Best Holiday Gifts for Hounds
With Christmas and Hanukkah approaching, most of us who have dogs include them in our holiday festivities. About 50% of people purchase gifts for their pets for the holidays. Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for dogs—your pooch will love to find one (or more!) of these presents this holiday!
- You can’t go wrong with a new collar. Patton Veterinary Hospital sells Lupine brand collars in a variety of sizes and fun patterns. Lupine items are guaranteed for life, so if a pet chews it or it is otherwise damaged, return your collar, leash or harness to the company for a replacement! I had to use this feature when Marty chewed through his harness. A new one arrived in a few days. Of course, there are many other cute holiday and other types of collars on the market, so choose what works for you!
- Kong toys are my personal favorites. Having owned several terriers who are strong chewers, Kong toys are durable and long lasting, though not totally indestructible. Many of them can also be filled with treats to provide even more fun. There are lots of different shapes and types available to suit your dog, but the classic is the red rubber “beehive” shape. Make sure to choose an appropriate size and material for your pet and inspect the toy periodically for wear.
- Interactive puzzle toys like those by Nina Ottoson and Kyjen are lots of fun. Most require a dog to push a lever, move a sliding door or perform some other action to uncover a treat. Many dogs like the challenge of figuring out how to get the reward. Studies show that these toys can help stave off cognitive dysfunction in older dogs by providing mental stimulation and problem solving skills, and can keep young dogs entertained. Some dogs are better at figuring these out than others, so choose one that seems to meet your dog’s mental capacity.
- For dogs who love to play fetch, try Chuckit! Brand toys . Chuckit! makes a variety of balls in different shapes and materials, flying disks and even a tennis ball launcher which allows you to pick up a slimy ball with the device instead of your hands and launch it 100 feet or more. These durable toys are lots of fun for active dogs.
- Treats are always a good bet, too. But make sure not to overdo it. We have enough trouble keeping our own waistlines trim around the holidays, let alone keeping our pets slim and trim! Pet obesity is a nationwide problem so choose low calorie treats or indulge your pet sparingly. If you are the crafty type, there are many recipes out there for home-baked goodies for your dog. Mini milk-bones are a good choice at only 5 calories each!
Hope these give you some ideas for treating your pup this holiday! What are you getting your dog for Christmas this year? We’d love to hear your ideas too! Gift ideas for cats next week!
In the photos above, Frankie enjoys licking peanut butter out of a traditional Kong (Left) and Marty is chewing on his Kong SafeStix (Right).
This blog brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding areas.