two Christmas dogs posing together

104 Christmas Card Ideas With Dogs

We are often asked to share Christmas card ideas with dogs. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Boxing Day, dogs are a part of the festivities.

Consider including your dogs in this year’s holiday photo shoot. You can insert a photo in your snail mail cards or make the photo the main theme of the card.

Over the past 12 years, we’ve collected thousands of dog photos received during our annual holiday contests. Keeping these Christmas and holiday photos to ourselves would be a crime.

These creative card ideas are sure to make your holiday card stand out on someone’s mantle and are oh-so-perfect for framing, too.

Some of these are poses, some are creative crafts with little effort, and others are permanent keepsakes to inspire the recipients. Here are our favorite 104 Christmas card ideas with dogs.

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also an Etsy and Chewy affiliate.

Homemade Christmas Card Ideas With Dogs

Custom Paw Stamper

I wanted to sign my dog’s pawprint on each Christmas card a few years ago. I am glad I took on this project because my precious Dexter has since passed away.

Instead of having him press his paw to several dozen cards, I ordered a custom pawprint stamper from a seller on Etsy.

I stamped each card with his pawprint, and many people commented on how wonderful it looked.

Custom pawprint holiday dogtcard

Frame Your Dog Photo

Most of us have a photo of our dog running through the snow, outside in the snow, or in some capacity near or around the white wintery stuff.

Purchase holiday card photo frames on Amazon and insert your dog’s photo into the frame. I’ve done this several times for Christmas cards with my dogs, and it’s always a fun project.

You can even pair the card with the pawprint custom stamp as seen above for a finishing touch.

Take the snow theme to the next level and stuff a few mini confetti snowflakes from Amazon into the card. When the recipient opens your card, snowflakes gently fall out.

Dog in snow on a holiday card

Holiday Card Paw Project

My friend Colleen O’Fallon, of Sweet Paws Bakery, does something very clever with her daycare clients, so I am sharing this idea here.

Colleen has fun doing arts and crafts with the dogs all year round. She sends the dogs home with a personalized piece of artwork. For the holidays, you can borrow this idea.

She uses a pet-safe Crayola Washable Paints to get an actual pawprint to start. She then paints the dog’s paw using a small paintbrush.

Next, she draws something “around” the paw. Think Santa’s sleigh, a snowman, the paw as the center of a wreath, and so on.

Here are a few ideas she used for previous holidays. Think of how adorable these designs would look on the front of a dog holiday card.

Custom dog paw holiday card ideas

Customized Photo Ornament Cards

Trim the tree and gift your recipients with a personalized ornament “card” that becomes a permanent keepsake. Photo services like Shutterfly sell packs of these.

Most of them come with a ribbon for hanging, which means your dog card becomes a permanent part of someone’s holiday traditions every year.

Custom ornament photo card
Photo from

Christmas Card Photo Ideas With Dogs

If you plan to include your dog(s) in your Christmas or holiday cards, we’ve curated 100 photo ideas you can borrow for inspiration.

A few tips when taking photos of your dogs for holiday cards:

  1. Never put a dog in harm’s way.
  2. Don’t yell or shout at a dog for not cooperating.
  3. Try a long walk or playing with your dog first. A tired dog is more likely to cooperate.
  4. Don’t expect your dog to pose for a half hour to an hour. Have the background set up and try a few shots without your dog. You’ll get a better idea of where and how to position him.
  5. Don’t feel that you have to go over the top. If simple is more your style, we’ve got you covered in the list below.
  6. We will link to some holiday props and dog costumes at the bottom of this post.

BONUS TIP: If you are at a loss for what to say on your Christmas/holiday cards or social media, consider our 215 Best Christmas Quotes, Puns, and Sayings.

A pack of pups makes for the perfect Christmas or holiday card.

pack of dogs pose for Christmas

Beach baby, Santa is ready for you. Take a cute beach shot if you live in a warmer climate.

santa dog on beach

Ask Santa and Mrs. Claus to be a part of your Christmas card this year. Your dog makes for a perfect addition.

mr and mrs claus dogs

Sharing is caring. An attitude of gratitude makes for a beautiful Christmas card idea.

ready for santa with dogs

All wrapped up in love and lights can be your holiday card theme.

two dogs with lights for christmas card

If you’ve got a pack of dogs, line them up all together in holiday apparel by the tree.

pack of dogs for Santa

Santa loves all of God’s creatures great and small. Take a photo of Santa snuggling your dog.

dog in wheelchair ready for santa

These Cocker Spaniels are waiting for Santa. Stand outside, get your dogs’ attention and have someone snap photos inside.

three cockers looking for Santa

If you send out New Year’s card, consider a pair of new year’s glasses.

dog poses for new year

Cookies for Santa is always a fun, sweet photo op.

cookies for santa photo card

One elf, one Santa Claus, and you’ve got the sweetest holiday card photo.

cute dogs ready for santa

A beautiful Manger scene pays honor to the reason for the season with respect.

manger photo shoot with dogs

Totally original, totally unique, and totally memorable. This holiday card is amazing.

Dog photo contest Christmas

A simple yet elegant ornament and lights serve as the perfect compliments to a Christmas card.

dog poses for holiday card with ornament

An outtake can be even better than the original. Everyone is laughing in this photo!

Christmas card funny dog

I wish I may, I wish I might, call upon Santa tonight. Photos by the fireplace.

dog looks up for Christmas card

A professional photo shoot like this one can really make for a memorable photo and card.

Cocker Spaniel in a sled for Christmas card

Dashing through the snow is a fun and easy way to capture the spirit of the season.

snow running dog for photo

Celebrate Hanukkah in style with your dog on the front of your holiday cards.

Hanukkah dog photo

If your reindeer falls asleep on the job, start snapping photos.

reindeer dog napping

Using Christmas decorations and some costume fun, you can create holiday card magic from the comfort of home.

two dogs ready for christmas card photo shoot

There’s no business like snow business.

Christmas contest dog winners

Have your dog “write” a letter to Santa Paws.

Dog writes letter to Santa for card

You’ve got the perfect Christmas card when your dogs’ expressions are priceless.

antlers dogs reindeer

Dashing through the snow in a one-dog open sleigh. Here’s a clever idea.

dog sled for christmas card

A basket of puppies is the pinnacle of a Christmas card idea.

little dogs in basket christmas

May the light of the Menorah shine brightly in your life.

Happy Hanukkah dog

Four calling birds, er canines.

four dogs ready for christmas

How about an elegant New Year’s card featuring your glammed-out dog?

happy new year idea for dog card

Don’t be elfish. Showcase Santa’s little helper on your Christmas cards.

Christmas card idea for dog fun

Santa’s little reindeer is ready to roll!

dog in wheelchair ready for Santa

Santa Baby put some presents under my tree.

cute dog in hat for christmas

Recognize and honor members of the military who are far from home.

military card for santa

Consider photos taken from behind your dog for a sweet, tender effect like this.

Santa's little yelper on couch

If your dogs are into fashion like these darlings, you must consider them as your card focal point.

Cute Christmas dogs

A snowfall makes for the perfect winter photo and Christmas card idea.

snow dog for christmas card

Hail, hail the gang’s all here for a canine holiday photo shoot.

four dogs sitting pretty for Christmas card

Don’t overthink it. The best photos are often the simple, sweet ones like this pup.

Santa hat dog

It doesn’t get more touching than this. Santa reached his paw out to his best canine buddy.

Dog shakes Santa arm for card

Antlers and a Santa sign: Christmas card photo complete.

Santa stop here Christmas card dog

These Shelties are taking the whole “let it snow” theme to a whole new level.

Dogs sitting in snow for holiday card

Waiting up for Santa is captured so beautifully here.

Dog looking up at Santa near Christmas tree

For those with canine and feline family members, have some holiday fun.

funny christmas card idea for card

Sulley and Dee are happy about Santa’s big piece of canine candy.

Dogs with Santa Claus

All is calm and all is bright for these three sleepy Golden Retrievers ready for Santa.

three sleeping Christmas dogs

Santa Paws, is that you?

Dog dressed as Santa for Christmas card

Some ribbon and a holiday backdrop create a memorable holiday card.

Christmas lights for card with dog

Professional photographers often offer themed photo shoots for the holidays.

dog at frosty cafe christmas

Your dogs’ Halloween costumes can double as a Christmas card photo. See?

Christmas dogs in outfits

Coffee and canines. Can life get any better?

Christmas card ideas for dogs coffee

This little Terrier is sending his letter to Santa right away. What a cute Christmas card photo!

Santa dog with mail

Don’t shoot your eye out, Ralphie. Pose for the holiday card photo instead. So cute!

Christmas card ideas funny dog

Mommy kisses Santa Claus but so do good doggies!

Dog kissing Santa for Christmas card

And to all a good night.

Christmas card ideas for dogs

Creative Photoshopping: Frosty doesn’t need two arms after all.

Holiday card for dog lovers

Fans of the movie “A Christmas Story” will love this scene.

A Christmas Story for dog lovers

Include the dog in your baking plans

Dog chef for holiday card

Writing a canine letter to Santa: Creativity at its finest

Write a dog letter to Santa

“If we stay real quiet, Santa will shimmy down the chimney soon”

Dogs waiting for Santa

Three Wise Men: ‘Nuff Said

Away in a Manager dog scene

Simple says it all: A dog playing with ornaments on a clean white background

Dog playing with ornaments

Janice Bryant (no relation) never ceases to amaze with her Border Collie rescue dogs for her holiday photo

Border collie Christmas

Silent Night, Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in His Head

Silent Night dog

Somebody had one too many doggie biscuits for New Year’s: Creative and funny!

Happy New year dog

Just a little ribbon and a cute dog: Christmas Card fun!

Ribbon on Christmas Dog

Props from the pet supply store lend themselves well to this adorable Hanukkah photo

Dog celebrating Hanukkah

One part Santa hat, one part adorable dog, one part menorah: Holidays covered!

Close up of Great Dane

Check for Halloween clearance sales and make a fun costume like this: a previous contest winner!

Dog holiday card

Simple. Elegant. Beautiful. Easy to do with some ribbon.

Christmas themed card dog

The whole family can get in on the Christmas card fun!

Sleigh ride dog

A beautiful religious themed sentiment from Chico of Stella Panzarino

Dog religious theme card

 A family affair of Snowball fun: Why not? How clever is this!

Snowball dogs

You can’t go wrong with a photo of a cute dog, milk, and cookies for Santa

Santa milk and cookies dog

Make the dog the present by the tree: Coco’s mom, Christine Aiello, thinks outside the box on this one

Dog Christmas present

Let there be light

Dog with Christmas lights

Embrace your Surfin’ Santa if snow is not in your forecast

Beach dog Christmas photo

Dashing through the snow: Consider an action shot!

Dog in snow running

Merge the dog’s house with the Christmas tree

Dog by Christmas tree

Take a current popular character (or a timeless one) like Olaf next to your dog

Disney Olaf with Cocker

Sometimes less is more, and these two elves are adorable and card ready

Dog elves

Think Pink (or another color) for a unique card!

Pink Christmas card dog

Take a familiar shot and snap it at a different angle: How precious is this?!

Santa Dog

You have to do an antlers pose

Dog Christmas card antlers

Take advantage of scenery for the holidays, as Ryan Jordan did with Quincy and Bentley

Posing in front of poinsettias

A cute background with dogs and scarves: Easy and totes adorbs!

Cute dogs for Christmas

Some photos are just made for cards

Picking up the Christmas tree

Some of us are naughty, others nice: You decide

Naughty christmas dogs

Holiday sweaters are everywhere these days: Grab one, pose your dog by the tree, and there you go: (thanks Jose and Rex)

Christmas dog

A hat and a beard: Instant Santa Paws

Santa dog

Cutest snow dog ever: Again, apparel can make a photo pop

Queen of Dog Christmas

A simple window photo says it all:

Dog waiting for Santa

White background, dogs in red: Winner winner!

Pugs ready for Santa

Humor for sure!

Funny dog Christmas card

Rudolph x5: Imagine how fast Santa will get his chores done (Judi G with the Tzu Kids)

Pack of reindeer dogs

Phoenix and Gryphon represent a favorite Christmas duo

Freeze Miser Heat Miser dogs

Gingerbread is a fun photo theme (thx Colleen O’Fallon)

Gingerbread dogs

The Cattle Aussies have a great idea: Three different dogs, three different props, perfect pic!

Stocking time

A fantastic background with agility poles and holiday decor

Dog Christmas card

A cute Halloween costume makes a fantastic photo card for Christmas

Christmas card dog

All snuggled up, waiting for Santa – great background makes for a fantastic card

Dog Christmas card

Holiday Props and Dog Costumes

Here are some of our favorite Christmas and holiday decorations and costumes for dogs to use in your photo shoots:

Christmas Elk and Reindeer Antlers: A two-pack headband style of antlers for dogs.

Four Pack of Dog Christmas Bandanas: These dog scarves for ideal for dogs of all sizes and perfect for holiday photo shoots.

Dog Santa Hat and Scarf Set: Gift this set or use it for your dog during the holidays and beyond.

Letters to Santa Mailbox: Makes a perfect prop or a regular decoration all season long.

Dog Pajamas: Some of my favorite pajamas come from Fuzzyard. They are warm and machine washable and hold up for years.

So there you have them: Over 100 ideas for holiday cards for dogs. Do you include your dog in or on your holiday cards?

Watch for our yearly holiday contests coming up!!! Win prizes!!

104 Christmas card ideas for dogs


  1. I was just smiling all the way through this post! The images are just great! Love getting the dog on a Christmas card.

  2. Too cute! I can’t get over the creativity of dressing the dogs up and posing them for pictures like this. My dogs would never sit still in a scene long enough to snap some of these shots.

  3. Oh my goodness! Some of those cards are killing me, lol. How do I sign up on the good girl list so I can get a Dexter signed card? 😉

  4. Oh My I love all the ideas!! Such a great article that gets the creative juices flowing for a holiday card this year! Thank you for including Abby and Parker in front of the gingerbread house and our doggy daycare paw art!

  5. Love al these ideas! My favorite is the idea to use the dog’s paw print and then draw something around it to make it festive — so adorable! I’ll have to look into the custom stamp you got too! I’ve painted my cats paw prints (with pet safe paint) and had them sign cards and stuff for my husband, but now that I have five cats, it is such a fiasco to get them all to “sign” a card. Having a custom stamp to do it is a great idea!

  6. i dont send out cards very much b/c dont celebrate christmas, but i have always included my dogs in my holiday cards. i know people that have new cards done every yr. i save them.

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