Making The Holidays Extra Special For Our Pets

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It has been raining cats and dogs (pun intended) for days here in SoCal and we are all feeling so lucky to be getting this much needed rain, but Rufus has about had enough. Thankfully it is holiday time, so he is going to get spoiled as we make the holidays special for our pets. I’m so happy to share this story within my partnership with Beneful as part of their #FriendsOfBeneful project.  


To add some cheer to Rufus’ day, we decided to surprise him with an early Christmas/birthday present from Beneful. Since he is a December baby we always combine the holidays for him. I’ve had dogs in my life since I was a kid, and Rufus and Buddy, an English Springer Spaniel who was a part of my family years ago, are the closest to being human that I’ve even seen. I think it has a lot to do with the breed (Rufus is an Austrian Shepherd), but they totally know when the holidays are here. As soon as Rufus sees us get the decorations out of the garage, he starts to get excited, and a little restless too.  

So, we have a few things we do that keeps him happy and makes the holidays extra special for him!

Here they are:


1. We surprise him with gifts just like we do for our kids. He loves getting treats and toys, so this makes him happy and has him looking forward to the holidays.


2. We keep his schedule as normal as possible. We make sure that he is fed his favorite Beneful Dog food at the same time each day.

3. We make sure he is extra comfortable. As it gets cooler and rainy, we make sure that he has a nice, warm and soft bed to sleep and rest in.

4.  We make sure he gets extra play time. Emmy loves jumping in the rain and splashing in the puddles and so does Rufus.  We make sure they both get extra time to run around and enjoy some fun.


5. We make sure he has some space to get away to. The holidays bring guests into our homes that we don’t see often. This can sometimes be overstimulating for an older guy like Rufus who used to enjoy bigger crowds when he was younger. He still loves seeing guests, but he just needs some extra time to warm up. He tires easier, so we make sure he has a place to go to, and we make sure our guests know to let him rest when he goes there. Once he comes back out, it means he is ready to party again!

We also check in on Rufus and our cats often during the holidays to make sure they are doing well! Since there are a lot of different decorations out and foods, we watch to make sure none of them “accidentally” get into something they shouldn’t have. I’m looking at you, cats! Thankfully Rufus loves his Beneful Dog food, so we know he won’t be snacking elsewhere. The cats, on the other hand, think that the Christmas tree is a buffet and the ornaments the entertainment. I swear I have seen Rufus roll his eyes at the cats!

How do you make the holidays special for your pets?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • OMG This is so sweet, and your pup is adorable! We gave our Doberman a new bed and our Shih Tzu got a new chew toy. We always make sure to get them something special, too. They’re part of the family!

  • We bought all of the dogs and cats in our family special presents for the holidays. My kids wouldn’t have it any other way!

  • What a sweet treat for your dog. Your dog looks appreciated it and he looks so adorable.

  • Love his new toy! This is a great way to treat your dog and feel love to him. Such a wonderful bonding.

  • We got our pets lots of gifts and treats for the holidays. It was a lot of fun to spoil them along with the rest of the family and I think they enjoyed it too!

  • That’s really lovely. Our pets deserve the love that we show them and they also deserve to feel special and celebrated during their birthdays and the holidays! I’m glad you found the right treats!

  • Like you, I also make sure that our fur babies have an amazing Christmas and New Year! It’s important to make them feel loved and important since they’re part of our family.

  • I remember living in NorCal the last 10 years, I know it needed rain up there and I am happy to see y’all were getting some! For Christmas my pets get spoiled too, and I am glad to see someone else enjoying spoiling their pets on the holidays. Each of my pets get a stocking with some presents in them. My daughter also insists the fish get stockings too… thankfully we only have 2 fish! 🙂 Looks like Rufus was ready to be spoiled!

  • Our pets are a big part of our family. I always include them in our Holiday celebrations. I will have to pick up some of these treats for when my Sister comes to visit with her dogs.

  • I feel like its so important to make your dog feel like part of the family as possible. We always celebrate our dogs birthday and make a special treat for him.

  • Great read, especially for fur parents! Thanks for sharing. My son expressed a want to have a puppy sometime ago. Maybe in time we’ll consider adopting. 🙂

  • My SIL and her family also ensures there pets are with either family or kennel when away and always ensure to have healthy treats for them too

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