As the winter chill creeps in and homes begin to glow with holiday enchantment, there’s a certain magic in snuggling up with your nearest and dearest. This holiday season, let’s fully embrace the cozy vibes and enjoy some heartwarming holiday dog movies with your furbabies. From the twinkling charm of Christmas lights to the fresh promise of the New Year, we’ve curated a list of the top holiday dog movies that are bound to bring you joy, laughter, and maybe even a few teary-eyed moments. So, grab your pup, get comfy on the couch, and let’s celebrate the special bond between humans and their canine pals.
1. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”
Storyline: One of the best holiday dog movies that deserves to be first on our list. Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang grapple with the chaos and comedy of organizing a Thanksgiving dinner, which brings out the true meaning of the holiday: gratitude, kindness, and love.
Why We Love It: Recognizable by most people, young and old, this is one of the best holiday dog movies every made. The simplicity and heart in this tale remind us that holidays are about togetherness, not just the trimmings.
2. “The Dog Who Saved Christmas”
Storyline: Zeus, a former K-9 police hero, is now a laid-back family pet. He gets a chance to utilize his skills again when burglars threaten his home during the holidays, providing ample humor and action for all ages.
Why We Love It: This fun-filled tale reinforces the idea that every dog has its day, and the protective nature of our furry friends can come in the most unexpected and comedic ways.
3. “A Dog Named Christmas”
Storyline: Todd, a young man with developmental challenges, inspires his community and family when he sets out to find homes for shelter dogs during the holidays, reminding everyone about the joys of compassion and animal adoption.
Why We Love It: The film radiates warmth and the importance of inclusivity, as well as the impact that one person (and many dogs) can have on a community.
4. “12 Dogs of Christmas”
Storyline: When Emma O’Connor is sent to live with her aunt in the small town of Doverville, she uses her love for dogs to rally the town against a no-dogs law and teaches them the true meaning of Christmas in the process.
Why We Love It: It’s one of the holiday dog movies that combines the joy of pets with the holiday spirit, highlighting the power of youthful determination and community.
5. “Santa Paws”
Storyline: When Santa Claus loses his memory, the fates of Christmas and a group of talking puppies become intertwined. Together, they embark on a journey to save the spirit of Christmas around the world.
Why We Love It: It’s a magical tale that infuses the Christmas spirit with the endearing qualities of our canine friends, all while teaching about the power of belief and generosity.
6. “Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure”
Storyline: Beethoven, the lovable St. Bernard, embarks on a snowy adventure during the holidays to return a lost elf to the North Pole and recover Santa’s magical toy bag from greedy thieves.
Why We Love It: Beethoven’s misadventures and acts of heroism are both touching and hilarious, showcasing the bond between children and pets during the festive season.
7. “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”
Storyline: Two dogs and a cat embark on a treacherous trek across the Rocky Mountains to reunite with their family, showing the strength of animal instincts and the unwavering bond between pets and their owners.
Why We Love It: It is an inspiring adventure that celebrates loyalty, courage, and the concept of family, both human and animal.
8. “The Search for Santa Paws”
Storyline: When Santa Claus loses his memory in New York City, it’s up to his new friend, Paws, to save Christmas. Along the way, they inspire new friends with the true spirit of the holiday season.
Why We Love It: With its touching narrative on the power of belief and giving, this movie captures the essence of Christmas through the eyes of lovable pups.
9. “Lady and the Tramp”
Storyline: In this timeless Disney classic, a refined Cocker Spaniel named Lady and a street-smart mutt named Tramp find love and adventure, and the joy of the holidays brings them even closer together.
Why We Love It: Beyond the romance and adventure, it’s a film that celebrates the festive season as a time for love, regardless of one’s background.
10. “101 Dalmatians”
Storyline: When a litter of Dalmatian puppies is abducted by the villainous Cruella De Vil, their parents must save them before she turns them into an extravagant fur coat, leading to a daring rescue on Christmas Eve.
Why We Love It: It’s a thrilling tale of bravery and the indomitable canine spirit, with a festive backdrop adding to the stakes.
11. “Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws”
Storyline: The Buddies—B-Dawg, Budderball, Buddha, Mudbud, and Rosebud journey to the North Pole to save Christmas with Puppy Paws, the playful son of Santa Paws.
Why We Love It: This movie is packed with adorable puppies learning the true meaning of Christmas, promoting messages of generosity and friendship.
12. “The Search for Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups”
Storyline: A group of playful pups stow away on Mrs. Claus’s sled and find themselves in Pineville, where they spread the Christmas spirit to everyone they meet.
Why We Love It: The Santa Paws series is one of the most watched holiday dog movies. This sequel features an all-new canine cast spreading holiday cheer, emphasizing the joy and goodwill of the season.
13. “Jingle All the Way”
Storyline: While not centrally about dogs, this film features a father’s hilarious journey to find a Turbo-Man action figure for his son during the holiday rush, and includes a reindeer as part of the festive mayhem.
Why We Love It: It’s a comedic reflection on the lengths parents will go to make their children’s holiday wishes come true, sprinkled with heartwarming moments.
14. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Storyline: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, attempts to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. Although not a dog movie, Jack’s ghost-dog, Zero, plays a sweet supporting role.
Why We Love It: Zero’s loyalty to Jack adds a touching element to this tale of discovering and appreciating one’s own identity and culture.
15. “Merry Madagascar”
Storyline: The “Madagascar” animals end up on an unexpected holiday adventure involving Santa and his reindeer. Though the central characters are not dogs, this animated feature is full of festive fun suitable for all ages.
Why We Love It: We love holiday dog movies that showcase themes of friendship, teamwork, and the joy of giving.
Rating: Not Rated
16. “Olive, the Other Reindeer”
Storyline: A heartwarming tale about a dog named Olive who, after a misunderstanding, believes she must replace one of Santa’s reindeer in order to save Christmas.
Why We Love It: Olive’s misadventures are not only humorous but also inspire determination and the belief that everyone has a place in making holiday miracles happen.
Rating: Not Rated
17. “Snow Dogs”
Storyline: A Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs and learns the true meaning of trust and belonging in the frosty climes of Alaska.
Why We Love It: It’s a hilarious and heartwarming holiday dog movie that encourages us to embrace new experiences and communities, no matter how unfamiliar they may be.
18. “Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story”
Storyline: While this movie primarily revolves around a cat, it also features a charming dog too. The story follows Zachary, a handsome fireman who finds himself taking care of a stray cat named Ambrose. As he navigates his new life with Ambrose, he meets Marilee, a veterinary student, and her dog, leading to a blossoming romance set against the backdrop of the holiday season.
Why We Love It: Our list of holiday dog movies would be complete without Benji! Benji’s innocent perspective on the festive season reminds us of the universal joy and peace that the holidays should bring to all creatures.
Rating: Not Rated
19. “The Nine Lives of Christmas”
Storyline: Though not a traditional holiday film, this family movie features a heroic dog that helps save a golden bear during the holiday season.
Why We Love It: “The Nine Lives of Christmas” is a delightful holiday romance that showcases the impact pets can have on our lives. It’s a heartwarming tale that combines the joy of Christmas with the theme of unexpected love and the special bond between humans and their pets.
20. “The Dog Who Saved the Holidays”
Storyline: The Bannister family’s dog, Zeus, is on a mission to save his home during Christmas from a pair of burglars.
Why We Love It: The Dog Who Saved the Holidays is an entertaining and comical take on the ‘home alone’ scenario, with a heroic canine twist.
21. “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation”
Storyline: This sequel to “The Dog Who Saved Christmas” follows Zeus, the heroic former K-9 dog, as he heads to a Colorado ski lodge for a family vacation during the holidays. There, he befriends a new canine and together they thwart a pair of thieves planning to steal the lodge’s priceless belongings.
Why We Love It: Holiday dog movies that combine the excitement of a holiday adventure with the charm of canine heroes are so fun to watch with the family. It showcases the bravery and loyalty of dogs, set against the backdrop of a picturesque winter holiday.
22. “The Christmas Shepherd”
Storyline: This heartwarming holiday movie tells the story of an author and widow whose life is turned upside down when her beloved German Shepherd, Buddy, goes missing during a storm. When Buddy is found by a single father and his daughter, an unexpected romance begins, bringing the spirit of Christmas and love into their lives.
Why We Love It: This sequel is filled with cute puppies and a heartwarming story that reinforces the essence of what the holiday spirit truly is.
23. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
Storyline: A college student faces a series of comedic and touching adventures as he tries to return home by Christmas to claim his father’s Porsche. Along the way, a series of pet mishaps add to the hilarity.
Why We Love It: This holiday road trip movie with a touch of canine charm underscores the importance of family during the holiday season.
24. “Angels in the Snow”
Storyline: The Montgomery family, struggling with internal conflicts, find themselves trapped in a cabin during a snowstorm over the holidays. Their unexpected encounter with another family and their loyal dog leads to heartwarming moments and lessons about the importance of family and the holiday spirit.
Why We Love It: This film offers a touching narrative about family reconciliation and the joy of the holiday season, with the presence of a faithful dog adding to the warmth and charm of the story. It’s a great reminder of the value of togetherness and understanding, especially during the holidays.
Rating: Not Rated
25. “The Christmas Collar”
Storyline: While not focused on dogs, Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s lovable beagle, steals the show with his doghouse decorations and reminds us of the simpler things in life.
Why We Love It: Snoopy’s antics provide comic relief and a whimsical counterbalance to Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas.
Rating: Not Rated
26. “Deck the Halls”
Storyline: Two neighbors have a feud over one’s decision to decorate his house with enough lights to be seen from space, and the dogs in their lives add to the comedy and resolution.
Why We Love It: The presence of loyal and comedic pets highlights the message of coming together despite differences to celebrate the holiday spirit.
27. “Frosty the Snowman”
Storyline: In this animated classic, Frosty the Snowman comes to life with a magical hat, and while there are no central dog characters, the joyful spirit appeals to all animal lovers.
Why We Love It: It’s a timeless story of winter magic and the enduring belief in life’s miracles, something that resonates with the unconditional love of pets.
Rating: Not Rated
28. “The Grinch”
Storyline: The Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville, but his loyal dog, Max, shows true companionship and holiday spirit.
Why We Love It: Max’s unwavering loyalty to the Grinch and his role in the heartwarming transformation of his owner captures the essence of holiday forgiveness and friendship.
29. “An All Dogs Christmas Carol”
Storyline: In this animated twist on the classic Dickens tale, Charlie and Itchy try to stop Carface from ruining Christmas for a group of orphans.
Why We Love It: The movie promotes the spirit of giving and redemption with a canine cast that can melt any heart.
30. “A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale”
Storyline: It may be numbered 30 on our list of holiday dog movies, but we saved the best for last! In A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale, Luce, a spoiled college student, is tasked with walking a wealthy developer’s dog. Luce learns a construction project will tear down the dog park. She becomes determined to save the park, and discovers the true spirit of Christmas and the value of community in the process.
Why We Love It: As far as holiday dog movies go, this one tops the VIP Pets list for featuring a main character in the pet care industry. It’s charming holiday story that combines romance, personal growth, and the love of dogs.
Rating: Not Rated
THE FINAL BARK ON HOLIDAY DOG MOVIES
As our cinematic journey with our furry co-stars comes to a heartwarming end, it’s time to turn our attention from the screen to another important aspect of movie night – the snacks! What’s a festive film fest without something to nibble on, after all? Check out our article on Dog-Friendly Movie Night Snacks for homemade popcorn recipes that the whole family can enjoy!
As the final credits roll on one of these holiday dog movies, and the last of the popcorn is shared, we’re reminded of the simple pleasures that define the holiday season. These 30 holiday dog movies are more than just stories; they are treasured moments where every bark and tail wag resonates with the heartbeats of our families. They remind us of the love, resilience, and joy that our furry friends bring into our lives, especially during the times we celebrate the most.
So, as you gather close with your loved ones, both human and pet alike, let these holiday dog movies fill your home with laughter, warmth, and the timeless spirit of the season. Here’s to creating new memories and cherishing the old – all with a paw on our laps and love in our hearts.