There’s an old saying that a photo is worth a thousand words, but in today’s social media landscape a video is worth a million. In addition to taking a holiday photo with your dog this year, how about creating a video that you can share with friends, family — and the world? You can make a simple or elaborate little movie depending on your video skills and your dog’s patience with wearing reindeer antlers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Dogs unwrapping their own gifts makes for a great video. Simply wrap up a dog-safe present that smells good to your dog, and he should tear the paper away from the present with glee. If you’ve wrapped a toy with no scent, include some treats inside the package.
Dogs unwrapping their own presents never gets old. If he’s confused about what do to, practice with him until he understands the game before you start your video.
Similarly, you can give your dog an elaborate gift of something that he really likes, such as a treat-stuffed chew toy or anything else that he’s obsessed with, and record him losing his canine mind as he plays with the gift. So cute. Bonus points if he’s wearing a holiday-themed costume or collar (if he doesn’t like clothes).
This is one of the more elaborate videos you can create, but it has the most impact because it is frankly hilarious. Dress up your dog in a human outfit, such as an ugly Christmas sweater, and then seat him on a chair at a table set up for a holiday meal.
Using a tripod, set up your camera opposite him, as if the camera is a person sitting on the other side of the table. Crouch behind your dog and slip your arms into the sweater. Have someone deliver your dog a meal. Spaghetti is funny, but anything your dog can safely eat will do. Then feed your dog using spoons as if he is a person. You can also feed him by hand.
In postproduction, mute the sound and add holiday music. The result will be a funny, shareable video that has a chance of going viral.
If you live in a place where it snows, keep a holiday collar, costume or ugly holiday sweater nearby for the first big snow of the season. A dog romping through the snow on video never gets tired. Add holiday music and a season’s greetings message, and you’re done. Bonus points if you can get your dog to sled down a hill — but only if he’s enjoying himself.
The easiest video to undertake is the snippet video. This is a great video idea for dogs who won’t tolerate a costume for very long. Dress up your dog — or multiple dogs — in a variety of holiday costumes, such as Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus, an elf, a reindeer, a wrapped present, a Christmas tree, jingle bell collar, wreath collar or in an ugly Christmas sweater.
Next, take snippets of video with your dog looking cute in a variety of holiday-themed backgrounds. Then weave those snippets together and add holiday music for an adorable holiday video.
Thumbnail: Photography ©Dorottya_Mathe Getty Images.
About the author: Nikki Moustaki is a dog trainer, dog rescuer, and pet expert. She splits her time between New York City and Miami Beach, Florida, and is the author of the memoir The Bird Market of Paris. Visit Nikki on Facebook, on Twitter, and at nikkimoustaki.com.
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!