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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. 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. 

Here are some examples:

Dog Whisperer by Cesar Milan Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper: This bed includes an orthopedic pad, a gel topper fill pad, and has a machine washable cover (www.petco.com). 

Quilted Super Deluxe Dog Bed: This bed offers a foam layer for support and a soft outer layer for comfort (www.drsfostersmith.com).

7.Question: My dog is bored. How can I keep him mentally stimulated?

Dr. Stickney says: Pets that are not given appropriate outlets for their energy can develop destructive habits, like chewing shoes or scratching the furniture. They may also gain weight from being less active, which can lead to numerous health issues. Every pet is different when it comes to toys and activities that will stimulate them. Some dogs will chase a ball all day and others want to chew on a bone. Some cats will chase a toy mouse and others expect you to bring the toy to them. Part of the fun is playing with your pet and finding the things your dog or cat enjoys. In addition to toys, daily exercise is good for you and your pet. Take your dog to the park to play or go for a walk. Find a special toy your cat likes to play with; spend time using it to interact with your cat. Teaching your dog tricks and practicing everyday is also great mental exercise.

Here are some examples:

Agility Starter Kit: Create your own obstacle course for your pet (www.drsfostersmith.com).

Dog E Logic: An interactive game/puzzle that progresses from easy to more advanced (www.jjdog.com).

Pet Media Adventure Cat DVD Volume 1: Backyard Fun: This 60-minute DVD is filled with squirrels, mice, pigeons, and other animals (www.amazon.com).

Cat Toy Laser Beam Mouse: Cats can chase the ever-moving laser beam, which owners control with their fingertips (www.amazon.com).

8. Question: I like to have a clean pooch. Is there a special kind of shampoo to use to make him smell good? Will aromatherapy hurt? And is it possible to let a wet dog get too cold?

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