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Australians are expected to spend millions on their beloved dogs this
Christmas! We've asked TAFE NSW Animal Studies Teacher Deb Coleman to
research the market and provide the five best Christmas presents for
Deb, affectionately known as The Dog Lady, was this year
crowned the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT) Dog
Trainer of the Year, so is well qualified to pass judgement.
"Make sure you don't forget to spoil your four-legged friends
this Christmas," Ms Coleman said. "Their love is
unconditional all year around so this is a nice way to include them in
your Christmas celebrations.
"The most important thing to remember when purchasing gifts is
to focus on something that will not impact the health of your best
friend, and most importantly provide them with lots of entertainment!
"I have tested these products with my dogs at home, so am
confident they will all make wonderful Christmas gifts."
1) A snuffle mat: This is an inexpensive enrichment item that can be
made from a rubber mat and strips of fleecy material. A great quick
craft idea for the kids or can be bought online. You can use it to
feed your dog's breakfast or dinner or put some yummy treats in the
snuffle mat to keep your dog occupied when your Christmas visitors
arrive. No more jumping on Nanna and Grandpa! Fabulous for dogs of all
ages and sizes and uses their natural seeking instincts.
2) Deer antlers: If your dog loves pig's ears but
finishes them quickly, antlers are the perfect Christmas gift! They
are long lasting and will occupy your dog for ages, satisfying your
dog's natural instinct to chew. Better than him chewing your new
wooden barbecue under the gazebo!
3) Puppington Pods: A pod shaped dog ball that is
made in the shape of a lotus flower which folds into a ball using
Velcro. You place a treat in the middle and teach your dog to bring
the ball back and be rewarded when he does! Loads of fun for training
fetch and for active dogs that love to chase balls.
4) Clam shells: One side can be filled with water and
used for swimming in the warmer weather. Great as an extra water
source even if your dog doesn't swim and you can add some chopped up
carrot or apple for your dog to nibble during the day. The other side
of the clam can be filled with sand or dirt and yummy treats buried.
This will encourage your dog to dig in a designated area.
5) Foobler App Controlled Self Reloading Puzzle
Feeder: Great for the Techos who love the latest gadgets! It
can be filled with your dog's dog food or treats and has six separate
dispensing puzzle pods for all day play and feeding. Compatible with
iOS and Android.
Enrolments for a range of Animal Studies courses for 2018 at TAFE NSW
are now being accepted. For more information visit tafensw.edu.au or
phone 131 601.