grinch”. But hey — we all know what happened The Grinch, right? His heart grew 10 sizes and he came to love Christmas, too.

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I’m not sure I’ll ever instill a “love” of Christmas in Ryan, but I’m nothing if not determined. For now, I’ll be doing my festive thang with Matilda (and trying to get Ryan to join in). Here’s how the pooch and I will be “celebrating” this year:

Christmas-Themed Dog Toys

Yep, this is totally a thing. Before I was a puppy parent I had no idea, but when I went to pick out some new toys for Matilda the other day, there was a whole wall of Christmas toys and ‘tis the season, right? Of course I had to get some!

I didn’t go too overboard: just a rope toy woven in candy cane colors and a reindeer-shaped squeaky toy. Okay, a red teddy bear covered in knit snowflakes. That’s not so bad… right? However, I can’t promise that these will be the last festive-themed toys I’ll get for Matilda this season. She’s notorious for destroying her toys (even Kongs!), so I’m sure I will, once again, end up in the Christmas section of the pet store sooner or later (tragic!).

Ridiculous Doggie Christmas Apparel

Did you know they make ugly Christmas sweaters for dogs?! I’m serious.

Like this one with humping reindeer on it (thanks Amy!). Ryan (in the nicest way possible) makes fun of my desire to dress up our dog, but I’m not sure even HE could argue with the awesomeness of Santa’s reindeer getting their freak on, sweater style. I haven’t been successful finding anything in stores that’s big enough to fit Matilda (she needs a large or extra-large, depending on what it is), so I may just have to turn to online shopping to get my fix.

I was also in the Christmas aisle at the drug store the other day and lo and behold, they too had a pet section. I contemplated getting some of those adorable dog antlers, but I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that those wouldn’t last two minutes around Matilda. I settled on a red and white plush collar that has prompted Ryan to rename our dog “The Christmas Turkey”.

Oh, honey. This is just the beginning of our pooch’s 2014 festive fashion extravaganza, so you’d better get used to it (MUHAHAHAHA!).

To tree or not to tree?

The big question now is whether or not to get a Christmas tree. Ryan’s answer is, of course, a firm “No”. We put one up last year, but that was before Matilda (Little Miss Destroyer of Worlds), came into our lives.

I can definitely see the downsides to having a tree, and really, it probably makes the most sense to not put one up this year. Matilda could try to eat the tree or use the ornaments as chew toys or pee on the tree (all very likely scenarios). Heck, she could pull the whole tree over and start trying to play with the sticks (read: branches) on it!

But being a Christmas fanatic, I still feel torn. I love having a Christmas tree. Google tells me I can set up a round of baby gates around the tree, which I’m not opposed to (though Ryan might object). I’ve also read that a fake tree can be a better option with dogs around the house; there aren’t any pine needles for them to eat and the lack of pine scent is less attractive to a pup’s nose.

I really want a tree this year, but time will tell. Matilda’s safety comes well before holiday decorations (of course), but I’m hoping I can find a way to make it work.

So, fellow pet parents, I need your advice! Has the whole baby gate-tree combination worked for any of you out there? Do you have any tips on how I can deter Matilda from attacking the tree? Is a fake tree the way to go?

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada’s all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city’s numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

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