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The Gifts We Give Our Dogs


Whoever coined the phrase, "It's a Dog's Life" wasn't familiar with 21st century dogs. Time was when the average canine slept outside, ate whatever scraps of food were tossed his way, and if he was lucky, was thrown the occasional bone. He was even expected to earn his keep!

Times have changed. As the world has grown more affluent, so have our pets. We're obsessed with keeping our canine companions happy, healthy, and properly accessorized. So much so that many of us worry about our own welfare less than that of our dog. This didn't happen overnight-- the trend started decades ago.

Take, for example, my grandmother Rose. During the 60's and 70's, Rose and Henry discovered cruise vacations. On every cruise, whenever they pulled into port to "shop", Rosie made it her mission to find stray dogs and feed them. She'd head straight for the butcher, buy a few pounds of fresh meat, and comb the islands for the hungry and homeless. She would exclaim, "It's a crime the way these animals live!"-- in spite of the fact that the people of those islands were desperately poor!

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not passing judgment on Grandma, or anyone else. I spoil my pets as much as the next guy or gal, and take immense pleasure in it. Truth be told, I'd rather hang out with my dog than with a whole lot of people I know. We share a special bond, my best friend and I. Hey, admit it... lots of you feel the same way!

The fact is, man has always had a close relationship with animals, and has enjoyed having pets around for companionship. Having a pet can bring great pleasure into our lives, and is believed to have a therapeutic effect on the owner. For empty nesters and those who've delayed or opted out of having kids, pets almost take the place of children. We bond with our pets especially because they don't judge us. Dogs in particular offer the kind of unconditional love we all crave. They're always thrilled to have us around!

So, how do we spoil our pets?

Probably in much the same way that we spoil our children! Aside from all of the care attention lavished on America's pets, a tremendous amount of money is spent providing goods and services that were once deemed a luxury-- but are now considered essential.

Today's dog sees the vet for regular checkups. She eats premium dog food and munches on gourmet doggie treats, is enrolled in obedience classes, and runs agility courses. She has her own collections of toys, clothing, and possibly even dog jewelry and canine cologne. She sleeps indoors on a luxury orthopedic bed and takes shelter outdoors in her cedar dog house. She wears a safety harness when riding in the family car, a reflective vest on hunting trips, and rain gear in foul weather. She can even dodge UV rays with a pair of doggie sunglasses. Her responsibilities are few.

I could go on (don't worry, at some point I will!). But one of the most notable signs that we regard our dogs as members of our family is the fact that we buy them gifts. A dog gift for the holidays, a dog gift for a special occasion, or a dog gift to show our appreciation for how much our dogs appreciate us. Any reason will do. Heck, we even wrap our dog gifts! Here are some very interesting statistics regarding gifts for pets:

* More than half of U.S. households have pets, and many of them are including their "best friends" in holiday plans.

* According to a survey conducted by the Pet Supplies "Plus" chain, 97% of its customers will buy gifts for their animals this Yuletide season.

* 28% of owners will spend more on their pets than on their spouses when buying gifts.

* 47% will spend more on their pets than on relatives other than their spouse.

* 54% will spend more on their pets than on their in-laws.

* 83% will wrap their pets' gifts.

* 68% claim that their pets will unwrap presents themselves with their paws.

* 71% will buy something practical for them.

Buying gifts for our pets is only the half it. If someone we know is a pet lover, we often show our support by giving the person a pet-related gift. And, since the saying goes, "love me, love my dog", there's often pressure to throw in a little dog gift for Spike too. For a casual dog-loving acquaintance, our dog lover gift might be a simple coffee mug with a picture of their favorite dog breed. A set of plush doggie-themed golf club covers could make an amusing gift for a colleague. Maybe Aunt Janine has a collection of dog figurines we can add to. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, one could splurge on a diamond-studded doggie themed bracelet for the wife (although I wouldn't recommend this as an anniversary gift. Unless you're very sure.) and a new house for Spike.

The good news is, there's no shortage of goods and services to inspire even the most rabid of dog lovers and dog gift shoppers. And dog lover gift shoppers. Whether the names on your gift list are human or canine, you'll never run out of things to buy and places to shop. If you're one of those gifted gift givers who's never at a loss for what to get and where to find it I envy you. If you're more like the rest of us, and you need a little help, you'll find plenty of ideas online (Ahem!). You can also look for future articles in this series, in which I'll hone in on various ways you can pamper and reward the dogs and dog lovers in your life.

So go ahead, spoil your furry friends. Celebrate your love for your dog, and your sister in law's love for her dog. Shower them with goodies and gifts. It's a dog's life. And if I get to come back for another round, I want it to be as one of those lucky dogs!!

© 2004, Carolyn Schweitzer. Lifelong dog-lover, power-shopper, and former family dentist Carolyn Schweitzer is owner and editor of http://www.great-dog-gift.com. The site offers a wide range of choices for dog gift shoppers, plus shopping and gift-giving tips. (Plus advise on care and feeding. Especially dental care.) She's always looking for new dog gift ideas and dog stories to share with her readers. You can reach her by email at netbrainer@verizon.net


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Wed. May / 22 / 2019

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The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says Eagle Island State Park is permanently banning pets from going into the lake. The decision, the state says, ...


Adopt 6 irresistible pets on Staten Island this weekend: May 17-19  SILive.com

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Douglas County Humane Society to celebrate pets Thursday  KBJR 6

Everyone loves pets, and they can actually play a big role in your mental health.


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The 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are going to the dogs — and a turtle. Donald Trump is the first president to forgo an animal companion in the ...


Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/14/19)  ABC15 Arizona

Want to save the life of a shelter pet and bring a new best friend into your home? There are hundreds of adoptable cats and dogs awaiting a new home. Here are ...


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I have a business card burning a hole in my Rolodex. It's from an animal communicator.


Dog Grooming and Dog Care
Dog grooming is relatively simple for most dogs. I have a greyhound and spend about 5 minutes per day on dog grooming.


Proper Diet For the Discus Fish
The Discus fish has its habitat in the South American waters of Brazil and Peru. Discus fish are classified as "grazers", and in the wild constantly forage for food.


Goldfish Tips - Finding Out The Gender of Your Goldfish
Boy or Girl?How can you tell whether your Goldfish is male or female? You might want to know because you want to breed them, or give them the right name before Jack turns out to be the mother Goldfish! Here are some clues that might help you sort out the Goldfish boys from the Goldfish girls:* The female Goldfish are slightly bigger than the males and look even heavier in the abdomen when they are full of eggs.* Male Goldfish develop white spots on their gills and pectoral called "breeding tubercles" during spawning time.


4 Ways In Which You Can Spoil Your Dog Rotten
You spoil your pooch as close to rotten as you can get, don't you? Hey, who doesn't? It's almost impossible not to, with those adorable, big, beautiful eyes, the little lashes, the soft fur just behind the ears? they almost beg to be spoiled. But what can you really do? There are all of those new doggie day spas, doggie day cares, and other doggie luxury services, but how often can you really afford things like that? I mean, most people rarely have enough cash in the bank to get themselves a surprise manicure and pedicure, much less spring for their pups to get a quadripedicure.


Dog Health Conditions and Terms You Should Know, Part 3...
Continued from part two. Epilepsy/seizure disorder. When your Boxer is between 2 to 5 years old, he may develop seizure disorder.


Beds for Smaller Dogs
All puppies are small dogs - some, however, won't be small for very long. You have to know how big your dog is going to be when it is fully grown before you can buy it a bed of its own, unless, that is, you don't mind buying your beloved canine friend a new bed every six months or so for several years.


Shut The Door Buddy: Simple Dog Tricks To Teach and Impress
The shutting and opening door trick can be taught to all dog breeds. The only consideration maybe would be asking small size dogs to close large or heavy doors which are beyond their physical capabilities.


5 Tips For Feeding A Happy, Healthy Dog
Do you really know all there is to know about your canine companion's nutritional needs? Many pet owners think they're doing what's best for their dogs when it comes to food, but in reality they rely on pure instinct more than science. Nutrition isn't a guessing game, even when it comes to your pooch.


4 Ways In Which You Can Show Your Dog How Much You Love Him
Do you have at least one framed photo of your dog somewhere in your house..


Build A Better Mousetrap, And People Will Buy It
This is an old saying that many of us have grown up hearing since we were children, but the problem is improving on an invention that has been around for years. This is especially true for simple inventions like the common pet identification tag, or dog tag as it is normally referred too as.


Heartworm Treatment for Cats and Dogs
The treatment for heartworms is different for cats and dogs. Do not ever give medicine intended for a cat to your dog or vice versa.

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