Greetings! Do you still have a lot to do for the holidays? Don’t forget to pick up a few things for your dog. Fido deserves to be spoiled a bit for all of the love, laughter, tail wags, and affection he gives us. Dogs love treats and toys, but what else would they like this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions from a local Mt. Airy, MD vet.
Fido’s Christmas Wishes: What Does He Really Want?
If your canine buddy could write a wish list for Santa Paws, we can probably safely assume that he would ask for bacon, toys, treats, car rides, and perhaps a few squirrels. With the exception of the squirrels, those are all solid choices. However, they aren’t the only possibilities. Your pooch might also enjoy a doghouse, or a subscription box—or pupscription box—would be another great option. Fido will get his own box of goodies every month! (We probably don’t have to tell you how cute this is to watch.)
If your furry best buddy is on the anxious side, he may benefit from a weighted shirt, or perhaps calming products, such as pheromones. Another thing we suspect some of our patients will be trying out soon is programmable paw pads. These let dogs ‘speak’ certain words by pressing on certain pads. It may seem odd, but some of our canine pals have proven to be very adept at this. (It may also be that they just discovered it was a new way to beg for treats.)
Pawesome Dog Gift: Beds
Did you know that dogs can spend as much as half of their time sleeping? Fido really needs to be able to sleep comfortably. A thin pad won’t provide much support, and won’t protect his bones and joints from chilly floors. These days, orthopedic beds are the gold standard, especially for larger pups and senior dogs. However, our canine companions all have their own preferences when it comes to beds.
You may want to give your pup a bean bag bed if he likes to stamp on his bedding before getting comfortable. Small dogs and nervous pups often appreciate the added security that beds with raised edges provide, while dogs with thin fur may appreciate a heated or thermal bed.
Your furry pal might like a plain bed if he likes to sprawl, since raised edges may hinder him from stretching all the way out.
Dog Stocking Stuffers
This probably goes without saying, but chews and treats are always good stocking stuffers. You can also include some grooming supplies. Fido may not be too excited about paw balm, but he will appreciate having smooth, healthy paw pads instead of rough, cracked skin. Dental products and brushes also fall into this category. (Your pup may also enjoy some bacon bubbles.) Ask your Mt. Airy, MD vet for recommendations!
Holiday Gifts For Active Dogs
If your dog is a bouncing ball of fur, you’ll want to find him toys and gifts that will keep him entertained. An automatic ball launcher is a great choice for dogs that love to chase tennis balls. Make sure you pick something that’s the right size for your pet. Large breeds can choke on balls meant for smaller pups, which can be dangerous.
Does your furry friend have a habit of running off? Quite a few of our canine pals are furry escape artists. Some can’t resist chasing squirrels, while others just want to see what’s going on down the street. This can be very dangerous! Get GPS-enabled tags so you can keep track of your pet. (We’d also recommend making sure that your dog is thoroughly trained, and always using leashes when he’s in unfenced areas.)
Fido may also need some new gear. We’ve gone far beyond the traditional leash and collar, with many dogs now preferring comfortable harnesses that don’t impede their breathing. For those who frequently walk their furry friends at night, holiday sales offer a great opportunity to snag a leash with a built-in flashlight. Hiking enthusiasts may want to consider a harness that allows Fido to carry some of his own belongings. Another practical present for active pups? A water bottle with an attached dispenser.
What Are the Best Gifts For Puppies?
Dogs are always charming, but they’re ridiculously cute when they’re puppies. During that adorable toddler stage, little Fido is pretty much a chewing machine. Choose sturdy toys that can withstand all that chewing. (Tip: Kong toys are a good bet.) A wellness plan is another good option, and will help your furry pal get started out on the right paw in life.
Things To Consider When Choosing Dog Gifts
Safety first! Avoid objects with small pieces or sharp edges, as these can pose a choking risk. Be sure to check the label before making a purchase. It’s best to opt for products made in North America since they adhere to higher quality standards and are generally safer. Studies have revealed that products from overseas may contain hazardous substances such as PVC, BPA, chromium, bromine, and phthalates. Keep an eye out for brightly-colored items as well, as they may contain dyes. Many pet product manufacturers use non-toxic options, but it’s best to be sure.
When choosing gifts for Fido, always consider his size, age, and breed. A stocking full of tennis balls might be a good idea for a Golden Retriever, but it might not be a suitable choice for a Pomeranian who can’t get his tiny mouth around the ball.
Age is another factor. Puppies need lots of chew toys, as well as toys that keep them active. A senior, however, may prefer something soft on his mouth.
Some toys are fine for some pups, but unsafe for others. For example, stuffed animals are very popular with our four-legged friends. Many dogs play with these without any problems. Others are determined to remove the squeaker and try to eat it. Needless to say, this is absolutely not safe for them.
We would also advise being careful with rawhide. Strong chewers may break off pieces, and even ingest them. This is not only a serious choking risk, but can also lead to severe gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if pieces are ingested. Contact your Mt. Airy, MD veterinarian for more information.
Gifts For Other People’s Dogs
Many of you likely have friends and family members with dogs of their own. Why not send small gifts to Fido’s four-legged buddies? Homemade dog treats are a great option for this. There are plenty of recipes online! Store-bought snacks are also fine. Pet store gift cards are also a good idea.
The Ultimate Holiday Dog Gift: Quality Time
Do you know what your cute pet really wants? To hang out with you! Make sure to spend quality time with your pup. This is actually pretty important at this time of year. The holiday season can be quite stressful for Man’s Best Friend, what with all the commotion, decorations, events, travel, and schedule changes to cope with. Remember to take some cute pictures of your pooch playing with his new toys.
All of us at Taylorsville Veterinary Clinic, your local Mt. Airy, MD pet hospital, wish you and your fur family a joyous and safe holiday season. If you need anything for your pup’s health and happiness, we’re just a call away!