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Choosing Holiday Gifts For Dogs

December 15, 2023

Happy Holidays! Do you have a lot of holiday shopping to do? Don’t forget to pick up some gifts for your furry best friend. Fido deserves to be spoiled a little, for all the love, laughter, tail wags, and affection he provides. Man’s Best Friend is very fond of toys and treats, but what else would your pup like this holiday? A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some suggestions in this article. 

Popular Dog Holiday Gifts

Beds are always a great choice. It’s important for Fido to be able to sleep comfortably! A thin pad won’t protect your pet’s bones and joints from cold floors, nor will it provide much support or comfort as he’s dreaming of bacon, squirrels, or cheeseburgers. The orthopedic bed is the gold standard these days, especially for bigger pups or senior dogs. Just keep in mind that dogs do have their own unique preferences when it comes to beds.

If your furry pal stamps down his bedding before he gets cozy, he may enjoy a beanbag bed, which will allow him to arrange his sleeping spot exactly the way he wants it. A heated or thermal bed may be preferred by dogs with thin fur, while beds with raised edges provide a sense of security for small dogs and nervous pups. If your pooch tends to stretch out, he may just want a plain bed, as raised edges may cramp his stretch-all-the-way-out style.

Doggy Stocking Stuffers

Chews and treats make excellent stocking stuffers. However, there are other options as well. For instance, you can also include some grooming supplies. Fido may not be thrilled about paw balm, but he will appreciate having smooth paw pads instead of rough, cracked skin. Brushes, shampoo, and pet wipes are also safe choices. For further guidance on maintaining your dog’s skin health and managing issues like itchiness, read “A Roanoke, VA Vet Weighs In About Itchiness In Pets.” Ask your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic for recommendations.

Presents For Active Dogs

Is your dog a bouncing ball of fur? look for toys and gifts that will keep him entertained. Automatic ball launchers are a great choice for dogs who love to chase tennis balls. (This is also super cute to watch.) Just make sure to pick something that’s the right size for your pet. Large breeds can choke on balls meant for smaller pups.

Does your pooch have a habit of running off? It can be difficult for owners to keep track of Fido if he just can’t resist chasing squirrels or just always wants to see what’s happening down the street. GPS-enabled tags can help you track your furry runaway. (We’d also strongly recommend getting good fencing, using a sturdy leash and harness, and working on training.)

Fido’s Gear

Doggy fashion has come a long way from the basic leash and collar. Many of our canine pals prefer harnesses these days. They’re safer, more comfortable, and do not restrict Fido’s breathing. If your furry pal has a small head, a martingale collar may be a good option.

What Are The Best Gifts For Puppies?

If you’re spending the holiday season with a puppy, you’re in for some charming moments. Our canine pals never stop being adorable, but they really are ridiculously cute as puppies.

This stage is also a prime mischief phase. Fido is pretty much a chewing machine during his terrible twos. You want toys that can withstand all that chewing. Kong toys are a great option for these, but they aren’t the only choices. Ask your Roanoke, VA vet for tips on choosing safe chews and toys.

Another word to the wise for people celebrating the holiday with puppies? Petproofing is a must. This is particularly important around the holidays, as so many decorations are dangerous to dogs. Keep anything small, sharp, toxic, or fragile well out of paws’ reach. That includes things like small ornaments, manger pieces, many gifts, small figures and decorations, tinsel, string, ribbon, and light strands. Many seasonal plants, such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe, are also unsafe.

What Gifts Are Safe For Dogs?

When shopping for your furry friend, you should always prioritize his safety. Avoid potential choking hazards, such as things with small pieces or sharp edges. Items with ropes and cords are also unsafe, as are things that can break into small pieces. Don’t forget to look at the product label before making a purchase! Try to stick with items made in North America. Products from other countries may not meet the same safety standards. In fact, studies have found several toxic substances, including PVC, BPA, chromium, bromine, and phthalates, in pet products. Finally, be cautious of brightly-colored items as they may contain dyes; however, many pet product companies do use non-toxic ones.

The Best Gifts For Your Dog

When choosing Fido’s gifts, always consider his size, age, and breed. A stocking full of tennis balls might be a good idea for a Golden Retriever, but won’t be a great choice for a Pomeranian.

Your dog’s tastes will also change over time.

In addition to chew toys, puppies need lots of fun toys that keep them active and entertained. A pooch in his golden years may prefer something that’s soft on the tongue, or perhaps a puzzle toy that offers mental stimulation.

You’ll also need to consider your dog’s personality. Some toys are fine for some dogs, but unsafe for others. For instance, stuffed animals are very popular with our canine friends. Many pups play with them without any problems. Others try to take out and eat the squeaker.  That is definitely not safe for Fido to consume!

Rawhide should also be handled carefully. Strong chewers can break off pieces, and may even ingest them. That’s not only a serious choking risk, there’s also a chance of serious gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if the piece is swallowed. Ask your Roanoke, VA vet for more information.

Fido’s Christmas Wishes: What Does He Really Want?

Your tail-wagging, cuddle-giving, and ever-adorable companion deserves a little extra something this holiday season. Of course, he can’t exactly tell you what he wants. If Fido could pen a Christmas list to Santa Paws, it would probably read something like this: 

  • Bacon
  • Toys
  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Tennis Balls
  • Bacon
  • More Car Rides
  • Mud Puddles
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Toys

That’s only to be expected. To be fair, toys and treats are always great options. However, there are plenty of other ‘pawesome’ choices. Rain gear, calming products, or even programmable paw pads can all make great 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 him open his monthly doggy delivery might just be as exciting for you as it is for him!

Could your furry pal stand to work on his petiquette? Consider enrolling him in training. (Yes, it will take time and money now, but it will be well worth it in the long run.)

If your cute pet is on the anxious side, he may benefit from a weighted shirt, or perhaps some calming products, such as pheromone treats. Another thing we suspect some of our patients will be trying out soon is the programmable paw pad set. These let dogs ‘speak’ certain words by pressing on specific pads. Some pooches have proven to be very good at this! (Then again, Fido may have figured out that this is just a new and improved way to beg for treats.)

Your Dog’s Number One Holiday Request: Time With You

What is the most popular dog wish? Time with the humans! Pets get very, very attached to their humans. Fido just wants to hang out with you! Spend some time with your furry friend this month.

All of us here at Harris Animal Hospital, your local Roanoke, VA pet hospital wish you and your furry families a safe, happy, and tail-wagging holiday season! Please feel free to contact us for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs, including wellness checks and pet vaccinations.

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