What’s on your dog’s list this holiday season? He might love a truckload full of tacos, but that’s unlikely to be the healthiest choice. Here’s a list of gift items that your dog will love, and that you’ll feel good about giving.
For the athlete
Dogs love chasing and retrieving tennis balls – some of them to the point of obsession, and almost always past the point of their owner’s level of tolerance and interest. And let’s not forget the significant disgust factor associated with handling a saliva-sodden tennis ball over and over again.
Enter the folks at Hyper Pet. They’ve designed a tennis ball-launching gun that not only allows you to preserve your rotator cuff, but also avoid touching soggy balls. Their tennis ball cannon is designed to allow you to reload the balls directly from the ground back into the gun, and then launch them up to 75 feet. Click here to see K9 cannons.
For the tennis ball chewer
Veterinarians have no problems recognizing canine tennis ball fanatics, even when there’s not a ball in sight. How? Because tennis balls are surprisingly abrasive, and dogs that obsessively chase and retrieve them often have severely worn tooth enamel, especially on the rear aspect of the canine teeth.
Enamel wear can eventually expose the sensitive interior of the tooth, and left unchecked can leave to damage to the tooth root. Even minor enamel wear can cause significant dental disease, since intact enamel slows accumulation of plaque and tartar.
Always choose dog-friendly tennis balls for your pooch. The Kong company makes Airdog, durable, non-abrasive tennis balls just for dogs. They even squeak! Click here to see Kong Airdog toys.
For the couch potato
Obesity used to be relatively rare in dogs, when they lived on farms or ran around the neighborhood all day. Then we moved them into the house, made their lives much more comfortable, and subsequently more sedentary and much more boring.
I’ll be the first to tell you that the change in lifestyle – from the backyard to the bedroom – has increased well being and longevity in our canine companions. But it’s also increased obesity and behavioral issues. That’s why interactive toys, like the Buster Cube, are great for motivating complacent canines to get more mental stimulation and exercise.
The Buster Cube is a simply designed hard plastic cube. It has rounded edges, so that it rolls easily, and inside it has multiple compartments, like a puzzle. You load treats into the small hole on one side, and when your dog bats the cube around the floor, treats (or even the kibble you would normally feed him for dinner) falls out. Your dog will quickly learn that more play equals more treats. Click here to see the Buster Cube.
For the chewer
Walk into your local pet superstore, and you’ll immediately be greeted by a dizzying array of products that fall into the “Stuff Your Dog Can Chew On” category. The options are nearly endless, and the choices overwhelming.
Jerky treats have sickened many dogs. Antlers and bones cause broken teeth with disturbing frequency, and if the dog swallows a piece, they can become lodged in the intestines. So what chews should you choose?
Many chews purport to help clean the teeth, but few actually do. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (http://www.vohc.org/) independently tests products, and subsequently recommends those produces that actually reduce periodontal (gum) disease. Veggiedent Chews from Virbac are one such product, and dogs seem to love the taste, and love chewing on them. Click here to see the Veggiedent.
More on this subject in my next post. I don’t want this post to go to long.
If you have any questions feel free to email me. Germanshepherddogs@doglover.com