iStock_000030983198_LargeWhen we roll out that endless list of gift ideas, we often have the most fun shopping for our wee ones: little kids and adorable pets. But, how many times are we up against the typical routine of treats and tired toys for the pet who has everything?

For thoughtful pet guardians, finding something to perk up your pets’ activity level or interest can take some consideration. This is even more true for those who try to limit the number of edible gifts for pooches, kitties, and other pets who struggle with a bit of the pre- and post-holiday bulge.

There are, and thankfully so, a number of unique and engaging gifts you can give your pet this holiday season. From your friends at Wheaton Animal Hospital, here are a few intriguing presents that will make any pet bark, meow, or chirp with happiness.

  • Your Time – Before we get into all of the purchasable goodies, we also want to mention the joy and happiness an extra 30 minutes at the dog park can bring, or a day set aside for movies and kitty snuggles. Is there something your dog, cat, bird, or small mammal pet adores – such as a belly scratch, a song you sing to him or her, or a special hiking trail? These moments make a big impact on the overall wellness and quality of life of your pet, and your attention is truly the best gift that can be given.
  • New Activities – All pets, but our canine pals especially, need to be challenged and have their energy directed into engaging physical and mental activities. Have you ever considered building or purchasing an agility course for your dog or perhaps a series of runway panels or perches atop an unused bookcase for your climbing-crazy kitty? How about a running ball or mini gym for your bored hamster or Guinea pig? Not only do these challenging courses and work-outs offer boredom-relief for your pet, they also provide much-needed daily exercise.
  • Social Skills – Are you a dog parent who shies away from parks, events, or other gatherings where your hyper canine goes ballistic? Is your toy pom scared of other dogs? If your adult (or new puppy) dog has not had the chance to learn basic obedience and social skills, now is the time! Obedience classes help teach your pet life-saving commands, such as “sit”, “stay”, “come” and “drop it”, and life-enhancing social skills that will make both you and your Fido very happy. Wheaton Animal Hospital offers classes to help your dog become the superstar of dog park etiquette and household manners. Give us a call to inquire about upcoming classes.
  • A New “Do” – When was the last time your dog (or cat) was treated to a spa day and haircut? Is your shaggy pup’s coat going to the dogs? Keeping your cat or dog on a consistent grooming schedule not only is enjoyable to him or her, but also encourages healthy coat and skin, and is often the first place any problems, such as lumps, bumps, and abrasions are noticed (and therefore treated more expediently). Our Bubbly Spa Grooming salon offers an array of coat and skin care services for both cats and dogs.
  • Travel Ready – Does your pet love new people, other pets, and adventure? Do you need to visit a best friend or Grandma, but aren’t sure how to take your best fur friend? If you are considering taking your pet on a road trip for the holidays, a great gift idea is a new securable crate or carrier with snuggly blankets and toys, or a travel harness for your dog who likes to sit in the backseat. Oh, and be sure to plan for frequent rest and potty stops, fresh water breaks, pet-friendly lodging, supervision at all times during the trip, and a warm, climate-controlled automobile. Happy trails!
  • Other unique gift ideas include making a donation in your pet’s name to a favorite animal rescue or shelter, a special day of the week you treat your pup to playtime at a local doggie daycare, or – better yet – a new best friend and playmate. There are numerous adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and other animal pals just waiting for a forever home. Consider adopting!

    All of us at Wheaton Animal Hospital hope you have a wonderful time finding those special gifts for your favorite pets! Give us a call if you’d like additional suggestions.