By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM
Last year my holiday gift list for pets and pet lovers included products chosen by The Animal Medical Center veterinary staff for pets with various medical conditions.
This year, I have selected gifts which will be fun for the whole family—both people and pets.
Wrap Up an Interactive Dog Puzzle
Here you see an interactive board game for your dog by Nina Ottosson. The white plastic (dishwasher safe) bones are hollow and can be used to hide treats or food. The dog smells the food and moves the bones around with his nose to get the treat. We—ok, Tallulah—tried this out after dinner one evening and the game was a runaway success. You can see it was impossible to photograph since she was a blur of activity looking for the treats hidden in each hollow “dog bone.” What you can’t see is the delighted children who filled up the bones and the entertained adults who surrounded the happy dog!
Bake a Fetching Fruitcake
Dogs like special holiday treats too! So gather the family in the kitchen to bake a fruitcake with dog-safe ingredients – no raisins, currants or nuts. Find the recipe for the fruitcake and other pet treats here.
One caution about holiday treats for both you and your pet: enjoy them in moderation. We all know how easy it is to pack on the pounds at holiday time.
Safe Made Pet Products carries a line of colorful, food-grade, oven-safe, freezer-safe and dishwasher-safe bowls and toys you can use for oven-baked treats. Not a holiday baker? These bowls and toys can also be filled or stuffed with food or water and frozen for your dog to enjoy as a cooling treat in the summer.
Eliminate Holiday Odors, Except for the Smell of Pine Boughs
The gifts on this list are supposed to be fun for the whole family, and a smelly dog bed or a stinky cat box are no fun for anyone. Zero Odor® pet products use a molecular technology to eliminate pet odors, not just cover them up. The litter box spray has no scent, is biodegradable, non-toxic and safe for all family members, and research has shown Zero Odor will help a finicky cat resume using the litter box by keeping the box smelling nice.
Work Off Those Holiday Pounds Together
Ask any cat owner if they can exercise their cat to help take off unwanted pounds and you are likely to get a resounding NO! Neko flies can help your cat exercise her predatory drive and burn off any excess weight. A flexible rod with interchangeable flies means your cat can chose his favorite fly or switch to avoid toy boredom. Your purchase benefits Nekochan’s charitable mission to distribute their products to cat shelters and sanctuaries. In these shelters, inactive cats can learn to interact with humans and get much-needed exercise at the same time. The opportunity to play and have fun helps decrease the stress shelter cats experience. Think how happy you and your cat will be playing with these attractive toys as you take a break from holiday activities!
Do you give your pets gifts during the holidays? What are your favorite gifts to give? Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our Pet Health Community.