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Fido’s Holiday Wish List

December 15, 2023

Season’s Greetings! Are you still working on your holiday shopping? Don’t forget to pick up a few things for your canine companion. Fido deserves to be spoiled a bit, for all of the love, laughter, tail wags, and affection he provides. We all know that Man’s Best Friend is very fond of toys and treats, but what else do you think would be on your pup’s holiday list? A local Burnsville, MN vet offers some suggestions in this article.

Gifts For Active Dogs

Is your canine companion a bouncing ball of fur? Look for toys and gifts that will keep him entertained. Automatic ball launchers are a great choice for pooches that love to chase tennis balls. Just be sure to pick something that’s the right size for your pet. These can be dangerous for large breeds, as they can choke on balls meant for smaller pups.

Does your pooch have a habit of running off? Whether Fido just can’t resist chasing squirrels, or is just that dog who always wants to see what’s happening down the street, this can be challenging for owners. It can also be dangerous! Consider getting GPS-enabled tags, to help you keep track of your furry runaway.

Gear For Fido

We’ve come a long way since the basic leash and collar. Most of our canine pals prefer harnesses, which are more comfortable and also don’t restrict Fido’s breathing. If you often walk your pet at night, take advantage of holiday sales and pick up a leash with a built-in flashlight. If you and your canine pal enjoy hiking, you may want to look for a harness that will allow your canine pal to carry some of his own things. Another great gift for the dog on the go? A water bottle with an attached dispenser.

What Does Fido Really Want For Christmas?

If your canine pal could actually write out a Christmas list, it would probably look something like this:

  • Bacon
  • Toys
  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Tennis Balls
  • Bacon
  • More Car Rides
  • Mud Puddles
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Toys

That’s not exactly wrong. However, it’s not entirely accurate, either. Your pet may also enjoy a doghouse. Subscription boxes—or pupscription boxes—are another great bet. Fido will get his own box of goodies in the mail every month. Watching him open it may be just as fun for you as it is for him!

If your furry best buddy is on the anxious side, he may benefit from a weighted shirt, or perhaps calming products. Another thing we suspect some of our patients will be trying out soon? Programmable paw pads, which let dogs ‘speak’ certain words by pressing on specific pads. This may sound a bit odd, but some of our canine pals have proven to be remarkably adept at this. (Then again, they may also just have figured out that it’s a new way to beg for treats.)

What Are Suitable Gifts For Puppies?

Our canine pals never stop being charming, but they really are ridiculously cute as puppies. During that adorable toddler stage, little Fido is pretty much a chewing machine. You’ll want to look for sturdy toys that will hold up to all that gnawing. Kong toys are a great option for these, but they aren’t the only choice out there. Ask your Burnsville, MN vet for tips on choosing safe toys. 


Making sure that your pup can sleep comfortably is very important. A thin pad won’t protect Fido’s bones and joints from chilly floors, and won’t offer much support. Orthopedic beds are the standard these days, especially for larger pups and senior dogs. That said, dogs do have their own preferences when it comes to beds.

Does your pup like to stamp down his bedding before he gets comfy? He may like a beanbag bed, which will let him arrange his sleeping spot exactly the way he likes it. If your furry pal tends to stretch out, he may just want a plain bed, as raised edges may cramp his stretch-all-the-way-out style. Pooches with thin fur may appreciate a heated or thermal bed, whereas small dogs and nervous pups often like the added feeling of security that beds with raised edges provide.

Stocking Stuffers For Dogs

This probably goes without saying, but chews and treats are always good stocking stuffers. You can also add some small grooming supplies in. Fido may not be too excited about paw balm, but he will appreciate the benefits of having smooth paw pads instead of rough, cracked skin. Dental products and brushes also fall into that category. Be sure to ask your Burnsville, MN vet for recommendations!

How Do I Choose Safe Dog Gifts?

No matter what you’re buying for Fido, you’ll want to put safety first. Avoid getting anything with small parts or sharp edges: these are serious choking hazards! We also advise checking the label before buying anything. Try to stick with items made in North America: products overseas are not subject to the same quality standards, and may not be as safe. In fact, studies have found several unsafe substances, including PVC, BPA, chromium, bromine, and phthalates. Items that are very brightly-colored may contain dyes, though many pet product manufacturers do use non-toxic ones.

Choosing Gifts For Your Dog

There are a few things to keep in mind when picking out gifts for Fido. You’ll of course need to consider his size, age, and breed. A stocking full of tennis balls may be a great option for a Golden Retriever, but won’t get much use from a Pomeranian. Your pup’s tastes will also change over time. Puppies need lots of chew toys, as well as toys that keep them active and entertained. A senior, however, may prefer something that’s soft on his mouth, or perhaps a puzzle toy to offer stimulation.

His personality also factors in. Some toys are fine for some pups, but unsafe for others. For instance, stuffed animals are very popular with our four-legged friends. Many dogs play with them without issue. Others make a point to remove and try to eat the squeaker, which is definitely not safe for them to consume.

We’d also advise being careful with rawhide. Pups that are strong chewers can break off pieces, and may even ingest them. That’s not only a serious choking risk, there’s also a chance of serious gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if the piece is swallowed. Ask your Burnsville, MN vet for more information.

Holiday Gifts For Dog Lovers

Don’t forget about Fido’s buddies! If your friends and family have pets of their own, then sending a small gift to the pups can be a sweet gesture. Homemade dog treats are a good option for this. There are some great recipes online! You can also offer store-bought snacks, of course. Gift cards to pet stores are also a safe bet. If your loved one has a heart for charities, consider making a donation to an animal rescue in their name.

Fido’s Number One Request: Time With You

Dogs get very, very attached to their humans. Fido just wants to hang out with you! Don’t forget that the holiday season can be stressful for pets. All the commotion, decorations, events, travel, and schedule changes can be quite a lot for Man’s Best Friend to cope with. Be sure to carve out some quiet quality time with your furry best friend. Remember to snap some cute photos of your pooch playing with his new things!All of us here at River Ridge Pet Clinic, your local Burnsville, MN pet hospital wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. Please feel free to contact us for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs.

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