If you are one of the many pet owners who give their four-legged family member holiday gifts, the choices are likely overwhelming you.
However, do not get swept up in persuasive pet marketing. Your pet does not care about brands, price points, fashion, or the latest state-of-the-art technology-one of the many reasons we love them. Remember, the best gift you can give your pet is your presence. To strengthen your pet-owner bond this holiday season, peruse our team's list of five meaningful gifts.
#1: Let your pet choose a new toy
For a social, confident pet, a pet supply store visit can be a fun adventure. The sights smells, and new people and pets provide your four-legged friend with an opportunity to interact with their environment and socialize with others. Give your pet time to enjoy the experience, allowing them to sniff and meander the aisles. The ultimate surprise is to let your pet choose their holiday gift. If your pet expresses interest in a toy or treat at their eye level, you have a winner. You can also choose a few appropriate options, place them on the floor, and let your pet choose their favorite. Of course, your pet may choose them all, but boy, will they be thrilled. While at the pet supply store, pick up an extra toy for a homeless pet. During the holidays, many stores hold pet toy and food drives and deliver the items to local animal shelters.
#2: Give your pet a relaxing massage
Your pet will love this gift idea, and the best part is, you will only be spending your time. Most pets love to be stroked, and a gentle massage helps them relax and soothes sore muscles. Choose a quiet, comfortable area of your home, where family members and noises will not disturb you and your pet. Have your pet lay down in their bed or a comfortable position on the couch or floor. Set the mood by turning on some calming music, and use gentle sweeping motions along your pet's body, avoiding areas where your pet is sensitive or does not like to be touched. As you massage your pet, stay present in the moment, focusing on your breath. Not only will your pet find comfort from the sound of your steady breathing, but you will also benefit from this mindfulness practice.
#3: Bake your pet a special treat
Pets always love a delicious treat. Skip the commercial pet treats, which often include unhealthy ingredients, such as sugars and artificial dyes, and bake your pet a healthy and tasty snack to show them how much you care. While many recipes are available online, do some research to ensure a recipe's ingredients are pet-safe, and consult your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns. Although your pet will likely want to binge on the delicious homemade treat you present them, remember to keep their portion sizes small to prevent holiday weight gain-advice we can all abide by-and ensure the treats' calorie count does not exceed 10% of your four-legged friend's daily caloric intake.
#4: Take your pet on a date
Every relationship benefits from some one-on-one time-including your relationship with your pet. Make your pet's day by planning a special outing for the two of you-nothing over the top. Consider the following simple pet date ideas:
- Take your pet for a leisurely walk, and let them stop and sniff as often as they like.
- Enjoy lunch on a pet-friendly patio.
- Go to the park for a lively game of fetch.
- Take your pet for a drive, letting them take in the sights.
- Sit on the front porch, and watch the people go by.
- Go for a hike to a place your pet has never been.
#5: Give your pet a good night's sleep
If you really want to spoil your pet this holiday season, consider upgrading their bed to provide them with optimal comfort. A high-quality orthopedic pet bed cushions your four-legged friend's joints, and is great for senior pets or those with arthritis. Your pet spends much of their day sleeping, and a comfortable bed ensures they enjoy a high-quality snooze.
No matter what holiday gift you give your pet this year, ensure you include the most important gift of all-optimal health. Contact our team to schedule an appointment for all of your pet's veterinary needs.