I was recently thinking about what to get my dog for his birthday and I came up with a few great ideas I thought I would share with everyone. I found myself asking, what’s the very best gift you can give to your dog? The answer of course was simple. Another dog! Dogs are naturally very social animals and they love being around people and other pets.
But, unfortunately, this isn’t always possible for many pet owners. Instead of a second dog I’ve come up with a short gift list that I hope will help anyone wondering what they can give their favorite canine companions. First are three gifts you can share with your dog and last are three gifts they can enjoy all by themselves.
Bicycle compatible leash. I had the opportunity recently to try one of these with my friend’s Husky. What an amazing experience! I imagined that was what it would be like to ride a dog sled. The dog does most of the pulling and you just control the steering and the brakes. At first I was a little nervous about the dog being able to pull the bike down, but this proved to be impossible. It was quite safe and my Husky buddy had a great time. So not only is it fun and safe, but it’s a great way to exercise your dog to the max.
Saddle bags. I think these are a great idea for active pet owners who really enjoy taking their animals into the great outdoors. Remember dogs are pack animals so not only do they love exploring with you, but I think when they’re carrying their own food and supplies this helps them to feel more like part of the team. Okay, I may be anthropomorphizing a little, but I know plenty of dogs who seem to love wearing their own backpacks. Plus every pound of dog food your furry friend carries up the trail is a pound of dog food you don’t have to carry!
Fetching Toys These are the classic interactive toys for you and your dog. There are so many out there I couldn’t possibly name them all. There are simple balls, balls with bells and whistles, ball launchers, Frisbees, doggie boomerangs, squeaky fetching toys, tugging ropes, or even glow-in-the-dark fetching toys just to name a few. If your dog is a fetcher, then you only have to choose safe and fun fetching toys.
Toys just for them:
Chew Toys With Food Cavities. These are perfect for dogs with a little bit off separation anxiety. Just place some dog food inside the toy and leave it in your dog’s co ntainment area. This way when you leave your home your dog won’t be anxiously thinking about what happened to you, but instead they’ll be thinking about getting that delicious food. And having to gnaw it out of a chew toy will probably tire them out so they can have a good nap. So not only does this provide an appropriate outlet for your dogs chewing, as opposed to uhmmm, your sofa. It also rewards him or her for good behavior while you’re away.
Puzzle toys. This one goes along great with chew toys if you’re out of the house often. It provides more mental stimulation than just mindlessly gnawing on something. Instead your dog will have to figure out how to release a treat from the puzzle. This usually involves sliding parts around with the nose or paws until everything lines up perfectly. They come in varying levels from easy to difficult. These puzzle toys are a great way to challenge your dog in a totally new way while providing him or her with a healthy outlet for their energy.
Indoor Dog houses. Despite their pack mentality, many dogs love to have a little bit of territory to call their own. Whether is a special spot in the living room or a certain corner of the yard, dogs want and need a place to call theirs. Having their own “territory” gives them a secure place to sleep or to hide their favorite snacks for later. For dog owners who don’t have the luxury of a big yard or who have full time indoor pets, there are indoor dog houses that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. In fact I used to own one that was in the shape of a little blue helicopter! It was the perfect place for my dog to go to when he needed some “me time.”
Mike Morrison is a 28 year old language teacher who loves foreign travel and learning new cultures. He has visited 20 countries in the last 10 years, including living in South Korea for two years teaching elementary level English. Mike enjoys blog and article writing on assorted topics including pets, hobby crafts, music, environmental issues, and physical fitness. Mike would love to hear from anyone sharing his interests. Contact Mike