There are still a few more Christmas shopping days to get that perfect gift for your furry family members. There is such a big selection, I know it's hard to choose. You want to get your dog or cat - or other pet - a toy they will love. But you also want to be sure that what you get them is safe.
Not all toys and treats are created equal. Some are healthier than others. Some are downright dangerous! So to help you choose the right gift for your pet, here is a list of healthy and safe toys and treats for dogs and cats.
Treats make excellent gifts! None of us hear at Oak Valley will turn down a treat. Mom makes most of ours. I shared some of our favorite recipes in an earlier post (Recipe Greetings For Christmas http://dld.bz/d3uur). But if your Mom or Dad doesn't have time to make them, there this wonderful thing in the store called "Greenies"! Greenies are delicious! And they help keep our teeth clean. They have Greenies chews for me and the other dogs. And they have Greenies cat treats too! The cats love these almost as much as Mom's tuna balls. And they are easy to find. Mom just buys them at the grocery store or sometimes she will get them at the pet store.
If Greenies don't appeal to you or your cats, then make sure the treats are healthy and safe. Make sure they are sourced and made in the U.S. Remember the jerky-treat scare a few years ago? Lots of dogs died. Well that jerky was definitely NOT made in the U.S!
Make sure they are high quality treats. High quality treats will not contain grains or unnecessary fillers, rendered animal by products, added sugar (sometimes hidden in ingredients like molasses and honey), chemicals, artificial preservatives, or ingredients known to be highly allergenic to pets. Unfortunately, this means most of the treats on the market. Which is why we get Greenies!
Toys are always fun. We like toys that are interactive and make us move. They also need to be durable. Nothing that we can chew up and swallow pieces of. Think Kong - for both cats and dogs. My favorite is the Extreme Treat-Dispensing Dog Toy! It gives treats when you play with it! And they make a toy that cats love called a Kickaroo. It has catnip in it which makes our cats wild. They will try to sneak up on it and attack it like it is alive. Maybe they think it is since it does have a sort of tail. They sure are fun to watch!
Be careful of plush squeaky toys. I can disembowel one of those in no time! But we certainly don't want me to eat any of that stuff. And the squeeker-thing inside can get caught in my throat and choke me. Mom does let me have my plush weenie-dog, but only when she is able to keep an eye on me. And when the cats have their catnip mice, she watches to make sure I don't try to eat any of them either.
Whatever you decide to get your pets for Christmas, take the time to be sure it is safe and healthy. For more suggestions for gifts for your cat or dog - and even your bird or rodent, check out the list of Holiday Gift Ideas for your Pets from College Manor Veterinary Hospital.