Holiday Gifts for the Pet Who Has Everything

You’ve made your list, and you’re checking it twice.

Uh oh—did you forget your pet? 

Don’t worry, our Madison Street Animal Hospital team won’t tell. In fact, we’ll share some paw-some last-minute pet gift ideas with you. Check out these fun and unique holiday gift ideas and experiences for the pet who has everything.

For the foodie—make and share pet-friendly treats

Cookie baking is a popular holiday tradition. But, why not do a little baking for your pet too? Retail pet treats may be convenient, but they’re typically made with unhealthy ingredients, artificial food colorings, and preservatives. Homemade recipes allow you to spoil your pet without the guilt or worry that you’re feeding them something harmful. Plus, baking—or making—is a fun way to spend some quality time with your pet.

Look online for countless recipe ideas for baked, no-bake, and frozen dog and cat treats. Stick to your pet’s favorite flavors—such as peanut butter, fruit, chicken, or fish—to avoid unpleasant gastrointestinal surprises, and always use xylitol-free peanut butter. 

For the outdoorsy type—go on a pet-friendly adventure

If your pet loves being outside, beat the winter doldrums and get some fresh air by taking a holiday adventure. Consider checking out a new park, hiking trail, or nature area, and letting your dog choose the path—within reason, of course. Allow your pooch to follow their nose—sniffing is a healthy and satisfying behavior that helps dogs gather information and feel comfortable in a new environment. Once your dog has had their fill of sniffing, you’ll both be ready for a nice walk. If you’ll be in a large open area (e.g., spacious field), use a long-line (i.e., 20- to 30-foot) leash to give your dog some extra freedom. 

If the weather outside is too frightful, avoid a potential outdoor catastrophe. Consider one of these indoor options:

  • Pet supply store — Go biscuit hopping, and check out the treats at several different pet supply store locations.
  • Pet-friendly retailers — Call ahead to confirm the business continues to welcome well-behaved pets.
  • Rent space at a training center — Some boarding, training, and dog daycare facilities rent out their play spaces by the hour. Bring your dog’s favorite toys, and let them zoom around to their heart’s content. 
  • Auto tour — If your pet loves car rides, they may be perfectly content with a cozy cruise around town to view the holiday decorations.

For the teacher’s pet—register for a training class

For the pet who is always looking for a new challenge, gift them with a membership at a local training or sport class. If you and your pet have already mastered the basics, try nosework, agility, barn hunt, or rally obedience. 

If your dog is reactive or nervous in unfamiliar environments, go online, and begin your pet’s training journey from the safety of your own home. You and your pet will enjoy basic obedience, manners, and tricks, which are a great way to build your confidence as a team. By spring, you’ll both be ready to practice your new skills away from homein more challenging and fun—environments.

For the thinker—give your pet a puzzle

Inquisitive pets will appreciate this truly thoughtful gift. Pet puzzles and enrichment toys are specially designed to engage the canine and feline mind, encouraging problem solving through natural behaviors. Because food is a common pet motivator, most toys reward your pet’s interactions by dispensing treats or kibble. 

To ensure your pet is successful and avoids frustration, start with a beginner-level puzzle and gradually increase the challenge. If your pet appears confused or uncertain, play along with them until they understand the expectation. Pets’ favorite enrichment puzzles and toys include:

  • Treat balls KONG Wobbler, Our Pets IQ Treat Ball, and the PetSafe SlimCat 
  • Puzzles Nina Ottosson puzzles for dogs and cats are thoughtfully designed and easy to clean.
  • Snuffle mats This rug-like toy encourages pets to sniff out their food. Do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions and retail mats are available.
  • Reach boxes — These aptly named puzzles encourage cats to reach inside for inaccessible toys or food.
  • DIY ideas — Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Many fun DIY dog and cat puzzles can be made with boxes, packing paper, and cardboard tubes.  

For the homebody—give your pet a cozy night in

Down time is rare during the holiday season, but a quiet night at home with you is likely your pet’s most longed-for present. Give your pet some long-overdue attention by setting aside one night exclusively for them. Cue up some pet-centric movies, grab some healthy pet-safe snacks, and snuggle up for a cozy night in with your special furry someone.

For the paw-ty-animal—host a pet playdate

If your extroverted pet loves to socialize and play, consider hosting a holiday paw-ty with their closest furry friends. Invite human attendees to participate in a dog or cat toy exchange, or at a treat-decorating station, using pet-friendly icing. Everyone will enjoy playing dog-owner games, such as:

  • Cutest trick
  • Treat catching or balancing
  • Fastest fetch 
  • Wrapping paper race (i.e., fastest gift opener)
  • Musical chairs with dogs and owners

If your usual holiday traditions have not included your pet—consider introducing some new activities your furry pal will especially enjoy. Spending time with your four-legged friend—especially during this busy season—is a great way to express your love and gratitude for the paws-itive ways they impact your life every day. For more pet holiday safety tips, or to schedule your furry pal’s new year wellness appointment, contact our Madison Street Animal Hospital team. Happy holidays from our two- and four-legged family members to yours.

By |2022-12-21T22:29:21+00:00December 20th, 2022|News|0 Comments

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