D2017-49

Dear Daisy Dog: Our adult daughter recently adopted a puppy named Jasper. We’ve never had a dog, so we need some holiday gift shopping advice. Can you suggest a few creative Christmas presents for our first “grand-dog”?

Daisy Responds: Start with healthy food treats. You can make your own (click here for dog bone recipes) or buy treats that help minimize dental tartar and plaque (see vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf for a list.)

Wrap up a gift certificate for group dog obedience training classes. They will help Jasper learn to walk quietly on a leash, come when called, lie down, and get along with other dogs and people. Choose an organization that uses treats, praise and other positive-reinforcement methods, as these are more effective than aversive training techniques, which sometimes trigger aggression.

Consider a gift certificate to a nearby doggy daycare center, a present Jasper will love. Your daughter will appreciate it, too, especially when she needs to work late.

Every dog should be microchipped to help reunite him with his family if he’s ever lost. If Jasper hasn’t been chipped yet, call his animal hospital and pre-pay for the chip.

Finally, you can give Jasper a gift certificate to see his veterinarian, a practical gift since puppies, like children, need to see their doctors often.

Jasper is fortunate to have “grandparents” who celebrate his arrival in the family.