By: Maddy Marker, Animal Care Technician for Humane Pennsylvania
The paw-lidays are fast approaching and if you are anything like me, pets get presents too. Holidays can be stressful. You are constantly looking for the right gift for your aunt, your friends or even a coworker. Because we are so easily consumed by gifts, glitter, sales and finding the right outfits we often times overlook our 4 legged friends. Here’s a guide to help you pick the best and safest products this holiday!
- Busy Bowl: Do you have a pet that eats too fast? How about a pet that seems less interested in their food lately? Try a busy bowl! Busy bowls are great toys that pose as an everyday item. Animals who eat too fast may end up with an upset stomach which can cause vomiting. Busy bowls are meant to help slow them down. They now work a little harder for their food trying to get all the pieces. On the opposite end, busy bowls are used as enrichment in most shelters! Because the animals have to work for their food, it can make eating a fun game.
- Red Barn Bones: These bones are great for enrichment! If you have a dog who really enjoys peanut butter or cream cheese, these bones are the perfect gift! They come in different flavors and sizes but they also have hallow ones that you can fill with whatever you want. Red Barn Bones are also nice because you can freeze them and they’ll last a little longer.
- Kong: Similar to the Red Barn Bones, kongs can be filled with peanut butter or whatever else you choose to make a fun treat for your dog. They can also go in the freezer for a cool snack later on.
- Training treats: If you have a high energy dog or even a dog that loves to learn, training treats are the way to go. During your holiday break, you can spend some time with your pet and teach them a few tricks you’ve been wanting to. Training treats come in all flavors and sizes so picking out the best one for your furry friend can be fun!
- Beds: Does your pet prefer to lounge instead of leap? If so, getting your pet a new bed will make their lazy Sundays so much better. There are tons of beds to choose from and some stores let your pet test them out first.
- Slow Drink Water Bowl: A slow drink water bowl works wonders for pet owners who have pets who drink water too fast. Most slow drink water bowls will have a large piece that floats in the center of the bowl and allows water through at a slow rate. This allows you pets to drink but not too fast that they may get sick.
Let’s be honest, going to the pet store can be confusing. There’s so many options, isles and tons of products to choose from. It’s easy to pick all of the things that are on sale, especially if you are on a tight budget. Remember, sale does not equal safe! Below, you will see a list of gifts and things you should try to avoid for your pawsome friends.
- Rawhides: Rawhides are hard chews for dogs of all sizes. They are made from leather industry’s leftovers. These chews can pose a threat to your dog’s health. Rawhides, when chewed on break off into hard medium-small pieces. The problem lies in their digestibility. Rawhides are not easily digested by dogs. Along with them being hard, they also tend to break off in sharp shards. These shards can be very dangerous for dogs especially when trying to be digested.
- Wood: Similar to rawhides, wood isn’t easily digested by dogs. Not only do they pose a threat to the dog’s stomach but when chewing on wood, it can begin to splinter. A splinter doesn’t seem too dangerous but one small splinter can get infected and cause more health problems, especially in older dogs.
- Tinsel: Who doesn’t love decorating the tree with tinsel? It’s shiny, beautiful and adds such a wonderful holiday glow to the room. If you love tinsel, don’t panic! This doesn’t mean you can’t put tinsel on the tree, it just means be careful with it. Tinsel is often times more of a threat to cats but I’ve seen dogs who confused it for spaghetti too. Tinsel isn’t meant to be digested by animals. It can get caught or build up in your pet’s stomach and cause serious health issues. Try not to make tinsel a toy for your furry friends. Avoid playing with tinsel and avoid using too much tinsel too.
It can be tricky picking out the right thing for your animals. Now that you are fully equipped with ideas, get out there and have fun howl-iday shopping for your pets!