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Gifts for Pets
When Santa Claws slips through the pet door at your house, what's in his sack? Chances are your ideas for a great pet gift and what's dancing in Fluffy or Fido's heads do not match exactly.
For some cats, a wad of paper might be the perfect gift, the toy that will keep them occupied for hours. Others might need a Cat Dancer - basically a wad of paper on a wire that demands human participation in the cat's game.
There are two rules of thumb when you're searching for gifts for the fuzzy and feathered members of your family. First, remember that animals chew and swallow almost anything. Second, don't assume that if an item is on the pet store shelf it must be safe. Here are some more specific pointers:
- Keep gift size appropriate. For example, small chew bones for a big dog might go down in one gulp, or be bitten into tiny splinters that the dog swallows.
- Toys with small parts are as dangerous for your pets as they are for your toddlers. Those little wind-up mice that you find so entertaining may break apart in one good pounce and end up in your pet's digestive system.
- String and cats do not mix, contrary to popular belief. Cats can swallow string, which eventually may catch in their intestines and tug them into accordion folds.
- Be aware of the materials in any pet toy. Be sure there are no toxins.
- Know your pet. A stuffed animal might be a wonderful toy for a gentle dog, but a hazard to a dog or a ferret with a chewing habit. The sock that one dog uses for tug-of-war might become a digestive obstruction in another dog.
Save your pet pain and yourself veterinarian bills. Think when you're giving toys to your pets. If you wouldn't give it to a toddler, don't give it to an animal.