Trying to decide on a Christmas gift for that special pet in your life? Through years of successful, and some not so successful, gift giving to my dogs and cats I offer you my list on what has resulted in happy responses from my buddies each and every time. This list it not full of fancy gadgets, widgets, or some less than tasteful doggie or kitty outfits. But I have found that buying for my dogs and cats is no different than buying for another loved one, such as a friend or family member. I always try to keep in mind what the pet receiving the gift enjoys doing or what his special likes are and then give the gift accordingly. I sometimes have to remind myself that I am buying the gift for my pets, not for myself. When I do this I find myself putting back those reindeer antlers, Santa hats or silly sweaters, and instead look for a gift I know they’ll love.
1. The gift of time. Without a doubt, the one thing our pets enjoy the most is simply being with us. But our busy schedules sometimes may not afford our pets the time they need or would like to have with us. Our amazing dogs and cats just want to share as much of our lives with us as possible, so for their Christmas present, plan an entire day just around the two of you full of activities that are all centered on your pet. If you are planning for a dog, your day might include time in a park or walking a trail, playing fetch or going for a ride. Then after your outdoor activity give your dog a massage and brush his coat. It’s suggested that snacks and dinner include all of his favorite flavors. If your pet is a cat, you might want to spend time having them chance a laser pointer, or tie their favorite toy to the end of a string and then play with them, and then play some more. Many cats just love to snuggle and be petted for endless hours, often falling asleep in your arms. But however you plan the day, the ultimate gift you are giving is “quality” time with your pet. This is a gift that cannot be matched. It will strengthen the bond you already have and both of you will thoroughly enjoy the time.
2. The gift of comfort. Providing comfort to your pet is a key element in providing for their basic needs. A heated dog bed or heated cat bed is a wonderful gift for your pet. There’s nothing like the soothing comfort of warmth to make a pet sleep well and wake happy. No matter the age of your pet, they all enjoy the warmth of a heated pet bed. If you have an elderly pet, the warmth will provide special relief to sore or achy joints and muscles. The warmth will relax the muscles and stimulate blood circulation, thus providing pain relief.
3. The gift of “special” food treats. Favorite or special foods always make a great pet present. For dogs, traditionally, flavored raw-hides or hickory smoked beef bones make nice gifts. As do tuna and salmon flavored treats for your cats. I was one of the many that use to make these purchases for my pets for Christmas. But I finally asked myself, why not go all out and provide them a feast they would normally never receive. So I did, and still do. I grill each of my dogs a small T-bone steak for their Christmas dinner. I know you are probably saying, ‘what!’ Are you crazy?! But the steak is about the same price as a toy or a rawhide, and it is their once a year treat that also gives them a bone to chew on for hours. Some years, I grill them boneless chicken thighs instead, and they enjoy these just as much. Of course, make sure you do not use any seasonings when preparing the food. For your kitty, why not buy a small, fresh piece of salmon or tuna. Prepare it with no seasonings, and I promise you your cat will be licking her lips all day long. Toys will be bought and received throughout the year, but give them a Christmas meal they will not forget.
It’s my philosophy that dogs and cats would prefer a personalized gift tailored to their likes and dislikes. So whatever gift you decide on, it’s not necessary to think it needs to come in a packaging hanging from a hook in a pet department. Dog gift ideas or cat gift ideas, just need to come from your heart and usually involve a piece of your time.