10 ways to spoil your pet this Christmas

20th December 2021

10 ways to spoil your pet

With reports that pet owners are expected to spend a record £900 million on their four-legged friends this Christmas, it is with no surprise that as a nation of animal lovers we want to spoil our pets rotten.

So if pets had opposable thumbs, what exactly would they write on their Christmas list to Santa-paws this year? Here at Petpals we have come up with a list that won’t break the bank and will ensure your pets have a very merry Christmas!

1. Pamper session
UK pet stores have reported that they have seen over an 80% boost in profits during the first half of the financial year, with doggie day spas and pamper sessions fuelling a festive sales boom. It is expected that over 30,000 dogs will be booked in for a pamper session prior to Christmas. Spa days may be getting booked up fast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat your pooch to a pamper session at home. Whether it is a quick wash & blow dry, or the full works with nail trims, grooming and massage; your dog will love you for keeping their coats clean and fresh.

2. Cook them their very own Christmas dinner!
What a better way to really spoil your pet this year than to home-cook them their very own Christmas dinner. Whilst most of us might be susceptible to over-indulging this Christmas, certain parts of a Christmas dinner can actually be quite nutritious for our pets.
Both dogs and cats can enjoy plain, lean bits of turkey without the bone or skin. Try serving this with some boiled or steamed vegetables such as carrots, peas and parsnips. You could even make some home-made pet friendly gravy by mixing their usual kibble with some hot water and stirring until it has a gravy like consistency.

Things to avoid are:
Bones – cooked bones are a real hazard and can cause blockages or splinters in their stomach.
Sauces, oil & gravy – Cranberry sauce is very high in sugar, cooking oils are very fatty and gravy contains high levels of salt and often includes harmful ingredients such as onions and garlic.
Stuffing – Often contains onions and nuts which are to be avoided.
Pigs in blankets – These contain very high levels of salt and fat.

And remember to always feed in moderation!

3. Take them on their favourite walk
Spoil your pooch by taking them to a place they really enjoy.
After you and your pooch have devoured your Christmas dinner, an afternoon Christmas walk is always a great way to help burn it off. Whether they have a particular forest or beach that they love to explore, or prefer meeting their four-legged friends in the park; give them the best Christmas present this year by taking them on their most favourite walk.

4. Buy them their favourite toy
Whether they are obsessed with a tennis ball, love their tug toys or enjoy their treat-filled puzzle games, there is no better way to make your cat purr or your dog’s tail wag than to surprise them with a new or an old rediscovered toy! Even small animals don’t have to miss out as there is an abundance of toys out there for even the smallest of pets from hamster houses to rabbit snuffle mats and even a guinea pig circus!

5. Play
Christmas can be a time when your pets feel left out as you frantically go about getting everything ready for the big day. That is why it is important to make sure you find the time to play with your pets ensuring they feel included in the festivities. Some dogs will do almost anything for you to throw a tennis ball, others prefer a game of tug-of-war. The sniffer dogs of the world will relish playing scent games and for the cats who don’t sleep all day, will enjoy playing chase. Whatever your pets favourite activity, be sure to add play time to their Christmas list.

6. Make your pet a Christmas stocking
Put your crafting skills to the test and make your pet their very own Christmas stocking. Or if your skills lie in other areas, you can always rope in a family member to help! Alternatively, there are many shops offering personalised Christmas stockings. Imagine hanging up their very own stocking with their name embroidered, filled to the brim with their favourite treats and toys. Just make sure this is somewhere out of reach as inquisitive mouths could get to their stocking fillers before Christmas day has even arrived.

7. Watch a Christmas film together
So the Christmas decs are up, the presents are wrapped (well, most of them, some of them, ok none of them yet) but at least the cupboards are filled with festive food! Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the holidays with a cosy evening of watching Christmas films! Why not spend an evening with your furry friend by cuddling up on the sofa and watching a festive film together. There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit.

8. Teach them a new trick
This one is totally free, although a surplus of treats might be necessary. Teach your pet a new trick for Christmas. Teaching them new tricks is a great way of bonding with your pet, it helps stimulate their mind and alleviates boredom. Not only this, but you can show off their new skills to all of your guests at Christmas!

9. Support your local animal rescue centre
While your pet is being spoilt this Christmas, spare a thought for those animals who are not so lucky. Consider visiting your local animal rescue centre to help those animals in need. Many rescue centres are in need of blankets, toys and food at this time of year. If you are unable to get in a visit this year then a simple donation can go a long way to helping these centres provide care for these animals over the holidays.

10. Spend time with them
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, spend time with your pet. Christmas can be a stressful time of the year for pets, so if there is one thing you should do this festive season it is that you make sure you are paying them enough attention and spending as much time with them as you can.

For more information on animal rescue shelters in need this Christmas, click the links below: