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Your Dog’s Holiday Wish List
December 15, 2023

Season’s Greetings! Have you finished your holiday shopping? Don’t forget to pick up a few things for your canine buddy! Fido deserves to be spoiled a bit, for all of the love, cuddles, laughter, tail wags, and affection he provides. We all know that dogs are very fond of toys and treats, but what else do you think would be on your pup’s holiday list? A local Saginaw, MI veterinarian offers some suggestions in this article.

Can’t-Go-Wrong Holiday Dog Gift: Beds

Beds are one of those gifts that every pup will appreciate. It doesn’t matter if your dog already has one: it’s good to have options. Making sure that Fido can sleep comfortably is very important. A thin pad won’t protect your furry friend’s bones and joints from chilly floors, and won’t offer much support as he’s dreaming of sugar plums (or squirrels). Orthopedic beds are the standard these days, especially for larger pups and senior dogs. As far as styles, well, dogs actually have their own preferences there.

Here are a few things to consider:

Does your pooch stamp down his bedding before getting comfy? He may like a beanbag bed, which will let him arrange his sleeping spot exactly the way he likes it. If your furry pal tends to sprawl out, he may just want a plain bed: raised edges may cramp his stretch-all-the-way-out style. Pups with thin coats may appreciate heated or thermal beds, whereas small dogs and nervous pups often like the added feeling of security that bolstered beds provide.

Stocking Stuffers For Dogs

Don’t forget to hang your pet’s stocking! Small toys and chews are always good stocking stuffers. You can also add some small grooming supplies in. Fido may not be too excited about paw balm, but he will appreciate the benefits of having smooth paw pads instead of rough, cracked skin. Dental products and brushes also fall into that category. Be sure to ask your vet for recommendations!

Gifts For Active Dogs

Do you have a bouncing ball of fur on your hands? Look for toys and gifts that will keep Fido moving and  entertained. Automatic ball launchers are a great choice for pooches that love to chase tennis balls. Just make sure to get one that uses balls that are the right size for your pet. Big dogs can choke on balls meant for smaller breeds!

Does your pooch have a habit of running off? Whether Fido just can’t resist chasing squirrels, or just always wants to see what’s happening down the street, this can be challenging and scary for owners. (It can also be dangerous: about one in three dogs go missing over the course of their lives.) Consider getting Fido GPS-enabled tags, to help you keep track of your furry runaway.

Gear For Fido

We’ve come a long way since the basic leash and collar. Most of our canine patients prefer harnesses, which are more comfortable and also don’t restrict their breathing. If you often walk your pet at night, take advantage of holiday sales and get a leash with a built-in flashlight. If you and Fido enjoy hiking, look for a harness that will allow your canine pal to carry some of his own things. Another great gift for the dog on the go? A water bottle with an attached dispenser.

What Are Suitable Gifts For Puppies?

Our canine pals never stop being charming, but they really are ridiculously cute as puppies. During that adorable toddler stage, little Fido is pretty much a chewing machine. You’ll want to look for sturdy toys that will hold up to all that gnawing. Kong toys are a great option for these, but they aren’t the only choice out there.

How Do I Choose Safe Dog Gifts?

No matter what you’re buying for Fido, always put his safety first. Avoid getting anything with small parts or sharp edges, as these can be serious choking hazards! We also advise checking the label before buying anything. If possible, stick with items made in North America: products overseas are not subject to the same quality standards, and may not be as safe. In fact, studies have found several unsafe substances in dog toys, including PVC, BPA, chromium, bromine, and phthalates. Ask your Saginaw, MI for more information. 

Choosing Gifts For Your Dog

When shopping for your four-legged friend, you’ll need to consider his size, age, health, and breed, as well as his personal preferences. A stocking full of tennis balls may be a great option for a Golden Retriever, but won’t get much use from a Pomeranian. Your dog’s tastes will also change over time. Puppies need lots of chew toys, as well as toys that keep them occupied and (hopefully) out of trouble. A senior dog, however, may prefer something that’s soft on his mouth, or perhaps a puzzle toy.

His personality also factors in. Some toys are fine for some pups, but unsafe for others. For instance, stuffed animals are very popular with our four-legged friends. Many dogs play with them without issue. Others make a point to remove and try to eat the squeaker, which is definitely not safe for them to consume.

We’d also advise being careful with rawhide. Pups that are strong chewers can break off pieces, and may even ingest them. That’s not only a serious choking risk, there’s also a chance of serious gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if the piece is swallowed. Ask your vet for more information.

Holiday Gifts For Dog Lovers

Don’t forget about Fido’s furry buddies! If your friends and family have pups of their own, then sending a small gift to their pets can be a sweet gesture. Homemade dog treats are a good option for this. You can find some great recipes online! Store-bought snacks are also fine, of course. Gift cards to pet stores are another safe bet, and also offer the bonus of allowing the pooches to choose their own toys, which is always cute.

What Does Fido Really Want For Christmas?

If your canine pal could actually write out a Christmas list, it would probably look something like this:

  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Bacon Cheeseburgers
  • Toys
  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Tennis Balls
  • Bacon
  • More Car Rides
  • Mud Puddles
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Toys

However, there are plenty of other options. Do you have a yard? Your pooch may enjoy a doghouse. Subscription boxes—or pupscription boxes—are another great bet. Fido will get his own box of goodies in the mail every month. Watching him open his doggy delivery may be just as fun for you as it is for him!

We’re not out of options just yet! If your furry best buddy is on the anxious side, he may benefit from a weighted shirt, or perhaps calming products, such as pheromones. Another thing we suspect some of our patients will be trying out soon? Programmable paw pads. These let Fido ‘speak’ certain words by pressing on specific pads. This may sound a bit odd, but some of our canine pals have proven to be remarkably adept at this. (Then again, Man’s Best Friend may just have figured out that it’s a new way to beg for treats.)

Fido’s Number One Request: Time With You

Our canine companions get very, very attached to their humans. At the end of the day, all Fido really wants is to hang out with you! Carve out some quiet quality time with your furry best friend. Remember to snap some cute photos of your pooch playing with his new things!All of us here at Veterinary Health Center, your local Saginaw, MI pet hospital wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. Please feel free to contact us for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs.

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