What to Get Your Dog for Christmas
Whether your dogs have been “naughty” or “nice” this year, there’s no better time than Christmas to show them how much they mean to you. From the tangible to the intangible, consider celebrating the legendary Twelve Days of Christmas by wrapping some of these suggestions in bright ribbons of love and “gifting” your dog with them:
1. Get your dog a large, personalized dog treat jar. Fashioned from clear glass, his name will be emblazoned across the front in glittering letters and then filled with especially tempting and delectable holiday treats.
2. Sweeten your conversation with “baby talk.” Since studies show that dogs understand human language better than once thought, using a high-pitched voice coupled with words your own dog recognizes will be welcome music to his most receptive ears.
3. Get your dog an oversized and especially soft blanket featuring his photo front and center. Choose one in a color that complements his preferred doggy bed and have your favorite photo of him printed on it.
4. Gaze deeply into your dog’s eyes. One way of expressing your love is through direct eye contact. Take a moment, speak softly, pet him gently and stare into his eyes. Try raising your eyebrows -- preferably the left one – and he’ll recognize this as an obvious display of affection.
5. Get your dog an especially hardy KONG that’s shaped like a small tire. Ideal for rousing games of fetch and tug-o-war, they’re guaranteed to outlast even the strongest chewer.
6. Rub his ears. Rather than patting your pup on the top of his head, rub him gently behind his ears and watch his reaction. In all likelihood, he’ll melt into a puddle of pure doggy bliss because rubbing a dog’s ears stimulates the release of endorphins, the hormones that both relieve pain and induce pleasure.
7. Get your dog a DNA test. Are you curious about your pup’s ancestry? Eager to know if he’s a purebred or a marvelous mixture of two or more breeds? All it requires is this simple test and all will be revealed.
8. Lean on your dog. Think of the many times your dog has pressed up against your legs or leaned into you while you were sitting together. Seen as one of the ways that dogs seek out affection – their version of a hug – return the sentiment and “hug” your dog back by leaning into him.
9. Get your dog a gift basket of bacon flavored dog chews. While real bacon is a no-no, this “sense-ational” substitute should keep his taste buds tingling and his palette satisfied all year round.
10. Cuddle your dog. Being pack animals, dogs are famously fond of cuddling and feel particularly safe and secure when they’re close to their owners. Whether you sleep with your dog, snuggle on the sofa with him or cozy up together on the floor, he’s certain to receive your message of reciprocal love.
11. Make a tax-deductible donation in your dog’s name to Sato Heart Rescue. What more paws-itive way to pay forward the love you have for your dog than by helping other dogs find that same kind of love for themselves?
12. Have Fun Together. Spend quality time with your dog every day engaging in his favorite activity. Whether it’s practicing tricks he especially enjoys, romping with him round the backyard or playing fetch, he’ll not only feel happily loved but hale and hearty as well.
Article by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and has been writing as a volunteer for animal rescue groups in Canada and the U.S.A. since 2013.