Puppy wrapped up in Christmas lightsFor some, skipping the holiday madness is definitely the way to go. Whether that means foregoing gift-giving or taking a pass on hosting the annual feast, there’s certainly good reason to opt for a simpler holiday this year.

For pet owners, this new version of holiday “chill” is especially helpful for keeping a pet stress-free or when you’re looking to increase quality time with your animal companion.

If you want to shake it up this season and make some new memories and traditions, we have you covered. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy an easy-going, hard-work-free holiday with your pet.

10 Relaxing Ways to Spend the Holiday With Your Pet

  1. Go on a pet-friendly vacay. Who says you have to wait for summer? Check out some pet-friendly destinations and consult our helpful pet travel tips. Skip holiday stress entirely and enjoy a trip with your travel-ready fur friend.
  2. Visit a friend or relative. Have you been meaning to visit a loved one? Someone with a pet or love for pets, perhaps? Why not take a road trip with your pal to socialize, spread some cheer, and share all the joy that pets bring to our lives.
  3. Take to the trails. Winter is off-season for a lot of national parks, monuments, and forests. If your pet is trail-ready, share some adventures in the wild, star-gaze around a warm fire, or just enjoy the gifts that nature brings every day.
  4. Test your culinary skills. If your cuddle buddy is more the stay-at-home type, now is a good time to try out new homemade snacks and foods. There are some great ideas on Pinterest for healthy, homemade pet treats (perfect stocking stuffers!).
  5. Hold a movie marathon with your fur friend. Another way to relax to the max at home is to take in some favorite movies on Netflix. Grab a bowl of popcorn and curl up with your snuggly cat or dog and start a tradition that’s certain to be cozy and low-stress.
  6. Overhaul your exercise routine. If you want to get off the couch and out the door, try some new forms of exercise that include your pet (try running, walking, etc.). This will give you a head start on those 2017 resolutions, too!
  7. Host a pet party. Just because you want to skip the party this year doesn’t mean your pet feels the same way. Gather other pets and their owners and let your fur kids enjoy some backyard fun (include those tasty pet treats you made!).
  8. Enjoy some pampering. Treat you and your pet to a day at the spa (or grooming salon). While you enjoy a massage or facial, your pet will be groomed, bathed, and made to smell great. A truly relaxing experience for one and all!
  9. Work on your pet owner skills. Another idea during your holiday down-time is to work on improving your skills as a pet owner. Whether it’s taking extra training classes or learning pet first aid, there’s always room for improvement!
  10. Share the love for animals. Do you and your pet have everything? Consider helping a pet or pets in need by adopting, fostering, or donating to a favorite animal charity – a heartwarming solution to holiday chaos.

Your friends at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wish you and your pet an oh-so-relaxing holiday and happy New Year!