Holiday celebrations are in full force and the hustle and bustle of the season includes family meals and marathon shopping sessions. However, the season of giving is not just for humans anymore. According to pet retailer Zulily more than 50 percent of Millennial pet owners purchase monthly gifts for their pets. Our pets are family and we naturally want to include them in our celebrations and gift-giving festivities. The plethora of pet influencers and online stores with their endless gift recommendations can be overwhelming. So our Animal Emergency Care team has chosen some of our favorite gift categories to ensure your four-legged companions have a safe and fun pawliday season. 

#1: DIY pet gifts

Crafty pet owners or home chefs can put their skills to the test and make a variety of pet-safe holiday treats. The kitchen is often the center of action during the celebrations and family gatherings, and many drooling pets are eager to participate or serve as the cleanup crew. However many holiday foods are dangerous to pets and can lead to gastrointestinal problems or an unexpected veterinary visit. During marathon (human food) cooking sessions it is critical to ensure nosy paws are away from the kitchen. Designating cooking time for pet-safe treats is a great way to include your pets in the food festivities. Try making pet-safe treats by baking your pet’s canned food in cute holiday shapes.

Some finicky feline friends can be the most challenging family members to please with the right gift. Many cat owners have spent countless dollars on the latest and greatest cat toys only to have their furry pal’s whiskered nose turn away. Instead of spending additional money on toys try saving the numerous cardboard boxes you may be accumulating this season and use them to create the purrfect cat hideaway or playhouse by decorating them with some festive colors or paper. And don’t forget to include a paper or aluminum foil ball for your cat’s batting pleasure in their new winter wonderland hiding spot. 

#2: The pet gift that keeps on giving

Many pet owners know the challenge of searching for the perfect toy that can stand the test of time—or drool. Pets often show their love for a toy by destroying, scratching, or tearing it up within days or minutes in some cases. It is also not uncommon for pets to become bored with certain toys especially if they do not have a variety available. Fortunately pet gift subscription boxes are available to surprise your pet with new toys and treats throughout the year. Companies like Barkbox and KitNipBox send your pet a new set of themed toys and treats each month. Gift boxes are also a great option to send to a pet-owning friend or rescue group. Pets who are bored may act out so providing them with a variety of toys year-round is a great tool to keep their mind and body active. 

#3: Pet insurance for the unexpected veterinary visit

Accidents or pet emergencies can occur at any time. Common holiday emergencies including gastrointestinal blockages, pancreatitis, or toxic food ingestion may require an extended hospital stay which can result in a larger veterinary bill. Purchasing a pet health insurance plan like Trupanion when your pet is young will ensure funds are available for your pet’s emergency care. Trupanion can pay your veterinary clinic directly which eliminates the need to submit paperwork and wait for reimbursements. 

#4: Lights, camera, pet treats

As post-COVID life slowly returns to normal, many pets and pet owners are learning to adjust to life without each other 24/7.  For many pets, the change has caused post-pandemic separation anxiety which can lead to them acting out by house soiling or vocalizing when you leave the home. Bring your pet in to your family veterinarian if you have noticed any behavior changes because some signs like depression can indicate a medical problem. One way to ease separation stress for you and your pet is with the gift of a Furbo camera and treat dispenser. Furbo allows you to see and talk to your pet when you are not home. Your pet also will appreciate the treat-dispensing feature. Other Furbo benefits include:

  • A bark detector
  • Video recorder, which is especially useful to show your veterinarian any abnormal behaviors
  • Night vision

#5: Cozy pets are happy pets

The dropping temperatures can make daily walks or outdoor activities unpleasant and potentially dangerous for pets. Although your pet has a natural fur coat they are still at risk of developing hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold. Ensure your pet is protected this winter by buying them some proper winter gear. Products such as Musher’s secret and dog boots will help prevent cracked and injured paws caused by icy sidewalks. A properly fitting winter sweater or jacket will help keep your pet’s core body warm on chilly outings, and the numerous selections will ensure they are equally stylish.  

If your pet considers a trip to their food bowl a workout or if they prefer cuddling to outdoor adventures, then consider gifting them with a cozy fleece blanket or a pet-safe heated bed for those extra chilly winter days.  

Happy Pawlidays from our Animal Emergency Care team. If your pet gets into any holiday trouble after hours contact our office and bring them in for treatment. #AECprevents