To many dog owners, their beloved four-legged babies are just as much a family member as any human. Dogs may not realize what Christmas is all about, but they can sense the excitement and see the changes around them in the decorations. It is fun to include your pet in the holiday celebrations. Why not hang a stocking for your canine family member and make sure Santa fills it with some special surprises!
Balls – Choose balls that are dog friendly and safe. Rubber balls designed specifically for dogs are a good option. Tennis balls are very popular with dogs, and pet stores even have scented varieties in flavors like peanut butter.
Chew Toys – Not every chew toy is dog safe. Some dogs can rip apart chew toys that are made for a smaller dog. Choose accordingly, with tougher toys for stronger dogs.
Bubbles – Buy or make non-toxic bubbles and have fun playing with your dog. Battery powered bubble blowers work particularly well in dispensing the bubbles quickly for your dog to chase. It is great exercise, too!
In my house, we’re big believers that the joy of the holidays isn’t just reserved for the special people in our lives. We like to extend the love and gift giving to their pets and even have friends that do the same for ours. But this year I’ve been thinking about those pets that don’t have the benefit of a loving circle of friends or our friends who may not be able to afford gifts for the pets they adore. Instead of feeling sad about this, I’ve decided to start a new holiday tradition. This Christmas we are going to become Secret Santas to some less fortunate pets in our community, and you can too!
Here are a few considerations and tips you can use to help out needy pets this holiday season:
Being a Secret Santa to Pets You Know
We’re no strangers to the sleuthing it takes to give the perfect gifts to needy pets that we know. It’s usually not hard to get fellow pet lovers to open up about their fur babies. Some details you may want to ask (or fish for depending on the person’s pride):
- What types of toys does your pet like to play with?
- Which toys aren’t a match for his jaws or personality?
- Is your pet supervised with toys?
- What kind of treats does your pet like best?
- Is there anything your pet needs or could use replacing?
- Does your pet have any phobias?
These questions are important, because you don’t want your being a Secret Santa to turn into a trip to the vet for the pet. The power of a dog’s jaws and how often they tear things up are crucial to the type of toys and even food dishes you consider giving as presents. Some dogs – like my chocolate lab Wuppy – have powerful chompers that destroy most dog toys. Even most of the super durable kinds. Most toys pose a choking hazard for my dog if they aren’t taken away as soon as he goes out of play mode and into destruction mode. Other dogs – and most cats – are kinder to their toys and don’t require that high level of supervision.
Finding out a pet’s phobias may seem like a strange thing to ask regarding a Christmas present, but there are actually lots of pets out there who have a strong aversion to common things. I’ve had a wonderful, but picky, white cat who wouldn’t sit on anything not – you guessed it – white. So a different color pet bed would have been a waste on her. I’ve also known dogs who were afraid of balls!
The holidays are fast approaching, and you may be wondering how to make sure your pet is involved in the gift giving that your family will enjoy. A pet stocking stuffed with some of the things your pet needs or enjoys through the year is a great way to include your furry friends.
A few years ago I found a pre-filled dog stocking that was made for larger breed dogs. It included some chew toys, a good thick collar with a secure buckle, some treats, a dog brush and other grooming supplies. When I realized that all of the items were available individually for a much lower price, I decided to do my own pet stockings, but I got some great ideas from that one.
Puppies always need things. They grow rapidly and will need larger collars, increasingly larger toys, lots of CANIDAE Snap-Bit™ treats for training, and personalized tags for their collar. Clothing and other accessories such as puppy booties can be fun for everyone. I’ve found that many of the items for a puppy belong under the tree rather than in a stocking – a doggie bed or a new crate just aren’t stocking sized.
Ho ho ho, it’s almost Christmas! When you are decking your halls and getting your presents ready for the family, don’t forget your four-legged family members. If your budget is tight or you just prefer to create cool gifts with your very own hands, making gifts for your pets can be a fun project for you and the kids. Make a few of these easy gifts to put under the tree for your pet.
Pet Pillows and Blankets
Whether you have a cat or a dog, you can bet they like to lay around on occasion. Why not make them their own pillow or blanket for snoozing and relaxing on? Fleece is a great fabric to use for either a pillow or a blanket for your pet. To make a quick, no-sew pillow, use an appropriately-sized throw pillow and cut two pieces in the same shape as the pillow but much larger (allow a six-inch border all around). Tie the corners of the fleece pieces together and you’ve got a quick and easy pet pillow.
To make a simple fleece blanket, sew two square pieces together or cut two-inch fringe the whole way around each piece, then use the fringe to tie the two pieces together. These pillows or blankets can be made in any size that would be best suited for your pet.
Are you someone who buys Christmas gifts for your dog? This is the perfect time to buy something for your best friend you’ve been putting off buying. Our dogs do know when there’s excitement in the air. They enjoy getting things just as much as we do and some dogs even look forward to opening their own gift. Christmas gifts for dogs can be anything from replacing a favorite toy to a warm coat to help keep them warm. This year’s supply of Christmas gifts for dogs includes a wide variety of unique and cute toys, chew toys and balls. Here are some of my personal favorites that I think would make any dog happy.
Humunga Tongue – This ball comes with a huge tongue attached to it. When your dog retrieves the ball and brings it back to you, you will see a large tongue sticking out of his mouth instead of the ball. This is a fun Christmas gift for dogs who enjoy a good game of fetch or tug of war. Comes in 3 sizes: mini, medium and jumbo and retails at around $10.99 to $14.99.
World’s Toughest Ball – My dogs can chew through most any ball in a matter of minutes. There’s nothing sadder than a ball that has lost all of its ability to roll or bounce. If you need a tough, reliable ball that will be there when you and your dog are ready for a game of catch, this is it. The price is $14.40 for a small ball, $18.99 for a medium and $29.99 for the large size.
Treatstik – This is the perfect chew toy for entertaining your dog while he’s home alone. It will dispense your dog’s favorite treats giving him hours of good chewing fun. This toy holds up to the most aggressive chewer and is priced at $14.50 for both the small and large size.
Babble Ball – This unique Christmas gift for your dog will laugh, growl and talk to your dog. Retails at $9.99 for the medium, and $12 for large.
Double Chain Toy – This toy has two or three rings connected together. I have one with two rings and it’s a great toy for a game of tug of war. It stands up to the abuse of a hearty tug from most any dog. My larger dogs like to tease the smallest one of my pack with this toy by pulling her up and letting her dangle in the air when she grabs the other ring. A two ringer costs about $10.50 and the three ring is $8.99.
Dog Backpack – For your adventure loving, “let’s go for a hike” dog, this backpack will make you smile every time you take your dog on a walk. It is recommended by the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, to help dogs with a little too much energy learn how to walk instead of dancing all around you while you walk them on a leash. Runs $39.99 up to $47.99 depending on size.
Snackshotz Dog Treat Launcher – Want a way to help your dog run off some pent up energy without wearing yourself down? Then this treat launcher is just what you need. This nifty little gadget will run around $15.
Personalized License and ID Tag – This is one of my favorite Christmas gifts for dogs because it puts a photo ID where it’s needed most – right on the collar. This tag looks like a mini driver’s license that includes your dog’s name, address, phone number, description and photo. You will also receive a wallet ID you can carry. This unique and cute gift has all the information someone finding your lost dog would need to return him to you. $29.95
CANIDAE Pet Tag – Your dog can proudly wear the logo of his favorite premium pet food company with this solid brass pet tag that comes in your choice of a large bone or small bone emblazoned with CANIDAE. If your dog has a feline friend, they can wear the round pet tag with the FELIDAE logo. The pet tags are $5.99 each, or two for $10.99.
Of course, the best Christmas gift for dogs is time set aside just for them every day. Our best friends don’t ask for much from us and they give us everything. Share as much of your time as you can each day and play fetch, tug of war or go for an extra walk. They don’t care if it’s only 5 minutes or an hour. To them, it’s the moment that matters the most.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.