Written by: Cindy Aldridge
Are you hoping for gifts that will make both you and your canine companion happy this holiday season? If you’re putting your furry friend’s needs first this year, consider requesting contributions toward big-ticket items or stocking stuffers that will help your dog put her best foot forward during neighborhood walks. Here are a few gift suggestions at a variety of price points to inspire your puppy-powered wish list.
Electric fences include a transmitter, receiver, and wires that transmit energy. These items, along with a dog collar, can typically be purchased for $100 to $400 at pet stores or from online retailers, but electric fence packages don’t include installation fees. The national average cost to install an electric fence is $962 to $1,434, according to HomeAdvisor. Homeowners will also need to invest in accessories including a charger and replacement batteries as well as a voltage meter to test the fence’s charge.
Even with accessory expenses, electronic fences offer an affordable option when compared with physical fences, and maintenance is less expensive. Invisible fences can also be excellent option for homeowners who live in areas where neighborhood guidelines prohibit physical fences or dictate expensive fencing materials. Finally, some dog lovers dedicate the money saved to hiring a professional trainer who helps their pet learn how to live with their new boundary and addresses any concerns the homeowners might have about electronic fencing.
Dog lovers without electronic fences might also want to add training sessions to their holiday wish lists. There are many options for canine classes held at homes, pet care facilities, or local pet products stores.
What’s more, there are classes to fit every learning level. Many training facilities offer entry-level classes for puppies. There are also basic behavior classes for older dogs who might be rescue animals or just need a refresher course to refine rusty manners. If your furry friend is ready to move to the canine college level, there are courses to help them excel at American Kennel Club competitions and even some sessions to help you go pro as a dog trainer.
You might want to take some long walks or visit social settings to help your pup practice all these newly learned skills. If so, consider adding a new collar and leash to your gift list.
Collars and leashes are as much about function as fashion, and the best choice for your dog could depend on everything from his breed to his walking style. For instance, standard flat collars might not be a good option for greyhounds and whippets. These dogs’ necks are often larger than their heads, possibly allowing them to slip out of a standard collar. Similarly, a back-clip harness might be a better choice than a traditional collar for pugs and other small dogs that could be prone to tracheal collapse, according to the American Kennel Club.
Collars should also include your dog’s identification information and your contact information in case she somehow gets lost. In addition to standard collar tags, you could ask for a GPS-equipped collar that lets you track your dog’s location with a mobile or web-based app. Many GPS tracking collars also include LED lights that can come in handy during after-dark adventures.
As for leashes, the AKC recommends standard leashes over retractable leashes for pets and doesn’t allow owners to use retractable leashes during its Canine Good Citizen tests. When choosing a standard leash, your budget and personal preferences come into play. Also be sure to consider your dog’s size and choose a leash of an appropriate weight. If you’re unsure about the best leash or collar for your canine companion, ask your veterinarian or dog trainer for advice.
And, these gifts could have big benefits for both you and your pet. After all, someone has to walk your furry friend and take them to canine classes. So adding a few of these items to your holiday gift list will not only help keep your dog healthy and happy, but will help do the same for you.