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Kitsune's 2011 top ten dog gift list
With the 2011 winter holiday season fast approaching, many people will be shopping for gifts not only for their human family members and friends, but for their pets as well. According to the American Pet Product Association, 62% of US households own at least one pet. This year, Americans will spend an estimated $50.84 billion on their pets! That number is up from the $48.35 billion Americans spent on the pet industry in 2010.
The ever increasing amount spent on spoiling our pets is not something industries have missed. Every year hundreds of new pet related products hit the market. With so much to choose from, how will you decide what the perfect gift is for your pet this holiday season?
If you still haven't picked out the perfect present for the pooch in your life, you're in luck! My playful Papillon Kitsune just so happens to be an expert when it comes to dog toys and treats. Here is Kitsune's top ten list of dog toys and treats for 2011. If you still need a holiday gift for your pet, consider looking into one (or more!) of the following items.
1. Himalayan dog chews:
We'll start the list off with a treat! Many dog owners may not have heard of Himalayan chews before. Himalayan chews, referred to as "cheese chews" at our house, are made out of cow and yak milk using an ancient Himalayan recipe. Himalayan chews contain no chemicals and no preservatives, and they are fully digestible. These long lasting chews are a great option over things like rawhide, which can actually be bad for your dog. Most dogs love these novel chews. They can be on the pricey side as far as dog chews go, but because they last a long time and are healthier than many other chew options many owners believe they are well worth the price. I'm sure you're dog will agree!
Kongs are a classic dog toy! If your dog doesn't have one already, they make a great gift. Most dogs love them, especially when they are stuffed full of something tasty like peanut butter or yogurt. Kongs come in many different sizes so you are sure to be able to find the one that works best for your dog. If your dog already has a traditional Kong, the Kong company also makes a verity of other dog toys that your pet may be interested in.
3. Tuffy Toys
With a toughness rating from 1 to 10, these toys are built tough! They come in a verity of sizes and strengths to cater to all types of dogs, and feature fun additions such as squeakers and fun shapes to make them easy to carry and fun to play with. Despite destroying many of his other toys, Kitsune has yet to be able to destroy any of his Tuffy toys. The oldest one he's had has been around for 3 years so far, and despite being played with almost daily, it is still going strong!
4. Crazy Critters:
You may have seen commercials about these toys before. They are cute plush animals that are stuffing free. They are great for dogs who are prone to pulling the stuffing out of toys and because they are light and floppy dogs have a blast throwing them around.
5. Snuggle Puppies:
These adorable plush toys are great for new puppies and older dogs alike. They feature a velcro opening in their stomachs where you can insert an included battery operated heart that really beats. The beating of the heart helps to sooth young dogs who may be afraid of being away from their mother and siblings for the first time. It's a great alternative to the old clock in a blanket trick. For older dogs who may not need the heart, you can instead insert hot water bottles, hand warmers, or warmed bags of rice into the body of the plush to give your dog something warm to snuggle with.
6. Plush puzzle toys:
Buying these toys is like buying 4 toys in one! Each puzzle toy comes with three plush squeaky toys plus a fabric hideout for them. Many dogs enjoy pulling the toys from their hideout, and once they get them out the squeaky toys are a lot of fun to play with on their own!
7. Baby Dragons:
These plush baby dragons are not only adorable, they also feature chew guards that make them more durable and noise makers inside that make them extra fun for dogs who like toys that make sounds.
8. Coleman dog toys:
Did you know Coleman, most known for their camping gear, also makes dog toys? Built Coleman tough, these toys are durable and come in many different verities. These toys are reinforced to be extra strong, and great for a nice game of tug.
9. Bully sticks:
Bully sticks are popular for owners of dogs who love to chew, but don't like to give rawhide or other unsafe chew toys. Bully sticks are fully digestible chews that most dogs go crazy for. How long they last can depend on the size of the treat and your dogs chewing habits. Most dogs don't take too long to finish a Bully stick but they do love them! Just don't ask what they are made of! Bully sticks are often sold in pet stores but are almost always cheaper to buy online.
Yup, antlers. Antlers from deer and elk can be purchased as dog chews. They are often times not a whole antler but a piece of one cut down to a size that is appropriate for your dog's size. Antlers are an all natural, very long lasting chew that many dogs enjoy. If you know anyone who hunts, you may be able to get a piece of an antler for free. If you don't like the idea of hunting, don't worry. Most antlers sold in stores and online are pieces from shed antlers and no animals are harmed to get them.
There you have it, Kitsune's top picks of dog gifts for 2011! Feel free to comment if you know of any great toys or treats that we missed! Always remember to choose toys and treats that are safe for your pet. Playing with and treating your pet is a great way to build up your bond, as well as engage them mentally as well as physically. Remember that while your dog will probably enjoy a new toy or treat, the best gift you can give your furry friend is your time. Have fun and happy holidays!