For the past four years, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide for the paralyzed pet in your life. I’ve enjoyed finding toys that intrigue disabled dogs and sharing the latest products for paraplegic pets, but this year I decided to go in another direction. After reading a gift guide for “work at home moms,” I decided to put together a gift guide for people who take care of paralyzed pets. It is full of guilty pleasures for the heroes who change doggie diapers, lift and carry their pets everywhere and love on their disabled 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 is about juggling time for your family and work while keeping the promise you made to your dog or cat to be there for them. These demands force you skip the fun, relaxation, and luxurious aspects of life.
I have included these categories into my guide to remind you and your loved ones that caretakers need pampering too.
The Gift Guide for People Who Take Care of Paralyzed Pets (Be sure to leave this out for your loved ones to read.)
The list contains some affiliate links of 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 caretaker 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, will be greatly appreciated.
If you can’t take over the pet sitting duties, offer to prepare a home cooked meal for a pet mom or dad. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate feast. The caretaker in your life will love 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.
Silly gift ideas – 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 the mug puts a smile on my face every time I pour coffee in it. A great mug or travel cup is an easy way to remind an animal lover they are appreciated.
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 EarPods. I reluctantly started to use them at the gym, but honestly, I thought they looked odd. The idea of having little wireless antennas hanging from my ears was not 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.)
Any pet caretaker would welcome a little music or meditation in their life with EarPods or earbuds. It’s like taking a piece of relaxation with your wherever you go.
The gift of fitness and flexibility – If you are lifting and moving a paralyzed dog all day, you must stay fit and flexible. A gift of yoga classes or Pilates will keep any caretaker relaxed enough to fold into a pretzel. It will also prevent them from injuring their back from all the lifting they do.
The gift of books – Reading is by far one of the best ways to relax. I was just given a heartwarming new book for animal lovers called, The Pet Healer Project by Sandy Johnson. It just arrived on Amazon. The book is a collection of stories about internationally known animal healers and veterinarians.
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 a pet parent feel like royalty.
The luxurious gift of health – Honor a caretaker 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 Petcube – An at-home camera system like Petcube will bring peace of mind to any caretaker. It gives owners the ability to see their disabled dog, talk to them and hear them while they are away from home. This luxury item could be a game-changer for a caretaker.
Make a memory – Give the gift of a memory by having a canvas portrait made of the disabled dog or cat in your life. You can even get the whole family involved in a painting or photo that will live on forever.
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.
Here is 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. It is expensive to have a disabled pet. So, if you know someone who is having trouble making ends meet, consider one of these practical gift ideas.
Find out what brand of food the 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. I love the ones at Barkertime. 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.