Do Dogs Know It's Christmas?

Updated: December 17, 2023

Do dogs know it is Christmas?

A million reasons make Christmas one of the the favorite times of the year for many - carols, presents, family, festive decors, long-time-no-see guests to name a few. But about your dog? Do they know its Christmas time?

"It's quite unlikely for your dog to know it's Christmas but dogs do understand patterns quite well."

It's quite unlikely for your dog to know it's Christmas but dogs do understand patterns quite well. They put together settings & associations and assume that this might happen again in the future. In the case of Christmas, it can be the decor changes, the presence of people they haven't met before, joyful music, flashing lights, and a lot more.

We don’t often consider what Christmas day must be like for dogs and how they put up settings and associations, as mentioned above. Your dog can either consider Christmas as an exciting celebration or can consider it quite stressful.

Here we've come up what your furbaby's Christmas perspective might be and the things about it that they probably look forward to (or not) every year.

Christmas from a Dog's Perspective

"There are a lot of things wrapped within my reach and I can't wait to chew on them and pull them apart." Your furbaby can see those presents beautifully wrapped under the Christmas tree. They just might think that they make the perfect toy. According to The Bark, dogs see more than just black and white. Dogs see color vision similar to that of the 8 percent of the human population who are considered red-green colorblind. So, all that shiny, colorful wrapping paper can be extra enticing to your dog at Christmas.


As a curious animal, your dog desperately wants to get their paws on them and find out what's inside those pretty boxes. Keep in mind to keep those presents out of your furbaby's reach, well, at least until Christmas Day. This will avoid frustration over broken gifts and your puppy eating something they shouldn't.

"So much food but nobody is giving me any." What is Christmas without the food? And when we say food, our dogs seem to always be first in the line. But as much as you'd love to give them their share of human Christmas food, your furbaby will just have to stare, sit there, and watch you while you're eating.

Some Christmas food can be dangerous for them. Meat bones are extremely dangerous as they can splinter and injure their GI tract. Some common christmas foods are poisonous to dogs like grapes/raisins and chocolates. Instead of giving your dog human food, give them Gnawtlers® for an interactive toy that keeps them occupied. These premium antler chews will be able to keep your furbaby preoccupied and away from the Christmas table. These antler chews are safe, all-natural, do not splinter so easily, and full of nutrients for dogs.

"I need ear rubs and belly rubs but mom and dad appear to be busy." Christmas Day requires so much of our time preparing dinner, fixing last-minute decor touch-ups, welcoming guests, and opening presents that we sometimes it can be a challenge not to forget our furbabies.

But even with all the hustle and bustle, always make sure to still keep watch of your dog's activities and whereabouts as they might try to escape or do things that are dangerous, like rummaging the trash bin and gnawing on those electric cords and unsafe Christmas decors. To make sure they are safe, keep them inside a crate or place them inside a quiet room, providing them enough food, fresh water, and Gnawtlers® to keep them occupied if you are unable to supervise around dangerous items.

You should make an effort to keep their schedule as normal as possible with walks, outings, and play time. Since dogs are creatures of habit, this will help them to remain calmer with the changes that are unavoidable like travel, guests, and decorations.

"I'm getting new toys??? Wow!" When it comes to Christmas presents, our furbabies are definitely on top of our Nice List (even if they are naughty sometimes!) Christmas and the holidays are just one of the days our dogs should get spoiled. So, get your dog their own special Christmas gift. It could be an interactive enrichment toy like the Forager™ Bowl, tasty treats, or anything you would like.

"Mom, dad, and the liquid they are drinking all day." Your dog doesn't know what getting tipsy is and so they perceive you to be acting a little strange. This can confuse your furbaby and they might wonder why you're all suddenly so weird. But even if you're all tipsy and enjoying the company of alcohol, make sure your furbaby does not have the chance to drink any alcohol, too. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia, and a critical case of metabolic acidosis in your furbaby. It is not okay for your dog to have any form of alchohol- beer, wine, or liquor.

"So many people I have never seen before." It is during Christmas Day and the holidays that we get to see our family members and our close friends once again. For some dogs, visitors are super exiting. But for others, it can be too stressful. Consider providing your furbaby with Pet Parents® Calming SoftSupps®. This will help your dog feel calm, relaxed, and will help your furbaby maintain a relaxed disposition. You can also put your dog into a secured room while allowing guests to enter to prevent them from running outside. Keep in mind that excitement may cause jumping or rude behavior, so, be sure to monitor your pup around guests.

Christmas For Dogs, On The Brighter Side

Here are the following things that your dog might probably look forward to every year at Christmas time.

The Snow! Snow (in some places all around the world) symbolizes the beginning of winter and the holiday. And most dogs have been waiting whole year long for the snowflakes to finally hit the ground to play and rollover. Nordic breeds who were bred to survive in snowy conditions like the retrievers and the huskies tend to like snow more compared to dogs with thin coats. But, any dog may enjoy playing in the snow. 

The Attention. The visitor-loving dogs will love all the attention, cuddles, and belly rubs they will get from your dog-loving guests. So, Christmas time is the perfect opportunity for your dog to soak up extra attention, pets, and love. What a treat!

The Presents. Who doesn't love presents in the holidays? Even our furbabies do! A new toy? A new collar? A new bed? Whatever that your gift to your dog may be, your furbaby will be excited by their new gift. Just make sure not to give your dog too many treats at once.

Quality time with family. Christmas is all about family and there's no better season to bond with each other, cuddle, and show each other how much family means to you. Because, really, that is what Christmas must be all about. Your dog will love spending some time with you when you might normally be working. Plus, more time at home often means more time for play and activities for your dog.

To answer, your dog basically does not know it's Christmas, but they do get familiar with the changes, the settings, the patterns, and the repetitions. So, they might recognize that the Christmas music playing means guests will be arriving.  It's fun to get them involved with the celebrations at home, too (particularly considering how your furbaby responds to all the excitement).

Help your furbaby have a Merry Christmas by providing them with all the necessary Pet Parents® products and holiday safety tips so that the both of you can equip yourselves for happier and healthier holidays ahead. The holidays should be a time of celebration with your family. And of course, your dog is a part of your family.

"Consider providing your furbaby with Pet Parents® Calming SoftSupps®. This will help your dog feel calm, relaxed, and will help your furbaby maintain a relaxed disposition."

From all of us at Pet Parents®, we wish you and your dog a Merry Christmas... in advance!