What a Pet Wants

I have stuff. I don’t mean to. In fact, I’m a minimalist at heart, though you’d never guess it by my overflowing toy chest.

Having too much stuff-stuff can get in the way of all the good stuff, and I have other, more important things to do than take care of all my stuff.

So when it comes to holiday gifts, I like to keep it simple. Spend time with family, take in the smell of freshly baked treats, and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas after lighting the Hanukkah menorah.

I don’t believe pets or people need oodles of presents to feel loved. That’s why I like the tradition of giving four gifts: a want, a need, somewhere to go and something to feed. It’s quite simple. Instead of giving a pile of presents, think outside the box.


Something They Want

They’re the gifts pups would put on their lists if they knew how to write. I have a strong feeling they’ll appreciate anything that squeaks, bounces and keeps them busy. Chew toys provide durable fun that outlasts even the most persistent canines’ destructive powers.

Give your dog a challenge during the holidays and beyond—put an interactive toy on his wish list.


Something They Need

The holidays are the pawfect time to get your pup exactly what he needs. Maybe a new bed? Some of the best gifts are ones to make your dog feel comfy all year. How about the gift of safety? Snap on a snazzy new collar to ensure proper identification.

To make your pooch’s stocking the best, fill it with delicious, healthy treats.


Somewhere to Go

Want to make meaningful holiday memories without breaking the bank? A joy ride is a dog’s ideal gift, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines. You don’t have to have a destination in mind, but you can make it a road trip if you want to really connect. Or go on an extra-long walk and see where it takes you. You can explore a new area together, and your pooch will appreciate the different smells.


Something to Feed

’Tis the season for giving back to those in need by grabbing something extra at the grocery store. Animal shelters and rescues are always in need of dog and cat food, cleaning products and warm blankets. Just swing by and drop off a bag in exchange for a bear hug and loving paw of gratitude.


Even though some of you might think I don’t want anything special for Hanukkah, and you could be right, I intend to participate fully and joyfully in giving and receiving gifts this holiday season. After all, less is not nothing.

Gestures don’t need to have a hefty price tag to feel meaningful. If you stick to the four-gift rule, you will not only reduce excess things, you’ll help everyone appreciate the gifts they do receive while enjoying the true reason for the season.

Don’t forget, the best gift of all is time—and that has no price tag.


Davi the Dachshund can spin a dreidel with the best of them. Happy Holidays!