The Purr-fect Gifts
Let’s face it: Our pets are part of the family these days, and as family members they should get a piece of the holiday fun too, right?
A recent poll by the Associated Press and Petside.com revealed that more than half of pet owners will buy their pets a holiday gift this year, and they will spend an average of more than $40 on each animal.
When we get past the bones, rawhides, treats and toys, what is there to buy a four-legged family member? Plenty, it turns out. MainStreet put together 10 great gifts for your pets, as well as ones for the pet lover in your life.
Photo Credit: Dan4th Nicholas
If you’ve ever been sleeping soundly during a thunderstorm and had a dog jump on your head because it’s scared of the noise, you will know why this is a great gift for your pet, and for you. The makers of Thundershirt say that the constant pressure applied to a dog’s torso helps relieve stress and anxiety that can be caused by various factors. If you have a fearful dog, this might be worth a try. At $39.99, it’s cheaper and probably safer than going to the vet and getting some sedatives.
Photo Credit: Thundershirt.com
Angry Birds by Hartz
People like the Angry Birds game so much that Hartz, the pet supply company, figured that our four-legged family members would like them too. Award-winning dog blogger Roxanne Hawn – and Lilly, the star of her blog “Champion of my Heart” – recently reviewed these toys for Hartz and gave them a definite thumbs-up. There are various Angry Birds toys for both cats and dogs, available nationwide from various retailers and online from $3.99 - $10.99.
Photo Credit: hartz.com
We couldn’t decide if this was more a gift for the pet or the pet owner, so we decided it was probably for both. Polls show that more than half of dogs and more than 60% of cats sleep in bed with their owners. The only problem may be when there is an accident or when pet odors take over the comforter.
Innovative bedding manufacturers have come up with lines of waterproof, odor-eliminating mattress pads such as the one made by Therapedic International that’s sold at Bed Bath & Beyond. Now, owners and their pets can rest easy in their shared bed. Priced from $39.99 - $99.99.
Photo Credit: Therapedic.com
When Santa Paws visits your home, where is the jolly old guy going to leave all of the smaller toys and gifts for Fido? Well, everyone else in the family has a special stocking, why doesn’t your pet? These cute bone stockings, available for $15 from Mud Pie, are sure to brighten any mantel or kennel, or wherever you hang your dog’s stocking.
Photo Credit: Mud-Pie.com
A Green Gift Basket
Everyone is going green these days and given recent (and controversial) research that showed pets leave a large environmental footprint, it’s no surprise that many owners are looking for environmentally friendly gifts this year. This gift basket from Dog Gone Products includes a hemp rope toy, hemp bone toy, natural pet wipes and recycled paper notes. One thing we like about this product is that profits go to help fund a spay-and-neuter program. Priced at $47.99.
Photo Credit: greengiftshop.com
Pet Photo Session
Pet parents know the only real negative about having a pet is that the little creatures don’t live as long as we do. How many times have you wished you would have had a professional photography session done with your pet? For that pet lover who has everything, find a good local pet photographer and buy a gift certificate so they can have their pet professionally immortalized in photography.
Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar
Donations to Pet Charities
Many families have said “enough” with all of the shopping and gifting during the holiday season and instead have decided to give to a worthwhile charitable organization. If you have a pet-loving family, why not adopt a pet through your local shelter or humane organization – you don’t actually need to take the pet home (though many shelters have fostering programs as well), but sponsorship funds will help feed and house the pet until it can find a good home. This also makes a great gift for an older friend or relative who can’t have any (or any more) pets of their own.
Other charitable organizations like Rock & Rawhide, a new group that provides toys, towels, blankets and other home comforts to shelter animals, appreciate donations, especially during the holidays. You can even give it in your pet’s name or in memory of a past pet.
Photo Credit: RockandRawhide.org
Calendar for the Man-Loving Cat Lover
You might not be a “crazy cat lady,” but a girl has to have a little fun too, right? People may not associate hunky guys with homeless cats, but Found Animals, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, will do anything to help kitties in shelters, including selling provocative calendars featuring hot guys (not pictured at left, they were a little too racy). Proceeds help cats in shelters, and at only $9.99, it’s worth a look.
Photo Credit: Per Ola Wiberg
How many pictures of people’s pets have you seen on social media sites where the pet is not looking at the camera or has that “demon” look in its eyes because of the camera’s automatic red-eye reduction technology? How many hours have you sat trying to get your pet to look directly in the camera, only for it to turn its head when the flash goes on? Well, there is a product for the pet-loving photographer out there. Priced at $29.95, Lightscoop claims to transform your pet photos into ones near professional quality, without the professional training or a lot of technical knowledge.
Photo Credit: lightscoop.com
Cameras and Pet Tracking Devices
Back in the 1980s when home video cameras took off (not without a little help from a certain clip show), people started using them to check on the babysitters, especially if they suspected their children weren’t being cared for properly. Now we’re in a new millennium, in an age where pet parents hire pet sitters and pet nannies to take care of their four-legged kids while they’re away. What better gift for the traveling pet parent than a camera that allows you to check in on the sitter or just check and see what the pet is up to during the day? Priced from $159, VueZone cameras allow you to do just that, even from your phone.
Each year, thousands of pets meet their deaths in shelters because they are lost or stolen and later picked up by animal control. Tagg, the pet tracker, allows owners to find lost pets via a computer or an Apple or Android phone thanks to a small device on the pet’s collar. It’s a great gift for any loved one with a pet likely to roam, and for $99 and a $7.95 monthly service fee, it buys peace of mind.
Photo Credit: vuezone.com