Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Signs Your Dog Has Too Much Holiday Spirit

Written by: Heather Marcoux

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

A dog with reindeer antlers on for the holidays, doesn't look too happy.

10 Signs Your Dog Has Too Much Holiday Spirit

The festive season is upon us, and everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit. But have you ever known someone who exhibited the nearly toxic levels of holiday joy normally reserved for characters in Lifetime movies and those employed by Santa’s Village? If so, you’ve come in contact with the Christmas Fever virus. The bad news: Dogs can catch it, too. The good news: You’re about to learn the signs to spot it.

Unfortunately, the only cure for Christmas Fever is time. Come January your pooch, and any infected humans, will return to normal. You may as well let them infect you. It’ll be over soon enough.

1. He’s actually wearing a sweater

Dog in sweater.
Dog in sweater. Photography N K / Shutterstock.

If your dog goes without clothes 11 months of the year but is suddenly clad in the ugliest, coziest, knitted monstrosity of a sweater that you’ve ever seen come December, he’s got it. Wearing ugly Christmas sweaters is the No. 1 sign of Canine Christmas Fever. And it usually means a human in the house is also infected.

2. He’s so full of “spirit” you can smell it

A dog passing gas. Photography ©WilleeCole | Thinkstock.

The second most common symptom of Canine Christmas Fever is flatulence so festive it might be mistaken for something out of the Yankee Candle factory. If your dog’s gas is sweet yet spicy with a pine top note, you’ve got a confirmed case on your hands.

3. He takes care of the unwrapping

A dog in wrapping and tissue paper.
A dog in wrapping and tissue paper. Photography ©kandypix | Getty Images.

Behavioral symptoms are another issue impacting a CCF patient, who cannot be left alone with wrapped gifts. He’ll paw, scratch and bite at boxes until everything from the scarf you bought for Grandma to the underwear intended for your fiancé is a pile of ungiftable, unreturnable (and unmentionable, in the case of the underwear), dog slobber-covered merchandise.

4. He kidnaps the elf

Elf on the shelf.
Elf on the shelf. Photography ©Sunshine | Alamy Stock Photos.

A symptom added to the list in the last decade — a canine who becomes possessive of his family’s Elf on the Shelf. If your Elf on the Shelf becomes Elf on the Dog Bed, you know your dog is as sick as the person who came up with that ridiculous tradition in the first place.

5. He’s barking to the beat of mall music

A beagle dog howling.
A beagle dog howling or singing. Photography ©srugina | Thinkstock.

If you’re not sure if your dog has CCF, turn on the Christmas tunes. When Mariah Carey hits the high note in All I Want for Christmas, so will a CCF-infected dog. Unlike Mariah, he won’t stop.

6. He’s stalking the stockings

Dog looking in holiday stocking.
Dog looking in holiday stocking. Photography ©WilleeCole | Getty Images.

Many dogs are obsessed with socks all year-round, so how do you know if a dog who’s sniffing around the Christmas stockings is a CCF sufferer or just a dog with a regular, year-round sock fetish? If he takes them and chews them, he’s a normal dog. If he takes them and wears them, he’s got the fever.

7. He’s always waiting under the mistletoe

A dog under holiday mistletoe.
A dog under holiday mistletoe. Photography ©Holly Hildreth Photography.

It’s a trap, human! Don’t be fooled by cute doggie kisses, or you’ll end up in an ugly Christmas sweater, too. CCF passes through saliva!

8. He’s become tangled up in Christmas lights

Dog in Santa hat wrapped up in Christmas lights.
A dog in a Santa hat wrapped up in Christmas lights. Photography ©Holly Hildreth Photography.

Did you think all those Christmas card photos were a human idea? Please.

9. The dog tag hanging from his collar now reads “Rudolph”

Dog in holiday reindeer outfit with Santa.
A dog in a holiday reindeer outfit with Santa. Photography ©damedeeso | Getty Images.

This is more proof of an interspecies cluster of cases. Hold a family meeting. Demand to know who ordered this. Confiscate her Mastercard.

10. He’s watered the tree

A happy dog with a Christmas tree and presents. Photography © Ljupco | Thinkstock.
A dog with a Christmas tree and presents. Photography © Ljupco | Thinkstock.

A dog filled with the festive infection will attempt to spread it by “watering” any tree you bring into the home. If he’s hydrating the spruce, Holiday Hot Dogitis is on the loose in your home.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about the holidays with dogs on

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.