For the last few years, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide for the disabled pet in your life. But this year I decided to go in another direction. I put together 25 of the best ideas in a gift guide for people who take care of paralyzed pets, senior pets and animals that are sick. It’s full of guilty pleasures for the heroes who change doggie diapers, lift and carry their pets everywhere and give unconditional love to sick fur kids 24 hours a day.
If you are one of these pet parents, you know how demanding the job of being a caretaker can be. Life becomes a juggling act between your family, your work and keeping the promise you made to your dog or cat to be there for them. These demands force you skip the fun, relaxing, and luxurious parts of life.
Those are the categories in this gift guide. They’re to remind you and your loved ones that caretakers need pampering too.
Here’s the Gift Guide for people who take care of paralyzed pets and senior dogs
Be sure to leave it somewhere for your loved ones to read.
The list contains some affiliate links to products and services I trust and I know make life easier for the caretaker in your family.
The gift of time – Caretaker pet owners don’t have a lot of free time. And when they are away from home, they can’t be gone for more than a few hours. So, offer to pet sit and send your favorite pet Mom or Dad to the movies. Fandango makes it easy to buy movie tickets ahead of time and the recipient can use them whenever they choose.
In the same theme, why not treat a pet parent to an evening at a concert, a local play or send them to their favorite restaurant. The time away from home, knowing the fur kids are safe with you, will be greatly appreciated.
If you can’t take over the pet sitting duties, offer to prepare a home cooked meal for a pet caretaker. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate feast. Your animal lover will thrilled with the gift of your company as you bake, broil, fry or BBQ a brunch, lunch or dinner. Invite a few friends to join you for a casual party.
A gift to last the whole year – Keep pet owners organized this year with calendars from two of my favorite groups. The 2019 Walkin’ Pets Calendar celebrates paralyzed dogs worldwide. It features 13 winning dogs who competed in the 4th annual Walkin’ Pets calendar contest, plus hundreds more throughout the calendar.
Or check out the 2019 calendar from Dodgerslist. It features dogs with IVDD who are loving life. Dodgerslist says to get one for your veterinarian too.
A gift that give you points for lifting your dog – People who take care of a disabled pet are always on the move. So why not give them a Fitbit to track the many steps they take all day long.
Fun gifts to keep them laughing – I am a coffee lover and have a collection of mugs to prove it. Last year a friend gave me a mug that read: “I don’t care who dies in a movie as long as the dog survives.” Reading this slogan puts a smile on my face every time I pour myself a cup of coffee. It’s a great way to start my day. You can get the same mug for your pet loving person too.
Fun time together – The family board game Dog-Opoly is another favorite way to share time and smiles. Plus you get to look at adorable dogs!
Fun and cute Doxie slippers – If there’s a Dachshund lover in your house, she’s gonna love this adorable Sherpa-lined Critter slippers. They’re soft, cute, and very warm.
Doxie inspired gift for the bathroom – This Dachshund toilet paper holder made me smile. What pet lover wouldn’t want this practical, fun and cute gift? You can also use it to hold paper towels.
Relaxing gift ideas
I don’t think caretakers ever truly relax so you might have to be forceful in giving this type of gift.
The gift of meditation – My husband loves technology so he bought each of us a set of Apple AirPods. I reluctantly started to use them at the gym, but honestly, I think they look weird. The idea of having little wireless antennas hanging from my ears wasn’t appealing, but now I love them. The sound is crystal clear and I don’t have to carry around my phone or other device to hear music, audiobooks or podcasts. (I am addicted to podcasts.)
A relaxing gift of flexibility – If you are lifting and moving a disabled dog all day, you’ve gotta be fit and flexible. The gift of yoga classes or Pilates will keep your pet lover relaxed enough to fold into a pretzel. It will also prevent them from injuring their back from all the lifting they do.
Relaxing with a good book – Reading is by far one of the best ways to de-stress. I was given a heartwarming book for animal folks called, The Pet Healer Project by Sandy Johnson. It’s available on Amazon. The book is a collection of stories about internationally known animal healers and veterinarians. Good read.
Nothing says relaxation like wine – If the animal fan in your house loves wine, why not combine it with a beautiful wine glass and adorable dog inspired quote.
Cozy PJs for a relaxing night – You can get the perfect winter pajamas for your pet lover with PajamaGram’s Dog Tired PJ set.
A relaxing gift for you and your dog – I’m not sure who will love this gift idea more, the pet caretaker in your family or the dog. No one wants to take a senior or disabled dog out late on a winter night to use the facilities. An indoor potty could be the perfect solve that problem.
A relaxing tool for you and your dog – If your animal lover spends time massaging your senior dog’s achy joints, the LumaSoothe will be a great gift. LumaSoothe uses light therapy to gently relieve pain and inflammation. I met the founder of LumaSoothe at a conference and was immediately impressed.
Luxurious gift ideas
I saved my best ideas for last because as you know, caretakers are notorious for depriving themselves the luxurious parts of life. Here are ideas that won’t break the bank, but will make your animal lover feel like royalty.
The luxurious gift of health – Honor a hardworking pet parent with a gift certificate to a spa. They can spend an afternoon getting a massage, mud bath, facial or other indulgent treatment.
Splurge on a Furbo – This luxurious gadget is a camera, a night vision live-streaming system, and a two-way audio device so you can monitor and communicate with your dog while you are away from home. It even tosses treats to your dog to make picture taking perfect. Furbo works with Alexa to send you updates on your phone when your dog barks. This luxury item will be a game-changer for a caretaker.
Make a memory – Did you know world-famous Shutterfly expanded their personalized photo books to include a line specially designed for dogs, cats or every pet you love. If you surprise your animal lover with this personal memory of a treasured pet, it could be an all-time favorite gift.
Luxury through cleaning – Only a true pet person will understand how a Roomba Robot-Vacuum could be considered luxurious. But trust me when I say you’ll get a huge hug if you can save your pet caretaker from even one day of sweeping away dog fur off the floor.
Hire a pet sitter – Did you know there are skilled pet sitters who can provide respite care for a disabled dog or cat? Rover.com recently started a category of pet sitters for animals with special needs. Click on their “more filters” section to see who is available.
A luxurious small animal carrier – The Sleepypod mobile pet bed is one of my favorite products for paralyzed and senior dogs and cats. Pets want to be with their people and Sleepypod gets them their safely in their “crash tested” carrier that is a plush pet bed, pet carrier and car seat all-in-one. The company has won so many safety awards it’s to count them all.
The luxury of a DoggyRide – Okay, so this gift idea is more about your dog than your dog lover, but let’s keep your fragile senior or disabled dog warm on a winter walk this year. DoggyRide is a great way to give them fresh air in the freezing cold.
Practical gift ideas
Here’s one more section of gift ideas I want to share. They are practical gifts that you might not think of, but will be greatly appreciated by the person taking care of your disabled or senior pet. So, if you know someone who’s having trouble making ends meet, please consider one of these ideas.
Find out what brand of food their pet eats and give the gift of a big bag kibble or a case of wet food. Check to see if the caretaker is in need of a new WalkAbout harness to lift their dog, an orthopedic bed or a Walkin’ Pets stroller. Even new washable diapers or a belly band would be appreciated. Or you could offer to pay for a month of rehab or hydrotherapy for a disabled pet. None of these items are overly expensive and you will be helping both the pet and the caretaker.
I hope my ideas are helpful. Have a happy and healthy holiday! Please share your own gift suggestions so I can add them to the list next year.