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
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