I can’t help you decide what to get your wife, your mother, your son, or your best friend, but I can help you with what to get for your dog. I know how much you were all worried about what to get Fido, so I figured I would step up and help with a couple of ideas. My goal as a veterinarian is to allow you to have a long, happy, and healthy relationship with your pet, and these ideas will help you achieve that goal.
- Flea and tick prevention!! Let’s be honest, fleas make your pet feel miserable, and nobody likes the idea of fleas in your carpet and bed. We have safe and effective products that can help keep your dog feeling good all year long. I personally like Bravecto and Nexgard for my own dogs currently. There are other safe and effective products as well, but I like the ease of these two oral chews (and most dogs seem to actually enjoy these chews). Bravecto keeps dogs free of fleas and ticks for 3 months per dose, and Nexgard keeps them free of fleas and ticks for one month per dose. They have also been found to treat Sarcoptes and Demodex mites, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you are protecting your dog from numerous parasites. A good portion of my day as a veterinarian is treating flea related skin disease, so this would be a great gift for your furry canine companion this year!!
- Heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention!! There is nothing quite like the panicked phone call from an owner who just noticed worms in the dog’s stool. I agree that heartworm disease is not common in Livermore, CA, but there are cases in Northern California every year. Intestinal parasites are incredibly common, and something that we treat on almost a daily basis. Heartworm disease is simple to prevent, and complicated to treat. We have safe and effective products to keep your dogs safe from heartworm disease, and free from hookworm and roundworm infestations. Heartgard Plus comes in a tasty monthly chewable treat, and your dog will thank you for keeping him/her safe from nasty parasites.
- Get those teeth cleaned!! Let’s be honest, bad breath ruins cuddle time with your dog. Your dog wants to be able to cuddle with you more for the holidays, and its not going to happen if you need to leave the room every time Fido opens his mouth. Dental disease is honestly painful and uncomfortable, and will not get better until it is treated. This year give Fido the gift of cuddle time. Let’s get that mouth smelling fresh and clean again!
- Everyone’s favorite healthy stocking stuffers!! I get it, it’s hard to jump for joy when you open that bottle of multivitamins, but your dog is less judgmental than your teenage son. Fully digestible CET and Oravet dental chews can be used as a frequent treat to help keep Fido’s teeth clean. He won’t know these are special dental treats, and he will just think you are being an awesome dog parent. A new toothbrush is also a great idea. Daily/weekly brushing is the key to keeping your dog’s teeth clean. I know it’s a hassle, but it is cheap and effective, so give it a try!
- Toys and Puzzles!! We love Kong toys as we have big dogs that destroy everything you give them in about 20 seconds. The Kong toys are fairly durable, and can be great for keeping dogs mentally stimulated when you hide treats and snacks inside. Puzzle feeders are a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated, while also preventing her from setting a new world record in dog food consumption time. There are plenty of other toy options as well, but the Kongs and puzzle feeding toys are some of our favorites.
- Get your dog a gym membership!! Ok, maybe don’t go crazy and bring your dog to the gym, but let Fido know that this year you are dedicating more time to being active. Get outside and go for a weekly hike, dedicate 20 minutes each day to being active with your dog, or just get outside and spend some time together. I know everyone is busy, but it is good for dogs and humans alike to get outside and be active. As it is getting dark early these days it is a good idea to get reflective collars, leashes, or dog vests to make sure that you and Fido are being safe together while enjoying the outdoors. The best gifts don’t always cost money, so no matter your holiday budget this gift is well within reach.
So, I hope this has eased your holiday anxiety a bit, and you now have a plan for your favorite pooch (sorry I was of no help with what to get your mother-in-law). Stay tuned for what to get your cat, but to be honest cats are a bit more judgmental, and I am going to make the other doctor figure out what you can buy for them 🙂 Happy holidays to you all, and please let Ohana Animal Hospital know if you need help with any of the above gifts for your canine friend.