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Healthy Pets Holiday Gift Guide

WebMD offers ideas for pet gifts, from dog beds to music for cats. Get your pet something healthy and useful this year.

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Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece: This fleece jacket made of Polartec also includes reflectors and a side zipper (www.ruffwear.com).

Crew Cut Sweater: This acrylic sweater features a turtleneck and cuffed sleeves for extra insulation (www.drfostersmith.com).

2.Question: Can music really calm a dog or cat and prevent carsickness? Do they even hear the music?

Dr. Snyder says: To my knowledge, there haven’t been any studies performed in dogs or cats that scientifically evaluate the effects of music on calming nerves or preventing car sickness. However, there is plenty of evidence in humans and primates that show beneficial effects of music, so it might be possible! Dogs and cats do appear to hear and (anecdotally) respond to music. While I can’t guarantee these products will work, they are very unlikely to cause harm. If nothing else, we know music calms people, and we know our pets respond to our emotions and anxiety level. So if we keep ourselves calm by listening to music, our pets are more likely to remain calm as well.

Here are some examples: 

DogGone Songs Travel Tunes CD: The music on this CD was composed by Thomas Schoenberg (www.amazon.com).

Music Cats Love: While You Are Gone:

Offers original compositions from keyboardist/composer Bradley Joseph (www.amazon.com).

3.Question: Do you need to protect your dog’s eyes from UV damage with sunglasses? What kinds of trouble can the sun cause for your dog’s eyes?

Dr. Snyder says: Most dogs do not require extra protection for their eyes from UV damage. The sunlight (and the UV rays that come from it) can be harmful in a couple of circumstances, however. The most common is a disease usually seen in German Shepherd dogs called chronic superficial keratitis (or pannus). This disorder can cause blood vessels and tissue to cover the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may eventually lead to blindness. UV light is thought to cause this condition to progress. In people, UV light is thought to contribute to cataract formation, but this link does not appear to be significant in dogs.

However, if your dog is going to be out in very bright sun, eye protection may simply make their eyes feel more comfortable. It will also help prevent dust or strong winds from causing ocular irritation. If your dog will wear them, they shouldn’t cause harm and may be useful.

Here are some examples:

Doggie Shades: These shades offer 100% UV protection, come in six sizes and seven styles, and fit dogs of up to 200 pounds (www.doggieshades.com).

Doggles: These glasses, offering 100% UV protection, are fashioned after goggles and have fog-proof lenses (www.doggles.com).

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