Lifestyle

12/9/2022 | By Terri L. Jones

If you have a pet owner on your holiday gift list – or perhaps your own dog or cat is on that list – use these ideas on gifts for healthy pets to check ’em off your to-do list.

Pet product manufacturers are responding to our desire for healthy, happy, long-living fur babies with ways to optimize their health. We’re not just talking about medications and supplements but also products to improve a pet’s mealtime, calm their anxiety, clean their teeth, and even electronically monitor their health.

If you’re looking for perfect holiday gifts for healthy pets and their owners, consider these ideas.

Ideas on gifts for healthy pets

Healthier eating and drinking

Does your dog or cat gulp down their food? When pets “inhale” their meals, they’re at greater risk of choking, bloat and other digestive issues. Slow feeder bowls help them slow down while they chow down. The bowls feature a variety of holes, walls and shapes, challenge your pets to find their food, slowing down the feeding process.

Senior man on a park bench with a cat and dogs, among the best pets for seniors. For article on gifts for healthy pets and their owners.

The same goes for snuffle mats. Much like a field of tall grass in nature, snuffle mats allow you to hide kibble, treats and even toys to encourage animals to forage, which is an instinctual behavior. This manner of eating not only slows them down, but it also keeps your pet engaged and helps them expend pent-up energy.

Elevated food bowls for both dogs and cats create less stress on the animals’ necks and other joints as well as improve digestion, especially for cats that are prone to vomiting.

Does your kitty like to sneak a sip out of the faucet? Cat water fountains, with recirculating, filtered water, encourage them to drink more, which is beneficial for their urinary tract and kidneys.

Stress management

Just like their humans, animals get stressed – whether from a new environment, separation from their pet parents, or noise such as thunder or fireworks. Pet product manufacturers have launched a variety of products to help alleviate this anxiety, including fluffy, donut-shaped pet beds to cuddle dogs and cats like a warm hug, and plug-in diffusers for dogs and/or for cats, which emit a pheromone to calm animals. Wearable products, including a vest that uses music, smell, and a swaddling effect, are also effective in helping animals feel safe and relaxed.

Health and fitness monitoring

We’d love to be able to ask our pets how they’re doing, but short of tail wags and purrs, we haven’t yet reached that level of communication with our furry kids. Therefore, a little smart technology comes in handy to help us monitor their health and fitness. Smart dog collars not only feature GPS to help you locate your dog if they get lost, but these tools also monitor their activity (counting steps just like your Fitbit), sleep time and “overall health and happiness.”

Dental health

For dental health, you probably know about pet toothbrushes and toothpaste, but there are also bumpy, nubby toys to help grind away the plaque on your pets’ teeth while they gnaw away.

Some treats have been designed to clean pets’ teeth, too, such as Greenies and Milk Bone Brushing Chews.

Most pet owners want to leverage every tool available to keep your dog or cat with you a little longer. Instead of another bone or catnip toy – or instead of giving another white elephant to your pet-owning friends – give the fur babies the gift of health this year!

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide. She also writes for many other local magazines and publications.

Terri Jones