Christmas Photos with Dogs: 5 Tips for Festive Pet Picture Holiday Moments

Holiday & seasonal
Family Portraits with Dogs

The holidays are a time for families to come together and celebrate the joy of the season; your family dog isn't exempt from the festivities either! From stockings stuffed with bones to squeaky toys wrapped under the tree, your dog has many things to look forward to this holiday season. Fido can even join in the traditional holiday family photo or card.  

Capturing the Best Christmas Photos with Your Dog or Cat 

Whether you hired a photographer to take your photos in a snowy field or you're setting up a tripod for a DIY session, preparation is always helpful Christmas photos with dogs. Here are 5 tips for including your pet in your holiday photos this year: 

1. Have Your Pet Looking Their Best 

We all want to look our best in our portraits, and our dogs are no exception. Plan for a grooming appointment the day before your photo session, and book it a few weeks ahead of time to ensure you get the date and time you want. Waiting until the day of can create an overbooked, stressful day for a pup. Don't forget to add in a nail grinding since the nails might show up in some of the close-up shots. 

2. Stock Up On Dog Treats 

Getting your dog to look at the camera can be the difference between an okay image and a great portrait. Be sure to pack your dog's favorite treats - and don't be shy! When it comes time to get your dog's attention, give the treats to the photographer. If you're taking your own photos, it will be helpful to have a friend along who can help focus your dog's attention. Once all the human family members are posed and ready, have the assistant -who is standing near the camera - bring out a treat to get your dog's attention. Be sure to get your dog's attention last, because he won't be able to stay focused for very long. 

Bonus tip: Don't feed your dog a huge meal before the photo session. If he's stuffed, he won't be as easily swayed by the treats. 

3. Take Your Dog for a Walk Before your Holiday Photos 

Dog trainers, dog owners, and vets all know the secret to a happy dog: activity! An active dog is a happy dog. Be sure to walk your dog in the morning before a session, and don't stop there. During the session itself, take breaks to walk around the studio or play a quick round of fetch. It will keep them comfortable while burning off any extra energy. 

Bonus tip: Plan a potty break right before the shoot. A recently relieved dog will be less likely to get distracted. 

4. Make Sure Your Pet is Rested Before the Photos 

Research continually shows us that our canine friends experience a range of emotions and moods. A dog can have a grumpy day or a happy-go-lucky-everything-is-awesome kind of day. And just like humans, our mood can depend a lot on the quality and quantity of sleep we get. Before a photo shoot - which does require a bit of openness and patience on the part of your dog - make sure he gets a good night of rest. A well-rested dog is much more likely to be in a good mood and tolerate posing and multiple shots during a session. 

5. Consider Dog-Friendly Locations for Photos 

Regardless of whether you hire a professional, a friend, or your Uncle Bob to take your photos, you are going to need to choose a location for your session. Does your photographer have a studio or are you aiming for an outdoor holiday scene? Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is the studio dog-friendly? Are there easily accessible outdoor potty spots? Is the studio "puppy-proofed?" Note that professional studios that specialize in pet photography should take extra precautions to make sure your session is enjoyable and safe. For instance, clients with dogs should never be booked with overlapping appointments; some dogs may be easily frightened by other dogs, which would not result in a stress-free session. 

  • Is the outdoor location safe for dogs? Are there nearby roads that are busy? Doing a session in the middle of a busy street (a la The Beatles) isn't a great idea for Rover. If you are choosing a meadow or field for your photos, make sure that your dog won't be posing in any plants that are toxic to dogs.  

  • What is the weather? Is a snowy winter scene appropriate for small breed puppy? Probably not. Is your snowy scene good to go for your Husky? Sure. Consider all weather conditions (including temperature) for your specific dog. Not all dogs enjoy snow, but some love it. If your dog is petrified of any form of precipitation, it's best to avoid it all together. 

Get Festive for the Holiday Pet Portrait  

Match Your Dog's Outfit to Your Family 

You probably spend time coordinating your family's holiday outfits - so why not include your furry friend? Dressing dogs in festive fashion is popular for holiday portraits and cards. Consider coordinating your dog's sweater, scarf, or tie with the color scheme or patterns your family chooses. Popular pet boutiques offer a wide selection of seasonal dog apparel to match any style. You can also DIY fun Christmas pet pictures accessories like bandanas, bow ties, tutus or hats.  

Festive Accessories for Pets 

Beyond outfits, accessories like antlers, jingle bells, elf hats and holiday bandanas can add some seasonal cheer. Attach bells to your dog's collar so they jingle with movement, or try an elf hat paired with the classic antlers. You can buy premade accessories or craft them at home. Just ensure your dog is comfortable wearing them – start in short increments to keep it positive.  

Prioritize Your Dog's Comfort 

While the outfits are super cute, comfort should come first. Ensure items fit properly and are made from soft, breathable fabrics. Only keep seasonal attire on for brief photo sessions, providing breaks and positive reinforcement. Bring a backup outfit in case your dog seems irritated. The goal is capturing those Hallmark moments while keeping your pup happy. 

Capture Cuteness with Themed Props and Poses 

Complement your dog's outfit with festive backdrops like fireplaces, trees, stockings and wrapped gifts. Use holiday props like ornaments, snowballs, wreaths or candy canes to inspire fun pet holiday photos. Capture some photos of your pup posing with family members and solo shots showing off their outfit. The options for delightful holiday-themed poses are endless! 

Create Lasting Pet Holiday Mementos 

From cards to keepsakes, holiday pet portraits allow you to create memories with your furry friend that will last for years. Order custom holiday cards with your dog's photo for friends and family. Turn images into ornaments, canvases, photo books, or calendars to enjoy long after the season ends. Capturing your dressed-up pup posing playfully will become a beloved holiday tradition. 

If this is your dog's first photo session, remember to take the time to let him get used to the equipment and photographer. You'll be rewarded with great holiday pet photos! 

Protect Your Furry Family Member Year-Round 

As you capture heartwarming moments with your furry friend this holiday season, don't forget to protect their health and well-being with dog insurance. Embrace provides comprehensive coverage for unexpected accidents and illnesses, ensuring that you can afford the best possible care for your beloved companion, no matter what the circumstances. With Embrace, you can enjoy the holiday festivities with peace of mind, knowing that your dog is covered for whatever life throws their way. 

Whether you're capturing playful poses with Santa Claus, cozy cuddles by the fireplace, or festive family portraits, pet insurance gives you the peace of mind to focus on creating lasting memories with your furry friend without worrying about unexpected veterinary expenses. With Embrace, you can confidently capture the joy of the season knowing that your dog's health is always a priority. 

Capture the Festive Cheer with Paw-some Pet Pics 

'Tis the season to be merry, and that includes your furry companions! Capture the festive cheer of the holidays with adorable pet pics that will make everyone's heart melt. 

Whether your canine sidekick is a playful pup or a seasoned canine connoisseur, they deserve to be part of the holiday fun. Dress them up in their most festive attire, let them pose by the twinkling lights, and capture their playful spirit in candid moments. Embrace their unique personalities and let their infectious joy shine through in every photo. 

These holiday pet pics won't just bring a smile to your face; they'll also serve as a timeless reminder of the special bond you share with your furry friend. So, grab your camera, embrace the joy of the season, and create paw-some pet pics that will capture the essence of the holidays and the love you share with your beloved canine companion.