All They Want For Christmas……

Have you done all your shopping?!  Are you ready?!  What about the pets in your family?  I think most of us put a present under the tree for our fur-babies and there is no end of stuff in the shops for them.  Would they like a Christmas jumper, maybe a comedy hat?   A personalised food bowl, a hamper of delicacies or maybe their own socking on the fireplace?

The options are endless but does your dog really want their own bow tie or your cat a selfie kit?  What should you be giving them?


This one is easy; time.

A recent survey from the PDSA shows that 81% of dogs are walked for less than an hour a day and 2.4 million are not given daily off the lead exercise.  A poor, frustrated 800, 000 are NEVER let off the lead and it’s unlikely that all of the unfortunate 250,000 who never go out of the garden are agoraphobic.

We all know that dogs have 4 legs right?  So they are probably pretty good at running around.  In fact, that may well be what they are designed and bred to do!  Who knew?!

All those ‘working’ breeds aren’t doing desk jobs, they are supposed to be rounding up cattle, pulling sleds across the arctic tundra  or disappearing down rabbit holes.

running dog

Dogs, actually pretty good at running around.

So, a half an hour potter round the block isn’t going to touch them.  Maybe that’s why they tear up all the lovely toys you buy or chew the walls or, worse, get a bit grumpy and bite a child.

A tired dog is a good dog but a depressingly enormous number in the UK are not just ‘not tired’, they are jumping out of their skins with energy and frustration.

It doesn’t matter if you have a chihuahua or a husky, every dog needs at least an hour off the lead exercise every day.

So show them you care by spending some more time with them, whatever the weather and if you need to spend money, how about some recall training?!

walking the dogs

Every dog needs an hours exercise, ideally off the lead, every day

tired dog is a good dog

A tired dog is a good dog and a good dog is a pleasure to live with!


Now cats are pretty much the opposite, provided we keep the food bowl full, many of them couldn’t care less if we are there or not.  However, this is a concept that we find hard to understand.  We want to pick them up and cuddle them and give them ‘friends’ to live with so they don’t get ‘lonely’.

Both of which, as confirmed loners with a sociopathic attitude to others of their own kind, our cats simply do not understand.

Here’s what you can do; give every cat in your household a food bowl (personalised if you must) and put each in a different place in the house.  Ditto with water bowls (or you could push the boat out with this little number, cats prefer running water and the sound will be soothing for your shattered festive nerves).

Provide plenty of beds, here you can let your gifting instincts run wild, ones which are elevated or covered will be particularly appreciated, and plug in a few Feliways.

feliway range

For multi-cat households, Feliway is a must!

fatty unimpressed

Although, if you buy them funky feeders and toys, you can’t guarantee they will actually be happy to play with them! This is Fatty’s unimpressed face.


OK, I can tell you what rabbits, who in the wild live in massive warrens with hundreds of their relatives and have the run of acres of fields, DON’T want.

They don’t want to live in solitary confinement in a postage stamp sized hutch at the bottom of the garden, all but ignored with little or no access to the real outdoors.

It should be obvious and yet this is how the vast majority of bunnies spend their miserable existences.

If you have a rabbit and care about it at all, firstly go out and get it a friend (there are a depressingly enormous number unwanted in rescue centres, I can recommend Fat Fluffs  in the West Midlands but trust me, there won’t be any shortage near you), buy the biggest hutch you can fit in your space and a run to match.  THEN by a few Christmas cookies and toys (or better still make them!).

I am not a total scrooge, buying toys and treats for pets is fun and will be very much appreciated (but possibly completely destroyed by tea time!).  It is just that all the diamanté collars in the world will not replace what your pet really wants for Christmas.


 Mariah has it right!

You can follow me on Twitter; @cat_the_vet and find me on FaceBook;  Cat_The_Vet

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