The 5 Best 'Gifts' You Can Give Your Dog This Holiday Season That Cost Little To No Money

I grew up with a cat, but always wanted a dog. My mom always told me that when I grow up and have a house of my own, I can get a dog. Since having my own home, I had fish (and lots of them), rabbits, chickens, tortoises... but no dogs. Dogs are too much work for me at this stage in life. (And so are the other animals, which is why I no longer have any animals.) But for many, dogs are an important part of their family, that they'd like to give gifts for the holidays as they do any other family member. Here's a post by Chelsea Rivera, a dog lover, with ideas on how to give your fur babies holiday gifts on a budget. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever heard the saying, 'The best things in life are free"? Well, the same can be said for your dog! Pet parents around the world spend so much money to improve the quality of life for their pets. While this is admirable, your dog doesn't need much. Check out the list below to get some inspo for what to put in your dog's stocking this year!

Switch To A Raw Food Diet

It's an unfortunate truth but the pet food industry is really lacking these days. Fancy marketing lingo and beautiful illustrations will have you beleive your dog is eating the latest and the greatest. Sadly, a lot of these foods (especially the kibbles) are laced with harmful additives and won't deliver the proper nutrients that your pet deserves! Owners who have switched to a raw food diet for dogs note higher energy levels, shinier coats, among many other potential benefits.

Avoid Table Scraps

'Tis the season eat all of the rich foods! While it may be tempting to share with your pup, don't! It turns out a lot of incredibly common foods can cause a wide variety of unpleasant reactions in your pup. Whether it's dog diarrhea or something more dire, I can guarantee it's nothing you want to deal with while you're trying to enjoy yourself over the holidays. Luckily for us, pet wellness blog, SimpleWag has detailed all the foods your dog shouldn't eat. They made the list. Now it's your turn to check it twice!

Take Walks

When there's a lot going on, it's easy to get lazy with taking your dog out. However, just because it's cold out, doesn't mean you should hang up your pup's leash. Your dog needs exercise! Regular activity is key to keeping your dog young and healthy. Not to mention, there are major health benefits in it for you! Fun Fact: The American Heart Association assessed that dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get regular exercise and be in better shape. So put on your winter coat, grab your dog, and get to walking!

Cuddle Your Pup

We love our pets! But have you ever wondered if the feeling was mutual? For instance, when your dog gives you kisses, are they paying the food tax or showing a legitimate sign of affection. Well, if you've ever wondered this, you're not alone because major research has been done on the subject. I'm happy to report that dogs are very capable of loving their owners! In fact, cuddle sessions and extended eye contact releases oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. Not only does the release of oxytocin give you (and your pet) the warm and fuzzies but it helps combat stress and depression, all the while strengthening your bond! You don't have to spend a ton of money to pamper your pet, there are tons of simple ways to do it DIY-style.

Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Many pet owners become so accustomed to bad dog breath that they just write it off as something familiar and natural. I hate to burst your bubble but this is not the case! Oral hygiene in dogs is extremely important. Bad breath aside, if you do not tend to your dog's teeth, bacteria from your dog's mouth can travel to your dog's kidneys, heart, and lungs. Once it enters the bloodstream, it can even become fatal! Luckily, all this can be avoided with a toothbrush and an enzymatic toothpaste for dogs.

Dogs are pretty simple creatures! While big budget ad campaigns will have you believe your dog needs the latest and greatest pet product on the market, all your dog really needs is you...and for you to do your research. Treat your dog the way that you would like to be treated: i.e. quality food, regular exercise, a lot of love, and of course, good dental care. Do this and your dog will thank you for it for years to come!

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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