Christmas Day in the Kennels

Ever wondered what Christmas Day at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home looks like? Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes to see what our animals and team get up to.

Christmas Day in the kennels  

Kennel Assistant, Rachel, enjoys working Christmas day in the kennels: ‘We’re closed to the public on Christmas day which means we can spend the whole day playing with the dogs in the paddock and giving them gifts’.  

Here’s what Christmas day looks like for her: 


The kennel staff arrive, the first task is to wish their dogs a Merry Christmas with some cuddles and crack on with the usual morning kennel clean. 

Then it’s time for breakfast and the dogs will get some extra meat or a little festive treat with their meal.  


Break time!  

Spirits are always high amongst the kennel team, there’s lots of Christmassy snacks in the break room and people like to dress in Christmas jumpers.  


Then it’s time to see if Santa Paws has visited.  

Each dog gets a Christmas present (or a few!) that the kennel team have wrapped in the run up to the big day.  

The rest of the day is spent taking the dogs out to run in the paddock and play with their new toys, it’s a lot of fun all round.  

2pm-end of day

Finally, it’s time for Christmas dinner and again, the dogs will get an extra special meal. 

The kennel staff will carry out final cleaning checks and cuddles, before heading home to their own Christmas dinners.  

The dogs who are allowed to have toys in their kennels with them will get to keep them to snuggle and play with overnight. 

Christmas Day in the cattery 

Cat looking at lights on a christmas tree

It’s not just the dogs who enjoy some extra love and attention on Christmas day. Kennel Assistant, Fiona, tells us how the cats celebrate.  


First things first, it’s clean-out time and a festive breakfast for all the cats!  

Instead of their usual breakfast, the cats who aren’t on a special diet will get a special treat or some gourmet cat food.  

‘On Christmas day we’ll give the cats something special like tuna or sardines, the kind of treats that we normally only keep for cats who’re really not eating. We bring out the good stuff for them on Christmas’ 


Break time! The kennel and cattery teams take their breaks together, so, same as above there will be festive snacks, Christmas jumpers and merriment in the break room.  


Santa Paws visits the cat pens too and each cat gets a couple of wrapped up Christmas presents to play with.  

In the run up to Christmas, the team spend time picking out gifts for the cats from the donations that we receive and wrapping them up for them.  

We give each cat a gift to suit their personal tastes, for example, a soft toy or a ball, but inevitably, they’re more interested in the wrapping paper!’ 

Fiona loves spending a lot of time with the cats on Christmas day, helping them unwrap gifts, playing with them, cuddling, and grooming.  


It’s time for Christmas lunch! Again, the cats who don’t have sensitive stomachs or dietary requirements will get a gourmet lunch as a treat.  

Lunchtime is when we give some of the cats their lunch in puzzle feeders or lick mats for extra enrichment.  

12:15-end of the day 

After lunch there’s time for more cuddles and play! The cattery team like to do photoshoots for some of the cats who are up for adoption, dressing them up in Christmas jumpers and Santa hats (if they like dressing up of course!). 

The rest of the afternoon is spent giving the cats more attention and love, before it’s time for their final feed, cleaning and goodbyes. 

Happy Holidays  

However you plan to spend the day, whether you’re celebrating like our team or not, we hope you have a happy festive season!

Support our dogs and cats

Give a gift today