Editor’s Note: Chanukah is coming! We asked pet expert Julia Szabo, a.k.a. Pet Reporter, for some grrreat gift suggestions for the furry members of our community. For more musings from Julia, check out her articles on Dogster [ http://www.dogster.com/author/
Let’s not overlook our furry family members this holiday. Giving them a thoughtful gift is the least we can do in return for the unconditional love they give us every day of the year. Here are 8 ideas for this Chanukah!
1. Reflections on Safety – What’s more fun than a clear, moonlit dog-walk beneath a canopy of stars? Just don’t let low visibility conditions trip you up or keep you indoors after dark. Reflective gear is a must for nighttime and rainy-day safety – for kids, adults, and pets. See and be seen in style, at night or on foggy days, in Vedante’s fabulously fashionable, functional reflective gear designed for both you and Spot. (Check out the cool kitty collars too!) www.vedante.com (and available at McGuckins)
2. Protecting Precious Paws – Dogs love playing outdoors in the cold, but they can run their paw-pads ragged. Prevent dry, cracked pads by topically protecting the skin on Spot’s feet with all-natural Fancy Feet Paw Balm, made of beeswax and soothing oils of jojoba, avocado, and camellia. [ www.abalancedk9.com ] And remember that dogs don’t love walking on ice-melting salt, which burns their paw-pads and leads to irritation and infection. The “When It Rains, It Pours” people at Morton know the power of salt and adore dogs, so they formulated salt-free Safe-T-Pet Ice Melt. Use it to keep walkways Spot-friendly and slip-proof. [ www.mortonmelters.com ]
3. Winter Skin Relief – Dry skin isn’t just a people problem – pets experience it too, especially in winter. With Nordic Naturals, it’s easy to moisturize Spot’s skin and coat from the inside out while you give him his daily dose of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, in liquid or gelcap form. Nordic Naturals products are good for your best friend, plus dogs and cats love the taste, Don’t forget to order some for yourself and your two-legged family members too! http://www.
4. Honey for Your Honey — Dogs adore taste-testing the product of busy bees’ industrious labors, and an occasional loving spoonful of this sweet stuff is good for them, just as it is for us! Loaded with antibacterial and antioxidant properties, honey is a wonderful, natural immune-system booster. For best results, choose local honey — such as the exquisite, artisanal offerings of Boulder’s own Highland Bees. [ www.highlandbees.com ]
5. Coats and Tails – When the temperature dips, don’t let your best friend leave the house in his birthday suit – brrr, that’s not nice! Seniors and dogs recovering from illness especially appreciate extra layers of protection from winter’s harsh chill. Protect them in style with Mountain Mutt Dog Coats, [ www.mountainmuttdogcoats.com
6. Spread the Love – If you’re like us, your first taste of Justin’s Nut Butter was a holiday in itself. Go ahead and share that delightful experience with your best friend! Don’t fill your dog’s Kong with just any spreadable edible – give that rubber chew toy a generous schmear of Justin’s Classic Peanut or Honey Peanut (skip the chocolate blends, as cocoa is toxic to pets). And while you’re at it, bring handy, eminently squeezable snack packets of this stuff along whenever you and Spot are out ruffing it on the hiking trail. Yum! [ www.justinsnutbutter.com ]
7. Looks Good on Paper — Card Gnome offers an impressively comprehensive selection of traditional paper cards with delightfully un-traditional imagery and messaging. For those who prefer to minimize their carbon paw-print, Card Gnome wares are “wind powered and printed with organic ink on recycled paper.” Like some of our favorite pets, these cards are cute and sweet, with an unmistakable underbite. My favorite in the Hanukah selection features a pair of yarmulke-wearing hanu-kats contemplating a menorah. [ http://www.cardgnome.com/
8. Home for the Holidays – Adopt a Hanu-kat or Hanukah Hound at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, our go-to resource for furry family members. If there’s no room at your inn this year, please follow @HumaneBoulder on Twitter, and donate what you can, whether it’s money or much-needed supplies (animal shelters are always grateful to receive towels, blankets, and cleaning supplies). [ www.boulderhumane.org ]