Hey there, pet parents! Got your holiday shopping list in order? While you’re making that list and checking it twice, don’t forget to spread the cheer to your four-legged bestie. Fido deserves to be spoiled a bit, for all of the love, laughter, tail wags, and affection he provides. A local Pipe Creek, TX vet offers some suggestions in this article.
Fido’s Wish List
That tail-wagging, cuddle-giving, and ever-adorable companion of yours deserves a little extra something this holiday season. We all know that Man’s Best Friend is very fond of toys and treats, but what else do you think would be on your pup’s holiday list? If Fido could pen a Christmas list to Santa Paws, it would probably read something like this:
To be fair, toys and treats are always great options. But there are plenty more things to choose from. Rain gear, calming products, or even programmable paw pads can all make ‘pawesome’ gifts for your canine pal. If you have a yard, you may want to get Fido a doghouse, kiddie pool, or sandbox. A subscription box could also make your pup’s tail wag. (Watching your pooch open his monthly doggy delivery might just be as exciting for you as it is for him!)
If your dog needs to work on his petiquette, consider enrolling him in training. It will take time and money now, but it will be well worth it in the long run. This is definitely a gift that keeps on giving!
Beds: The Universal Dog Gift
Making sure that Fido can sleep well is very important. Thin pads just won’t cut it: your cute pet’s bed should offer both insulation and support. Many people opt for orthopedic beds, especially for bigger or senior dogs. Of course, our canine companions also have preferences here. Does your pooch tend to stamp down his bedding before he gets comfy? He may like a beanbag bed, which will let him arrange his sleeping spot exactly the way he likes it. If Fido likes to stretch out, he may just want a plain bed, as raised edges may cramp his sprawly dog style. Pooches with thin fur may appreciate a heated or thermal bed, whereas small dogs and nervous pups often like the added feeling of security that beds with raised edges provide. Dogs with thick coats may enjoy cooling beds to help them cope with that stifling Texas summer heat.
Treats are a no-brainer, but why not throw in some grooming supplies like paw balm or doggy dental care products? Your pup might not jump for joy over things like dental chews or paw balm, but he will appreciate having smooth paw pads and healthy teeth. Bacon bubbles are another cute option.
Choosing Gifts for Active Pooches
Got a furry bundle of energy on your hands? Consider automatic ball launchers or other fun toys that will keep Fido active and entertained.
GPS-enabled tags are a modern option, and one product we’re thrilled to see on the market. These allow those of you with pets that are prone to bolting to keep up with your squirrel-chasing runaways. (We’d also recommend making sure that your dog is thoroughly trained, and always using leashes when he’s in unfenced areas.)
Does your pooch need new gear? This is the perfect time for it! A basic leash and collar are fine, but harnesses are sturdier, safer, and offer more comfort and easier breathing for your barking buddy. If you often walk Fido after dark, take advantage of those holiday sales and pick up a leash with a built-in flashlight. If you and your canine pal enjoy hiking or going to some of our beautiful Texas dog parks, look for a harness that will allow your pup to carry some of his things. Another great gift for the dog on the go? A water bottle with an attached dispenser.
Holiday Presents For Puppies
Our canine companions never stop being charming, but they are ridiculously cute as puppies. Sturdy toys like Kongs are great options for pets that are going through that gnaw-on-everything phase. Avoid rawhide, especially if your pet is a strong chewer. Dogs can break off pieces of rawhide. That’s not only a serious choking risk, there’s also a chance of gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if pieces are swallowed. Ask your Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian for more information.
Celebrating the holiday with puppies? Petproofing is a must. This is particularly important around the holidays, as so many decorations are dangerous to frisky young dogs in that chewing tornado stage. Keep anything small, sharp, toxic, or fragile well out of paws’ reach. That includes things like small ornaments, manger pieces, ribbons, many gifts, small figures and decorations, tinsel, and string lights. Many seasonal plants, such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe, are also unsafe. Ask your Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian for more tips on holiday petproofing.
Tips For Choosing Safe Dog Toys
Always put your dog’s safety first. We’d advise steering clear of anything with small parts and/or sharp edges. Opt for products made in North America, if possible. This can help ensure quality and avoid toys that may contain harmful substances, like PVC or BPA.
You’ll also need to consider Fido’s size, age, and breed. A stocking full of tennis balls may be a great option for a Golden Retriever, but won’t get much use from a Pomeranian.
Fido’s tastes will change over time. Puppies need lots of chew toys, as well as toys that keep them active and entertained. A senior, however, may prefer something that’s soft on his mouth, or perhaps a puzzle toy that offers mental stimulation.
Your canine friend’s personality also factors in. Some toys are fine for some dogs, but unsafe for others. For instance, stuffed animals are very popular with our four-legged friends. Many pups play with these without issue. Others are squeaker assassins, who make a point to remove and try to eat the squeaker. Those are definitely not safe for Man’s Best Friend to consume.
Keep in mind that stuffed animals made for children are not safe for dogs. These often have small parts, like plastic eyes, which are choking hazards. Those that sing, dance, or light up may also contain batteries, which are another safety risk. Ask your Pipe Creek, TX vet for more information on choosing safe treats for your furry buddy.
Holiday Gifts For Other People’s Dogs
Don’t forget Fido’s four-legged friends! If your friends and family members have dogs of their own, send those pooches something small. One good option is to make homemade doggy treats. You’ll find all sorts of recipes online. Just stick with safe ingredients. You can also give Fido’s buddies some store-bought snacks, or perhaps a pet store gift card, so they can go pick out their own toys. Feeling charitable? Consider donating to an animal rescue, to help out all of the sweet pups that don’t have homes of their own.
The Number One Doggy Gift Request: Time With You
Above all, your furry best friend just wants your company! The holidays can be a stressful time for pets. All the commotion, decorations, events, travel, and schedule changes are a lot for Fido to cope with. Carve out some quiet quality time with your furry best friend. Remember to snap some cute photos of your pup playing with his new things!