Does your dog have a Christmas stocking? Ours certainly do, and we delight in our dogs’ delight in seeing what Santa left when he squeezed down the chimney. Edible and goodies (especially ones that take a long time to chew) are de rigueur, of course, but we also like to load our pets’ socks and gift boxes with an item or two that’s really intended for pet parents.
At the top of this year’s list of practical gifts: One or more of the Pet Fur Erase extra-sticky lint rollers marketed by Evercare. Wrapped with sticky paper that peels off to reveal a fresh surface underneath, they’re extremely efficient in removing dog hair from your clothes, your couch or (heaven forbid) your bedspread.
Several configurations are available, along with refills. Find them at pet stores, drug stores, big-box stores and online.
Tired dog, happy dog, happy you
Every time we see a person on a bicycle with a leashed dog trotting alongside, we cringe. Why risk road rash when you can exercise your dog safely on a Springer Dog Exerciser? This ingenious device, an import from Norway, has been popping up everywhere the past few years—except in retail stores (it seems the company has an exclusive U.S. distribution relationship with Amazon and ourpamperedhome.com). Whatever…we know first-hand that the Springer is guaranteed to bring out your pup’s inner athlete while helping to keep you in shape, too.
The Springer allows cyclists to keep both hands safely on the handlebars as a dog trots or runs alongside, always within eye contact—and, if she really gets into it, pulling you so you don’t even have to pedal. The heavy-duty spring on the device’s U-shaped arm absorbs 90 percent of the dog’s tugs, so when Rover bolts after a squirrel or a cat, he won’t take you with him. The Springer attaches to the seat tube of most mountain, road and touring bikes and comes with shims to fit posts of different diameters. A harness is extra, and you’ll want to invest in a “roading harness” similar to this with a clip that fits as high up on Rover’s back as possible to distribute the weight of his pull and keep him in line with your leg. If you have a high-energy dog, you won’t know how you ever lived without it. See it in action here.
Baby it’s cold outside…
Little dogs in cute sweaters are a common enough sight during California winters—but hey, bigger dogs can get cold, too. Our favorite cover-up: the Tough-1 600 Denier Waterproof Dog Blanket, which comes in sizes from extra-small to giant and in solid colors as well as fun print patterns. Tough-1, a maker of horse blankets and other equestrian gear, introduced its dog cover-ups a few years ago and they’ve been selling like hotcakes since. Order online or find in tack and feed stores, at Tractor Supply or other retailers catering to the horsey set.