Without a doubt, pet ownership brings indelible joy. The snuggles, the boundless enthusiasm for walks, and countless toys skittering across the floor. Their lack of judgment when we re-watch our favorite TV show for the 4th time or spend the day lounging in our jammies. Whether we are at our best or feeling our worst, our pets are by our side with nothing but love…and an ever-present hope for treats.
Returning that love is a source of joy, too. We grudgingly pull on our boots and take our doggo for a walk after a long day at work, returning with a smile and a spring in our step. Or, perhaps, we wait a day or two before recycling the box from our latest delivery until the cat has finished with it, patiently picking up the tattered shreds that are left. But, for many pet owners, indulging our pets with a gift or two (or five) can be the cat’s meow when it comes to giving back to our pets a little of what they give to us.
Whether it’s your pet’s birthday, Christmas, a result of online insomnia shopping, or just because, giving your pet gifts is fun for everyone involved. But how to choose! There are so many options to choose from!
But never fear, the team at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center has a few suggestions…
Beyond the Bone: Cool Gifts for Dogs
Who among us doesn’t love to spoil their doggo, at least a little? The happy dance they do when they see you’ve got something new for them is worth the cost of admission alone. That said, there are a lot of options out there for dog gifts and not all of them are created equal. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite things…
Snuffle mats – For dogs that love to hork down their food or can’t keep their nose out of anything, the snuffle mat is a great option. You can either feed them on it, skipping the bowl entirely, or use it as a play mat to keep them busy and mentally engaged while they snarfle for treats while you’re out for the day (for example). However you slice it, snuffle mats offer dogs mental stimulation, a way to eat at a manageable pace (which can be great for managing their weight and digestion), and a fun way to burn off some energy throughout the day.
Fi Dog Collar – This GPS dog collar is an excellent companion to your pet’s microchip. This fetching collar not only helps you track your dog’s whereabouts via cellular networks and GPS services, but will also act as a fitbit, of sorts, for your pet. They are waterproof, have a built in light for safety, and can add a little piece of mind if your pet is an escape artist. That said, GPS dog collars should never be a substitute for pet microchipping.
Tuffy Toys – Most dogs love to chew and, especially if you have an aggressive chewer, it can seem like most plush toys won’t make it through the day, let alone a week. Enter Tuffy Toys. While no toy is 100% indestructible, these toys will last longer than most; even for aggressive chewers. You’ll still need to pick up fluff and snip strings, but over the course of days (if not weeks), instead of hours. Their designs have personality and a snuggle factor not commonly found in other toys designed for aggressive chewers.
Cat Gifts to Purr About
Not surprisingly, cats can be a little more finicky about when it comes to what will capture (and hold) their attention. More often than not, it seems like our feline friends are far more interested in the boxes their gifts come in, than they are in the gift itself. What’s a cat owner to do?
Floating Shelves – Cats love to live on the vertical plane. More often than not you’ll find them perched up high or secreted away in a cubby than lounging in the middle of the floor. With this in mind, you can expand your cat’s world by adding floating shelves of all shapes and sizes to your wall for your cat to explore. Don’t limit yourself to the pricey options you’ll find when searching for floating cat furniture, though. Almost any floating shelf option will do, as long as it’s rated for your cat’s weight. More often than not, regular floating shelves will be far less than those branded as chic cat furniture.
Interactive cat toys – Interactive toys abound for our feline friends, and for good reason. Not only do they provide us with endless entertainment as we watch our kitties skitter around after them, but they can also keep our cats entertained while we are away. Take your time to look at options and read reviews, but don’t discount the endless fun some interactive toys can offer.
Audubon Plush Birds – Years ago, the Audubon Society introduced a line of plush birds that, when squeezed, would play the birdsong of the species in question. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for pet owners (and pets) to catch on to these and adopt them as their own. While many dogs will love these, too, they are not designed for much chewing, making them ideal for cats who love to bat things around.
With the seemingly limitless possibilities when it comes to pet gifts, it’s wise to keep your pet’s safety in mind as you shop. Strings, fluff, frayed ends, small pieces, and questionable materials can all put your pet in jeopardy, if you’re not careful. Don’t go on looks alone and do your homework before you buy. If you’re not sure about a toy or product, please ask. We are here to help you and your pet have a happy holiday!