Choosing Safe Gifts for Your Pet

The holiday season is well underway, and you may still be wondering what to get your dog or cat for a gift. Like most pet owners, you consider him a part of the family and wouldn’t dream of overlooking him when it comes to holiday gifts. Buying species-appropriate toys for your pet isn’t spoiling him. Dogs and cats need a regular rotation of toys to keep their minds and bodies sharp. This is especially important during Minnesota’s long winter when your pet may not be able to exercise as often.

Choosing Safe Gifts for Your PetConsiderations When Choosing Dog Toys
When selecting a new toy for your dog, consider her age, breed, size, and energy level. A large chew toy, for example, is a great gift for a German Shepherd while a chihuahua wouldn’t even be able to fit it into her mouth. At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we also urge you to consider anything on a toy that could pose a choking hazard for your dog. These could include plastic eyes, buttons, nutshells, beads, and strings that your dog couldeasily chew off and accidentally swallow.

Dog need to chew and will put their mouths on anything they can find. If you want to save your furniture and shoes, be sure to invest in several chewing toys such as tennis balls, knotted ropes, and rubber balls. Like people,dogs also enjoy the occasional treat. Just be sure not to overindulge your pet with treats to avoid issues with weight and dental health. Toys that provide a spot to hide a treat inside make your dog work for the treat and motivate her to keep playing until she reaches it.

Safe and Popular Toys for Cats
Today’s cat may not look anything like his ancestors who had to stalk and kill their prey if they wanted to eat. Even so, they still have the stalking and chasing instinct hardwired into their DNA. That doesn’t mean you have to provide your cat with small animals to hunt. He uses the same skills pouncing on a tie from a loaf of bread or a small ball you got at the pet store. Laser pointers, toy mice, string, and cat-sized balls are especially popular with the feline. Some cats enjoy catnip sprinkled on their toys as well. Indoor cats especially need a wide variety of toys to avoid boredom.

Time is the Best Gift of All
There closer we get to the holidays, the less time you might have to spend with your pet. This could cause your dog or cat to act up to get your attention. You can avoid behavior problems and increase the bond you sharewith your pet by taking at least a few minutes a day to talk to and play with her. After all, time spent with a pet is never wasted.

Happy holidays from the staff of Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo! We appreciate the opportunity to b e your local veterinarian.

Image credit: Name| iStock / Getty Images Plus

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