Holiday Gift Guide 2016

To make gift giving a little easier this holiday season we’ve put together a list of our favourite gift ideas for dogs, cats, and their humans.

Long Lasting Dog Chews

Dogs are naturally inclined to chew on things so it’s critical to keep them busy chewing on things you want them to (chew toys) so that they don’t even think about chewing on anything else (shoes, socks, furniture, baseboards, etc.).  The qualities we look for in a good chew are healthy to eat and last a very long time.  Our current favourites are Himalayan hard cheese chews, which are widely available at quality pet retailers. $17 and up

Treat Dispensing Cat Toys

Most cats love to play and love to eat treats.  We were given a Temptations Snacky Mouse cat toy, which rewards cats with treats as they play with it.  Walter and Hazel just love it. $10

Stylish Pet Beds

There is no quicker way to drain the class out of a room than the presence of a hideous old pet bed.  There are numerous companies that now offer stylish beds to match any decor.  We love the ones designed by Bowsers Pet Products.  $75 and up

A Harness That Reduces Pulling

Anyone who’s walked a large dog that pulls on leash can attest to how difficult and exhausting it can be.  The only way to truly eliminate pulling is with extensive training, but until your dog has mastered loose-leash walking it’s worth investing in a harness that helps to reduct the intensity of pulling, like the Pet Safe Easy Walk harness.  As your dog puts pressure on its leash the harness directs your dog sideways, acting as a gentle deterrent from pulling.  They are a little confusing to put on until you figure it out, so be sure to have your pet retailer help fit your dog and show you how it’s done.  $28 and up

A Robot to Clean Your Litter Box

Tending to your cat’s litter box is by far the least enjoyable part about having a feline family member.  There are several automatic litter boxes on the market but most of them perform poorly.  The one exception is the Litter Robot, a superbly designed invention that will keep your littler box clean and your cats happy.  Like any change to your cat’s routine it’s best to introduce a Litter Robot gradually.  We followed the manufacturer’s directions for making the transition and Walter and Hazel got used to it quite quickly.  The one drawback to this machine is that it performs best with traditional clay litters, so if you are a fan of renewably sourced litters it may not be a good choice for you.  $599

Dog Training Courses

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and it’s not even that hard to do.  Whether your dog has behavioural problems to overcome or is the best behaved pup on the street, they can always benefit from more positive-reinforcement training.  On top of that it’s fun for owners too.  When looking for a good trainer choose a facility with the following characteristics:

- Positive reinforcement training techniques

- Small class sizes

- Skilled instructors

- High instructor to student ratio.

We recommend When Hounds Fly, which has locations on Dundas West and Pape Village.  They take dog training very seriously and make it fun for you and your dog.  $150 and up

Photographs of Your Pets

Okay we are obviously biased, but pet photography really does make for an amazing gift.  Don’t take our word for it though, here’s what our clients have said about their experience:

“My wife started to cry when I shared your photos with her.  She loved her gift so much.  The only problem is that I’ll never be able to beat it next year!”

“This was such a fun experience and your artworks bring a smile to my face every day”

“I am so happy to have Charlie’s beautiful photos.  They bring back so many wonderful memories”

Learn more about my photography here or contact me today to discuss the best gift for your loved ones this year.

U of T Dog Alumni

  More than 60 UC alumni and their canine companions braved the cold and came out for The Dog Days of Winter on January 19, 2014, which saw the University College Quadrangle transformed into an off-leash dog park. The event was a chance for alumni to visit their alma mater and meet fellow dog-lovers in their area.  While the dogs frolicked in the snow, their masters socialized over coffee and cookies and learned about plans to preserve and revitalize the UC Quad as part of Boundless: The Campaign for the University of Toronto.  Renowned pet photographer Jason Krygier-Baum (BSc 2007 UC) of Jason KB Animal Photography was on hand to capture all the furry moments. The results? Proof pawsitive that UC has gone to the dogs. Images were used in the University of Toronto - University College quartly Alumni Magazine and online.

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