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Six Great Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Veterinary Hospital

By Dr. Patty Khuly

Holiday Gifts for Vets

Every single year I find myself stressing over what amounts to a pretty simple thing: Finding the perfect gift for my favorite veterinary specialists. For all they do for me, for my patients, and for my own beloved pets (when they require extra veterinary help), how could I fail to offer them a nice “thank you” holiday gift?

But choosing the exact right gift, one that sounds the right note and doesn’t resemble last year’s overly much, is harder than you might think. At least it is for me, perfectionist that I am.

My own struggles should serve as perfect introduction to the rest of this post, one that should hopefully serve to detail some of my favorite gift ideas –– ones your veterinarian and his or her staff will hopefully remember forever.

Some of these I’ve received and thought they were stellar. Others I actually came up with myself. In any case, they’re all pretty awesome presents:

#1 Consider a coffee traveler

It’s so easy. This cardboard box full of coffee (you know where to find one) is a brilliant gift. It's not pricey and it beats the heck out of a box of chocolates. Bring it in early one cold December morning and you’ll be a star for the rest of the year (and next).

Note: It's not that we don't LOVE chocolates. We do! The problem is that by the 18th or thereabouts we've consumed so much of it already that the section of our stomachs dedicated to chocolate is already sated for the year (or at least until Valentine’s Day). And let's face it, we get SO much chocolate that unless you're plying us with the best of the best (or homemade truffles: read on), we're not likely to remember it as well.

#2 Try your hand at homemade truffles

These are so easy. I have no idea why more people don’t make them. They cost less than the now-ubiquitous Godiva or Lindt varieties and they’re so much more rewarding (for you) and adored (by them) for your having made them yourself. I promise they’ll be talking about these for years to come.

Here’s a great recipe in case you need one -my favorite vanilla and Earl Grey truffles. If you want to get imaginative, try these Beer-Chocolate truffles. Or this vegan pistachio version. Need to stay away from the dark stuff in case wandering snouts get into it? Consider these white chocolate ones.

#3 Homemade hot chocolate

I know it sounds hokey, but one year a client brought in a huge pot of the kind of thick hot chocolate you can only make if you're either Columbian or Mexican. Okay, so maybe you can be any nationality and make great hot chocolate, but somehow the really thick, gooey stuff always seems to be made by certain Hispanics. In any case, it was awesome and I wish someone would make me some this year.

In case you want to give it a try, here’s one that comes close to the Mexican versions I’ve tried.

#4 Give a “get out of jail free” kitten card

Sounds strange, but this is a truly amazing gift for any veterinary hospital. Offer to take on the very next “unwanted” kitten that comes through the hospital's doors. (We get them by the box-load every few weeks.) You, as your offer goes, will also take on the responsibility of finding it a forever home. One client gave me this once and I swear it made me cry.

#5 Make a “cage-cozy” (or five)

Have you ever heard of these? These are the stuffed animals we de-string and de-eye (for safety) and offer to our smaller patients for extra cage comfort. They might also be old baby blankets or hoodie-towels. Some people even make them all by themselves. Here’s a cute one on

In any case, I promise that if you bring in a bag of comfy stuff like this, we’ll be in heaven. But you might still want to check with the office manager before offering something that doesn't mesh with the culture of the place. (Not all hospitals use cage cozies.)

#6 Donations to charities

These are always sweet and always welcome. Ask the office manager which charities the docs and staff like best and donate in their name, or donate to a local shelter in their name.

Okay, so now it's your turn. Are you planning on giving your beloved veterinarian a holiday gift this year?

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