There are a few things to take into consideration when picking out Christmas gifts for your furry friends.
Firstly, their species is important to consider when choosing which gifts they would like and are safe for them. Cat toys should encourage their natural instinct to hunt, and many can mimic realistic prey they would hunt in the wild (squeaking, feathers, etc). Dog toys often provide an outlet for chewing and play to distract/expend energy. It is also important to ensure treats are appropriate for each species. Ingredients are often specific to one species and can be unsafe or cause stomach upset if given to the wrong one.
If your pet is known to eat things they shouldn’t, you should consider toys that do not have small parts, or that can be chewed up easily. With cats, be wary of toys with string, as this could cause a linear foreign body if ingested which would require exploratory abdominal surgery to have it removed. Many dogs are known for their powerful chewing strength and can destroy a stuffed animal in seconds. If this is the case, look for toys directed for “chewers” and are one solid, durable piece, but ensure it is not too hard that it will damage their teeth (i.e. bones). A good rule of thumb is, if it is painful to hit against your knee, it is too hard for your pet’s teeth.
Please talk to your veterinarian if you are unsure if a toy is safe for your pet. We carry a variety of toys and treats, both regular and Christmas themed, for this holiday season. We would be happy to discuss any questions you have about what gifts would be best suited for your dog or cat.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone at Briarwood Animal Hospital!
Written by: Briarwood Animal Hospital