The dogs with a long gift list this Christ­mas

Gifts for furry friends may seem OTT, but pet lovers go crack­ers at Christ­mas, says celebrity dog trainer Louise Glaze­brook

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - Louise Glaze­brook runs The Dar­ling Dog Com­pany – thedar­ling­dog­com­

No­body likes a showoff, but I feel that if Fred, my rescue Great Dane could talk, he would be telling all his pals about his new bil­let. “My for­ever fam­ily have built me a be­spoke bed,” he’d say. “It was spe­cially de­signed into their new kitchen along with my own cup­board for all my things. They even changed their car so I could fit in.” It’s true; we have done all those things for Fred. Chang­ing our lives to suit our dog is some­thing only dog owners un­der­stand.

I know we’re in good com­pany. One man I know adapted his dog’s bed to have stairs lead­ing up to the mat­tress; an­other client of mine (I’m a pro­fes­sional dog trainer) had their bal­cony sealed in glass so that his dog could gaze across Lon­don from a safe spot, with­out get­ting soaked in the rain. I love th­ese peo­ple even more for their ded­i­ca­tion to their dogs.

When a sur­vey said that owners are spend­ing nearly £500 on gifts for their dog, I wasn’t sur­prised – though I’m sure many would (quite rightly) raise their eye­brows. In Lon­don, that al­most triples to nearly £1,300. As a na­tion, the UK spends over £11 bil­lion on their four-legged friends. And this year, as was re­ported yes­ter­day, re­tail­ers are go­ing all-out to en­sure that pets are in­cluded too with de­mand for fes­tive pet gifts hav­ing risen by 300per cent.

From spe­cial pet treat Christ­mas crack­ers, nov­elty ad­vent cal­en­dars and stock­ings to spe­cially con­cocted pet-friendly non­al­co­holic tip­ples such as Pawsecco for cats and Bot­tom Snif­fer beer for dogs, ev­ery whim is catered for.

Like all the other do­gob­sessed owners, I love to spend my cash on my dog, but I am very picky about what I buy and not en­tirely con­vinced about this new boom in pet­mas presents. If you’re com­mit­ted to buy­ing a gift, I rec­om­mend avoid­ing the sea­sonal-themed stuff (a lot is made with food colour­ing), and go, in­stead, for some­thing you can wrap up for Christ­mas Day, but is much bet­ter value.

And be­fore you scoff about wrap­ping up gifts for dogs, this is one of life’s pure mo­ments of joy. A dog’s re­ac­tion to be­ing al­lowed to rip open pa­per to find a squeaky toy is won­der­ful, and ri­vals that of chil­dren.

Each of th­ese prod­ucts comes with my tried-andtested rec­om­men­da­tion.

All of them I use with my clients’ dogs, my own dog or in my puppy classes, so I can guar­an­tee that th­ese are gifts wor­thy of be­ing wrapped un­der your Christ­mas tree.

Gr­rrrr: it can be a dog’s life for some at Christ­mas

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