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3 Essential Christmas Gifts for Cats, Dogs, and their People

by Therese on December 12, 2010

in Cats, Dogs, Fun Stuff, Pet Health

Christmas gifts for cats and dogs. Pet first aid, pet health insurance, and getting active with your pets are great Christmas gifts.There are plenty of toys, specialty treats, fru-fru clothing, fancy shampoos and more that you can buy for your pets. These are great, and can surely make Christmas morning fun for you and your pets. Who doesn’t like watching a cat dig into a catnip toy, or a dog chew through the wrapping paper to get to a tasty treat? Being the practical person I am though, I’d like to encourage everyone to give the following gifts to your pets – and yourself.

Pet Health Insurance

If you’ve read my blog long enough you know I’m a big advocate of pet health insurance. My suggestion is to buy health insurance for accidents and catastrophic illnesses – not routine health care. You can plan for routine health care but not emergencies. Health insurance helps you be prepared in the event something drastic happens. It allows you to focus on caring for your pet, rather than worrying so much about the money.

In my case, Lydia’s fight with cancer has cost close to 20k since she was first diagnosed in July, 2008 (and unfortunately that amount is rising). The fortunate part though is that her health insurance has paid for most of it. Without pet health insurance I would have some heavy duty charge card bills. The truth is, many dogs with Lydia’s health problems would most likely be gone now without the type of health care she’s received.

My favorite pet health insurance company is Petplan (call Amy & tell her Therese sent you). They have helped with Lydia (and they know her well!), but they’ve also covered some health issues for Archie, and Tequila, who lost her battle with cancer in Feb.

Pet First Aid Training

When you take a pet first aid class you will learn skills that you can use during an emergency situation, but you will also learn how to avoid illnesses and injuries. If you’re lucky, and diligent, the goal is for your cat or dog to visit the vet once or twice a year just for a check-up. Taking a pet first aid class will help with that, but if something does happen you’ll know some skills that will:

  • give your dog or cat a better chance of surviving an emergency,
  • cut down on the time and intensity of care needed to treat the emergency or illness,
  • mean you (and your insurance company) will spend less money on veterinary bills.

Pet Tech Pet First Aid & Care is the best pet first aid course out there. You can visit their website to find a pet first aid instructor in your area. If there isn’t someone in your area who teaches it, consider becoming an instructor yourself. Or, if that doesn’t interest you contact your local Red Cross to see if there are any local pet first aid classes.

And, if you have an iPhone, Droid, iPad, or iTouch, go buy the Pet Tech first aid app. You can learn more about it here. (aff)

Christmas gifts for cats, dogs, and their peopleGet Active With Your Pet

Think about why you adopted your wonderful dog or cat in the first place. I’m sure companionship is at the top of the list for most people reading this blog post. So get out the dog leash or the kitty toy and spend some time with your four legged friend. Considering many Americans and their pets are overweight, becoming more active is going to have some beneficial health effects too. Scientific studies have proven that spending time with our pets can lower blood pressure and improve our mood. And, if you get out and walk with your dog, you’re going to be doing your heart good in other ways too! Whether it’s a walk with Fido or a game of catch the laser with Fluffy, spending time with your pet is going to get you both in better shape, which will make life better for you both. To learn more about pet obesity, and why it’s so important to get your pet moving, see the Pet Obesity Prevention website.

I realize that pet health insurance, pet first aid training, and exercise aren’t exactly fun and exciting new toys for your pet to unwrap. So, if your main goal is to have something wrapped, and under the tree for your cats and dogs, buy an inexpensive toy, wrap it up, and include a promise to do one or more of the above. Your pet isn’t going to know the difference, but you will know that you’re doing something that may very well keep him happy and healthy so you can be together for many years to come.

(kitty photo by BZAdam)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Madeline December 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm

These are great ideas! I will learn about pet first aid training in case of emergencies. As a dog walker I know the importance of walking which is good for not only the dog but your you as well. Thanks for the info!


Cindy Nevarez December 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

All Great ideas Therese, except I would add a 4th, and perhaps put it at the top of the list, thus perhaps assuring that the first 2 in your list would hardly ever have to be utilized.
That is the proper food for your animal. Especially cats. I can’t tell you all how many times we see diseases in our clients…especially cats (diabetes/kidney failure/chronic obesity) that we KNOW would have been prevented if the pet parent would have fed them the amount of real meat they needed and got rid of those grains (in dogs…all kinds of allergies), not to mention the other crap/by-products that’s in the popular, large commercially made foods out there.
If you can’t, or won’t do any of these other things….please get them on the food that your animal will actually thrive on!


Mandy March 3, 2011 at 9:41 am

I stumbled over this trying to find a fun gift for a friends pet, I love it, great ideas! Thanks!


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