Pets are the only beings in our lives who don’t cause us gift-giving anxiety, because we know they will enjoy nearly any present we give them. Still, you want to give your dog or cat something unique to make them feel loved, appreciated, and happy. The best option for some pets is a practical item they will use every day, but others enjoy a fun toy they can destroy. Our Walnut Creek Vet Hospital team recognizes that pets are individuals, and each prefers something different. Use our guide as a starting point in your search for the perfect present for your dog or cat. Consider some of our favorite safe, fun, and practical pet gift ideas.

#1: Pet spa day

Spa days aren’t for every pet, but some truly enjoy the pampering associated with a nice, warm bath or gentle brushing. Book a luxury spa day with a local groomer, opting for extra pampering services. However, your pet may enjoy their spa day even more if you provide the services yourself. If your pet hates baths, give them a petting and a relaxing massage session to soothe achy muscles.

#2: Comfortable pet bedding

Who doesn’t enjoy the feeling of cushy, crisp new bedding? If your pet’s bed is old and worn, gift them a new one this season. To get the most out of your purchase, look for washable, durable, and replaceable covers. Middle-aged and older pets prefer beds made with orthopedic support foam, which can help counteract arthritic joint pain and keep their spines aligned while they rest.

#3: Safe pet toys and chews

Toys and chews are classic holiday gifts, but some are safer than others. A toy’s or chew’s safety depends entirely on your pet’s play and chewing style. Give your aggressive chewer and toy destroyer toys made with durable rubber or nylon, which will hold up to strong jaws. Do not give your pet animal bones and hard antlers, because these items can break your pet’s teeth. Toys without stuffing are often safer. However, to prevent your power chewer from swallowing large toy pieces, ensure you always monitor them during play. A dog who chews less aggressively will do well with holiday-themed plush toys or edible dental chews. Cats enjoy basic catnip mice or laser pointers.

#4: Holiday pet treats

If you introduce a new food too quickly to a pet with a sensitive stomach, they can develop digestive upset. To avoid causing your pet a stomach ache, give them a holiday-themed treat made by a  brand they have eaten in the past. In addition, provide your dog or cat only a few treats at a time to see how they feel after eating something new. Schedule an urgent veterinary visit if your pet develops vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or lethargy after introducing a new treat, as these are potentially dangerous and painful pancreatitis signs.

#5: Pet puzzle toys

Puzzle toys for pets combine two things they love: treats and play. Most puzzle toys are designed to be stuffed with food, and your pet must roll, bounce, lick, or otherwise manipulate the toy to get to the delicious center. Puzzle toys are excellent boredom busters and can keep pets busy and distracted when you have guests or are preparing a holiday meal. 

#6: Cat climbing space

Indoor cats are prone to stress and anxiety, which can lead to physical stress manifestations such as bladder inflammation or upper respiratory infections. By installing vertical climbing space in your home, you can help alleviate your cat’s stress by providing them with an interesting, safe way to move around and get away from other pets and people when they need alone time. Cats love to survey their territory from above, and climbing shelves fulfill this need by providing them with a secure feeling.

#7: Festive pet collar or clothing

A festive pet collar or light sweater is an easy way to include your pet in the holiday cheer. A sweater can take the chill out of a cool winter evening, while a holiday-themed collar with clear and up-to-date identification tags helps ensure your pet can be reunited with you if they get lost. Consider gifting your pet with a microchip that provides permanent identification. Our team can easily administer your cat’s or dog’s microchip during a quick office visit.

The gift you choose for your four-legged friend should reflect their personality and bring them joy this holiday season. Pets live in the moment, and simply spending the day with your dog or cat is gift enough in their eyes, often a real bonus. However,  one of the best presents you can give your pet is preventive care, which can help keep them healthy for many holidays to come. Schedule your pet’s wellness visit with our Walnut Creek Vet Hospital team and learn about the services we can customize to meet your furry pal’s needs.