How can I help my dog overcome her FOMO (fear of missing out) this holiday season?
The holidays are here and dogs everywhere are geared up, ready to bark in the season with local adventure! The best way to help your pooch beat festive FOMO is by spending quality time together. Grab a cup of eggnog—and a cookie—and read through my pet-friendly list of activities to do with your dog.
PICK OUT THE PAWFECT CHRISTMAS TREE OR HANUKKAH BUSH
Going with family to find the perfect tree is a tradition. The crisp air and pine scent will surely give all a holiday spirit, and while it’s tempting for Fido to mark the firs there, use a short leash to keep him from claiming every trunk on the lot.
PLAN A PHOTO-OP WITH SANTA
Posing with The Jolly One (and telling him what you want under the tree) is a fun way to create a lasting holiday memory. Local pet stores and shopping malls offer pet-friendly sittings with Old Saint Nick.
WHERE TO GO
- The Avenues Mall: 5:30-7 p.m. Dec. 10
- St. Johns Town Center: 7-9 p.m. Dec. 10
- Orange Park Mall: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10
- Pet Smart Stores: Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 9, 10, 16 & 17; details on website
- PetCo Stores: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 9 & 16; details on website
CRUISE AROUND TOWN FOR A DOG’S-EYE VIEW OF HOLIDAY LIGHTS
For many dogs, going for a ride in the family wagon and gazing at thousands of twinkling lights setting the winter sky a-sparkling is the bestest. Crank up holiday tunes and have a howling good time. It’s a tradition many folks enjoy to get in the holiday spirit.
WHERE TO GO
- Jax Illuminations, Morocco Shrine Center, 3800 St. Johns Bluff Rd. S. • It’s magical—driving amid the colors and styles of holiday lights that sparkle to seasonal music. The popular event runs 6-9:30 p.m. nightly through December, $20/car.
LEASH UP FOR LUMINARIES AND HOLIDAY OUTINGS
Dogs dig bright lights and festive decorations just like we do. Bundle up for outdoor fun—there are oodles of on-leash doings walking through a festive winter wonderland.
WHERE TO GO
- Deck the Chairs, Seawalk Pavilion, First Street North, Jax Beach • This outdoor exhibit of decorated, illuminated lifeguard chairs and community light display brightens the heart of Jax Beach, 4:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. through Jan. 1.
- Nights of Lights, 29 Old Mission Ave., St. Augustine • The Ancient City’s historic area is aglow with millions of tiny white lights make for a dazzling holiday display.
- San Marco Holiday Magic the the Square, 1974 San Marco Blvd., 6 p.m. Dec. 9 • Carolers, Santa & Mrs. Claus photos ops, petting zoo, shops.
- 33rd Annual Light Boat Parade, 7 p.m. Dec. 30, The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown • All manner of boats, creatively decked out in holiday lights, cruise the St. Johns River. Boogie Freaks play 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (on land).
During the season’s hustle and bustle, remember to share your happy spirit with your canine companion. And prioritizing your pet is a great way to stay off Santa’s naughty list!
Davi would never be on anyone’s naughty list. He pinky swears!