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Pet Blog

Christmas gifts for pets should be safe, fun

Posted December 5, 2014
Updated December 18, 2014

This year Santa has some practical – and fun – gifts on his list for my pups.

Lily commandeered my in-laws dog's bed over Thanksgiving in the living room.

Lily generally sleeps on a specific spot on the couch, so we never thought she would actually use a bed. With some new couches on the way, however, a dog bed was already on our minds. Now it will be under the tree for sure!

Baxter will also be getting a new antler. It took him no time to devour his last. Lily has food allergies, so we cannot do rawhides, plus they often can cause choking hazards.

I also like that the antlers last a lot longer than other chew sticks and keep the dogs occupied and entertained. No doubt Santa will also be bringing some new toys and extra treats.

Baxter's favorite day of the year is Christmas! He enjoys tearing open gifts far more than finding out what is actually in them.

I was curious about what other items Santa had in his list for different types of pets. We checked in with Dr. Shannon Foy of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association for some tips.

“When planning out your holiday shopping, don’t forget your pets, who are sure to have been on the ‘nice’ list this year,” she said. “From enriching toys to tasty treats, there is something out there for every type of pet. With a little bit of thought and a whole lot of love, you can help your pet have a happy holiday as well.”

Here are some of her suggestions...

  • Look for toys that will provide your pets with enrichment as well as fun. This could be something simple like a rubber toy with a compartment for hiding treats, or something more complex like a play tower with various-sized openings and surfaces for scratching and hiding.
  • Specialty treats make a good gift for any type of pet. For example, how about a peanut butter-flavored dog biscuit or a catnip toy for your kitty?
  • Is your pet a little rambunctious or prone to tearing apart new toys? Whether we’re talking about a dog, ferret, lizard or other pet, no-stuffing toys keep the fun to a maximum and the mess to a minimum.
  • Just as you may enjoy redecorating your house from time to time, your pets will also enjoy a change of scenery. Try a new light for your lizard’s terrarium or a new castle for your fish’s aquarium.
  • Personalized pet gifts are a great idea, but they can also help save lives. Get your dog or cat a personalized pet tag with you and your veterinarian’s contact information in case your pet gets lost.
  • Squeakers in toys can often become detached from the toy and present a choking hazard for your pet. Consider a safer alternative to squeaky toys, including tug ropes, Frisbees or balls.
  • Consider a play gym or swing for birds to keep them active even when they are in a cage. These can be found at many pet stores or specialty bird stores, and will help keep your bird’s mind sharp.
  • Does your snake’s terrarium need some accessories? Consider putting a rock in the cage where your snake can curl up and hide.
  • If you have a horse, they generally have a lot of space to run, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy getting a treat or a new toy from time to time. A horseplay ball is a fun idea to relieve boredom and stress in horses. It also is able to withstand biting and puncturing. Horses also love to chew on carrots, apples and sugar cubes, so this would be an extra treat to supplement their diet. For nights when it gets chilly, a blanket to wear would be very beneficial for your horse. New brushes with soft bristles are also a great addition to keep your horse happy and their coat healthy.

What are your pets going to find under the tree this year?

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