It’s the most wonderful time of the year, again. Although I am more partial to warmer weather, I sure enjoy hearing the eponymous line from Andy Williams’s classic holiday song, "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."†
I have some product suggestions for you to consider while shopping for gifts for your pets this season, which I have chosen based on their ability to enhance pet well-being or safety. In 2011 I took a more species specific approach in writing Dr. Patrick’s Top Five Canine Holiday Gifts. This year, I am considering both the needs of our companion canine and felines.
The Tröff hydration pouch promotes pet-safe hydration in a manner that reduces the likelihood that your pet will consume sources of hydration that are potentially contaminated with pathogens or illness causing agents — such as random bowls, public water sources, or puddles. Tröff has a gentle stream flowing out of a unique, twist off, one-way valve (patent pending).
Tröff shares some key facts on pet hydration:
"Every dog requires one to three ounces of water per pound of body weight each day. Water makes up 70%of an adult dog and approximately 84% of a newborn puppy’s body. A dog can lose all of its fat and half of its protein and live. A simple 10% loss of body water will cause a serious state of dehydration."
Consistent hydration can improve our pets’ health regardless of the harshness of their climate, degree of activity, or stage of illness or wellness.
The Tröff is especially beneficial for pet owners who travel. Whether you are hiking with Fido or flying with Fluffy, Tröff helps to ensure that hydration is maintained during times of stress, activity, or illness.
When empty, Tröff rolls up or folds for easy storage. The Tröff pouch is also eco-friendly, as each 17oz pouch is made from BPA free, FDA approved materials, and is reusable.
Doodie (Duty) Pack
As an advocate of veterinary and human public health, I’m especially focused on responsible pet ownership as it pertains to proper waste disposal. Cardiff and I are frequent hikers in Los Angeles’s many canyons and I am frustrated by owners either not picking up their dog’s poop, or doing so, yet leaving behind the bag with the intent to pick it up on their return journey (yeah right!).
Fortunately, Doodie Pack exists to help relieve your need to carry your dog’s poop bag in your hand or pocket during a walk or hike. Additionally, Doodie Pack allows your dog to transport some supplies (extra poop bags, medications, snacks, etc.) which is useful during outdoor excursions. It could even hold your keys or cell phone.
Doodie Pack also provides coverage of the top and sides of your pet’s thorax (chest), which can lend a calming effect in stressful situations, or even help reduce anxious tendencies.
Walk In Sync
Who loves when an out of control dog pulls you in all directions during a walk? Not me! Fortunately, I started Cardiff’s training at an early age and taught him how to heel. Yet, as I am no longer Cardiff’s only regular caretaker, rules are not always so well enforced during Cardiff’s urban trek outings.
So, I was enthused to learn of and demo the Walk In Sync humane dog walking and training system, and to meet its creator, Alecia Evans, at BlogPaws 2012. The novel design comfortably straps around and under a dog’s chest and neck while protecting the neck’s delicate structures (trachea, esophagus, nerves, etc.). Additionally, the location of the clip to which the leash attaches is located in front of the dog’s sternum (breast bone) and causes the body to turn to the side should your pooch pull ahead.
My clients who use the Walk In Sync harness have given positive reports as to the new-found joy in walking a calm canine.
PetSafe Lickety Stick
With nearly 54 percent of dogs and cats in the United States being overweight or obese according to the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), it’s vital that owners consider the adverse health effects that excess calorie consumption has for our companion canine and felines.
Often, when offering treats, pet owners don’t recognize how easy it is to exceed a pet’s caloric needs when not closely paying attention to recommended portion size. This is where the PetSafe Lickety Stick comes in as a healthy alternative, as it provides only 1 calorie in 10 or 20 feline licks.
It is a U.S.A. manufactured treat that contains all-natural ingredients and comes in a variety of tasty flavors for both cats and dogs. The Lickety Stick is portable and can easily travel with canine or feline owners seeking to capture their pet’s attention in a stimulating environment.
The Lickety Stick has been helpful in my practice to distract a patient that is not readily settling down for a physical exam, acupuncture treatment, or injection.
As you all know, I am a big advocate of pet safety and strive to spread this message through my writing and other media projects. Yet, sometimes even I slip up. See Chocolate Toxicity Hits Home.
Properly identifying your pet with a collar, tag, and microchip is a basic tenet of responsible pet ownership. Being easily able to discern information about whom to contact should a pet get lost should always be prominently displayed on our pets, both inside and outside the confines of our homes.
This is where PetHub comes in, as each custom tag features a QR code that, when scanned, starts a series of events that increases the likelihood your pet will safely be returned. "When the tag is scanned with a smart-phone, the Good Samaritan sees all the information you have made public on your pet’s profile," and progresses to more direct contact pending your level of PetHub subscription.
In using PetHub to identify a pet, your privacy is maintained, while vital contact information that is key to promoting your pet’s safe return is revealed.
That’s all for my perspective on 2012’s top holiday pets gifts. Have a safe and fun winter holiday season.
Dr. Patrick Mahaney
Image: Boomer readily drinks from a Troff hydration pouch, by Dr. Mahaney