Category Archives: pets
By Dr. Fiona Caldwell, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance company for dogs and cats.
Not sure what to get your dogs for the holidays? Here are five great gift ideas to say thanks to the pups in your life for their unconditional love all year long. You’ll make their tails wag, and several of the items double as a gift for you!
1. Dental chew toys
Dental disease is one of the most common preventable diseases seen by veterinarians. There are toys available for your dogs to chew on that are designed to remove plaque and prevent tartar formation. This can help stop the progression of dental disease and freshen breath. The added bonus of this is your dogs’ better breath when they get in your face to give you kisses – wanted or not! Your local dog store can help you find a dental chew toy that will be best suited for your dogs.
2. Bowls designed to slow eating
When dogs gulp their food down quickly they often aren’t chewing the kibble. Chewing on their kibble can actually help prevent periodontal disease by removing plaque and preventing tartar. In addition, eating quickly can cause excessive air to be swallowed by your dogs, which then leads to them having gas. And really, no one likes dog gas. There are bowls that are designed to slow down your dogs’ eating. With the benefits of eating slowly, both you and your dogs will be getting a gift! Your local dog store can help you find a slow eating bowl that will work best for your speed eater dogs.
3. Treat Puzzles
There are many educational toys for dogs that require them to “work” for a treat. These usually require pets to figure out how to open compartments or tinker with the toy until they are rewarded with the treat. Educational toys are great because they reduce boredom and increase cognitive functions. These toys are a perfect gift for all dogs, but those who will benefit the most are puppies, working breeds that need mental stimulation, and senior dogs. Educational toys can help slow the progression of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction in older pets, which is a little like Alzheimer’s disease. Your local dog store can help you find the best puzzle toys for your dogs.
4. A canine photo shoot
Celebrate your love for your pets by capturing a picture of them. Take photos of your dogs, have a photo shoot done with the whole family, or use one from the hundreds you probably have on your cell phone! There are tons of photo gift options available these days, including simply framing the photo, making it an art print on canvas, making a custom iPhone case, and putting a picture of your dog’s mug on a mug.
5. Pet Insurance
Give the gift that keeps giving! Studies show that people with pet insurance visit the veterinarian’s office more regularly. Regular veterinary visits will help keep your pets happy and healthy. Pet health insurance will help ensure your dogs receive the best veterinary care by alleviating the stress of the hefty bill that often accompanies it.
Subscription boxes are one of the hottest trends right now. There are monthly subscriptions available for everything from books to work out style clothing – and pets. The Pet Flow Spoiled Rotten Box is available for either dogs or cats. Obviously, since I have a bunch of cats, I tried that one out. Here’s what I received.
The first thing in the box was a card explaining its contents:
There were several different types of cat treats inside, including:
PetNaturals Calming Cat Chews
Omega Paw Cranberry Cabernet Treats
And Omega Paw Meowtinis Treats
As usual, some of my cats loved the treats, while others turned up their nose. Really, the only treat that they seem to agree on is catnip.
Speaking of catnip, these Softbite toy mice that were in the box were supposed to have catnip inside of them:
My cats seemed less than enthused to play with them, until I dumped the mice in a container of catnip and shook it up. The catnip clung to the colored twine that covered the mice. I pulled them out and gave them to the cats and haven’t seen them since (the mice, not the cats.)
There were also two cans of soft food – Merrick Purrfect Bistro Turkey and Merrick Purrfect Bistro Tuna Pate:
And a cool cat toy – the Cat Dancer Compleat:
This toy is a sturdy wire with a sticky cat paw on one end (to attach it to the wall) and some small cardboard tubes on the other end. I stuck it to the wall, where it stayed for for about 24 hours before one of my enterprising furballs yanked it off the wall.
It also came with a package of Supercat Catnip Stickers, which are supposed to smell like catnip when scratched. I placed a few on the lid of the box that they came in and a few cats happily rolled on it, and then looked at me wondering where the real catnip was:
Here’s one of my happy Spoiled Rotten cats enjoy his bounty:
The box costs $19.99 plus $5.00 for shipping. It certainly came with some interesting toys and treats, and my cats are happy, which makes it worthwhile.
There are a few things that every cat owner needs, besides cats, of course. These include the obvious items, like cat food, a litter box and cat litter, but also a litter mat, a pet stain removal spray and some furniture saving anti-scratch tape. Pruven Pet Products sent me a few goodies to test out, including a few things on that list:
One other thing that isn’t listed above? A pet hair roller. Every pet owner needs one, unless you feel like walking around all day covered in cat hair. This one worked very well and one sheet managed to remove all of the hair covering the shirt that I was wearing:
A litter mat is another useful thing to have. This one is fairly small (you can get a sense of its size in the last shot) so I put in the doorway of my “cat room” so that it could catch any stray bits of litter still clinging to my cat’s feet:
This scratch protection film is clear and rather thick. It’s designed to go on wooden surfaces, like table and chair legs. I tested it out on one, and it held up surprisingly well until one of my too-smart-for-his-own-good cats *cough* Socks *cough* decided to peel it off:
All in all, I say – Yes! If you’re in the market for pet products, aim for the ones made by Pruven. (Do you need me to mention that they’re owned by 3M, the makers of Post-It notes? And that I’m obsessed with Post-It Notes? No? Well, I mentioned it anyway.) They’re sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, and several other places.
(Disclaimer: I received these products to review for free from a press representative in exchange for my unbiased review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.)