More than 60% of pet owners have said that giving gifts to their cats or dogs is an important way of bonding. But, with thousands of pet sites trying to sell toys or Internet rumors about the dangers of this treat or that bone, how can you find something that is just right for your pet?
For many, a gift for their pet should consist of something fun and entertaining, like a durable toy. Veterinary experts also recommend the use of interactive toys that encourage exercise and activity. This has the dual benefit of burning calories from overweight pets and also providing a needed outlet for highly active dogs, like the working breeds. After all, a tired dog is a good dog!
To help meet this need for entertaining toys, companies like Kong (www.kongcompany.com) and Pet Qwerks (www.petqwerks.com) have developed innovative new ways to keep our pets active. Many of the Kong toys, like the Bounzer or the Wobbler, will bounce in random directions when tossed and are made of very durable rubber. There’s even a wide variety of sizes for your tiny or massive pooch!
The Babble Ball from Pet Qwerks is an interactive toy that actually “talks” to the pet when moved or even simply sniffed. More than 20 voices or sounds are created, entertaining even the laziest of pets. Cat lovers will appreciate the Kitty Babble Ball as well.
One of the best and least expensive toys to keep that flabby tabby moving is any one of the wide variety of Kitty Teaser products. Found at most retail stores and many online outlets, these simple fiberglass rods with feathers, ribbons or swirls attached will attract the attention of any cat and provide lots of entertainment for the owner.
Keeping our pets from becoming bored or even challenging their intelligence is the mission for several other pet companies. Aikiou (pronounced “I-Q”) (www.aikiou.com) has created a line of interactive feeding stations that simulate hunting and foraging activities. Likewise, Premier Pet Products (www.premier.com) uses their Busy Buddy line of toys to reward dogs for playful, constructive behavior.
It’s also very easy to find an amazing array of designer clothing, leashes, collars and even special feeding bowls for your unique friend. But, beyond all of these material things, what other gifts can help make sure that your pet is healthy and well protected?
One of the simplest and best ways to keep your pets safe is to make sure that they have permanent identification. Far too many pets are lost or stolen every year and the vast majority of these animals never make it back home to their owners. Have your veterinarian implant a microchip and be sure to keep the registration information current.
Another helpful gift idea is a pet health insurance policy. Although Fluffy and Fido may not fully appreciate it, having a policy can really lessen the impact of a traumatic accident, serious injury or substantial illness. Millions of pet owners have already found pet health insurance to be invaluable and it’s certainly a great gift idea for other pet owners in your family.
When it comes right down to it, all of the special toys, interactive puzzles or unique pet sweaters won’t take the place of the most important thing you can give your pet…your time! Spend some time every day with your pet by engaging them in play or some quiet grooming. It’s the very best thing you can give and your pet will love you all the more for it.
Your veterinarian is also a great source of advice for finding the right activities for your pet’s abilities. He or she can suggest other safe toys that will help keep your pet physically and mentally healthy.