Archive for December, 2010

10 Cool Christmas Gifts for Your Puppy

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Doggy Christmas WishesWhen the holiday season comes around, you do not want to overlook you favorite canine friends! Here are some great gifts to keep your puppy happy and healthy all through the season.

10. A New Dog Bed

Just like people, dogs love to be comfortable. And just like babies, the more comfortable a puppy is, the better they sleep! Investing in a new resting spot for your dog doesn’t need to break the bank because dog beds can range in price from $20 to a few hundred, depending on the size and material. So be conservative, or splurge, splurge, splurge!

9. Microchip Implant

This gift is definitely more expensive than the previous, but it is worth investing in. Microchip implants can relocate lost or stolen puppies, this is especially worth thinking about if you have a full-bred puppy. The microchip implant is a pretty simple procedure that most veterinarians can perform. There is little recovery time for the pup, and the cost is approximately $100. However, if your little puppy ever runs away or gets lost or stolen, you’ll be happy you bought this gift.

8. A New Leash and Collar

This may seem like a regular ol’ gift, however a new collar and a new leash can be a very practical gift for your new puppy, especially if you are beginning leash training. One good idea is purchasing a leather leash. Yes, they are more expensive than a regular nylon lease. However, they last an extremely long time and are very hard for curious puppies to chew through! When it comes to the collar, a metal-choker collar may be a good choice for leash training, or perhaps a traditional cute and sassy collar will do.

7. Homemade Artisan Treats

If you are shopping on a budget this Christmas, homemade dog treats are a great way to treat your new puppy and show them how much you love them. You can get as creative and labor intensive as you want. Some people go all out and decorate little bone-shaped treats, but don’t forget, all that really matters is how they taste. Most recipes are based on wheat flour and flavorings, so all the ingredients can be picked up at your local grocery store.

6. Clothes

Let’s be honest, puppies in clothes are absolutely adorable. Certain breeds even require some extra clothing when going outside during those frigidly cold winter months. Christmas is a great opportunity to make your dog look exceptionally festive in a winter sweater, or get them geared up for Valentine’s Day with something pink or red. Even if your puppy doesn’t need doggie clothes, make the exception once in a while. Come on, its Christmas after all!

5. Personalized Feeding Dishes

Make your puppy’s food and water bowls stand out by getting them customized. You can add your puppy’s name, and favorite foods and toys to the bowls. This is also a good time to think about how large your puppy is going to get, and maybe getting feeding dishes that are elevated off the ground. If your breed is smaller, consider bowls with a slip guard so the bowl doesn’t move around and scratch your floor when your puppy is pigging out.

4. Gift Basket

This is a great idea if you are buying a puppy Christmas present for someone else. Most major pet stores, and lots of online retailers, offer the perfect gift baskets for new puppy owners. And since you don’t know exactly what the puppy and owner may need, these baskets give them a little bit of everything: training books, treats, chew toys, accident pads, etc.

3. Outside Toys

When it comes to playing with your puppy outside, think outside the box this year. Of course tennis balls and tug-of-war ropes are a fun choice, but there are lots of other options available. Rubber discs are a nice replacement for Frisbees because they are perfect for teething puppies. Jolly Balls are a fun blend between tug-of-war and fetch toys. Get creative with outside toys!

2. Puppy Toiletries

Puppies like to look good and feel good too! Get your new pet looking fresh and clean by buying them scented and freshening shampoos and conditioners this holiday season. Believe it or not, dog toothpastes and toothbrushes are another popular dog “toiletry.” Dental health is just as important to dogs as it is to us. And no one likes bad breath!

1. Indoor Dog Potty

This may actually be more of a gift to yourself than to your puppy. Accidents happen, especially when a new puppy is left at home by itself. Some indoor dog potties are made with synthetic grass, but they can be kind of messy. Either way, an indoor dog potty of any kind can help your pup relieve himself during the bustles of the holidays, without causing a huge mess!

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Keeping your Dog Safe During the Hectic Holidays

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

two-puppies-sitting-on-the-grassIt’s officially the holiday season, and with it comes a long list of things to do and to remember. Unfortunately, many people often forget about their pets during this season. Although it’s hard to forget that they’re there, it is hard to remember what things can be hazardous and stressful for your animal, especially when you’re stressed about making sure everything goes as planned during the holidays. Unfortunately, many things that come with the holidays can be extremely hazardous to your pet, including holiday food, decorations, and even just plenty of people hanging around can be potentially dangerous. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to help keep your pet safe and happy, all without having to make huge changes to your holiday plans. (Image Source)

  1. Food
  2. One of everyone’s favorite parts of the holidays is the tasty treats that everyone gets. Whether it is turkey, pumpkin pie, latkes, ham, eggnog, or cookies, there is something about the holidays that changes a normal food item into something special and something that everyone looks forward to. However, there are some holiday foods that can be very dangerous for your pet to ingest. When you do have your food ready though, there will always be that temptation to share the holiday spirit with your pet by giving them a few nibbles of the food, and while your intentions may be good, the result can be disastrous.First of all, giving animals too much people food can be dangerous for their long term health as they can contract serious diseases such as diabetes, but there a few foods in particular that you should avoid giving your pets. First of all, although it’s often a joke, never give alcoholic beverages to your animal. Giving them alcohol can cause a list of problems including alcohol poisoning or even make them go into a coma. Also on the list are foods such as chocolate, grapes or raisins, onions, or anything with poultry bones. Each of these can cause very painful situations, or even death, for your pet. If you want to give your dog a little treat, and you’re sure it is in good health, remember that they’re carnivores and just give them meat!

  3. Decorations
  4. Decorating your home for the holidays is an important part of getting into the holiday spirit. It just seems to create an energy that makes people happy and relaxed, so it’s no real wonder why so many people take part in the decorations for the holidays. However, a lot of the decorations used in the home can be dangerous to your pets, including mistletoe berries. Fortunately, most disasters can be diverted with the simple use of common sense. One constant in most holiday celebrations is the use of candles. They set a great mood, smell nice, and provide a good ambience; however animals will chew on just about anything, including candles. The wax itself is harmful when swallowed, but any additional substances used in the candle can also be equally as dangerous, if not fatal. Chemicals used to make scents could be toxic if ingested, not to mention the risk of knocking over lit candles.Animals don’t know this so it’s up to you to make sure that these things stay out of their reach. It is probably a good idea to do this with all decorations. Potpourri and dried flowers in wreaths can all make animals sick, while small glass or plastic figurines can shatter and get stuck in paws and gums causing large amounts of pain to your pet. Old tinsel could be made of lead and even lead-free tinsel can get tangled in their mouths or be ingested. All of these events can cause your pet to get sick, but they can all be avoided with a little common sense. If you think your pet would be interested in playing with or eating a decoration, do your best to keep it out of their reach or sight to keep away temptation from coming into their mind.

  5. People
  6. Of course lots of animals love people, and vice versa. Dogs often find delight in the company of lots of people, and even some cats like the presence of another person to sit and play with. However, the holidays present a unique mass of cheerful visitors. With so many friends and family members coming over, your house could get crowded quickly, adding additional stress on your pet. This stress grows exponentially if it is a new puppy or kitten. An unfamiliar place with lots and lots of new people nearby can easily scare the pet, and a pet that is scared and stressed can often react in uncharacteristic ways. This means that even your pet who is the most gentle and loving animal could be scared into a position where they become unsocial or violent.And if this is their first time around a lot of people, there is a good chance that they will have an accident in the house out of fear or excitement. If you notice your pet starting to act scared or uncomfortable around so many people, take them into a quiet room and give them some food, water, and a toy for them to occupy themselves with. If they want they can always come back out, but if they have their own quiet spot then they will be far more likely to stay calm and collected.

So when you start planning your holiday schedules, be sure that you don’t forget about your four-legged friend and take them into consideration as well, they’ll be just as thankful this holiday season.

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