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The holidays are officially here, and that means Santa Paws will be coming down the chimney with a bag full of toys very soon. It also opens up a world of photo ops for your dog's Instagram account. If you're planning on taking your four-legged-friend to visit Santa this season, make sure you prepare ahead of time to ensure it's a stress-free process for your pooch and for yourself.
Choose a comfortable outfit for the big day. Avoid anything too tight or uncomfortable, and allow them to get used to the outfit beforehand while reinforcing behavior with treats.
Bring food rewards and your pup's favorite toy. This will keep him or her calm in case there are large crowds.
Give your pet a few moments to get acquianted with Santa Paws. Let the big man chat with your dog and give him or her a few scratches before you step away.
Know your dog's behaviors. If they seem uncomfortable or distracted, don't try to force them to sit or stay. Repeated commands can make them more nervous. Rather, hold them for the photo so they feel less stressed. You may also decide to get a holiday snap at home instead.
Happy dogs create happy looking photos—so stay relaxed and reward your pooch with plenty of praise. Snap a great shot with the jolly dude of the season? Drop us a DM on Instagram via @DailyPaws. We'd love to see your pooch in their holiday best!
Dean and Chief
These basset hound buddies couldn't wait to tell Santa Paws how good they've been this year. When jolly ol' Saint Nicholas makes his list and checks it twice, Dean and Chief made certain they'd be at the top of the Nice List.
Gunner the goldendoodle dressed up as a rein-dog to really impress Santa—antlers and all. He's hoping Santa won't notice if he replaces Rudolph on the sled team.
SoCal Golden Retrievers
Meet Charlie, Hugo, Jet, Ruby, Skye, Stitch, Tommy, and Zelda. Judging by their smiles, these golden retrievers (and their French bulldog friend) are ready to spread some holiday cheer by barking around the Christmas tree.
Izzy the giant schnauzer was too sleepy to catch Santa on Christmas eve last year (too many cookies, perhaps?). She's been extra nice this year in hopes that St. Nick will visit her with a sack full of presents once more.
Sterling and Walker
Dachsund through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh! O'er the fields we go, barking all the way! Rocco here showed up to meet Saint Nick in a white-trimmed coat, and the photos are everything. Want your pooch to have their own festive holiday sweater? Check out these adorable matching dog and owner Christmas sweaters for a 'fit that befits your special bond.
Bernard and Hank
Boxer brothers Bernard and Hank visited Santa last year, and rumor has it that one of them was naughty ... and the other one made the Nice List. Even so, we'd say they're both good boys in our book and deserve all the treatos this season.
Ruby the goldendoodle looks ready to meet her humans under the mistletoe for some wet puppy kisses. We really appreciate her festive bow tie, which is a great option for dog's who aren't quite as fond as sweaters or costumes. Check out our picks for the most adorable festive collars and bandanas that'll be just as fun to wear around the tree on Christmas morning.
Finally, a sweet feline friend to round out the mix. Percy the Persian cat tries to be a good kitty all year round because he knows Santa Claws is always watching. To all the cat parents out there, Meow-y Christmas!