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Christmas shopping for your Pets

November 28, 2011

It’s the time of year when we hit the malls, or in many cases these days, the internet, to pick up presents for our friends and relatives to wrap and place under the Christmas tree.  If you’re like most pet lovers, that will also include a present or two for your four legged friends. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Perhaps your canine friend is in need of someplace new to sleep. There are many different types of dog beds on the market. Think about where and how your dog likes to sleep. Small dogs often like pillow and nesting type beds that they can curl up in. Larger dogs often prefer rectangular, more mattress-like beds. If you have an older dog, you may want to consider some of the beds that have orthopedic pads in them, or that are heated.

Toys are always popular with most dogs as well. What does your dog like to do with toys? Is he into things he can toss around, such as balls or Kong™ toys? Perhaps he prefers stuffed animals with squeakers that he can “hunt”. There are many different types and sizes of rope toys for dogs who like to play tug-of-war. Maybe he’d like a Frisbee that he can learn to chase

after. Another type of toy you might not have considered, are toys to exercise your dog’s mind as well as his body.  Some toys can be used to hide your pet’s food or treats in. Learning how to get them out can give your dog something fun to do. Tug-a-Jug™ and Buster Cubes™ are just a couple of these types of toys. No matter what toy you get, make sure it is of an appropriate size for your pet and has no possible hazards, such as pieces that can easily come off and become choking hazards.
Other possible presents for dogs include new collars or leashes, or perhaps a coat for your short haired dog so that he can still enjoy his winter walks. Also remember to buy their new dog license for the coming year. And even though your pet might not think of it as a gift, you may wish to consider having them microchipped as well. On the rare chance your pet should get lost, a license and a microchip are their best bets for returning safely home.

Cats, like dogs, are into comfort, so a bed may be in order for your feline friend. Cats often like beds that have tops or that are fully enclosed except for a small opening. Window perches are also favorite sleeping spots. If you want to make it even more of a hit, consider placing a bird feeder within viewing distance outside the window.
Some cats are also into toys. Popular ones include balls, especially ones with bells, and small cloth or furry toys that they can bat around. Adding catnip to a toy can sometime entice a cat

who otherwise would find the toy boring into playing with it.  An opened paper bag on the floor, or a box that they can hide in can also be a quick and easy cat toy. Many cats enjoy the fishing pole types of toys; these are also a good way to interact and play with your cat. Be wary of letting your cat play with any type of string though, unless you’re there to supervise, as these can be a hazard if swallowed.

One other thing your cat may enjoy is a cat tree. These come in many shapes and sizes, with different types of fabric, sisal rope or other surfaces for your cat to claw. Even cats that are declawed enjoy having cat trees to climb and perch on. Cats are into vertical space, and if you have a small home, or several cats, a cat tree is an easy way to provide more living space for them.

Our feathered friends don’t want to be forgotten either. Small and large birds enjoy toys that they can chew on and disassemble. Take into consideration the size of your bird so that you buy a toy of the appropriate size. Also be careful of toys that have rings or small openings that your bird could get stuck in. Even finches and canaries can get in on the fun.  A large hair clip can be used to hold pieces of fresh fruit, hay or millet for your small bird to eat or nibble.

Many people don’t think of rabbits as playing, but given a chance they can be as fun to watch as dogs and cats. An empty paper towel tube stuffed with hay makes for an easy and inexpensive toy. Most hard plastic toys that are safe for large parrots can make good toys for rabbits as well. There are also companies that sell chewable products and toys made specifically for rabbits. A good site for finding more info on rabbit safe toys is www.rabbit.org .

Hopefully you now have a few ideas for things to add to your pet’s Christmas wish list. We hope that you and your pet have a happy and safe holiday season.

These cats could use a new bed.