7 British Christmas traditions your pup can enjoy this winter

Deck the bells with boughs of holly because Christmas is less than one month away!

Christmas is reported to have been celebrated in the UK since as early as 1038! Over the years, festive traditions from all over the world have become a big part of British culture that we all know and love.

Since Christmas is a time meant for gatherings with family and friends, Barc London highlight a few ways that dog owners can get their pups involved in these long-standing UK customs… enjoy!

1. Opening an advent calendar

An age-old tradition that actually originated in Germany, the opening of advent calendars is one way that children and adults alike get to enjoy the lead up to Christmas. This tradition started with a boy named Gerhard Lang. His mother made him a calendar filled with 24 sweets that were attached to cardboard, one to open each day to the 25th.

Although we’re already in December, it’s not too late to buy your pup a Christmas advent calendar filled with delicious treats! When choosing an advent calendar, make

sure you pick one that is reputable, with healthy treats that are easy for pups to digest. Look out for anything your pup might be allergic to, it’s always wise to choose ones that have high nutritional value.

There are lots of calendars to choose from in the UK, popular ones include Pooch & Mutt and Scrumbles.

2. A stocking to add to the mantelpiece

Another popular tradition that children love is that of Christmas stockings. There’s no definitive answer as to where stocking hanging came from, but it is believed to have originated in the life of Saint Nicholas.

There’s something magical about running down to open stockings on Christmas morning. Packed full of goodies from small toys to candy, these stockings make for a great start to the day. If this is a tradition your family gets involved in, why not let your dog be part of the fun too?

With so many Christmas stockings for dogs now available, your pup will be spoiled for choice with his doggy stocking fillers! Lots of stockings offer personalisation options, so your pet’s name can feature on the mantelpiece with the rest of the family.

3. Wearing a festive outfit or accessory

Christmas jumpers first became popular in the UK in the 1980s. There are lots of factors that influenced the popularity of Christmas jumpers over the years, peaking in 2010 when Amazon reported a spike in sales by 600%.

More recently it is becoming popular for families to don matching festive pyjamas on Christmas day. You can get your pet involved by finding him or her a cute Christmas jumper, or festive accessory such as a collar with bells or Christmas pudding scarf. However, it’s important to remember that whenever you dress your pup up, you should make sure it is comfortable. Don’t force your pet to wear anything it doesn’t want to.

4. Tucking into a Christmas dinner

One of the most looked forward to parts of the day is undoubtedly Christmas dinner. Typically eaten between 1pm and 4pm, a traditional UK Christmas dinner consists of British favourites – roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, pigs in blankets and roasties! Interestingly, it is thought that King Henry VIII was the first English monarch to have turkey for Christmas.

Whilst it’s not a great idea to give your dog leftovers for dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t treat it to its own roast! Lily’s Kitchen provides a popular Three Bird Feast, or if you want to make your own dinner, it’s safe to give your dog:

  • Plain carrot or swede mash
  • Boiled or raw carrots
  • Boiled or steamed greens and cauliflower
  • Boiled parsnips
  • Lean parts of white meat

5. Opening presents under the tree

The history of Christmas trees can be traced back to the use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and candlelit Christmas trees is in fact a German tradition that arrived to the UK in 1840.

Throughout December, presents get added under the tree one by one. I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of curiosity, wondering which gifts are for us. During this time, don’t forget to add gifts to the tree for your furry family members! Dogs love the feeling of unwrapping paper gifts, and it can be so much fun watching them uncover what’s inside.

Popular presents for pups include luxury dog toys and dog walking accessories. And if you want to really spoil your pup, why not buy it a new bed for 2022?

6. Playing games & cuddling up by the fireplace

Playing board games has become synonymous with Christmas day, with many groups of friends and families digging out classics like Monopoly and Cleudo after dinner. Though infamous for often ending in family disputes, these games provide a light-hearted and fun way for the whole family to bond.

This can be a great time to get the toys out for your pup, there’s no reason why they can’t get involved in the fun and games! Always make sure your dog is playing with its new toys in sight, you shouldn’t leave it unsupervised for long periods of time.

After playtime is over, all that’s left to do is curl up in front of the fireplace and binge watch some movies. Most dogs are drawn to heat sources and love sitting near the fireplace, somewhere they can nod off for a well deserved rest. Do make sure your pup isn’t sitting too close to fire, or else it could run the risk of getting startled or burnt by hot embers.

7. Enjoying a Boxing Day walk

There are lots of different thoughts as to how Boxing Day traditions came to be. As to why we call the 26th Boxing Day, no one can decide! The words were first included in the Oxford English Dictionary in the 1830s, which means the day definitely has Victorian roots.

One Boxing Day custom involves wrapping up in warm winter clothes and heading off for a long family walk. This is one tradition in particular that your dog is bound to love! There’s no better way to blow away the cobwebs than to get out of the house and explore your surroundings.

It can be nice to mix things up. Instead of walking your usual route, why not explore somewhere new? You can never go wrong with an amble through the countryside or walk through a pretty park.