Christmas gift ideas for your dog

Impress your pooch with the perfect present

As the holidays approach, many have put the family dog on their shopping list. But what do you buy for Fido if he can’t tell you what he'd like Santa to bring?

Elaine Degrandpre, Animal Health Technology chair, has ideas.

Tasty, healthy snacks

“Treats are OK in moderation,” says Degrandpre. She recommends giving fewer treats with high fat content (such as Milk Bones). She says the perfect dog treat is a carrot.

“You can make it so it’s a big deal to get a carrot. Some dogs really love it, that one carrot a day.”

Warm winter wear

Be fashion fur-ward. Dogs may need a coat or sweater, regardless of the thickness of their fur.“It can be necessity in this climate,” Degrandpre says. “If I’m cold, the dog is cold.”

Consider completing the ensemble with a pair of dog shoes. Degrandpre recommends a pair with rubber soles, and Velcro straps to attach them to the dog’s leg.

“People forget about the paws,” says Degrandpre. If your dog walks in deep snow, ice balls can form on their feet, which can lead to frostbite. “Try little booties. The first time you put them on, they don’t know what to do or how to walk! They’ll get used to it.”

Raise the ruff for chew toys

“The fuzz of a tennis ball is really abrasive for teeth. It will cause some damage to the enamel.” Stay away from hollow plastic, too. “They can rip that and swallow pieces.”

As an alternative, rawhide is a great choice, Degrandpre says. But find a flat piece. Avoid those shaped like bones, with knots on each end. Degrandpre has had to perform surgeries on dogs to remove those knots. “It’s never very pleasant – and extremely expensive.”

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