Pets are some of the best companions a person can have. A dog or cat can provide you with many years of friendship and require nothing in return other than adequate pet care. Ideas about business decisions and home improvement projects and even about what gifts to give your other family members come to your mind easily when you are taking your dog for a walk or sitting on the couch with your cat sitting on your lap. At the holidays, when you give gifts to show all the important people in your life how important they are to you, you also want to show your pets how much you appreciate them, but if you think it is a challenge to choose appropriate holiday gifts for your human friends, it can be an even bigger challenge to choose an appropriate gift for your pet.
On the one hand, pets are happy with almost any offering of food or affection, but on the other hand, they do not really notice a difference between a treat and the everyday good treatment to which they are accustomed. Pets have no need and no use for luxury handbags, jet skis, or any of the other expensive toys that might be at the top of a human’s holiday gift wish list. As when choosing gifts for people you do not know very well, food is a safe bet when choosing holiday gifts for pets. Widely accepted pet care ideas hold that you should keep your pet on a strict diet of foods prepared especially for a particular kind of animal. Some veterinarians even go as far as to say that cats should eat only dry food; even wet food made just for cats is junk food. At the same time, everyone who has owned a cat or dog knows how much these animals crave the foods that humans eat. My cousin’s dog, a chocolate lab named Molly, had a sweet tooth to match the name of her breed. She eventually developed a technique of bumping an ice cream cone with her nose in such a way that the person holding the cone would spill the ice cream, which Molly would then lap up enthusiastically. Our own Siamese cat, Chuckie, was a veritable human food gourmet; his tastes ranged from Spaghetti-O’s to bagels to Jell-O. Needless to say, these pets’ health was adversely affected by their dietary excesses. By this logic, if there is ever a time when it is acceptable to feed people food to pets, it is the holidays. It isn’t going to kill your pet to eat one Philly cheese steak or one slice of pizza per year if that is what his heart truly desires.
Current pet care ideas also hold that most household pets, especially indoor cats, do not get nearly enough exercise. Many toys are designed to help pets get enough exercise, and the holidays are a great time to give them. The fun of opening presents on Christmas morning can easily be followed by an afternoon of watching your dog fetch his new Frisbee in the yard or watching your cat rub her face on her new catnip mouse and then run around the living room like a maniac. You can even get your cat a cat food dispenser that simulates the experience of the cat hunting for its food. What could be more entertaining on Christmas afternoon than watching a cat hunt for cat food?
No matter which gifts you choose for your pets, they will be sure to appreciate them. No matter how spoiled your pets are, you can count on them not to post on social media about your woeful taste in gifts. Instead they will fetch and wag their tails or snooze, purr, and snooze some more, just like they always do.