Santa Paws: Holiday Gifts for Pets

The team at Felton Veterinary Hospital loves spoiling our personal pets (we’re talking about you, Dr Atton!) and our pet patients. We have a few ideas to share if you’re searching for the best holiday gifts for pets this season. And because we want to spare you a holiday visit to the pet emergency room, we’ve also included a few gifts to avoid. Let us know what you think! 

Best Holiday Gifts for Cats

Many cat owners wouldn’t dream of leaving their kitty off the holiday gift list, but this can be challenging for the cat who has it all. Here are our favorite ideas for making your cat’s holiday purrfect. 

Bring the outdoors in. Even cats who spend their days inside can enjoy the rewards of watching and interacting with nature. Cats love to perch, so create a perfect spot near a window and hang a window bird feeder that they will love to watch. Cat-proof aquariums, both fake and real, can be a great choice. And if you’re into DIY projects, create an indoor kitty garden or build a catio to give your cat a place of their own outdoors.  

Interactive fun. Interactive and puzzle-type toys are a great way to keep your cat engaged and entertained. Whether it be a flopping fish toy, an indoor hunting feeding system,  an automatic moving ball, or an interactive moving track toy, your cat will surely enjoy it! 

Get scratching. Paws have claws, and they need to be stretched and maintained. Ensure your cat has a scratching surface that they can enjoy. Consider your cat’s preferences (vertical, horizontal, cardboard, rope, wood, carpet) to ensure they have a scratcher they will use and love.

Embrace the future. Modern pet ownership can be so cool. Whether you invest in a new robot litter box, an automated feeding system, or a robotic cat toy, it will surely make your cat’s holiday merry and bright.  

Best Holiday Gifts for Dogs

Clothes always stay in style. A new stylish collar, harness, or leash can be just the ticket. You can also consider a festive sweater, a new set of well-fitted booties for the winter, some snazzy rain gear, or a new safety harness for the car.

Toys, toys, toys. The Internet is an almost never-ending source of toy ideas for your dog. Whether you are looking for an interactive option, something to stand up to a tough-chewer, or a cuddly buddy, you are sure to find something. Subscription boxes are also an excellent option for a gift that keeps giving. 

A new class or activity — Consider signing your dog up for an obedience class to help you bond with them and give them mental and social stimulation. Getting into agility or flyball can also be fun for more advanced dogs. 

The luxury of a nap. Cozy winter days beg for naps by the fire, and your dog won’t turn down a comfy bed. Go ahead, pamper your pooch! Choose a snuggly option and put it under the tree.

Gifts to Avoid

When considering holiday gifts for pets, the list of choices can seem endless. However, there are some you should avoid. These include anything that contains small parts, plastic inserts, or other items your pet can ingest; bones, rawhide, and antlers, which can cause splintering or choking emergencies; string, yarn, or thread; and any items containing chemicals or possible toxic materials.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Felton Veterinary Hospital. We’re happy to point you in the right direction to make your pet’s holiday wishes come true! 

Novel Gifts for Pets

Of course, some of our favorite holiday gifts for pets are things you might not consider. Have you been putting off that dental cleaning? Is your pet due for wellness lab work? Do you need to invest in heartworm prevention for the year? Wellness care is essential for your pet and can be a good alternative for the pet with everything they want. Contact us to schedule an appointment before the holiday rush, and give your pet the gift of good health this holiday season. 

Pancreatitis in Dogs: Talking Turkey

It’s the holiday season, and nothing says family like Thanksgiving dinner. And since over 70% of pet owners consider their pets family, it’s only natural to want to include them in any planned holiday celebrations, including sharing the holiday feast. 

But while you’re at the table (and during the prep and clean-up, too), it’s essential to remember that our pets may experience GI upset, diarrhea, and vomiting – or worse – from partaking in the holiday meal with us. Ingestion of fatty foods and even any sudden change in diet can cause a painful condition called pancreatitis. 


Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and for many of us in Santa Cruz County, this is the favorite holiday of the year. You can tell by all the Halloween decorations that have been up for weeks! For children and adults alike, the costumes, treats, and parties surrounding Halloween can be great fun. But this holiday can be particularly spooky for our pets. Felton Veterinary Hospital cares about pet safety as much as you do, so let’s explore some ways to make “Fright Night” safe and fun for pets and the entire family.


Drills, Hammers, and Strangers, Oh My! Keeping Pets Safe During Remodeling

Summer and fall in our valley are prime times for construction projects, but with all the maintenance required for our mountain homes, other times of year are likely filled with drilling, concrete mixing, or hammering. Although these projects are necessary, they pose a particular safety risk for pets, not to mention the aural assault on pet’s sensitive hearing. As you don your hard hat, Felton Veterinary Hospital gives some tips for how to keep pets safe during remodeling.


Skin Cancer in Pets

Your pets may enjoy their time in the sun as much as you do this summer. And although they may love basking in the warm rays, skin cancer is a risk for pets just as it is for humans. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in dogs. Cats, too, are often affected by skin cancer, especially cats with short hair, light-colored coats, and lots of sun exposure. Regular annual wellness visits with your veterinarian are essential, including a complete nose-to-tail physical exam and looking for signs of skin cancer. Your pet’s veterinarian can detect skin cancer at these visits, but it’s also essential for pet owners to understand and recognize signs of pet skin cancer, especially as pets age.


It’s Crystal Clear: Dehydration and Water for Pets

Balanced nutrition is vital for pet health and can prevent a whole host of health problems. Water is also a critical component of a healthy pet and is the main component of healthy cells. Without adequate water, your pet can become dehydrated and lose vital body organ function. 

We know that providing drinking water daily to our pets is essential, but what else should we be aware of? With a bit of preparation and awareness, you can ensure your pet drinks enough water and prevent dehydration in your pet. July is National Pet Hydration Month, so Felton Veterinary Hospital thought it would be an excellent time to explore the importance of water for pets.


How to Prevent Lyme Disease In Pets

You may be hearing more about Lyme disease recently, and for good reason. Current estimates from the CDC show that 300,000 to 400,000 people in the US are diagnosed or treated for Lyme disease yearly. The disease affects humans and animals and, if left untreated, can result in painful complications. 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is responsible for Lyme disease, which has become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. 

With spring rains, moist air, and tall, green grass, now is the time to prevent this debilitating disease’s spread to your pets. Felton Veterinary Hospital shares a few tips for how to keep your best friend safe.


Successful Leash Training for Dogs

Owners new to dog ownership are often surprised when their new dog doesn’t enjoy the leash. The chewing, resisting, barking, pulling, and jumping can make serene walks with your dog nothing but wishful thinking. Your dog could have trouble walking on a leash for various reasons, and none of them is your dog’s fault. Since many situations require your dog to be on a leash, teaching this skill is at the top of your pet parent list. Walking on a leash can be fun and can benefit you and your dog, from hiking to dining out with your dog to walking around the neighborhood or visiting the veterinarian. Our tips for successful leash training will help you overcome questionable leash walking skills. 


Ready, Steady: Natural Disaster Awareness and Pets

Record-breaking rainfall, flooding, power outages, and road closures are just a few of the weather-related tribulations our communities have experienced in the past year (and some the past month!). Each time we read the news, a different natural disaster affects one or more parts of the country. And, as you may have learned from Scouts or a first aid course, being prepared is your best line of defense in an emergency. Yet, fewer than half of U.S. households have a disaster response plan, and fewer still have one that includes pets.

Today, Felton Veterinary Hospital includes some tips and guidance for caring for your pets should you lose power or need to evacuate. 


The Heart of the Matter: Dilated Cardiomyopathy

A dog with a heart-shaped stuffy

February is the month of Valentine hearts and flowers, but did you know that it’s also American Heart Month? To celebrate, Felton Veterinary Hospital is shining a spotlight on pet heart health by focusing on the signs of heart disease in pets, and what pet owners can do to prevent it. 

Nearly ten percent of pets suffer from heart disease. Like humans, animals experience different forms of heart disease – some that are genetic or age-related, and some that develop from other health issues. While many heart problems cannot be prevented, pets can still enjoy healthy, long lives with early detection of disease, careful management, and a healthy lifestyle.  Continue…