ANN BAILEY: It’s difficult to decide which is funnier, real pet gifts or suggested alternativesOur family, like many others, considers our pets as part of the family. We not only provide for our dogs’, cats’ and horses’ physical needs, we also give them lots of love and attention. But, in my opinion, perhaps the most important thing we do for our pets is to treat them like the animals they are. We don’t give them people food, dress them in clothes or otherwise act like they are humans. That’s why a news release I recently received about ideas for Christmas gifts that I received the other day was met partly with consternation and partly with giggles.
Our family, like many others, considers our pets as part of the family. We not only provide for our dogs’, cats’ and horses’ physical needs, we also give them lots of love and attention.
But, in my opinion, perhaps the most important thing we do for our pets is to treat them like the animals they are. We don’t give them people food, dress them in clothes or otherwise act like they are humans.
That’s why a news release I recently received about ideas for Christmas gifts that I received the other day was met partly with consternation and partly with giggles.
I decided to share a few of the gift ideas listed and then include the Bailey-Gregoire pet gift alternatives that are available to our dogs and cats year-round.
• Our Pets ecoPure Ultimate Dog Relaxation Kit: “This five piece kit will help calm nerves and relieve anxiety from stressful situations like visits to the vet or groomer,” according to CSNStores.com. The kit includes herbal ear care, lavender aromatherapy spray, lavender aromatherapy shampoo, herbal skin crème, and Kalm & Gentle Supplement.
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Let canines Rosebud, Maggie and Minnie run outside in the yard, wrestle one another and roll in fresh horse road apples. This does wonders to reduce the dogs’ stress, though the aromatherapy sometimes requires that we have to hold our noses.
• Holiday Hologram Laser Cat Toy: Have a ball with your cat with this image chasing laser of Santa climbing down a chimney, says the news release.
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Mice that sneak in the house. Kitties Smokey, Jessie and Tiny keep busy chasing mice and voles, and then capturing them. An added benefit is the pride the cats feel when they carry the vermin to our beds and deposit them there in the middle of the night so we can praise them for their efforts.
• Merry Products Washroom Pet House: A private sanctuary washroom which is “perennially one of our pets favorite Holiday Gifts.”
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Put the litter box in a corner of the basement. Not only do the cats have privacy, but they can use their box in the fashionably rustic confines of our fieldstone basement.
• Imperial Cat Dachsund Cat Scratcher: “Who said cats and dogs don’t get along? Get comfy and cozy with this dog-look-a-like cat scratcher,” the CSNStores.com news release said.
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: With three dogs and three cats in the house, our canines and felines have learned to either get along or ignore each other. If the dogs play too hard, the cats scratch them on the nose and they back off.
• Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Dog Toy with treat spot: A mock light bulb chew toy with hidden treats inside.
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Our dogs have several chew toys that have passed the Maggie test. Maggie can chew most anything into minute pieces so the toys we buy must be super tough. However, what the dogs seem to enjoy most are garden produce, either fresh or frozen and anything else disgusting that they find out in the woods or the horses’ corral.
• Ruff Wear Polartex Winter Dog Boots in Red Rock: Boots which keep dogs’ feet warm and prevent slipping.
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Maggie and Minnie develop tough feet in the winter from running with my husband, Brian, and Rosebud’s get seasoned by frolicking in the snow with our daughter, Ellen. None of the three dogs have ever had any problems with slipping. Doggie booties would remain on our farm dogs’ for all of five seconds before the boots were torn off their feet, chewed up and spit out in little red pieces.
• Smart Cat Peek A Prize Toy Box: “Cats have a natural instinct to watch cracks and crevices for potential prey, and this durable wood box is designed with that in mind to create hours of fun for your feline friends. Just drop in appropriately sized toys or treats and watch your cat go crazy,” the CSN Stores.com news release said.
Bailey-Gregoire Alternative: Every day Smokey sits by the crack between the French doors in our living room, waiting for a mouse to appear. Every once in a while her patience pays off and she gets the treat of catching a mouse.
Ant Blocker Ant Proof Pet Food Tray: This tray, which is suitable for indoor or outdoor use, is, as the name implies, ant-proof and likely to illicit gratitude, which will show in pets eyes, according to CSNStores.com news release
Bailey-Gregoire alternative: Our dog dishes don’t have to be ant-proof because the food gets polished off and licked clean in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, we don’t leave our cat’s food out for free-choice eating because the cats are on different diets and believe that everyone else’s food is better than their own.
Top of the line
Not only are most of the gifts available at our house year-round, they’re also inexpensive and proven to be winners with our cats and dogs. For proof of that, I only need to look at our happy, healthy and fit canine and feline trios. Furiously wagging tails and purring are further indications that our pets appreciate being treated like dogs and cats.