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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Never put a dog in harm’s way.
- Don’t yell or shout at a dog for not cooperating.
- Try a long walk or playing with your dog first. A tired dog is more likely to cooperate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Beach baby, Santa is ready for you. Take a cute beach shot if you live in a warmer climate.
Ask Santa and Mrs. Claus to be a part of your Christmas card this year. Your dog makes for a perfect addition.
Sharing is caring. An attitude of gratitude makes for a beautiful Christmas card idea.
All wrapped up in love and lights can be your holiday card theme.
If you’ve got a pack of dogs, line them up all together in holiday apparel by the tree.
Santa loves all of God’s creatures great and small. Take a photo of Santa snuggling your dog.
These Cocker Spaniels are waiting for Santa. Stand outside, get your dogs’ attention and have someone snap photos inside.
If you send out New Year’s card, consider a pair of new year’s glasses.
Cookies for Santa is always a fun, sweet photo op.
One elf, one Santa Claus, and you’ve got the sweetest holiday card photo.
A beautiful Manger scene pays honor to the reason for the season with respect.
Totally original, totally unique, and totally memorable. This holiday card is amazing.
A simple yet elegant ornament and lights serve as the perfect compliments to a Christmas card.
An outtake can be even better than the original. Everyone is laughing in this photo!
I wish I may, I wish I might, call upon Santa tonight. Photos by the fireplace.
A professional photo shoot like this one can really make for a memorable photo and card.
Dashing through the snow is a fun and easy way to capture the spirit of the season.
Celebrate Hanukkah in style with your dog on the front of your holiday cards.
If your reindeer falls asleep on the job, start snapping photos.
Using Christmas decorations and some costume fun, you can create holiday card magic from the comfort of home.
There’s no business like snow business.
Have your dog “write” a letter to Santa Paws.
You’ve got the perfect Christmas card when your dogs’ expressions are priceless.
Dashing through the snow in a one-dog open sleigh. Here’s a clever idea.
A basket of puppies is the pinnacle of a Christmas card idea.
May the light of the Menorah shine brightly in your life.
Four calling birds, er canines.
How about an elegant New Year’s card featuring your glammed-out dog?
Don’t be elfish. Showcase Santa’s little helper on your Christmas cards.
Santa’s little reindeer is ready to roll!
Santa Baby put some presents under my tree.
Recognize and honor members of the military who are far from home.
Consider photos taken from behind your dog for a sweet, tender effect like this.
If your dogs are into fashion like these darlings, you must consider them as your card focal point.
A snowfall makes for the perfect winter photo and Christmas card idea.
Hail, hail the gang’s all here for a canine holiday photo shoot.
Don’t overthink it. The best photos are often the simple, sweet ones like this pup.
It doesn’t get more touching than this. Santa reached his paw out to his best canine buddy.
Antlers and a Santa sign: Christmas card photo complete.
These Shelties are taking the whole “let it snow” theme to a whole new level.
Waiting up for Santa is captured so beautifully here.
For those with canine and feline family members, have some holiday fun.
Sulley and Dee are happy about Santa’s big piece of canine candy.
All is calm and all is bright for these three sleepy Golden Retrievers ready for Santa.
Santa Paws, is that you?
Some ribbon and a holiday backdrop create a memorable holiday card.
Professional photographers often offer themed photo shoots for the holidays.
Your dogs’ Halloween costumes can double as a Christmas card photo. See?
Coffee and canines. Can life get any better?
This little Terrier is sending his letter to Santa right away. What a cute Christmas card photo!
Don’t shoot your eye out, Ralphie. Pose for the holiday card photo instead. So cute!
Mommy kisses Santa Claus but so do good doggies!
And to all a good night.
Creative Photoshopping: Frosty doesn’t need two arms after all.
Fans of the movie “A Christmas Story” will love this scene.
Include the dog in your baking plans
Writing a canine letter to Santa: Creativity at its finest
“If we stay real quiet, Santa will shimmy down the chimney soon”
Three Wise Men: ‘Nuff Said
Simple says it all: A dog playing with ornaments on a clean white background
Janice Bryant (no relation) never ceases to amaze with her Border Collie rescue dogs for her holiday photo
Silent Night, Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in His Head
Somebody had one too many doggie biscuits for New Year’s: Creative and funny!
Just a little ribbon and a cute dog: Christmas Card fun!
Props from the pet supply store lend themselves well to this adorable Hanukkah photo
One part Santa hat, one part adorable dog, one part menorah: Holidays covered!
Check for Halloween clearance sales and make a fun costume like this: a previous contest winner!
Simple. Elegant. Beautiful. Easy to do with some ribbon.
The whole family can get in on the Christmas card fun!
A beautiful religious themed sentiment from Chico of Stella Panzarino
A family affair of Snowball fun: Why not? How clever is this!
You can’t go wrong with a photo of a cute dog, milk, and cookies for Santa
Make the dog the present by the tree: Coco’s mom, Christine Aiello, thinks outside the box on this one
Let there be light
Embrace your Surfin’ Santa if snow is not in your forecast
Dashing through the snow: Consider an action shot!
Merge the dog’s house with the Christmas tree
Take a current popular character (or a timeless one) like Olaf next to your dog
Sometimes less is more, and these two elves are adorable and card ready
Think Pink (or another color) for a unique card!
Take a familiar shot and snap it at a different angle: How precious is this?!
You have to do an antlers pose
Take advantage of scenery for the holidays, as Ryan Jordan did with Quincy and Bentley
A cute background with dogs and scarves: Easy and totes adorbs!
Some photos are just made for cards
Some of us are naughty, others nice: You decide
Holiday sweaters are everywhere these days: Grab one, pose your dog by the tree, and there you go: (thanks Jose and Rex)
A hat and a beard: Instant Santa Paws
Cutest snow dog ever: Again, apparel can make a photo pop
A simple window photo says it all:
White background, dogs in red: Winner winner!
Humor for sure!
Rudolph x5: Imagine how fast Santa will get his chores done (Judi G with the Tzu Kids)
Phoenix and Gryphon represent a favorite Christmas duo
Gingerbread is a fun photo theme (thx Colleen O’Fallon)
The Cattle Aussies have a great idea: Three different dogs, three different props, perfect pic!
A fantastic background with agility poles and holiday decor
A cute Halloween costume makes a fantastic photo card for Christmas
All snuggled up, waiting for Santa – great background makes for a fantastic 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!!