Whatever holiday you celebrate, your pet can celebrate too! Treats are always fun, but there are so many other options, as well. This season is a great time to invest in some products that you and your pet can enjoy year-round.
Consider gifts that will stimulate your pet’s curiosity, help with training, or entertain them when you’re not home. Here are a few ideas to help you get started!
Puzzle feeders: Ideal for both cats and dogs, puzzle feeders are gifts that keep on giving. Hide their daily food in the puzzle feeder and mealtime becomes game time. Maze or puzzle feeders mentally challenge your pet, reduce boredom, encourage your pet to eat slowly, help with weight control, and even help with separation anxiety. If you are away during the day, a puzzle feeder can help your pet to keep busy.
Lures or wand toys: Wand toys are an excellent enrichment toy for your cat (or dog). Some wand toys come with interchangeable lures, to keep the game interesting for your pet. These types of toys encourage instinctual behavior and keep your cat mentally stimulated, alert, and healthy. Those short bursts of pouncing activity use many different muscles, providing exercise your cat.
Dog training: While it may not seem exciting for your dog, training is a great gift! When your dog knows some basic life skills, like how to walk on a leash without pulling, you can enjoy their company even more – as can other people and dogs who meet them. It can also be a great bonding experience as you learn how to communicate with your pet positively. Ask your veterinarian for dog trainer recommendations in your community.
Long-line leash: A “long-line” is simply a long leash, 15-30 feet (5-10 meters) in length, used specifically in training. It is not the same as an extending or retractable leash. A long-line is useful when practicing recalls with your dog, and it can give you more control while your dog is free-running. The recall command is essential if you plan to allow your dog off leash.
Healthy treats: What holiday would be complete without some treats for your furry or feathered friend! Keep it healthy by remembering that moderation is key. Use treats as rewards while training or use them as reinforcement for positive behaviors. Try single-ingredient, low-calorie treats to avoid overloading their diets. And as always, be sure to keep dietary restrictions in mind when purchasing treats for your pet. If in doubt, check with your veterinary healthcare team.
Time and cuddles: This gift costs nothing and might be the best gift of all, from your pet’s perspective. During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, pets can easily be overlooked. Set aside some extra time each day to spend with them. Consider a long walk, an extended play session, or an extra cuddle time with your pets.
These ideas will get you started on spoiling your pet but remember that each pet is different! This is only a starting point. Your pets give you their love every day – take some time to give it back this holiday season.