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Healthy Pets

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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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?

Dr. Stickney says: Just as in people, joint pain in dogs is typically worse during the colder months and after a period of rest. Joint pain caused by arthritis usually lessens as the dog becomes more active throughout the day. Giving your dog a comfortable, well-padded place to sleep will help lessen the pain by reducing pressure on the joints. If the bed is placed in a warm area of the house, away from drafts and windows, your pet will be even more comfortable. The bed should be on the floor, so your pet can get in and out of it easily. 

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