Our pets are members of the family and it is only natural to want to include them on our lists for holiday shopping and gifts. But what gifts are best for your pets?
Top Holiday Gift Choices for Pets
Pets don't make wish lists, write to Santa Claus, fill out a registry form or drop not-so-subtle hints about what they'd like for a holiday present. When you keep their needs and preferences in mind, however, it doesn't have to be hard to shop for anyone furred, feathered or scaled on your holiday gift list!
No matter what type of pet you are shopping for, top gift options include…
Treats: Find seasonal cookies or classic favorites in pet-friendly recipes. Consider special treats from a pet bakery, but be sure all treats are diet-friendly for your pet and won't cause any digestive or allergy issues.
Toys: New and engaging toys can be ideal as holiday gifts, especially if your pet can play a new game with you. Check that the toys are made of safe materials and have no small or dangerous parts that could injure your pet.
Travel Carrier: Airlines are constantly updating their requirements for approved carriers, and a new carrier may be just the thing so your pet can come along safely on all your trips. Be sure the carrier is the appropriate size for your pet and is easy to tote along.
Identification Tags: New ID tags with updated address, mobile phone and even social media information can help you be reunited with your pet in case of an unexpected escape. Personalized tag shapes and colors make this a fun gift as well as a practical one.
Attire: Your pet can rock awesome fashion with new holiday attire, whether it is a seasonal sweater, sturdy boots with good traction for icy surfaces or a crazy costume perfect for holiday photos. Choose the right sizes and always supervise your pet when wearing attire.
Leash: Leashes get worn and weaken in time, and a new leash can help keep your pet safe on every walk. Choose a leash with a suitable clasp and reflective markings for extra safety, and be sure it is the right length and strength for your pet.
Bedding: A worn-out bed will not be as soft, supportive or warm for your pet, but a new bed can be a more comfortable option for cold winter nights. Choose a bed with pet-safe materials and one that is the proper size so it will keep your pet cozy long after the holidays.
Treat Jar: A personalized treat jar with your pet's name (and filled with treats, of course!) is a fun gift they will love as they recognize where their favorite morsels are stored. An airtight jar is best to keep treats fresh, but be sure it is stored in a safe place.
Food and Water Dishes: New food and water dishes can be a great upgrade for your pet's dining experience. Opt for no-tip dishes for less mess, or choose an elevated stand to help taller pets eat more comfortably. Dishes can also be personalized for even more fun.
Puzzle Feeder: Give your pet's brain a workout as they find their favorite foods in a puzzle feeder such as a maze dish or puzzle treat toy. These feeders not only reward your pet with a tasty morsel, but they can be entertaining for hours.
Automatic Feeder: Your pet will never miss a meal or snack again when you give them an automatic feeder. This is an ideal solution if your schedule is unpredictable but your pet's hunger is not, and you can easily program feeders for different schedules.
Heating or Cooling Mat: Keep your pet comfortable no matter what the temperature with a pet-friendly heating pad or cooling mat. These are ideal for pets that suffer from arthritis or other ailments and can be helpful in areas with extreme temperature changes.
Helping Steps: If your pet has trouble getting onto your bed or a favorite chair or couch, safe steps can help them be more mobile without risking dangerous or painful falls. This is ideal for smaller pets or aging pets that may have more trouble than they used to.
Grooming Tools: Keep your pet looking its best with a gift of new grooming tools as well as pet-friendly shampoos or conditioners. These products not only help keep your pet's coat in fine condition, but can also promote healthy skin and eliminate fleas and ticks.
Thundershirt: If your pet stresses out at loud noises, a thundershirt can be the ideal solution. These swaddling wraps and shirts provide gentle pressure to soothe your pet and reduce stress and anxiety during storms, fireworks displays or other frightening situations.
Training Lessons: Help your pet develop new skills with training lessons for obedience, agility, hunting, retrieving, therapy assistance or other options. Not only will this keep your pet's mind sharp, but they'll appreciate the bonding time with you as they learn.
Pet Insurance: Keep your pet healthy all year long when you invest in the gift of pet insurance. This can help defray the costs of expensive emergencies, and often includes discounts on regular checkups, dental care, vaccinations and other necessities for your pet's well-being.
No matter what gift you choose for your pet, make sure you give it to them safely and keep ribbons, bows and wrapping paper for human gifts and out of reach of pets. And don't forget the best gift of all – extra time spent with your pet during the holiday season!