Last Updated: Nov 28, 2016
With Christmas right around the corner, many of us will be getting ready for the season with decorations galore, a Christmas tree and our annual end-of-the-year photos. When it comes to sending Season’s Greetings, the best Christmas cards are the ones that include the entire family, even the four-legged members.
As if it wasn’t hard enough to get everyone together for your holiday photo, including your pets can be even more of a challenge. Whether they’re full of energy, need to stay on a leash or heaven forbid they see a squirrel, there are many obstacles to overcome in order to capture a picture perfect moment with your furry friends. Although you may be weary about wrangling your dog into the Christmas portrait this year, once you get the shot, you’ll realize all the slobbery licks to the face were worth your while. As you gear up for the holidays, use these Christmas card ideas with dogs and our sleigh full of tips and tricks to get the paws-itively perfect family Christmas photos, including every family member!
Jump to a section:
- Dog Christmas Card Ideas and Tips
- Family Christmas Card Picture Ideas With Dogs
- Dog Christmas Card Sayings
Dog Christmas Card Ideas and Tips
If all of your subjects are adults it can be easy to get a great holiday card photo, but throwing kids and dogs into the mix can make things a little more difficult. There are plenty of ways to capture festive photos of your tail-waggers, you just have to get creative. Including everything from outfit ideas, photo shoot locations and tips for getting and keeping your dog’s attention, these are some of the best solutions for taking family photos with your dog.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that coordinate. Before you pose for the camera, you should plan out what your family will be wearing for your Christmas photos. First and foremost, make sure that everyone is wearing clothes that they’re comfortable in and that they don’t mind getting a little dirty. Chances are someone will have to wrangle the dog at some point so just make sure that your outfits aren’t one’s that need to be dry cleaned. There’s something about color coordinating outfits that really ties everything together. If your family is planning on wearing similar colors or patterns, go ahead and get the same colored accessory for your dog. Even if it’s just a collar or a bow, adding a festive piece to your dog’s attire will make for a very cute touch.
- Dress Fido For the Occasion. If you feel like only adding an accessory isn’t going to do the trick, you can also dress your dog up for the photos. Make sure you avoid putting your dog in something that might harm him or her or cause any sort of discomfort. Play it safe with reindeer antlers, a santa hat or an ugly Christmas sweater, but those items may even be pushing the comfort level for your dog. Remember that if your puppy isn’t comfortable there is no way you’ll get the shot. You should also avoid wrapping your dog in Christmas lights or putting him or her in a stocking, the rule is to never put your dog in harm’s way.
- Stick close to home. On a day that’s filled with capturing special moments and a whole lot of love, a destination photo shoot location may sound appealing. Although, when you’re including your four-legged friends in your photos it can be beneficial to stay closer to home. Your dog is used to his or her daily routine and sticking to where there are familiar smells and surroundings will make it easier for your pup to listen to your commands. Plus, you may even be able to take some shots of your dog off the leash, which will be sure to unleash a whole lot of holiday cheer.
- Get your dog tired before the shoot. No matter how calm your puppy may be, it is still going to be difficult to get him or her to stand still with everyone gathered around. Dogs are a smart breed and will most likely pick up on all of the excitement. With everyone all in one place it could be easy for your dog to mistake the Christmas photo shoot for playtime. Before you take your Christmas photo, wear your dog out by going for a walk or playing a game of tug-o-war.
- How to get and keep Fido’s attention. Consider your dog’s personality when it comes to getting him or her to smile for the camera, or should we say look at the camera… Having a squeaky toy or something that they want on set could be the perfect distraction for your dog. Most dogs are food driven so it won’t hurt to keep a couple extra treats in your pocket. You know your dog better than anyone else so go with what you think will work best. If you’re unsure, set up a trial run and see what you can do to keep your puppy’s attention.
- If you have someone behind the camera it will make it easier to get your dog to look at the camera lens. Just have the photographer keep a toy or treat near the camera lens.
- If you are using a tripod to get your Christmas card shot, designate someone to be in charge of getting your dog pose ready while everyone else says cheese.
- Don’t forget to take breaks. Don’t put the toys or tug-o-war rope away after the pre-photoshoot play time and don’t expect your dog to keep full attention for a whole hour. If you get to take photos for ten minutes, you’re doing great. Set up the shot with praise and treats and after you take a couple frames, let your dog go crazy. Dogs will be dogs, so remember to have patience!
- Be Prepared to take lots of photos. Have your photographer take as many photos as possible or if you’re taking your Christmas photos yourself, make sure to set the self timer a handful of times. You’ll never know which click may end up with the perfectly candid shot and most of the time, the best photos are the ones that aren’t posed. So, even when your dog is going a little crazy or taking a break from being pose-perfect keep taking photos.
Family Christmas Card Picture Ideas With Dogs
There are many different ways to incorporate your dog into the family Christmas card this year. Use the following Christmas card picture ideas with dogs to help you get the perfect photo. When it comes to your family holiday card photo, if there’s one thing that’s for sure, it is that your furry friend needs to be included. Use the following photo ideas to help you decide how you will incorporate Fido in the family holiday photos.
Ready for a close up. If you have a small dog, pick up your pooch and take advantage of getting warm and snuggly with him or her. On the other hand, if you have a 100 pound Labrador Retriever, don’t attempt to pick him or her up instead, just lean down and get close.
Have your dog on a leash with the family. If your dog is a little more on the hyper side or if you are taking your Christmas photos at a location that your dog isn’t used to, then it is a good idea to keep him or her on a leash, just to be safe.
Use his or her natural habitat as a backdrop. Taking your photos somewhere your four-legged friend is used to will surely make your pup more comfortable with the camera and all of the excitement. When it comes to location, think backyard, inside the house or a nearby park you frequent often.
Try for an action shot in the snow. Nothing says, “Happy Holidays!” quite like a dog dashing through the snow. Action shots can sometimes be the easiest to get since you aren’t trying to keep your dog’s attention or get him or her to sit still and look at the camera. If you live in an area where it doesn’t snow, try out the sand! There’s nothing quite like a beach themed Christmas card.
Choose a dog Christmas card that allows you to add multiple photos. If you already have the perfect solo shot of your pup you would like to include in your Christmas card then select a card that features multiple photos. This way, you’ll be able to add the family photos you took and also solo shots of the furriest member.
Have your pooch represent the whole family. If for some reason your family can’t all be in the same place at once to get a Holiday photo, you can send a photo of your dog from everyone.
Dog Christmas Card Sayings
If you are including your dog in your Christmas card photo you can also go one step further and top of your Christmas messages off with a few dog Christmas card sayings. These are some of the cutest and funniest Christmas card messages that all of your recipients will appreciate. Mix and match these dog-friendly greetings with a few of your own words for a very hairy Christmas sentiment.
- We Woof You a Hairy Christmas!
- Merry Christmas from our Pack to your Pack.
- Have a fetching Christmas!
- Unleash the holiday cheer this Christmas!
- Have a paws-itively amazing Christmas.
- Sending you pugs and kisses this Christmas
- Canine I just say…you’re the best!
- Paws a moment this Christmas to reflect on what the season is all about!
- Merry Christmas. Hope it’s not too ruff!
- Hounding you to have a Merry Christmas!
- Dog bless you this Christmas!
- Sending you all our puppy love this Christmas!
- Happy howlidays! Hope Santa Paws brings you lots of treats.
- Santa’s little yelper wants to wish you a Merry Christmas.
- Have a warm and fuzzy holiday!
- Wishing you Peace, Love and Licks!
- Johnson Family Tails of 2016
- Have a Doggone Christmas!
- I’ll do Anything for a Cookie.
- Deck the Paws.
- Wreck the Halls!
- Fur you, From us.
- Feliz Navidog.
- Yappy Holidays and a Happy New Year
- It’s never chew late to wish you a Happy Holidays.
Pets are a special part of your family and your holiday cards should reflect that. These dog Christmas card ideas and tips will not only help you make your Christmas card unique, but also make it a lot easier to achieve the Christmas photos you envisioned. Once you’ve got the perfect shot and created your end of the year holiday cards you’ll want to assure that your sentiments make it to where they’re going. Follow our guides for how to sign a Christmas card, how to address a Christmas card and when to send a Christmas card to stay ahead of the holiday curve with proper etiquette.