Christmas Ideas for Pet Lovers
Submitted by Lisa Yackel, Hospital Administrator
The holidays are always wonderful family times at my house and family includes the four- legged variety as well. This is even extended to when we celebrate at other family memberâ€™s homes. In fact, it is not unusual to have 6 or 7 dogs on Christmas Day at my mother-in-lawâ€™s and she doesnâ€™t even own any pets of her own at this time! I bring my dogâ€™s crate so she will have somewhere to run when it gets overwhelming and some of my in-laws bring dog gates to separate the dogs when we need to keep them out of the kitchen, etc. It would not be far-fetched to say that we are definitely pet tolerant!
One of the fun things I like to do is pick out a small gift for each pet. It endears me to their â€śparentsâ€ť and it keeps them occupied while we are opening gifts on Christmas morning. Over the years, I have learned that my sisterâ€™s dog likes Sherpa toys, my brother-in-lawâ€™s dogs love balls, and my dog likes to steal everyone elseâ€™s toys. I try to stay away from food gifts (treats, raw hides, etc.) to minimize any potential squabbles or tummy upsets.
During the weeks leading up to the holidays, I have also enjoyed helping our clients pick out gifts for their pets. Some get them a new collar and leash to start fresh for the New Year, some want a special toy, and some just want to replenish some of the toys that look a little worse for wear. In the past, my favorite suggestion has been the Kong Toy because of its durability as well as the variety. It isnâ€™t a specific Christmas toy but it is red and both dogs and cats love them.
This year, I am going to suggest that clients extend their thoughts past their own pets to others on their Christmas list. With the economy so tight, many have had to cut back on extras for their pets and some have had to cut back on core wellness items. What about gift certificates that can be used for heartworm prevention, flea control, a dental, or a groom? Many of our clients have felt guilty that they have not been financially able to do all that they have done in the past in the way of veterinary care. Imagine their delight when a gift certificate allows them to do so in 2011! I know several people in my age group who have elderly parents on fixed incomes that would be delighted to get a gift certificate. They will certainly appreciate something for their pet rather than another robe or set of golf balls. I think a breed specific pet calendar with a gift certificate from their favorite veterinarian will be considered a home run! Or if you want to be very unique, how about purchasing a certificate for the DNA testing that specifies what breed of dog your Heinz 57 is? We had a client inquire about this a few days ago for his wife and we all thought it was a great idea.