Tis the season to remember those you love most, and for many of us that includes dogs and dog lovers. So, this holiday shopping season, we’d like to offer a few tried-and-true, always-appreciated, sure-to-make-their-tails-wag gift suggestions.
Gifts for dogs
A brand new, fluffy, warm, cozy pet bed. If your dog’s bed has seen better days, nights, and years, he’ll love to bed down on something newer and softer.
Toys, toys, toys! Make a list of the dog’s favorite types of toys, and take a trip to your local pet supply store to replenish his toy chest.
Raised pet bowls. This is especially appreciated by the senior dogs on your list—the ones who may have a harder time stooping to use floor-based bowls.
Stockings stuffed with their favorite treats. Imagine how delighted your dog will be when you open his stocking to reveal his favorite crunchy, munchy PEDIGREE® treats.
Warm winter wear. If there’s a dog on your list that shivers in the brisk winter weather, get her something fashionable and practical to wear, like a coat, sweater, or booties. Read this article before shopping for your dog’s winter attire.
Gifts for those who love your dog
Chances are, your dog brings smiles and happiness to people who aren’t in your immediate family. Which means they’ll be touched to receive a holiday gift that involves your pooch. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Holiday cards that feature your dog. When shooting holiday photos for your personalized cards, don’t forget to include your dog in the shot!
Dog-to-dog gifts. If you’re buying a gift for a friend’s dog this holiday season, make everyone smile by having it come from your dog. You can even send the gift with a photo card that features your dog.
Gifts for dog parents
Your dog-loving friends and family will love the thoughtfulness of giving them a gift that features their dog’s photo and/or name. These types of personalized gifts are used—and appreciated—every day. If you don’t already have a photo of their dog, snap one now. Then go online and order these types of “personalizable” gift items:
Food and water bowls
Ceramic dog food containers
Gifts for other people’s dogs
If you’re looking for some gift ideas for your friends’ dogs, take a look at the first list. Many of those same items would also make great gift for their pets. Everything from doggie toys to a new cozy bed is fair game. Just snoop around first to make sure it’s something your friends—and their dogs—really need and want.
As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.
When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.
Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food
If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.
As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.
However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.
Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.
It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.
Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.
While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!
Whether you choose dry food, soft food or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.