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Great Christmas present ideas for your furry (or scaly) family members

Posted in Guest Blogger @ Dec 15th 2016 - By Gillian Shippen, Nurse Manager & Director Pets Need A Life Too
Great Christmas Present Ideas For Your Furry Or Scaly Family Members

Check out these great ideas for the best toys for all kinds of pets....

Ssshhh – someone told me Christmas is coming…..

Wholly cow, there aren't many more sleeps to the big day!

Did you know according to a USA based survey conducted by in November 2015, a whopping 95% of 1000 pet owners that took the survey admitted to having bought their pets Christmas presents! Now admittedly has a pet based following but it is telling that pets are now considered to be very important members of the family. This really sounds like a good segue for a Christmas themed blog!

Environmental Enrichment Gifts for Pets - Economy

If you're looking to buy your dog something special for Christmas the JW Holee Roller Range is a super cheap and really fantastic little toy. It can be used just as a ball or made into an un-stuffing toy by placing strips of material inside so the dog can have fun pulling them out.

This toy doesn’t have to be limited to dogs either - birds, mice, rats, ferrets and even some reptiles can use them too. Buy more than one and you can make even more fun by placing one inside the other. The creative types can make a fleece tug and thread the Holee Roller through. 

It really is a versatile, fun cheap toy!


JW Holee Roller Toy

Many of the Outwardhound Intelligent Interactive Range come in under $25. They can be a great way to stimulate the brain and tire critters out when they cannot exercise due to inclement weather, injury, surgery or just because they need to take things slow. Again these toys are not species specific.

The Tic Tac Twirl is another easy starter piece that can also be used by any species.


Tic Tac Twirl Toy

Normie using the Tic Tac Twirl

I should point out that of none of the intelligent interactive range should be used unsupervised at least with dogs anyway (unless you want to find a broken toy)!

Not sure if your pets are up to the challenge?

For those pet owners who are not sure if their pet is up to the challenge (although I think we often underestimate the abilities of our pets) Outwardhound also have a great range of Slow Feeders….perfect for those pets that might have just had surgery and are on enforced rest, don’t have the stamina they used to have or just need to slow down their rate of food consumption.

I also have a number of other slow feeders that are a bit pricier that the Outwardhound range and am always happy to help with suggestions as to which one might work best for your pet.

Also in the Economy range we have the Outwardhound (there’s that name again – they really do have a lot of really well priced toys!) Tail Teaser. It is meant for dogs but I use it with cats too and it really stands up to the test with large dogs and hefty kitties. My Domestic Short Haired cat Normie is about 6-7kgs lean – none of those pathetic little kitty wands for him – he needs the big guns! The Tail Teaser even comes with a replacement toy should your pet rip off the first one.


Outwardhound Tail Teaser

And if you're the creative type...

If you enjoy a bit of creativity you could try making some great tug toys for dogs. Here are some instructions on the Dalmatian DIY website: Basic Box Knot vs. Twisted Box Knot DIY Dog Tug Toys.

I made one of these for my dog and although it looks tricky at first, once you get your groove on it is really quite easy!

You might also enjoy the challenge of making your own Snuffle Mat ….suitable for any type of pet – here is the link to how to make one: Snuffle Mat Mayhem.

Diesel using his Snuffle Mat

Diesel loves to use his Snuffle Mat for his breakfast - in fact it's the only way I can get him to eat dry food!

If you don’t fancy making a Snuffle Mat but you really feel you have to have one…..I do offer 5 sizes (small $40, medium $50 Heavy Duty $60, Large $85 and super dooper xtra large – order only - $110) and am happy to take custom orders.

We go the extra mile at 'Pets Need A Life Too'...

We go that extra step at Pets Need A Life Too!....with the assistance of Normie our cat, he places his scent on the mats for extra enrichment…;-)

Normie - offering just that little extra customer service

Other amazing environmental enrichment toys

We have always had the dog versions of the Trixie range but now we also offer some of the cat versions as well. These are extraordinary interactive toys that although aimed at dogs and cats, can in fact be used for other types of pets such as Ferrets, Rats and Birds…..I know of one of them being used on a rehabilitating Bird of Prey!

Don't forget the reptiles...

What about reptiles……click on this link to watch a Facebook video of the Aikiou Slow Feeder being utilised by Holly the snake

And we can't forget about domestic hoof stock. Not only does Aussie Dog products have great options for horses, sheep, pigs etc but just thinking outside the square will see them enjoy Snuffle Mats (supervised of course), the Busy Buddy Kibble Knibble, and really just about any large ball! I have been reliably informed that horses even love the aforementioned Holee Rollers, apparently they just love picking them up in their teeth.

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh……just like any Christmas shopping, I have left this article until late and now I am running out of time.

Last but not least..

One final great new product for dogs and cats is the Buster Activity MatThe initial kit is $150 and comes with its own carry bag, mat and three activities. There are also a further 10 activities that can be purchased individually.

Buster Activity Mat

You only need to ask

As always I am more than happy to offer pet owners advice on appropriate toys to to suit individual 'purrsonailty' and budget.

So now there's no reason to forget your scaled, tailed, hoofed, furred and feathered friends during the holidays.

Wishing everyone a pawsome Christmas and a safe new year.

Any questions for Gillian about the best toy for your pet? Ask her in the Comments section below.

About Gillian

Gillian Shippen is not only a Nurse Manager, but has also written a book: 'Pets Need a Life Too - A Guide to Enriching the Life of Your Pet - Series One: Dogs' AND she runs her online website 'Pets Need a Life Too!' where she sells a range of enrichment toys for pets including wheelchairs for dogs.

Click here to visit: Pet's Need A Life Too! Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory


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