From edible toys to doggy car seats, there are more products than ever to keep your dog entertained, active, and smelling fresh. This holiday season, pamper your pooch with one of these items tested and approved by veterinarians and WebMD pet experts Katherine Scott, DVM, DACVIM, and Mark Stickney, DVM.
Here are the vets' picks in four categories: brain boosters/play, grooming, soothing/behavioral products, and food treats. All are available online or at pet superstores.
Holiday Guide for Pet Owners
Most dog and cat owners consider their furry friends members of the family. So when the holidays roll around, pets are often included in the festivities, too. To make sure you and your pets enjoy a safe, happy season, WebMD has pulled together a healthy holiday guide just for pet lovers.
For added fun, wrap your dog's gift and watch him try to open it!
Invincibles Snake with Squeakers (made by Kyjen): Dogs love playing with squeak toys but lose interest once they've torn out the stuffing and punctured the squeaker, often in a matter of hours. This toy comes with three or six squeakers that will take a beating and keep squeaking, says Scott, a lecturer in internal medicine at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
Two dogs with a reputation for being "toy destroyers" managed to break one of the squeakers, "but all of the other squeakers stayed intact, which for these two dogs was a miracle," Scott says.
Instant Dog Drinker (made by Handi-Drink): Owners who like running, walking, or hiking with their dogs should appreciate this squeeze bottle and water bowl in one, says Stickney, director of general surgery services at Texas A&M. When your dog is ready for a drink, just snap the bottle onto the tray and your dog has instant access to fresh water.
"If I've got a little water bottle I've got to squirt into the dog's mouth, a lot of it's going to spill out," Stickney says. "This allows them to drink at their own pace."
Kong Squeezz Dumbbell: A combination squeak toy and treat dispenser, the Kong Squeezz Dumbbell will give your dog a safe, fun activity to pass the time when you're away, Stickney says.
"The idea of the Kong is that the toy is made of hard rubber and you stuff a treat that the dog likes inside of it, and the dog has to really work and exercise its jaw and manipulate this toy so he can get the treats out," Stickney says.
Kong Senior: The Kong Senior is made with softer rubber, "so older pets that may be missing some teeth or aren't as vigorous chewers can still get the benefit of the Kong without wearing themselves out too much," Stickney says. "This will give them something to play with at their own pace, so they don't get left out while the younger dogs play."