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photos with santa

Tips for Making Pet Photos with Santa as Smooth as Possible

Did you hear? We’re hosting Pet Photos With Santa again!

For a minimum $10 donation, you can get photos of your pet with Santa. Last year, this fundraiser allowed us to donate $3,100 to local charities! We’d love to beat that this year so bring down your pets and/or family down for a super cute photo with Saint Nick.

When: Sunday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24, 11 AM – 4 PM

Where: at Mother Nature, 7050 Duncan Street, Powell River

Cost: $10 Donation (all proceeds are donated to local charity groups)

Getting photos taken with Santa can be a bit of a scary experience for some pets. They’re surrounded by a whole bunch of other animals and people they don’t know, they’re in a new place that smells strange, and you want them to sit by a large bearded stranger for pictures. Some pets are thrilled with this sort of attention, but some are a little more nervous. We’ve got a few tips to help make it go as smoothly as possible.

  1. If your dog is not friendly with other animals, don’t stress them—not to mention other pets!—out by forcing them into a situation where they’re surrounded by animals and people they don’t know. If your dog doesn’t love to be around lots of other dogs, or if they are reactive on leash, its best to let them stay home where they feel safe and comfortable. We have plenty of cute holiday pet apparel for taking photos at home!
  2. Keep your dog on a leash, and keep cats in their carrier or on a leash. Since there will be lots of dogs around, cats are best kept in carriers for their own safety. They should also be wearing a leash and collar or harness when you take them out for the photo.
  3. Tire your dog out before you head over for photos. Take them for a good long walk, or a long session of fetch, before you arrive for photos. If they work out most of their energy beforehand, they should be calmer and easier to handle. If your dog is one of those that doesn’t ever seem to calm down after a long walk, try some calming treats a half-hour before arriving to help them chill out a little bit. 
  4. Perfect your dog’s ‘sit’ command. While Santa can usually hold little dogs for photos, he can’t make any guarantees with the bigger ones! Pictures with Santa work best if dogs can sit on the ground by Santa’s feet, or on the bench next to Santa.
  5. Bring your pet’s favourite treat or toy to help keep their attention for photos. If your pet is food-motivated, bring something really high-value, like chunks of hot dog, chicken, or stew-beef. There will be a lot of distracting sights, sounds, and smells going on around your pet, so make sure whatever you have is more important to them than the temptations in the environment. If your pet is not food-motivated, bring their favourite toy or whatever else motivates them to focus on you.
  6. Reward them right after they finish posing—because they’re awesome and did this thing for you! Then, take them home to relax. Holiday photos can be a sensory-overload for pets, and if you hope to convince them to go next year, the experience needs to end on a high note. After a big adventure, like photos with Santa, some quiet downtime with a stuffed Kong or a bone to chew on is a good idea.

We’re super excited for Pet Photos with Santa! We can’t wait to see all the wagging tails and friendly faces and meet your best buddies at our garden center next week!

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