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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: There are a number of shampoos and conditioners available for pets. Your dog doesn’t really care how he smells, so find one that smells good to you. Be sure it is a product specifically made for dogs and cats and not for people. Human products can excessively dry your pet’s skin, make them itchy, and leave a dull coat. Aromatherapy will not hurt and there is a small amount of evidence that suggests it will relax them. A wet dog in the summertime will not get too cold, but he sure will during the winter! Thoroughly dry your pet after a bath and keep him indoors until completely dry. Then brush out to prevent hair mats from forming.

Here are some examples:

Towel Togs: An absorbent towel/jacket that can keep your home and car dry (www.inthecompanyofdogs.com). 

Paw Rub: A rub that includes aloe, shea butter, and vitamin E to keep dogs’ paws lathered and moistened (www.frontgate.com).

9. Question: I have a handsome cat who can’t get enough brushing. Is there anything that will help prevent hairballs?

Dr. Stickney says: Daily brushing is the first step to controlling hairballs. Every cat will have the occasional hairball, no matter what you do. Cats swallow hair when they groom themselves. The hair accumulates in the stomach and is eventually vomited up. By removing shed hair through brushing, you greatly decrease the amount of hair the cat ingests. Most cats love to be brushed, for a while anyway, and will let you know when they have had enough. 

Here are some examples:

JW Pet Grip Soft Cat Slicker Brush (for sensitive skin): Has an rubber, ergonomically designed handle and wire tines to help untangle fur on sensitive skin (www.petco.com). 

KONG Cat Zoom Groom Brush (massaging bristles): De-fur your feline with this cat-shaped brush (www.amazon.com).

10. Question: My cat likes to sleep with me because my bed is warm. How do I get my cat out of my bed and into her own bed?

Dr. Stickney says: It has been said that dogs have owners and cats have staff; therefore it can be hard to convince your cat to sleep someplace else. However, if the cat likes the warmth of your bed, then provide it a warm bed of its own. Placing the cat’s bed near a heating vent or purchasing a self-heating bed may do the trick. It will also help to place the cat’s bed on your bed for the first few nights and then gradually transition it to the floor. 

Here are some examples: 

K&H Thermo Kitty Hut Heated Cat (and Dog) Bed by Sage: This bed with a heating unit also has a hood that can be moved up and down (www.amazon.com).

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