Keep the season meow-y and bright by including your furry friend in the action. 

By Marissa Hermanson
Shutterstock

From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, there's a whole slew of celebrations that call for merrymaking—and why should humans have all the fun? "There are definitely ways to include your pet in holiday traditions," says Caitlin Ultimo, resident pet expert at Chewy.com. "From baking them a homemade treat to getting cozy on Christmas Eve wearing matching pajamas."

During a season that calls for showering your friends and family with affection, here's how you can show some extra love to the four-legged variety. 

1. Spoil them with a gift or two 

If you consider yourself an animal person, you won't be surprised to learn that 87 percent of UK consumers buy their pets gifts to celebrate the holidays, according to 2017 survey. What's more, 27 percent admitted to spending more on their pets than they do on their friends! 

Give your favorite animals designated stockings that you can fill with accessories, toys, and treats. We like Shutterfly's customizable dog bandana in holiday classic plaid.

2. Go gourmet for a day 

Food is always a crowd-pleaser. While most money is spent on treats, toys, and clothes for fur babies, 69 percent of pet owners say they also serve their critters a special holiday dinner. Whether you're making them a special homemade meal or buying treats from your favorite purveyor, edible gifts are almost always well-received.

3. Give back

"Just like humans volunteer at soup kitchens and donate coats to the needy, there are ways pet parents can give back with their four-legged loved ones too," says Cristina Tudino, editor-in-chief of healthy pet-food brand Ollie. Tudino recommends participating in a fundraising dog walk with a local animal rescue group or donating pet items like dog clothes, toys, beds, and towels to shelters this holiday season.

4. Say cheese

Include your animals in your annual holiday photo. The cat can don a festive bandana or collar, and your mutt can get all dolled up in a cheeky "Happy Pawlidays" t-shirt. Or consider an ensemble of matching dog and human pajamas. 

5. Plan a Yuletide outing

Don't leave your dogs at home during the holidays. If they don't mind crowds, take them to the holiday parade or out caroling. Or for an outdoor adventure, take them along to cut down the Christmas tree or on a long winter's hike in the woods. If you have leave the animals behind (we're thinking of you, cats), include them in the festivities from afar with a pet camera.

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