by Elisabeth J. Giedt, DVM
Here is a twist on a holiday favorite – gift ideas for your furry family members!
On the first day of Christmas, give your pet your attention. Whether it is a walk or a good brushing or just a scratch in that ‘oh so favorite’ spot, your beloved pet will appreciate your time.
On the second day of Christmas, give your pet a safe home without access to household dangers. Visit Pet Poison Helpline® for suggestions at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
On the third day of Christmas, schedule a visit to your veterinarian for a health checkup and suggestions for maintaining the health of your pet. While you’re at it, visit your physician for your own health checkup to be sure the entire family is healthy.
On the fourth day of Christmas, make a donation of supplies or your time to your local animal rescue organization. Here in Stillwater the following organizations make life better for animals:
- Operation Catnip Stillwater at http://www.operationcatnipstillwater.org
- Stillwater Humane Society at http://www.hspets.org
- Stillwater Animal Welfare at http://stillwater.org select ‘Government’ then ‘City Programs and Services’
- Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue at http://raniamus.wix.com/tinypawrescue.
On the fifth day of Christmas, purchase an Animal Friendly license plate. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, proceeds from sales help fund free or low-cost spay and neuter surgeries across Oklahoma. Proceeds also help raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering. To purchase your Animal Friendly license plate, visit your local tag agency or contact the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association at 405-478-1002.
On the sixth day of Christmas, buy your pet a GPS collar device. These nifty devices may be more of a gift for you; however, it is cool nonetheless. If Fido tends to stray, it’s a good way to keep track of him. You can even set the device to send text messages when your dog wanders too far out of a specific vicinity. How cool is that!
On the seventh day of Christmas, buy a rope. Ropes come in all shapes, sizes and a variety of colors. Some ropes even come combined with balls.
On the eighth day of Christmas, get your pet a puzzle food bowl. The puzzle food bowl makes mealtime more stimulating. Food is hidden in secret compartments that your dog or cat then needs to figure out how to get to in order to enjoy its meal.
On the ninth day of Christmas, get some plush toys. Plush toys are enjoyed by many dogs and cats. Make sure the squeaker is safely secured inside to prevent ingestion. Cats love toy mice filled with catnip attached to a string or pole for moving them around.
On the tenth day of Christmas, get a personalized collar for your pet. You can have your name and phone number sewn into or attached to the collar. You can ‘rough it up’ with spikes, add some personalized dog tags, or bedazzle it with rhinestones. Make your pup or kitten feel like royalty this year!
On the eleventh day of Christmas, invest in some reflective accessories. Attach reflective items to the collar or leash of your pet and on your coat or jacket. Make evening walks in the winter safe with reflective gear.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, get a new pet bed. Every dog and cat has a favorite place to sleep. A new pet bed with memory foam or down feathers can make a great spot for sleeping. Some cat beds may even come with an associated scratching post.
Veterinary Viewpoints is provided by the faculty of the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. Certified by the American Animal Hospital Association, the hospital is open to the public providing routine and specialized care for all species and 24-hour emergency care, 365 days a year.