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Last minute Christmas shopping tips for pet owners

by Linzy Trueblood on December 21, 2011

in Cats, Dogs, Fun Stuff

Tips on toy buying for your petsChristmas Shopping for Fido, Fluffy and Your Pet Birds!

It’s the holiday season and we all know that Santa Claus is coming to town! It might be that Fido, Fluffy and your pet birds have been on their best behavior this year but you’re just not sure what to get them for Christmas. Or, you may have family and/or friends pets that you want to spoil this year. Whoever those lucky pets are on your last minute shopping list, here are a few ideas that will steer you on the right path.


Your puppy may be going through lots of rough play in her younger years, so you want durable toys that will last more than a couple days. The vigorous puppy will need toys that can hold up during her teething stage. Chew toys provide jaw exercise necessary in the physical development of puppies and young dogs. Soft snuggly toys are often great choices too, as every dog likes to have a snuggle buddy.

Adult Dogs

Get the same toys mentioned above for puppies, in addition to mental stimulation toys. For instance, Kong toys are great! Fill them up with a few treats and/or peanut butter and let your dog work to get the treats. It will keep him busy for quite some time. There are also plenty of games to choose from for dogs. Puzzle boxes are made for your dog to work at turning the object with his mouth, paws and nose to get the treats out. Molecule ball toys are big rubber molecule shaped toys with crevices to hide treats. Your dog will have fun rolling the toys around until the goodies fall out.

Senior Dogs

Making our dogs comfortable as they age is one of our biggest concerns. They enjoy lounging around in their senior years, and a new soft bed or an orthopedic bed are both great choices. Warm snuggle blankets are always loved by dogs too.

Kittens and Cats

Kittens and cats can both be little bundles of energy at times, so consider purchasing toys that will enhance your feline’s natural instincts to run, chase, pounce and jump. A long string with a toy hanging at the end is fun to pull around the house for them to chase. (Be sure to put long strings out of kitty’s reach when you’re not playing, as swallowing string can be a health hazard.) Molecular ball toys with bells inside are fun to roll around the floor. And of course, catnip is always a good choice.

Most pet stores carry a large assortment of cat toys, but you can often even make them yourself. It’s pretty simple to grab a few materials from the craft store, or even use a cardboard box that you have around the house. Kittens and cats both love to explore boxes!


Rope toys are sturdy and great for birds. New sticks for them to stand on in their cage. Wooden toys that are strung on closed-link chains.  Some birds love taking baths, so consider getting a little bathtub with a mirror attached for your feathered friend to splash around and have fun.

Keep Safety in Mind

When shopping for your pet know that no one size toy fits all. Toys should be appropriate for your pet’s size. Getting a size too small can be hazardous. It can lead to your pet swallowing or choking. A toy that’s too tough or has sharp edges can lead to gum irritation.  Always monitor your pets with new toys to make sure they don’t try to shred or eat them, or become harmed by them.

Doggone Exercise for your Dog

Remember, Fido LOVES the outdoors! A few gift certificates for walkies with your favorite dog walker will definitely be a great way for your dog to get in shape, stay healthy, and a live long prosperous life!

No matter which toy-shopping route you go this year for Fido, Fluffy and your pet birds, your choices are going to be beneficial to your pets for many reasons. The proper toys will give them less stress, alleviate boredom and loneliness, distract and engage them, help alleviate separation anxiety, and provide for mental stimulation.

Happy Shopping!  Safe and Happy Holidays to you and your furry and feathered loved ones as well!

Photo: I Love My Catnip Toy, by alasam, on Flickr

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melissa Crandall December 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Good advice. And please caution people to not succumb to the “let’s get the kids a puppy for Christmas!” idea when it floats by. The craziness of the holidays is never a great time to bring a new pet (any pet) into the house. Wait until things calm down.


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