Did you know that 63 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners give their pets gifts during the holiday season? Sometimes when owners buy gifts for their pets, they tend not take into account that a gift can be an opportunity to strengthen both their pets’ emotional and physical well-being as well as a means to increase their current pet/owner human/pet bond. The Gloucester County Times (NJ), interviewed one man about how he celebrates Christmas with his golden retriever, Rue: “She gets a pretty Christmas Eve outfit that she tugs and pulls off within 10 minutes,” he said. “That’s a $75 waste of money each year.” (http://business.time.com)
This year when seeking out that perfect gift for your pet, ask yourself these two questions:
- Can this gift improve our relationship?
- Does this gift help strengthen my pets emotional and physical well-being?
Keeping the above questions in mind will help you provide that perfect gift and that is …priceless.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Remember to schedule an annual wellness exam for your pet. An annual physical examination is one of most important gifts to help your pet live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
- Do you or your pet get stressed thinking about going to the vet? A good gift would then be to have your vet come to you.
- Spay or neuter your pet. Spaying and neutering can provide major health benefits and helps to fight pet overpopulation. If cost is an issue, consider finding a veterinarian who supports a Low-Cost Spay/Neuter program.
- Does your dog suffer from cracked paws or dry noses during the winter? Consider a product like Doggie Wellness BowWow Butter Balm. Products like this significantly help those dogs whose paws and noses are more sensitive during drier weather.
- Instead of buying packaged dog treats, think about making your own. The benefits of making your own treats are numerous.
- Take your dog for a Reiki Treatment – Reiki is a form of spiritual healing that helps harmonize the mind, body, and soul of your pet.
- Offer your dog a hydro massage with essential oils – These massages are designed to help our canine friends who may have joint, skin and/or relaxation issues.
- Love to pamper your dog? How about treating her to a manicure complete with nail painting?
- SHHHH…!! The newest accessorizing trend for our dogs…feathers. It’s not only for humans anymore…!
- Having trouble bathing your dog in the winter? Consider a do-it-yourself doggie wash to get the job done.
- Looking for a way to give a gift to a friend or neighbor’s dog? How about a gift certificate? Gift certificates are a thoughtful way to help others pay for veterinary, grooming, training or any other service you think their pet may benefit.
- Do you have difficulty finding the time to regularly exercise your dog? Consider hiring a dog walker to help you out.
- Is your dog is home alone for long periods of time? Think about giving the gift mental and physical stimulation by bringing your dog to doggie daycare a few times per week.
- Support fundraisers hosted by your local shelter and rescue organizations. Chances are you will probably find some fun items for your own pet. It’s a win-win for everyone!
- The gift that keeps on giving…make a donation to your local shelter in your pet’s name.
- If emergency responders came to your home, would they know that you have animals inside? Give the gift of safety and affix a pet alert sticker on all entrances to your home.
- Would you know what to do in the event of a medical pet emergency? Take a Pet first aid course so that if you are ever faced with a pet medical emergency you will be more prepared.
- Do you feel that your dog could be better behaved when out in public? Enroll your dog in a basic obedience class. I recommend NFAH and will be leading these classes!! Our next session is scheduled to begin 1/16. For more details call:203.312.9000.
- Having difficulty with canine behaviors in your home? Consider hiring TLC Dog Trainer! Call 203.241.4449, visit my website @ www.tlcdogtrainer.com or check out my Facebook page – TLC Dog Trainer – you will see that I am equipped to help you with any behavioral issue that you may experiencing and can help you improve the current human-canine bond you have with your dog.
Still looking for that perfect gift for your pet?
Listed below are some great companies who can help. All of their products are manufactured in the USA and have recommended to me by clients or which I have personally used.
- Sill Shields™ and Door Shields™ – Designed to protect your window ledges and doors from being scratched and scuffed by doggie claws and paws. http://www.sillshield.com/
- Poochie-Bells® – Easily and quickly train your pooch to ring the bell each time your dog needs to eliminate outdoors. http://poochie-pets.net/
- Too Hot for Spot – This unique thermometer is designed to raise awareness of dog car safety and bring attention to the possible hazards of leaving pets in a vehicle during any season. http://www.dogcar.biz/
- American Digs – American Digs is a premium brand of dog products and apparel. This company strives to provide products that dogs are proud to wear. http://www.americandigs.com
- Katies Bumpers Whether you are a serious dog trainer doing land or water work or you have a dog that loves to fetch, Katie’s Bumpers are great. http://www.katiesbumpers.com/
- Ruff Dawg – Ruff Dawg has the right toy for your dog. These 100% superior-grade, rubber retrieving toys are made in the USA and are great for any size pooch. http://www.ruffdawg.com
- Honest Pet Products Offers pet owners safe, quality made, truly NATURAL toys for their dogs and cats. http://honestpetproducts.com
Bottom-Line: The most important gift you can give your pet is making the time you spend together special. Whether it be interacting with a toy, brushing your pet, or just hanging out, enjoy the time and find that gift which will assist in making your dog and the relationship you have with him the best it can be.
Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT. She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification. She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital. Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue. To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @ www.TLCDogtrainer.com