Holiday Tips and Pointers: Gift ideas for the pet and the owner

on Dec 22 in Dog News

Since our pets are part of our families, of course we do not hesitate to include them during our holiday festivities and gift giving. A recent CBS poll revealed that about 53% of pet owners buy their pets holiday presents each year.  The pole also revealed that dogs have more reason to look under the Christmas tree, because, while 56% of dog owners say they will buy their pets a gift this Christmas, only 48% of cat owners plan to. So as a pet owner, or a friend of one, what should you settle on for a holiday gift? It’s the same when it comes to Fido or Fluffy, it’s all about safety first.

Obviously, if your friend had a baby or small child you’re going to make sure the toy you buy them is safe. Same goes for pets; they don’t know what’s safe and unsafe for them to chew on. Make sure that it is not a toy your pet can chew up or swallow, and contains no small parts. Also, select a toy that is non-toxic! Be an educated consumer. Owner and pet interactions are the best out there when it comes to pet entertainment so purchasing a ball or Kong toy is key because they encourage that. Chew toys are also good choices because they have two benefits; entertainment and dental care! Chew toys help with the prevention of periodontal disease in pets.

The holiday season brings many new smells and sights around. Harmful items that often accompany the holiday season are tree lights, lighted candles, extension cords, electric toys, fireplaces, ornaments, tinsel, and other beautiful items will attract your pet. Make sure to keep an eye on lit candles and never leave a dog with a wagging tail or a cat who likes to jump up on tables, unattended with a lit candle. Tinsel can damage the stomach or intestines so make sure to clean up any pieces on the floor immediately or try to steer away from the item completely. Using ribbons to tie on the ornaments instead of the metal hooks will prevent pets from damaging their mouths or stomachs. Some holiday plants such as holly and mistletoe are toxic to your pet, so if you are going to bring these home make sure that you keep them out of reach. Also, if you have a live Christmas tree, pets will curiously drink the water at the base of it and this could cause them to knock it down. I once had a cat that drank the water, and became spooked and knocked the entire tree down, glass ornaments from all over the world smashed down with it. So supervision may be necessary.

Your pets will enjoy the new smells and company visiting just as much as you will, so make sure they stay safe and you’ll both love the holiday season. A safe pet is a happy pet, which makes a happy pet owner. Make your holiday season less stressful by taking some precautions while keeping Fido and Fluffy in mind. Buying for a pet-loving friend? Best to steer away from buying them an actual living pet, which seems to be popular over the holiday season. First, buy them a book of information on the pet they’d like. Are they already a pet owner? A book on their favorite breed, treats for their pet (make sure they have no allergies), or even a gift card to their local or favorite pet store will really make their holidays enjoyable!

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