Last Minute Gifts for your Critters

I read recently that some 70% to 80% of pet parents get their fur-babies gifts for Christmas. I just love that! My furry girls get treats and toys in their stockings every year, too. I learned recently, though, from certified assistance dog trainer John Drach that some toys can pose a danger to dogs, and should be avoided. Specifically he warned against soft toys – those covered in cloth or faux fur – and stuffed with polyester filling. Often these have squeakers or bells in them, too. That cloth is easily ripped by a dog or cat who likes to chew and shred the soft toys. Then the poly fill and the squeakers can be chewed and swallowed, which can then cause blockages in pets digestive tracts. Blockages may require surgery and if left untreated can cause painful, terrible deaths. Much better to avoid those toys stuffed with filling.

Instead, my friend John advises to look for more solid toys: those made out of rope, rubber (like Kongs), or nyla-bone chews. These aren’t as likely to be damaged by vigorous chewing or play and are much safer for pets. For virtually free options, a quick internet search will help you find a gazillion instructions for safe, homemade dog toys made from rope or recycled t-shirts, like this.

As for treats and goodies: follow your veterinarian’s advice about your pet’s nutritional needs. Some pets with sensitive systems, allergies, or those prone to pancreatitis have special dietary considerations that shouldn’t change for the holidays. You can always make homemade wholesome pet treats, too!

Follow this link for some easy, healthful recipes.

To all of you and your furry, feathered or finned loved ones: Happy Holidays!

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    Dee Perez

    Dee Perez is lifelong animal lover and animal welfare proponent. She developed and taught a year-long series of university-level classes called Two-Legged and Four-Legged: Exploring Human Relationships with Animals that explored myriad issues around ... Read Full
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