OK, so you have a few days left to shop for your faithful, furry friend … or for the furless, dog loving friend that is always there for you. Have no fear, there is still plenty of time, and remember, it can always be given as a New Year gift — better late than never.
So, here's the one I promised on the subject of presents for dogs and for pet people in general (cats were so much fun to write about I almost forgot about the dog peeps).
1. A collar-mounted GPS device: This is a fantastic device for a not-so-small dog — especially for one who has a way of getting out of his designated area on occasion. The best feature? Should he stray from his area (as small as 10 x 10 feet and as big as a BIG property), your cell phone will ring with an alert. Here’s a whole post on my favorite device.
2. A donation in a pet’s name (perhaps in the name of one recently deceased?): Later this year I’ll profile my preferred pet charities in my annual "end-of-year-tax-break" post, but let it suffice to say that Heifer International and the University of Pennsylvania’s shelter medicine program are always at the top of my list.
3. Dog fur yarn: For pet lovers whose beloveds have lots of lush fur, consider having it prepped and spun into balls of knittable or crochetable yarn. Here's a company, called VIP Fibers, that offers this service. And even if you can’t work a needle or two, you can always send your finished yarn to someone like me (who has recently replaced smoking with obsessive knitting), who will happily knit you a simple scarf. The only problem with this gift? It requires some time for return. Plus, you’d be surprised at the quantities of hair you have to amass to spin up just a few balls of yarn. (Just so you have a choice, another company, called Woofspuns, also offers this service, and lots of tips on collecting and planning projects.)
If you haven't saved up all of your pet's hair at this point (And if you haven't, why haven't you? For shame!), you might consider it for next year, perhaps, and use the coming year to build up a respectable collection of fur for next year's holiday knitting projects.
By the way, the sweater below is made of chow-chow (tan) and samoyed (white) yarns. Gorgeous!
3. Pet books: I love pet books! There are so many kinds to choose from — from joke books, art books, how-to books, photography … and then there's fiction and non-fiction. Whether your friend is a reader or a coffee table book kind of person, there is plenty out there. So get some. Or, buy your favorite person a Kindle, pre-loaded with some of your favorite pet books (Am I Boring My Dog, for example). I received a kindle for my birthday this year, courtesy of my boyfriend, and I love it (better than jewelry, imho).
4. The Dremel: Forget the Pedi-Paws. If you’re considering trying a rotary tool for your pet's toenails, don’t go for second best. The cordless pet Dremel is fantastic, and for around $24 it’s totally worth it. The only difference? It doesn’t have the protective covering that the other brand has, so you actually have to watch that you don’t Dremel yourself. It’s a snap to get the hang of though.
5. The Furminator: All hail the Furminator (a-gain)! If you, or your friend, don’t have one yet, chances are you could probably use one of these. It doesn’t work for all dogs, but for most breeds it’s excellent. I’ve also met quite a few cats for whom it has made a significant difference in terms of enhanced fur quality and hairball-hurling reduction, so add it to your cat gift list, too. Best of all, it means all that pesky fur is far less likely to land on your floors and furniture — and more likely to make it into a bag where it belongs … so you can save it to make into a ball of yarn!
Have you any others to add to the list?
Dr. Patty Khuly