Give The Special Pets In Your Life The Gift of Good Health!

When it's time to give gifts for dogs or other pets, whether it be for the Holidays or a pet's Birthday or Gotcha Day, the most common gifts are usually pet toys, treats for pets, and adorable pet clothing.   The New Year is also a time when most of us place a stronger focus on improving our health, but don't leave the dog or cat out.  Use the new year to commit to improving pets health too!  Start the year off right with giving a pet you love the gift of a healthier year.

Toys, treats, and cute pet apparel are fun gifts for sure, but giving a gift that can contribute to Pet Health and longevity is extra thoughtful and special!  It's a gift to the pet parent as well, because it's something that could help extend the unconditional love and priceless moments they share together.


This Christmas, Santa is Giving Pets the Gift of Good Health

When I think about how to enhance the health of my dogs, I think of these


5 Pet Health Products 

They may not be items you would normally think of when selecting a gift for a dog or cat, but a gift that says Healthy Pet is always a great choice!

SUPPLEMENTS FOR DOGS

When researching supplements for dogs, I noticed a common theme.  The theme I keep seeing is that a dog who is eating a healthy, well balanced diet probably doesn't need dietary vitamin supplements.  However, many Veterinarians say that supplements falling into the following 3 categories can definitely be beneficial for many dogs.  

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 

Many dogs and cats suffer from joint pain, especially as they age. As pets age, the natural production of glucosamine in the body slows down and can lead to joint pain.  Chondroitin is a natural substance found in cartilage.  When coupled with glucosamine, it can have a beneficial effect on your dog's joints.

According to VCA Hospitals (now owned by Mars Petcare),  "Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint.  Like glucosamine, with which it is often combined in supplements, chondroitin may also inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators that are destructive to the joint."

According to PETMD, in an article on Dietary Supplements For Pets, "Supplements that are formulated for joint health include the ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin, which have been found to be useful in treating arthritis in both humans and animals."


I wouldn't want joint pain to prevent my Siberian Husky, Icy, from running around like a mad dog in the snow!

With supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, "Pets with arthritis may experience significant pain reduction, allowing improved mobility in arthritic limbs.  Increased mobility leads to more ability to exercise, thereby improving strength." - VCA Hospitals.  And I would add to that; increased mobility can lead to losing excess weight, which helps ease stress on a dog's joints!  

Maximum joint protection to maintain your pet's mobility.  Cosequin DS Joint Health Supplement in tasty chewable tablets. 


Wouldn't it be great to give a gift that can help a dog you love have healthier joints and stay active?!

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to pet health and are an important part of a dog's diet. These essential fatty acids are found in various plant and animal sources, and are usually present in good quality pet food in varied amounts.   

Omega 6 fatty acids are required for normal reproduction, growth, immune function, and skin and coat health.   

According to PETMD, Omega 3 fatty acids may help with skin conditions, allergies, kidney function, lymphoma, heart disease, cognitive function, arthritis, and more.

As always, be sure to check with your Veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pet's diet.

I didn't realize that GNC had a line of pet supplements! We've been shopping at GNC stores for our vitamins and supplements for decades, so I was happy to see that GNC has a supplement for dogs that contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  I haven't tried GNC Omega Essentials yet, but I'm definitely going to get a bag for Icy and Phoebe! 

I like that their fish oil supplements pictured below are in chewable format instead of tablet/gelcapsule form.  A chew is sometimes easier to give pets, especially when they're chicken flavor like these.

GNC Naturals Omega Essentials soft chews contain 230mg of Omega3 and 6 fatty acids. Contains NO wheat, corn or soy,  artificial colors or flavors. 

I recently discovered Salveo Petcare's OMEGA 3 Wild Fish Oil and Wild Salmon Oil with Omega 3  I started adding these to Icy and Phoebe's diet.  I love that they are human grade, free of GMO's, and have no artificial preservatives. I like to add these fish oil supplements directly to their food, which is so easy.  You can find their products on Amazon . (this is NOT an affiliate link)





Probiotics

Before last year I had never heard of giving pets probiotics.  But when Icy got sick with a really bad stomach upset the Veterinarian gave her antibiotics.  He prescribed a probiotic along with it because he said that antibiotics can upset the balance of the "good"  bacteria in the digestive tract and that a Probiotic would put back the good bacteria that could be compromised by antibiotics.  

Probiotics are living microorganisms similar to the “good” bacteria naturally found in your dog’s digestive tract.  Antibiotics and other drugs can upset the balance of “good” bacteria in your dog’s intestines.  It can also be upset by emotional or physical stress, or eating strange foods or items they're not supposed to eat.


Healthy pets.  Products that can help your dog or cat stay healthy.  Dogs, Cats, Pet health
A Probiotic can help keep the balance of good & bad bacteria in your pet's digestive tract
The digestive tract is the largest immune organ in a dog or cat's body.  A healthy balance of good bacteria is important to help keep their immune system strong and prevent infection and diseases.




Only Natural Pet Probiotic Blend

According to an article written by Dr. Marty Becker in VetStreet, the three supplements I talked about above can be especially beneficial for aging dogs.   "Talk with your veterinarian about what your pet does and doesn’t need, because individual care is important. But in general, here are the three supplements I find myself recommending often to my patients.."  In the article Dr. Becker proceeded to discuss the benefits of these three supplements; Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Omega-3 and Omega-6,  Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate, and Probiotics.

Before giving any supplements to your dog or cat, have a conversation with your Veterinarian to make sure s/he agrees with starting your pet on the supplement(s) you are considering.  

It goes without saying that any supplements you want to give your pet should be purchased from a reputable company.  If you're purchasing online, make sure you know something about the company and that they are ethical and reputable.  


PET INSURANCE


Veterinary bills can be expensive!  Regular Vet exams can be costly, but when an unexpected injury or illness comes up it can be catastrophic.  What if your dog or cat needs expensive Veterinary care to pay for a serious injury or illness, but you can't afford to pay for it?  That's when Pet Insurance can be a lifesaver.  

Not all Pet Insurance is the same.  Some plans require you to use Veterinarians from their list of participating Vets, which may require switching to a new Veterinarian. Many pet parents don't want to do that.

Pet Insurance makes a great gift for a pet owner.  Just make sure to research what the plan covers, they are all different.  Dogs, Cats, Pets, Pet health, Gifts for dog owners
Pet Insurance can be a great gift - it's the gift of  Peace of Mind
Not all plans cover every injury and illness.  They don't all offer the same coverage either, and many don't cover pre-existing conditions.  PETMD has a few good articles on Pet Insurance, like this one No Shortcuts To Buying Pet insurance.

When Icy was a puppy I won a year's worth of Pet Insurance at a fundraiser.  It wasn't the most exciting prize in the contest but it seemed like a very useful prize.  The thing that really disappointed me was that using it would have required me to leave a Veterinarian we loved, which I wasn't willing to do.  Unfortunately, it was pretty much a waste for me because of that one requirement.

Peace of mind knowing you could pay for expensive critical Veterinary care if needed is a great gift!  Just be sure to do some research before you select a company and a plan.


PET FIRST AID KIT


One of the things I can't do without both at home and when traveling with our dogs is a Pet First Aid Kit.  I have given First Aid Kits as gifts to a few of my friends and it's always a big hit. It's something many pet parents don't buy for themselves until they experience a first aid emergency.  If I had a dollar for every time my dogs have gotten injured or sick and needed the first aid kit, I'd be rich!   

I always tell people about the time we were traveling through New Mexico and my dog Icy cut her paw open on broken glass on her last potty break of the day - at 11pm.  No Veterinarian's were available.  Our first aid kit was a life saver! I used the Hydrogen Peroxide to clean the wound, applied antibiotic ointment, and bandaged her paw to help slow the bleeding and keep it clean.  It was so scary, paw pads bleed a lot more than I expected!


I love Kurgo, we have used so many of their products for years!  I recently found this wonderful Pet First Aid Kit on PetSmart's web site. It has everything you need to administer first aid for your pet.  It's great to have for those just-in-case emergencies at home, or out on adventures with your pet.   Believe me, a comprehensive Pet First Aid Kit is a gift that would be much appreciated by any pet parent. 

Kurgo's stylish and functional 50 piece pet first aid kit folds up to fit into backpacks, glove compartments and more, and includes a guide with instructions on how to assist your pet with most medical emergencies.  Hook closure also acts as bottle opener and allows kit to be hung on a tree or door.


PET DENTAL HEALTH


According to PETMD, around 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease.  It's the most common health problem effecting dogs.

Pet oral health is an important part of a dog's overall health.  Dental cleanings can cost hundreds of dollars and more depending on how many teeth may need to be extracted. The procedure also requires your pet to be put under anesthesia.



Clean dogs teeth & freshen breath with a Toothpaste and Brush Set for dogs 


There are a lot of inexpensive pet oral care products you can use at home to help keep pets' teeth clean and healthy.  There are pet toothbrushes and toothpaste - you should never use human toothpaste on pets! 

If you find it difficult to brush your pet's teeth like I do, Oratene makes a water additive you can add to their drinking water that helps prevent plaque & tartar buildup.  They also make a Brushless toothpaste for pets!  I know, it's brilliant right?!  I use these Oratene products for Icy and Phoebe.


Zymox Oratene's Brushless Pet Oral Care products.
A cute gift basket or gift box with a toothpaste & brush set for dogs, or some brushless pet toothpaste, a bottle of pet Brushless Oral Care Water Additive and some dental chews would make a fun "Teeth Are Always In Style" - Dr. Seuss,  gift!


GIFT CERTIFICATE TO AN ONLINE PET PHARMACY


Let's face it pet medications are expensive!  Whether it's medication for a pet's medical condition like diabetes, or preventative medications like heartworm prevention or flea & tick control, those costs add up!

A great gift of good health for pets idea would be a gift card to an online Pet Pharmacy like 1800 Pet Meds or Drs Foster and Smith.  It can really save a pet parent some money.  Find out which pharmacy they use and get them a gift certificate!  If you plan to choose the online pharmacy yourself, make sure you research and find one that is reputable!

If they don't use prescription medications for their pet, a PetSmart Gift Card is always a welcome gift!  They have a broad selection of non-prescription pharmacy items for pets.
PetSmart



THE GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH IS A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!  

While you're gifting everyone else, Treat Yourself to something fun, you deserve it!  At my RedBubble Store, you'll find clothing and other items that celebrate the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of dogs.  This beautiful, unique design was created especially for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them by Brooklyn artist Mendydraws




Visit my RedBubble Store to find t-shirts, Hoodies, Bags, Phone/Laptop cases and more with our unique Unconditional Love of dogs design!

Do you think you would enjoy receiving a gift of Good Health as a gift for your pet?  Which of the products mentioned do you think might be the most useful pet health gift for your pets?  Tell us in the comments!

DISCLAIMERI am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online!  I only share pet health & safety information based on my own research, conversations with my dogs Veterinarian, or experience with my own pets or foster pets.

15 comments:

  1. These are great tips for maintaining good health. The boys take a probiotic along with their herbal supplements. I am pretty sure that Santa is bringing them a new tube of toothpaste!

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  2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin have made a huge difference for my senior dog. Last winter we began giving it to him because he was struggling with arthritis and couldn't do stairs very well. After a few weeks, he could move much more smoothly and doing stairs like a champ.

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  3. Love your gift ideas, they're wonderful. Red takes probiotics every day and they make such a big difference, she's much worse off without them. Pet insurance is another great idea...wish I had some before Jack became paralysed! I also love the gift certificate to an online pharmacy. Although the prices are significantly lower than the vet, any help with bills is a great present.

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  4. What clever ideas I never thought about that. Hmmm maybe you solved my problem now with Madam, thanks so much

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  5. Mr. N takes a probiotic and has pet insurance. I'm thinking about putting him on a joint supplement but haven't decided on which one.

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  6. Great gift ideas. Even though I've heard critics of pet insurance, I wouldn't do without my Trupanion policies. I pay a little more each month because I have no deductible and a 10% copay.

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  7. Thank you for sharing all this information! We do not give our dog Molly any supplements at all. I am going to look into some of these for her.

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  8. I've been looking to add some supplements to my dogs' diets. Especially Boomer and Roxie, who get some muscle/joint pain or fatigue after long off-leash hikes (because they go all out!!) I will definitely be looking into some of these. Thanks for sharing this info

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  9. When you think about it, there is no better gift than good health. Providing dogs with the things that help keep them healthy may not be the most exciting gift, but it is definitely one of the best.

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  10. Good health is the only essential gift!! Supplements, warm clothes and treats while not vital make life so much more fun!!

    Merry Christmas ❤️

    Marjorie and the Dash Kitten Crew

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  11. Pet health insurance is something people usually think of only after their dog is already sick or hurt. While special savings account is a good idea, it can happen that it won't be nearly enough should something serious happen. We had a savings account. Lasted one week through one major surgery.

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  12. We do some, but not all, of these things, but they are all great ways to keep our pets healthy!
    Merry Christmas to all of you from the whole crew at Wag 'n Woof Pets!

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  13. Pets are part of our everyday lives and part of our families. They provide us with companionship but also with emotional support, reduce
    our stress levels, sense of loneliness and help us to increase our social activities. So pets health is very much important. Pet Bounce pain relief for cats and dogs. to take care of your pet from joint pain.

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