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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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Dr. Snyder says: This question goes back to the answer for the first question: it all depends on your dog and your environment. In general, dogs’ feet are naturally durable and their thick foot pads can tolerate most types of surfaces and environments. However, those in very cold locations or dogs who are out in the ice/snow for extended periods of time could definitely benefit from foot protection. Also, if your dog is going to be walking on sidewalks where ice melting-materials have been used, boots may provide additional protection from these more caustic substances.

Protective vests are an excellent idea for hunting dogs, field trial dogs, or dogs that will be out in the wilderness for any reason. These vests come in bright colors and with reflectors to make sure that you and other people can easily spot your dog in thick woods or dark lighting. They are a wonderful protective tool for the working dog.  

Here are some examples:

Muttluks: These boots and paw protectors come in a variety of sizes and styles and in all-weather and fleece-lined versions (www.petstreetmall.com).

Dog Safety Vest: This reflective vest comes in bright orange (www.llbean.com).

5.Question: My vet says my dog is too fat. How can I get some more exercise for him?

Dr. Snyder says: Exercise can become more challenging in winter months, simply because it’s harder for us and our pets to brave the elements. But the same rules still apply! Walks and playful activities are great ways to increase your pet’s exercise and help get rid of those extra pounds. You can either prepare your pet for the outdoors by using some of the coats/foot protection described above, or you can play games indoors so you can both stay warm. There are many products out there that are “house-friendly” and still fun for your dogs to play with. Anything that gets them up and moving is good exercise!

Here are some examples:

Ball Blaster Retractable Ball Thrower: This compact ball helps you throw farther. The “dental” ball is gentle on the teeth (www.amazon.com).

Pet Pedometer: Keeps track of how many steps your pet takes (www.walk4life.com).

Small West Paw Huck Zogoflex Ball: This ball is made of a special material that bounces in all directions (www.dogtoys.com).

6. Question: My dog has arthritis and joint pain. She has trouble getting in and out of her bed. How can I make it easier for her to sleep?

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