Are you searching for the perfect holiday gift for a friend, family member, or coworker with a new dog or puppy? Here are a few of our favorite suggestions for new pet parents this holiday season!
The Gift of Good Behavior
Whether your friend has a new puppy or has adopted an adolescent, adult, or senior dog, enrolling the dog in a positive-reinforcement-based training program will help dog and owner develop a solid relationship based on trust.
Giving the gift of education will help ensure a dog is able to stay in his new home for a lifetime. Gift certificates for training services from a skilled behavior professional or trainer in your area make great stocking stuffers and can be purchased in nearly any denomination.
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) publishes a handy checklist (PDF) to help you find a good local trainer.
The Gift of Knowledge
Training books and DVDs can also make great Christmas gifts. My favorite sources for training information are Tawzer Dog Videos, Dogwise, and Karen Pryor Clicker Training. Tawzer now offers a Netflix-type delivery service. Annual memberships in programs like these can be a dream for committed dog owners!
Consider giving your friend or family member an annual subscription to the Whole Dog Journal, a monthly independent publication that offers up-to-date information on holistic training, nutrition, and health care.
The Gift of Safety
You need management tools to keep your dog safe and out of trouble while teaching him desirable foundation skills. Crates, baby gates, exercise pens, and tethers are all invaluable in helping your dog adjust to a new household environment.
Susan Garrett’s Crate Games DVD teaches dogs not simply to tolerate, but to actually love time spent in their crates!
The Gift of Zen
Most dog owners prefer a dog who is happy and relaxed at home to one who is rambunctious with an overabundance of energy. Products like Through a Dogs Ear and Dog Appeasing Pheremone (D.A.P.) help promote a state of emotional well-being in dogs.
Food-dispensing toys are another way to promote mental wellness and reduce boredom-related behavior problems in dogs â€” well talk about those in more depth next week.
The Gift of Sanitation
While we all love dogs, they can certainly be messy. Appropriate grooming tools make great holiday gifts and will satisfy any neat freaks on your Christmas list. If you know what breed your friends dog is, call a local grooming shop and ask what type of tools they use. Adopters of dogs with high-maintenance coats may also appreciate gift certificates for a well-recommended groomer.
Even if your friend or family member has adopted an adult dog who was previously house-trained, dogs may need reminding that the rule “go potty outside” applies, even in a new environment. Clean-up tools, from enzymatic cleaners specifically designed to clean up dog waste like Natures Miracle to poop bags and scoopers, make it easier to keep the home and yard clean while new puppies and dogs are being house-trained.
Stay tuned! Next week, well discuss some great gifts for dogs.