NEW YORK (NWN) – Much of the human-pet relationship is slowly dying out during the pandemic as more offices reopen, so what’s a lonely dog to do?
Turns out, a lot—and we don’t mean all day crying, distributing a messy rug, or doubling down on destroying furniture.
Here are some gift ideas for the new lonely dog.
Rover Recommendations: We asked the folks at Rover.com, a large network of pet and dog walkers, what they recommend. Treat-dispensing enrichment toys were at the top of the list for keeping pets engaged and reducing anxiety.
Paw5 sniff mat taps into dog instinct for bait and plays on his keen sense of smell. Sprinkle treats or kibble in the Tufty Mat and let your pet root out. machine washable. $39.99. Available at Rover, Amazon and elsewhere.
Outward Hound makes a variety of puzzle toys. Rover Loves Dog Hide N’ Slide To reduce boredom and prevent destructive behavior. Treats are hidden in slide compartments. The plastic and wooden composite toy has no removable parts and has a non-slip base. $24.99. For shopping at Rover, Amazon and a wide range of retailers.
Rover swears by the SmartPetlove Snuggle Puppy Designed for anxious pets. They are plush pups with a battery-operated heart beat to provide comfort. There is also a non-toxic heat pack. The battery pack is removable for machine washing and the heat packs are disposable. $39.95. Widely available on Rover, PetSmart and elsewhere.
ON ETSY: The DIY Marketplace offers a wealth of pet gifts. JoyDogCat, a star vendor in France, offers handmade aventurine and labradorite beaded collars for dogs. Aventurine, so the seller says, helps pooches overcome feelings of abandonment and “gain calm and inner peace,” while Labradorite helps them “adapt to the unexpected” and builds confidence. They look great, at least, but are not intended to replace a regular collar. They come in many sizes. From $33 to $58, depending on size.
For dogs and, well, cats, another Etsy seller in Brisbane, BASZLEAustralia, has comfy bolster beds Those that surround pets in soft, inviting luxury at the cost of a cheap basement. Made from cotton and wool, these bedding are a great option for all that pandemic and cost $19 to $41. They come in eight colors and five sizes.
Things that pet cameras do: They’re wireless in a variety of shapes and sizes for remote monitoring and capturing pets. Some dispense treats, others play light laser with cats via phone. There are push notifications for barking or motion detection. Some move around like small robots and others work in fixed positions. Night vision and two-way audio. shop around. Read reviews because there’s always something to say about these devices.
Chewy.com has a good selection but other brands are available everywhere. One is the Furbo Full HD dog treat dispenser and camera. $199. Receive real-time alerts, dog-related video recordings, and highlights of your dog’s day for an additional $6.99 per month.
PET SOUND: Much has been done about the calming effect of music on dogs, with researchers pointing in different directions in terms of style. Some swear by classical, others by reggae or soft rock. Some believe that the idea is to match the beat to the dog’s heartbeat. Others believe that music and moving pictures do nothing, unless they are already a safety signal. Spotify has albums and playlists dedicated to the act of calming dogs. Amazon has streaming, CD and DVD options.
A company called Pet Acoustics sells Bluetooth speakers. Pre-loaded with 90 minutes of music developed by a sound behaviorist to reduce stress and calm a nervous canine. $59.99. There is a feline version for the same price. Go to Chewy.com.
Thundershirt: Thundershirt Gentle, constant pressure promises to quell anxiety, fear and over-excitement. They are lightweight and are machine washable. Fit is important for effectiveness and to avoid chafing, especially when worn for long periods of time. Seven sizes are available. There’s a basic gray, but sportier looks are available, including a number in fuchsia. Prices range from $39.95 for extra small to $44.95 for extra large. More widely available on Amazon.
Dog Tent: If your four-legged gift recipient isn’t a crate, perhaps a dog tent will provide the comfort. From teepee styles to canopied and full-on camping quality, there’s plenty to choose from. Some fold for folding while others require real estate full time. There’s a size for any dog – and cat. Dogs may need training to get used to one. Petanpur Pet Tepee Shaggy is a lovely canine cave with a white top, matched by thick shag cushions and gray walls. $59.99. widely available. REI Sells Collapsible Tiny Tents In green and blue. It has double-sided doors, wrought-lattice windows on all four walls, and costs only $24.95. on Rei.com.
Kong: Kong rubber toy if you don’t want to think too hard about it Could be a gift for you. It is hollow and irregularly shaped for an infrequent bounce. It can be filled with peanut butter, spray cheese, favorite treats, or a combination of moist and dry kibble to make it a little more distracting. There are different sizes (important) and versions for beginner chewers, senior chewers, average chewers and power chewers (also important). They are dishwasher safe and come in many colors. The Kong Classic is red and ranges from $7.99 for the Extra Small to $24.99 for the XXL. widely available.
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