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Gift for a dog

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25 Best Dog Christmas Gifts

by Jessi Larson

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Christmas gifts for dogs are one of the most fun things you can shop for this holiday season – or at least that’s how we feel here at My Dog’s Name.

Dogs are so full of excitement and joy already, and seeing them enjoy a special new toy or treat is such a magnificent moment of bliss.

As the holidays near, we’ve gathered inspiration as you shop for that special dog your life.

25 Best Christmas Gifts for Dogs

Our list of the 25 best Christmas gifts for dogs includes a variety of ideas for dogs of all sizes. Some challenge your dog mentally, physically or both, while others appeal to your dog’s ever-present appetite.

As the clock counts down to Christmas, you don’t want to delay finding the perfect gift for the dog in your life.

1. ZippyPaws Holiday Reindeer Hide and Seek Plush Toy

This interactive plush puzzle toy challenges your dog mentally and physically, all while being one of the most adorable things we’ve ever seen.

How it works is that you put the plush, squeaky reindeer toys in the Christmas-themed container and task your dog with finding a way to pull them out. Dogs love to bury their noses in the burrow to dig out the super-cute critters. You can also drop in a few treats for added fun.

When it comes to dog Christmas gifts, it doesn’t get more charming than this.

The only downside about this cute Christmas dog toy is that it’s geared toward small and medium dogs only, leaving out the big guys.

Any pup parent with a large dog who is reading this right now can anticipate the destruction that would take place if they gave their dog this cute, delicate toy!

But don’t worry, we have lots of other dog Christmas gifts on the list that are great for the big boys and girls.

2. Subscription to BarkBox

You’ve probably heard of BarkBox before. If not, here’s the lowdown: It’s a subscription service where every month a box full of cool dog treats and toys is delivered to your doorstep. The box includes 4-6 items curated from their current collection.

When you get started, you can pick your dog’s size so all the treats and toys fit your pup just right.

What we love about this is that it’s a fun surprise for dogs and pup parents alike. Getting a delivery every month is exciting! And it’s also a convenient way to try out new treats and toys that you probably never would have heard of.

Buy it now

3. Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Machine for Dogs

Bacon-flavored bubbles? This might just be one of the coolest Christmas gifts for dogs we’ve come across.

Dogs just love to chase and chomp bubbles, and let’s be honest, it’s a whole lot of fun to watch. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

To get started, you load up the Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Machine with the safe, 100% non-toxic solution, turn it on and sit back and watch your dog go crazy trying to catch the yummy bubbles.

This is an awesome gift that’s very different from the standard array of bones, balls and plush toys.

4. KONG Wubba Ballistic Friends

A list of the best Christmas gifts for dogs isn’t complete without something from KONG, the creator of innovative, durable dog toys that we at My Dog’s Name absolutely adore.

The KONG Wubba Ballistic Friends are a cute and tough interactive squeak toy that challenges your pup physically. Each toy is covered with durable, reinforced nylon for added toughness, which is great for the vigorous chewers.

Versatile and strong, the Wubba is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. And this is a toy that you can play with, too! Their floppy tails make them easy to pick up and throw, making it perfect for a game of fetch and/or tug-of-war.

5. Rogz Grinz Dog Ball Treat Toy

Looking for a fun toy and lots of laughs? Check out the Rogz Grinz Dog Ball Treat.

First off, this is actually a pretty practical gift. The durable ball bounces and floats, making it perfect for games of fetch on land or in the water.

But, as you can see in the photo below, this is no ordinary ball. When it lands in their mouth just right, your dog will look like it has a big, cheesy grin. Fetch has never been funnier!

6. iFetch Interactive Ball Thrower for Dogs

Speaking of fetch, have you ever had a dog that just won’t stop? You’ll throw the ball time after time, and they just can’t get enough.

If this describes your pup, the iFetch Interactive Ball Thrower is the perfect solution. Your pup drops a tennis ball into the top and a second later, the ball shoots out for a game of fetch. The contraption does require a bit of training on your part, but once your dog gets a hang of it, they can entertain themselves for hours. Here’s a demo video of how it works.

iFetch offers small, medium and large versions so you can find a size that fits your pup appropriately.

For Christmas gifts for dogs, this is a little bit on the expensive side. But when you calculate how much time this will save you, not to mention the joy it brings to your dog, it may well be worth it.

7. Raw Paws Dog Treat Gift Basket

Another fun idea when it comes to dog Christmas gifts is to treat the lucky pup in your life to a gift basket full of dog treats.

We like the Raw Paws gift basket because it includes high-quality, all-natural treats that your dog will love.

The gift basket includes compressed rawhide sticks and bones, jumbo Bully sticks, grain-free dog biscuits and peanut butter cookies made especially for dogs.

Best of all, every treat included is 100% digestible and free from artificial anything.

8. Star Wars Stuffed Toys

Since the first film came out in 1977, Star Wars has been incredibly popular. And these days it is more popular than ever thanks to the reboot by J. J. Abrams.

So, if you have a Star Wars lover in your life, or are a fan yourself, these stuffed toys are perfect for dog Christmas gifts.

Stores are full of Star Wars dog toys, but what really sticks out for us are the Chewbacca, Yoda and Ewok plush toys. They’re simply adorable, not to mention some of the most iconic characters in the series.

9. Outward Hound Kyjen Puzzle Training Toy

Dogs need mental stimulation, otherwise this can lead to unwanted behavior. With the Outward Hound Kyjen Puzzle Training Toy, pups get that needed stimulation while having fun in the process and getting a yummy reward for their work.

The puzzle includes six hiding cups where you place treats and encourage your dog to find them. By pawing and nuzzling, dogs learn how to seek out and retrieve the goodies.

10. Planet Dog Snowball or Lump of Coal

Has your dog been naughty or nice this year? If they’ve been nice, then a Planet Dog snowball is right for them. But if they’re naughty, a lump of coal might be more fitting.

Most dogs, however, are a little bit of both, so why not get both balls?

Strong and durable, the balls hold up for the toughest chewers. They may be a little bit too big for tiny tots, but for medium and large dogs, the size is perfect.

As if these toys couldn’t get any cooler, we were delighted to find out they are made in the United States and 100% recyclable.

Buy the Snowball or Lump of Coal

11. Best Bully Sticks

Have you heard of Bully Sticks? If not, we highly recommend you check them out. We give one to our dog Toby as a treat almost every day.

Bully Sticks are a great alternative to rawhides. They’re made from high-quality, free-range, grass-fed beef that is 100% digestible and safe.

This is a great gift for medium and large dogs who like to chew. A single stick will keep a dog occupied for a long stretch of time!

Sure, Bully Sticks aren’t as cute as a fluffy stuffed toy, but they are practical and great for a dog’s health.

12. ZippyPaws Holiday Squeakie Buddies

If you’re looking for Christmas dog gifts tailored to the holiday season, it doesn’t get cuter than these ZippyPaws Holiday Squeakie Buddies.

The pack includes toys in the shape of Santa, a reindeer and a snowman. Even though they’re soft and supple, the toys actually do not contain any stuffing, ensuring that they will last much longer.

Since they’re small and lightweight, these are definitely geared for small and medium dogs. Pups of this size will enjoy playing with the toys, carrying them around, and of course, hearing the soft squeaks.

13. Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower

We’re huge fans of the Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower. It’s an absolute must for any dog who likes to play fetch.

You might be saying, why can’t a person just throw the ball themselves? And it’s a good point.

However, the Chuckit! Sport Launcher gives your arm a break and allows you to throw the ball to much further distances.

Another bonus: You’ll never have to bend down and pick up a slimy ball. The launcher lets you scoop up the ball without ever touching it.

14. Coffee Squeaky Plush Dog Toy

Peppermint mochas are a favorite drink during the holidays. And now you can extend that joy to a dog!

No, we’re not saying you should give a dog a caffeinated beverage. Instead, you can purchase these plush coffee squeaky toys that are perfect for the holiday season.

Best of all, the toys feature elegant Christmas designs that are sure to put people in the holiday spirit.

15. OurPets IQ Interactive Treat Ball

As we continue our list of best dog Christmas gifts, another item we recommend is the OurPets IQ Interactive Treat Ball.

It’s a great way to stimulate a dog mentally and physically. To get started, you place dog food or small treats in the ball and set it on the floor for your dog to play with.

Dogs will have a ball (pun intended!) pushing it around to release the tasty morsels.

We purchased this for our dog Toby when he was a puppy, and it was a great way to keep him active and entertained during the winter months when it was too cold to go outside.

16. Classic Gourmet Dog Cookies

The holidays are a time to gather and eat lots of delicious treats. And now with these gourmet dog cookies, pups can get in on the action, too.

Created by Claudia’s Canine Cuisine, the treats are freshly baked with premium, human-grade ingredients.

The pack includes around 50 assorted holiday cookies and makes a great stocking stuffing. After all, every family member needs something to open on Christmas morning!

17. Classic Christmas Bandana

Now dogs can dress up for the season, too, with these classic Christmas bandanas.

The pack includes two bandanas – one red and one green – and is available in size small or large.

Stylish and simple, these classic Christmas bandanas are a great way to show off your holiday cheer through your favorite canine.

18. Rope Toy Set

Some of the best Christmas gifts for dogs are ones that can be used all year round. This rope toy set is exactly one of the gifts.

The set includes 10+ rope toys that are great for chewing, shaking and playing tug of war.

What sets these rope toys apart from the hundreds of other options on the market is that a generous portion of the proceeds are donated to rescue dogs in need. So you’ll be getting a gift and doing good!

19. Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball

Traditional tennis balls can be so boring. All you can do is play fetch. As a much more fun alternative, buy an interactive Babble Ball!

Incredibly, the Babble Ball talks when touched. The motion-activated technology is so sensitive it can be triggered by a dog breathing on it or just by the vibration of a pup walking past it.

The toy makes over 20 wisecracks and sounds, ensuring endless entertainment for both dogs and humans.

20. West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Frisbee

Frisbees are a quintessential dog toy. And there are many options available. But the Zogoflex Zisc Frisbee has many characteristics that set it apart from the competition.

For starters, the frisbee is incredibly durable. It can fly through the air, bounce, roll and even be chewed.

At the same time, it’s also soft enough to go easy on dog’s mouth and keep their chompers safe and healthy.

As an added bonus, the manufacturer even provides a 100% guarantee against dog damage. That’s quite the offer!

21. Chuckit! Kick Fetch Toy Ball

Chuckit! is on the list again with the Kick Fetch Toy Ball. Available in small and large sizes, the ball is perfect for playing outside with a pup.

Unlike other balls of this size, this one has a grooved design that makes it much easier to throw and for a dog to bring back.

Also, the ball is constructed from durable canvas, rubber and foam, making it extremely durable, even for the toughest chewers.

And last but not least, the vibrant design makes it easy to find in wide open spaces.

22. Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs

Here’s another idea for a quick gift or a fun stocking stuffer: Triple Flavor Rawhide Kabobs.

Traditional dog treats can be a little boring. You need something special for the holidays!

Rawhide kabobs are a delicious, healthy and entertaining solution.

These chew treats are made from rawhide and pork hide then wrapped with real chicken, duck and chicken liver – a perfect treat for that special pup in your life.

23. Fluffy Fleece Dog Blanket

Dogs love to curl up with a comfy blanket. So when it comes to Christmas gifts for dogs, this just might be at the top of their list. (If dogs could actually make a Christmas list, that is.)

Designed specifically for furbabies, this fluffy fleece blanket is extra soft and comfy. And if your dog gets it dirty – which they most likely will! – the blanket is machine washable.

The blanket is available in size small up to jumbo and in eight different colors so you can find the perfect fit and appearance.

24. Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix

Sure, Christmas isn’t usually the time and place for ice cream. But when it comes down to it, dogs won’t care – they’ll just be excited for a sweet treat!

All you have to do is add water and freeze. Then voila! You’ll have a pup-friendly frozen treat that is healthy and delicious for dogs.

Best of all, it scoops just like ice cream, so it will feel like you’re giving your dog the real thing.

25. Christmas Rope Toy Set

If you like the idea of rope toys for Christmas dog gifts, why not get a holiday-themed set?

This rope-toy reindeer and gingerbread man are doggone adorable. And since they’re made of strong, durable materials, dogs will enjoy chomping down on these tough toy for hours.

As an added bonus, rope toys remove plaque on a dog’s teeth and work hard to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Christmas Safety for Cats and Dogs


Is it just me, or do the holidays always seem to sneak up each year? Wasn’t it just Halloween?!?! With so much to do to prepare yourself and your home for Christmas, it can be easy to forget that the holiday season can also affect your pets. Sure they don’t have gifts to get, rooms to clean, and food to cook … but their daily routine is often upset and stressed out by all the holiday commotion all the same. And that’s before we even get into all the potential pet hazards on your holiday table and under (or on) your tree!

With a little bit of knowledge of dangers to look out for and minimize, you can rest easier when the festivities begin knowing that your pets are all snuggled up and safe, ready to bring joy and laughter to your home and heart.

Listen to Dr. J talk about holiday pet safety on Arden Moore’s podcast, Oh Behave

The Holiday Feast

For many of us, celebrating the holidays and eating good food are synonymous. Just like at Thanksgiving, many of the foods that we enjoy at Christmas and the other winter holidays can be problematic for our pets.

Chocolate

Chocolate is a common gift this time of year, and it’s present in many baked goodies as well. Did you know though that chocolate can be toxic for cats and dogs (the linked article goes into “why” and which chocolates are the most dangerous). Here are some tips to make sure you don’t end up in the animal emergency room with a pet suffering from chocolate poisoning.

  • Don’t leave chocolate (or chocolate-containing foods) under the tree. Wrapped or not, your pets are sure to sniff them out and help themselves. Advise your friends, family, and other guests of this too!
  • Be careful what ‘stuffers’ you put in the stockings, and be sure to hang them well out of reach of your pets.
  • Don’t leave desserts out on low-lying tables or near the edge of countertops. Be sure your guests and children are similarly cautious.
  • Be careful when doing the holiday baking… from chocolate chips (especially if dark) and chocolate bars to cocoa powder and blocks of chocolate, holiday baking often includes chocolate in quantities that can easily land your pet in the Animal ER.
  • Make sure your overnight houseguests keep their suitcases and other bags off the floor and that they keep the door to their room (and bathroom) securely closed as well. After all, you never really know what overnight guests bring in their suitcase, do you?

Currants & Raisins

Though the traditional fruitcake (a.k.a. “doorstop”) has mostly gone out of fashion, there are a number of other popular holiday deserts that contain currants and raisins, including various cookies and cakes, like yummy Stollen, Panettone, and Christmas Puddings. While these dried fruits can add a little sweet chewiness to your desserts, they can also be highly toxic to your dog’s kidneys. Not all dogs are affected by the toxin and we don’t yet know what the exact toxin is. However, in the dogs that are affected, the result can be devastating, permanent, expensive, and a potentially fatal case of acute renal (kidney) failure. And note that grapes can also cause this same problem in dogs.

Learn more about grape, raisin, and currant toxicity in dogs here.

Nuts

It’s important to keep all nuts out of your pet’s mouth (as any nut can be a choking hazard or even cause pancreatitis or an intestinal obstruction), but one type of nut in particular can carry additional dangers for your dogs.

Given their potent punch of low carbs, healthy fats, and important vitamins and minerals, macadamia nuts are a popular snack during the holidays and on the keto diet. But macadamia nuts can cause tremors, high fever, and a temporary loss of use of the back legs in dogs. And this is in addition to their ability to cause pancreatitis (due to the high fat content) and the intestinal obstruction risk that these (and other nuts) can cause when a dog eats them. Because of this, it’s good to take extra precautions to keep these nuts off of coffee tables, counters, and other areas that might be in your dog’s reach. And that precaution goes even double if those macadamia nuts are covered in chocolate, as so many are! Learn more about macadamia nuts and dogs.

Allium Vegetables

Allium veggies are the species of plant that include onion, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives. Whether cooked or uncooked these popular veggies can be toxic to your dog or cat.

In small quantities these vegetables aren’t likely to cause too big a problem for your cats and dogs, but in larger quantities, or if your pet already has a low red blood cell count (anemia) or dysfunctional red blood cells, ingestion of onions or garlic can prove both debilitating and expensive. Natural compounds in these popular seasonings can cause destruction of your pet’s red blood cells in a process called hemolytic anemia. Given all of the important functions that red blood cells serve in the body, it’s definitely not a thing you want your pets to suffer from. Your pet may show initial symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, but as the problem progresses they’ll typically exhibit rapid, shallow breathing, a fast pulse rate, weakness, and either pale white or yellowish gums. Hemolytic anemia is a serious medical emergency.

Alcohol

While you’d never feed your pet alcohol, certain desserts contain alcohol, and it doesn’t take much for someone to leave their drink on a coffee table and within reach for a dog (or a cat for that matter).

Similar to the effects it can have on people, alcohol can cause several problems in your dogs and cats. It can lead to both metabolic and neurologic problems in your pets that can result in vomiting, breathing problems, coma, and even death. So be sure to keep the wine glasses, cocktails and alcohol-soaked desserts off the low-lying tables.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an increasingly common sugar-replacement sweetener that’s in hundreds of products, including some brands of peanut butter. It’s an “all natural” sugar substitute that’s fine for people, but is extremely poisonous to dogs and poisons thousands of dogs each year. There has been an increase in awareness about xylitol — both in peanut butter and in the more than 700 other products xylitol is found in — and we have been able to influence some companies to change their labeling and warning practices.

Usually the biggest culprit of xylitol poisoning in dogs is from sugar-free gums and mints. Around the holidays though, and with more and more people trying to eat less sugar, many people are baking with xylitol! So watch where you put your sugar-free or low-carb baked goods, and make sure your counters are clear if you’ve got a counter-surfing dog!

Because it’s such a strong stimulator of insulin release in dogs, it takes just a small amount of xylitol (0.1g/kg) eaten by a dog to cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar (“hypoglycemia”). This will typically initially show as vomiting, weakness, and a lack of coordination. As hypoglycemia progresses you can see seizures, coma, and even death. Xylitol can cause an extremely dangerous drop in your dog’s blood sugar in as little as 30 minutes!

At slightly higher doses (but still relatively small), xylitol can also cause devastating liver failure in some dogs. It’s truly nasty stuff for dogs, so please read labels and learn more about the dangers of xylitol to dogs.

Plants & Flowers

Flowers and plants are common host gifts. Whether you’re the one giving flowers or the one receiving them, it’s important to know that many commonly given plants and flowers can cause problems for cats and dogs, as such poisonings can range in severity from mild digestive upset to organ failure.

Poinsettia

Ironically, poinsettias, one of the more-well-known-about holiday plant hazards for pets, aren’t actually that hazardous to pets. Due to the low level of toxicity seen with poinsettia ingestion, medical intervention is rarely needed unless signs are severe.

  • Mild signs will include vomiting, drooling, or rarely diarrhea.
  • Milky sap can irritate skin, causing redness, swelling and itchiness.

Cyclamen

Although not nearly as popular as poinsettias around the holidays, cyclamen is often found in homes this time of year. And not many people know about the dangers of the cyclamen.

Seeing as how they are readily available at supermarkets and garden stores (and rather inexpensive), cyclamen can be a common holiday decoration or hostess/host gift.

The toxins of the cyclamen can cause a wide range of problems for the pets that ingest them, ranging from excessive salivation and digestive upset to seizures and heart rhythm abnormalities. In small ingestions, most pets will suffer only mild digestive upset. However, in cases of large ingestion, this toxicity can prove fatal.

Lilies

Although lilies don’t exactly ‘scream’ Christmas, flowers do! Lilies are amongst the most common types of flowers found in bouquets at all times of the year, including Christmas, and lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Lily toxicity is something everybody should be aware of, regardless of whether or not they have cats.

  • It takes only a nibble on one leaf or stem, or the ingestion of a small amount of lily pollen (easy to do when a cat grooms itself) to send a cat into acute kidney failure and you rushing to the emergency vet.
  • Acute kidney (renal) failure is always debilitating to your pet and expensive for you. The outlook for cats with acute kidney failure resulting from eating lilies can be good, so long as early and aggressive treatment is pursued.
  • Treatment for lily-induced acute kidney failure involves aggressive IV fluids, injectable medications, nutritional support, and very close monitoring. These treatments are not cheap and are also not available at all veterinary clinics. If it’s available and you can afford it, kidney dialysis can be life saving for cats suffering from acute renal failure due to lily toxicity.
  • Hospitalization and treatment costs for this condition will depend on the severity of the case and the cat’s response to therapy. It can safely be assumed, though, that a hospital bill will likely start at about $2,000, and could increase to $4,000 or more (considerably more!).

Holly

Considered a popular and beautiful holiday decoration, boughs of holly are a Christmas staple for many. While the leaves and branches aren’t typically too big of a problem, the berries can be poisonous to cats and dogs.

  • Swallowing holly berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and drowsiness.
  • Even if placed out of reach, berries can quickly dry out and fall to the floor and can be ingested by a pet.

Mistletoe

Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetheart, be sure that bunch of mistletoe is well secured to the door jam. Though a strategically-placed sprig of mistletoe may get you that Christmas “snog” you’ve been dreaming about all year, it may also land your dog or cat in the hospital if it falls to the ground or they find another way to get their paws on it.

Even when eaten in small quantities, mistletoe can cause excessive drooling and digestive upset.

But even bigger problems are in store for your pet if they ingest a larger quantity of this common Christmas decoration. In these situations your pet may experience heart and/or neurologic problems, which could include abnormal heart rate and rhythm, decreased blood pressure, and a staggered walk. If left untreated, these signs can progress to collapse, seizures, coma, and even death.

Christmas Trees

Although fake trees are becoming increasingly popular, many people still get live trees and these can be hazardous to both dogs and cats.

  • Both dogs and cats enjoy chewing on the limbs, and oils from fir trees can irritate the inside of their mouths, causing drooling and vomiting.
  • Ingested pine needles can collect together creating an intestinal obstruction or potentially puncture the intestine, leading to a painful condition called peritonitis.

You can limit their access by placing an obstruction in their path. The Christmas Tree Defender works GREAT at preventing cats from climbing up a tree from the bottom! It can be used on other potted plants as well.

Get more tips on keeping your cat out of the Christmas tree!

Other Hazards
Decorations

From cuts on paws from broken ornaments to gastrointestinal obstruction from decorations that get ingested, ornaments and other Christmas tree decorations pose a wide array of hazards to your pets.

Cats are probably most at risk of sustaining injuries with their propensity to bat down and play with things that dangle in front of them. This isn’t to say that dogs aren’t at risk of injury or illness.

Some simple steps include keeping your cat out of your tree, picking up fallen ornaments and cleaning up broken pieces, and never leave your pet unsupervised around your tree and the ornaments.
Light Strands & Electrical Cords

Before you assume that your pet doesn’t have an affinity for anything shocking, keep in mind that it’s the one time of year that we have more exposed cables and light strands adorning our home. It’s natural for both dogs and cats to chew, so don’t assume that their normal behavior will be consistent with the holidays.

Pets that chew on electric cords can sustain burns on their tongues and elsewhere in their mouth. These pets may also develop a buildup of fluid within their lungs, as a result of the electrical shock. This fluid buildup within the lungs that results from a cause other than heart failure, is known as non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, which can lead to breathing problems, and can be fatal, too.

Signs that your pet may have suffered an electrical shock include abnormal behavior, hiding, excessive drooling, refusal to eat or drink, random or abnormal urination/defecation near electrical cord, or evidence of chewed electrical cord.

Tips to prevent your pet from experiencing electric shock:

  • Recognize that puppies and kittens are the most likely pets to chew on electric cords. As such, use extra care with puppies and kittens in the house and be particularly careful not to have any electric cords near a puppy’s crate.
  • Be sure to unplug all strands of lights when you leave the house or before you go to bed at night. If you want the lights to be on when you wake up in the morning, plug them into a reliable timer.
  • For the long ‘tail’ of the cord on the light strand (the portion without lights), consider using a protective covering such as The Chewsafe cord protector or the CritterCord to prevent the teeth of curious or mischievous pets from sinking in.
  • To prevent fires, always check your cords for evidence of chew damage before plugging them in.
  • If you have a pet that you’re certain will attack the strands of lights, wrap only the top portion of your tree, consider using rope type lighting instead, or don’t use such lights in your home. Rope lighting can more easily be rubbed with a deterrent spray, such as Bitter Apple, to help decrease the chances that your pets will chew on it. Tip: Do not spray the deterrent product directly onto the lighting, rather spray it on a cloth and then wipe the strand with the dampened cloth.
  • Opt for lower voltage LED lights (rather than the traditional higher voltage incandescent type) to decrease the risk associated with a nibble on the cord. These bulbs are also often made of plastic rather than glass, and are less likely to break and cause a laceration or cut-type injury.

Wrapping

Just like tinsel, ribbons and bows that adorn wrapped gifts and lay around with your wrapping supplies are typically quite enticing for cats. Something about these wrapping accessories just seems to trigger a cat’s inner hunter. Unfortunately, a common result of this ‘hunt’ is an intestinal obstruction that can sicken or kill your cat.

If you think your cat has ingested something and might have an obstruction, look for these symptoms:

  • Refusal of food
  • Decreased energy
  • Hiding
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or a lack of bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain (often indicated by your pet’s growling, vocalizing, or attempts to bite when their abdomen is touched or you attempt to pick them up)

Treatment for linear foreign body obstruction should always involve surgery. Not just to remove the offending material, but to evaluate the gut for damage and tissue that is beyond repair.

If something is protruding from your pet’s butt, read this to find out what to do! If you pull at what’s sticking out you can cause further damage to your pet’s digestive tract, including perforation of their bowel, with the result of bacteria and intestinal contents leaking into the abdominal cavity causing a painful and life-threatening inflammation and infection within the abdominal cavity called septic peritonitis.

Prevent bows and ribbons from becoming a Christmas cat-astrophe!

  • Don’t leave wrapping supplies out where your pets can get to them. Either put all supplies away when you are done using them, or wrap all your presents in a room or area that you can close off to prevent your pet’s access.
  • Don’t put gifts with ribbons and/or bows out under the tree until Christmas morning.
  • Don’t allow your pets around the tree while you’re unwrapping presents or be very diligent to securely discard any ribbons and bows as soon as they come off the present they’re adorning.
  • Once all of the gifts are opened, take the trash bag containing ribbons and bows to your outdoor trash can for the most secure disposal.
  • Don’t allow your pets to play with the ribbons and bows, and advise your guests not to engage your pets in such play either.
  • Skip the ribbons and bows for your holiday and gift decorating all together.

Potpourri

Potpourri (liquid or dry) can create or help to mimic wonderful holiday smells. While these oily liquids and dry concoctions can fill a house with a sensory overload of wonderful aromas without all the ‘hassle’ of baking cookies, lighting a fire, or cutting down a pine tree, they also pose a very real, and potentially very significant hazard to your pets.

Cats: Liquid potpourris typically contain two substances that can be toxic — essential oils and cationic detergents. While the essential oil component of the liquid potpourris can cause problems for your pets, typically it’s the cationic detergents that cause the bigger problems.

  • The cationic detergents present in liquid potpourri can cause severe ulceration and chemical burns to the surfaces within your pet’s mouth and along their digestive tract.
  • They can cause similar problems if they come into contact with their skin or their eyes, too.

Dogs: Dry potpourri can contain wide variety of fragrant dried herbs and flowers. The potential toxicity of such a mixture depends entirely on what plants are in it, but even nonpoisonous floral potpourri can irritate your dog’s gastrointestinal system and cause vomiting or diarrhea.

  • If the potpourri mix includes harder items like miniature pine cones or bark chips, these could potentially lodge in your dog’s throat and cause breathing difficulties.
  • Pine and other flora are toxic, but you might not be able to tell what each dried piece of potpourri is in a mix, especially since they’re often artificially colored.

Batteries

Now you might not think that your dog would eat a battery, but given the frequency with which these types of cases are seen in pet emergency rooms and general practices around the country, it appears as though, for some reason, quite a few dogs just seem to love chewing on and swallowing these things!

AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt and other “traditional” battery types can result in injuries such as oral burns and/or digestive upset or obstruction — which are very serious in their own right — but it’s the disc or “button”-type batteries that can pose an additional serious danger when swallowed — esophageal burns and perforations.

Learn more about button and other battery ingestion in dogs, including what to do and not to do if your dog swallows a battery, as well as view a time lapse video showing how button batteries can quickly burn a hole in the esophagus!

To avoid the animal emergency room this year follow a few simple tips:

  • Don’t leave remote controls of any type lying around where your pets can easily get them.
  • Batteries are common stocking stuffers! Be sure to hang your stockings high and keep your pets well away from them.
  • If they’re old enough, talk with your children about the dangers of battery ingestion in pets and the importance of putting their toys away after they are done playing with them. (If your kids aren’t old enough to understand this discussion, then you also likely need to be careful about their potential to ingest batteries themselves — this is one of those emergencies that isn’t restricted to pets.)
  • To prevent dropped batteries from rolling under the couch or desk where they are likely to remain ‘lost’ until they turn up in your pet’s stomach, always remove and change batteries over a bowl or sink.
  • Appropriately and securely store your spare batteries in a drawer or toolbox.

While this list of holiday pet hazards may seem daunting or “overly cautious,” you now have the knowledge and awareness to help you keep your pets happy at home — rather than at the Animal ER — this holiday season. Helping to ensure that your whole family can have a happy, healthy, safe holiday season and New Year!

Need a great gift for the dog and cat owners in your life? Our books are filled with priceless, life-saving information, all for just $11.95. Treat yourself to one, too!

  • Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs and Cats
  • Why is Chocolate Toxic for Pets
  • Pet Safety: When Holiday Houseguests Come to Visit
  • Lesser Known Pet Toxicities: Grape, Raisin and Currant Toxicity in Dogs
  • An Open Letter from Your Dog’s Pancreas
  • Xylitol: The “Sugar-free” Sweetener Your Dog NEEDS You to Know About
  • Lesser Known Pet Toxicities: Lily Toxicity in Cats
  • How to Keep Your Cat Out of the Christmas Tree
  • Cats and String: To Pull or Not to Pull?
  • Dogs and Batteries-More Dangerous Than You Might Think

With holiday shopping in full swing, our thoughts are on making magic for our loved ones — including our precious pets. This holiday season, do you have the urge to stuff a stocking or leave a special treat under the tree for your dog or kitty? Of course you do. And yeah, sure, they might not know Christmas Day from Groundhog Day, but seeing our fuzzy friends pounce on a new toy or twirl around at the sight of an unfamiliar treat bag can definitely add joy to the holidays.

Lucky for us, the pet gift industry is booming. And while that’s definitely a good thing, it also means that we have a massive assortment of products to pick from. So, how on earth do you know which goodies are worth buying? We’re stepping up to help you play Santa, or whoever’s the best gift-giver in your household. These 27 pet gifts are sure to make your furry pal feel the love. Oh, and if you want to treat yourself or a fellow doting pet parent to something special this festive season, we’ve got those ideas, too. Also, if you find yourself still stumped by what to buy your favorite people, we’ve got guides for all the must-have gifts for her, gifts for him and top-rated Amazon gifts.

Bark Fa La La La Latte Dog Toy ($9.99; target.com)

It’s easier to get through the hectic holiday season clutching a frothy latte — and that goes for your pup as well. This squishy, fetchable toy has a big squeaker securely embedded inside to perk up playtime. Remember, it’s better to give than to retrieve.

L.L. Bean Reversible Field Coat ($29.95; llbean.com)

Whether your region sees rain, snow, or both during the winter months, this snappy topper will keep your doggo comfy. It’s reversible, so he can sport canvas or flannel depending on the weather. A Velcro adjustable strap ensures a good fit, and the leash conveniently runs through a slit up top.

Knit Dog Ornaments ($28; uncommongoods.com)

Take your pick of the litter: You can gift the dog lover on your list a one-of-a-kind ornament reflecting their favorite breed. Options include dachshund, Havanese, Airedale terriers and 12 other popular pooches. Each ornament is handmade in Peru from alpaca fiber.

On2Pets Cat Tree ($159.99, originally $164.99; petco.com)

This is the feline equivalent of a shiny red bike under the tree. There isn’t a kitty alive who wouldn’t relish perching on the three cushioned platforms hidden inside the foliage. Finally, a cat tree you won’t mind having sitting in your living room.

Blueberry Pet Furry Dog Scarf ($19.99; amazon.com)

Canine fashionistas of all sizes will stay warm and stylish in this plush scarf with rhinestone accents. Everyone in the neighborhood will swoon as they sashay by on their walk. Available in baby pink and cream.

Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test ($149.99; amazon.com)

More and more of us are rescuing dogs rather than buying purebreds, and that’s great. But we’re left a little (or a lot) curious about the breed of our new buddy. Boston Terrier … and maybe Bulldog … with some Boxer mixed in? Just a big Yorkie, you think? This kit solves the mystery once and for all. Even better than satisfying your curiosity, though, the test tips you off to the likelihood of your pet developing any of more than 150 genetic health conditions.

Snoozzy by Petmate Hide & Seek Cat Bed ($24.99; petmate.com)

Many cats and small dogs like to nestle under blankets, nice and cozy. If yours is one of them, this is going to be the best $25 you’ve ever spent. Thanks to its unique shape and soft fabric, this tent-style hangout will lure your pet into blissful naps.

Wild One Walk Kit ($88, originally $108; wildone.com)

Does your dog’s walk need a serious upgrade? Through the uber-chic pet brand Wild One, you can get a sophisticated leash, collar and poop bag in colors like navy, blush pink and rust red.

ANWA Calming Vest for Dogs ($16.99; amazon.com)

If your dog is the sort that is easily rattled, it can be heartbreaking to watch how frightened they get at the sound of thunder, fireworks or construction noise. This solution is worth a look. This vest works on the same principle as a weighted blanket to soothe scared puppers.

Purina Beyond Natural, Grain Free Cat Treats ($5.46; walmart.com)

Cats have a (not entirely undeserved) rep for being picky eaters. Turn the head of your finicky feline with a yummy, healthy treat. These are made with quality, natural ingredients without grains, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Treat a Dog Furry PupRug ($119; amazon.com)

Beds that are comfortable, night after night, for large dogs can be hard to find. Breeds like Great Danes, Afghans and Newfies need orthopedic support. The memory foam base of this bed alleviates pressure on joints. Plus, it has a waterproof lining, a handy feature for elderly dogs that occasionally have accidents.

Catit Grooming Kit for Long-Hair Cats ($39.99; amazon.com)

Fluffy cats are irresistible, let’s face it. But all that hair on furniture and your favorite black sweater is considerably less beautiful. The best defense is a good offense … brushing that furball every day. Your cat will enjoy the ritual, and it will prevent hairballs.

Petfon Pet GPS Tracker ($169.99; amazon.com)

With all the hubbub of the holiday season — running to the door to grab packages, letting guests in and out and being more distracted than usual — it’s easy for a pet to slip out unnoticed. This smart device can save the day. It uses real-time tracking to locate your lost pal up to 3.5 miles from home. It’s water resistant, so rain won’t foil your reunion. And you won’t have to pay monthly fees.

Wild One Air Travel Carrier ($125; wildone.com)

Would you describe your dog or cat as a jetsetter? This is the bag for them. With breathable mesh walls and an interior cushion that folds out into a bed, they’ll be traveling in style.

Merry & Bright Holiday Reindeer Hat ($3.99; petsmart.com)

Let’s not pretend this is a gift for your pet. You’re ordering it because you want hilarious pictures for Instagram. There’s no shame in that holiday game.

Custom Painterly Pet Portraits (starting at $180; uncommongoods.com)

Submit a picture of a special pet, and get a stunning painted portrait on stretched canvas that’s ready to hang. This could be the ultimate gift for a friend who recently lost a beloved pet. Just have tissues ready.

PetFusion Ultimate Cloud Cat Lounger ($49.95; petco.com)

It doesn’t look like one, but this artsy curl-up spot doubles as a scratching post. Your pampered cat can get a workout and chill out in the same place.

FreshStart DogiPack (starting at $24.99; amazon.com)

An extra set of hands for those who like to take long walks or hikes with their dog. This holds poop bags, a collapsible water bowl, a water bottle, your ID, phone and more. Plus, a part of the proceeds go to dog rescue groups.

Plato Turkey with Pumpkin Dog Treats ($11.83; walmart.com)

Share the flavors of your own holiday dinner with these seasonal morsels. Aside from U.S.-raised turkey and pumpkin, these tidbits also bring vitamins E and C to the table. What they don’t have, though, is corn, grains, artificial colors and flavors, GMOs and synthetic preservatives.

Jackson Galaxy Fun Fish Cat Toy ($4.95; petmate.com)

Stuff his stocking with this lightweight, durable toy that just begs to be batted. The felt pieces are infused with organic catnip, so don’t be surprised if he tries to climb inside his stocking on Christmas Eve!

DJ Cat Scratching Pad ($35; uncommongoods.com)

Is this not hysterical? Designed in London and made of 100% recycled paper and wood, this clever scratching pad lets your cat stretch their muscles and sharpen their claws while living out their DJ fantasies. It arrives as a flat-packed kit that is a snap to put together.

Snuggle Safe Heating Pad ($27.99; amazon.com)

This gift is sure to be a winner for any cat or small dog that loves to bask in the sun (read: all of them). Sun can be scarce in the dark, short days of winter, so treat them to a portable, toasty snoozing spot. It heats up in the microwave, so it couldn’t be simpler.

Petsafe Easy Walk Dog Harness ($22.95, originally $34.99; petco.com)

Give your dog a useful (and adorable) present. This adjustable, strong harness is designed so that the leash attaches to the front chest area, a boon if you have a puller. Meanwhile, the sparkly, ribbon overlay provides holiday bling.

Pet Photo on Metal ($17.72, originally $44.30; canvaschamp.com)

Looking for a gift with a modern, edgy sensibility? Order an image of their fur baby on shiny metal. It’ll deliver maximum impact at a budget-friendly price.

Cat Nip Grow Kit ($16; urbanoutfitters.com)

Feline fanatics with a green thumb will think this is the best present ever. No need to buy catnip … just grow your own! It’s easy to do. And you know what you’re giving your cat is fresh, with no pesticides.

Cafe Press Yellow Labrador Tote Bag ($15.95; amazon.com)

Yellow and chocolate Labradors have lots of fans. If you know a proud Lab parent, gift them a roomy tote that pays homage to these sweet, loyal dogs. They’re perfect carry-alls for trips to the dog park.

Best Friends by Sherri Shag Cuddler ($37.37, originally $53.99; amazon.com)

Your dog deserves to be spoiled, right? Show it by giving them this luxurious sleeper. It comes in three sizes so your pup can curl up in one that’s just right. The kicker is that it’s machine washable.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed price at the time of publication.

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