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Festive Ideas For Our Pets

Val Cairney December 9, 2022 61

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Hi everyone, and thank you for joining me on this episode of Val Talk’s Pets.  

Well it won’t be long before Santa Paws makes his rounds, so that means we have to be prepared for our furry family members to have what they need for a great Christmas holiday.  

It can be a bit confusing when trying to sort through all the great Christmas products for pets, so let me go through some ideas to consider for your cat or dog’s holiday fun.

Quite often pet parents look for something to put in their pet’s stocking.  Yes, most of us hang a stocking up for our pets that have a toy and some treats inside. At this time of year there are a multitude of Christmas themed toys to put in their stockings. such as: squeaky Santas, gingerbread boy stuffies, bears, candy canes, to name but a few.  Most specialty stores will have their Christmas toys displayed in a central place to make selection easier.  However, because there is usually so much stock, take a good look around, because as the room in the central area fills up, retailers will find other places to display some great toys that you may miss if you look only in one spot.  And here’s a tip.  If the store has a Christmas tree, have a look on the tree and under it.  Pet retailers will often use the Christmas tree as another way to display great toys for sale.  

In terms of the Christmas toys, the same rules apply.  For dogs, some toys have squeakers, some have stuffing, and some don’t.  As a pet parent, you will know what kind of toy your pet likes.  But, in terms of longevity of the toy or how easily it will be destroyed, when it comes to Christmas toys, this really isn’t a priority.  If you want to choose a toy that has some lasting power, you will probably have to shop the regular toy selection for the more durable toys.  

As for cats, this time of year presents an amazing selection of toys and wands and lasers that cats just love.  Although many cat toys are Christmas themed, many of the so-called Christmas selections do not necessarily have specific Christmas-like things on them.  For example, many of the toys may be green, red or both to depict the season, but that is it.  Some toys will have a little Santa hat on the toy but you would be surprised how many really only have a seasonal colour.  For this reason, these toys can be great all year round.  When these toys go on sale, I would suggest stocking up!  

If you are looking for something that can give you several toys in one go, there are pre-made stockings for dogs and cats.  These usually come in a couple of sizes to accommodate price, and pet size.  In the cat there are usually stockings with 6 toys or 12 toys.  In the dog you will find different sizes as well, some with large toys to accommodate bigger dogs.  These premade stockings are a great way to grab a few toys and also if you are looking for a gift for a friend with pets.  You really can’t go wrong with one of these stockings if you are trying to find a gift for a friend’s pet.  

Basically when it comes to toys for Christmas, it’s really all about the fun.  There is no reason why you can’t buy a really good toy as a present that the pet will have for a while but if you are looking for a themed Christmas toy, the selection really is quite endless.  

In terms of treats, obviously there are the regular treats that are available year round, but Christmas brings out the specialty treats that are often turkey and or cranberry themed or even spiced with cinnamon flavour.  All the favourites come out with themed Christmas cookies, like Old Mother Hubbard, Northern Biscuit and several natural treat companies that can be specific to your own area.  

We love the Bosco and Roxy collection of handmade Christmas cookies that are decorated and made with natural ingredients all pet safe. Ginger boys, candy canes, gnomes, Santas, you name it, Bosco and Roxy make these as individual treats or in gift boxes.  

There are also many themed treats that again, only come out at this time of year.  I like the candy cane by Lord Jameson that is filled with little balls of organic peanut butter with oats, rolled in organic coconut, cinnamon, ginger, spinach, beets and molasses.  Sounds good enough to share with the dog doesn’t it?  I got these last year and will again this year, because it was just a little treat ball that I could give Tundra throughout the day and he found it really fun to watch me open the candy cane to get the treat.  

Anyway, you get the picture, there are a lot of Christmas themed treats this time of year but to be honest there are a lot more for dogs than cats.  When it comes to cats, we generally have to look at the regular treat section.   I really like to give Rory the tubes so he can be interactive with us as we squeeze this delectable treat out of the tube for him to lick.  It’s a great treat all year round, but at Christmas in particular the tube treats keep him part of the action.  Not that he isn’t part of the action, because cats and wrapping paper is just a play feast on its own.  

The other thing though in terms of treats is the pet Advent Calendars.  Cats and dogs have different brands of Advent Calendars that you can get.  It’s time to hurry though as December has already started, but I’m sure you cat or dog won’t mind you catching them up with a few treats all at once.  The Advent Calendars really create a fun routine up to Christmas and they come in many different varieties so it’s definitely something to try this year if you haven’t in the past.  

Now, there aren’t just toys and treats for pets this time of year.  There is also quite a selection of apparel for pets, to be honest mostly dogs, but an accommodating cat can also be dressed up as well.  Most pet retailers will have a selection of Christmas sweaters that are not only festive, but serve a great purpose for those Christmas season walks.   And then just for fun, there are little Santa and elf outfits too.  

If you would like your cat or dog to be festive but the sweater or outfit is just not the thing, there is a huge selection of bandanas and collars that are Christmas themed.  There are soft collars that have bells on them and there are also matching collars and bandanas.  Also, there are Santa and elf hats too.  Basically, if you want your pet to be festive on the day, there are some great options other than sticking your dog or cat in a Santa suit.  But, if that’s what you want to do then  you can. And if you really want to go all out, there is also quite a large selection of Christmas themed PJs for dogs.  If you would like your Christmas morning photos to be exceptionally festive with the whole family in their P.J’s well consider the pet pajamas.  

From toys and treats and apparel, there really is so much we can get for our pets this time of year, but, let’s not forget the human pet lover.  There is also a good selection of gifts for us.  Pet themed mugs are always popular, and tree ornament photo holders are also really nice gifts.  My favorite are pet themed photo frames.

There is also a kit that you can gift, that allows you to take your pet’s paw print. The kit contains a plaster-like substance, similar to dough, that you roll it out and press your pet’s paw into the mould.  They come with ribbons to hang and the best part is, if your print doesn’t go as well as it should, you just roll up the dough and roll it out again and start over.  I like these kits from Pearhead because they are easy.  By the way, they also have ink paw print frames and kits as well.  The pet-friendly  ink just wipes right off the pet’s paw.  I have Tundra’s and Rory’s prints, as well as Esme’s, who’s I got just before she passed away last year at this time.  I put them on the Christmas tree and then on the fireplace mantel after the season.  If you are looking for a pet parent gift, I would say this is a really good one.  

All in all, there is a really good selection of holiday items for pets and pet parents.  Our pets are part of the family, so having them included in Christmas celebrations is just a given when it comes to pet lovers.  I just love the look on Tundra’s face when he sees his treats or gifts come out of his stocking and Rory having a ball in the wrapping paper and also having so much fun with his new toys.  It really makes the day.  Of course we have to always exercise caution for our pet’s safety and seeing as I will have one more post before the big day, I’ll go over all those things then.  In the meantime, enjoy looking at all the amazing toys, treats, sweaters, gift items that are stocking the shelves right now. 

Our pets are family, and that is caring!

Christmas Pets

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Val Cairney

Hi everyone, and welcome to Val Talk’s Pets, the forum for pet parents and enthusiasts alike. So, I have been working in the pet industry now for almost 10 years and, on a daily basis, I handle a lot of issues and questions arising from pet parents. I am not a veterinarian but I do have certifications in Canine, Feline, Small Animal, Fish and Herptile and Avian Health and Nutrition from the University of California, Davis Extension, the Vet College.

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