Holiday Gift Ideas for Dogs and Cats (and the Pet Parents Who Love Them)
December 17, 2019
Looking for the perfect gift for the dog or cat in your life? Or, maybe you want to find that special something to brighten the holiday season of a pet parent you love. For inspiration, here are some ideas that are sure to please any four-legged friend on your list.
Tech-forward pet crates
For many canines, a crate is their denning place, the go-to spot to get away from unruly kids, catch a snooze or escape a loud and stressful situation. For other pet parents, a crate keeps the dog secure while they’are away at work or running errands.
If you’re looking for something splurge-worthy, a furniture style dog crate can fit the bill. These high-end crates are designed to better blend in with a home’s décor, so there’s no need to sacrifice style over function
Other crates come with tech-enabled features to make time in the dog den more comfortable, while keeping pet parents better connected with their beloved furry friends. For a five-star experience, here are some fun features to look for:
- Cameras to allow two-way conversations when Mom and Dad are away. (Some models also let you play music that soothes your pet’s anxiety while you’re gone.)
- A fan to keep your pooch cool and comfortable.
- Vibration dampening features, so if fireworks or thunderstorms have your pup running for cover, it silences the noise a bit and makes the den a true refuge.
Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around comfortably, even when there’s a comfy bed or padding at the base.
For many pet parents, whether you’re talking about dogs or cats, puzzles are a godsend. When they have to use their paws and teeth to unlock the treat hidden inside, pets get some much-needed brain stimulation. When you’re trying to distract them from the fact that the neighbor’s cat is crossing the yard, treat puzzles also present a welcome diversion. Even better, some treat puzzles are designed to hold a full serving of kibble, giving your home-alone pet something constructive to work on when you’re not around. (And ease their anxiety when you leave for the day.)
For most dogs, going on a walk is one of the most exciting times of the day. However, hot asphalt in the summer and icy, snowy sidewalks in the winter can actually damage paws as well as paw pads. A set of dog boots for the winter can make transitioning indoors much less messy on snowy, slushy days, while protecting paws from snow, ice and road-deicing chemicals. (To learn more, give a listen to Raising Your Paws podcast, Episode 6 Why small dogs may NEED boots and how dogs are able to walk barefoot in the snow.) In the summer months, mesh booties offer burn protection. Pet parents do need to take time to help their furry friend get accustomed to having something on their feet. Start by putting them on the pet for a minute before removing them, and increase the time, all while offering treats and praise.
Speaking of fancy feet, you may have noticed the big thing making the rounds on social media are people socks bearing the faces of their favorite pet — the perfect stocking stuffer!
While the kitty in your life probably already has plenty of playthings, a new cat toy can pique their interest and satisfy a cat’s seemingly endless capacity to bat and pounce. As an increasing number of cats stay indoors (for their health and well-being, as well as the local wildlife), it’s increasingly important to help cats find a means to get enough exercise through play. (Raising your Paws covers this topic in episode 35: How to play in order to engage your cat’s hunting sequence – the most enriching form of play for your cat.)
Toys that bring out the kitten in sedentary senior cats inspire movement and exercise so they stay healthy. On the same token, energetic younger cats often benefit from extra play sessions to take the edge off and get them to quiet down at night.
When shopping for kitty’s next toy, check out the selection at your local, independently owned pet supply shop. They should carry unique items made by family-owned companies that are safe and engaging for feline friends.
If you’re shopping for a cat person in your life, stick to smaller toys, like teasers and wands, catnip toys and puzzle toys that release treats. Unless you are sure that a pet parent wants a cat wheel or cat castle, stay away from the super-sized items.
Pet water fountain
Sometimes our furry friends, cats especially, don’t do a great job of staying fully hydrated. Eventually, a water shortage can catch up to them in the form of a urinary tract infection and other serious medical conditions. That’s where a pet water fountain can be a gift-worthy solution. The sight and sound of flowing water can be more tempting than static water, enticing bowl-averse cats and dogs to get a drink. It’s also not hard to find pet parents that swear their furry friends prefer the taste of filtered, aerated, fresher tasting water.
Look for fountains with filtration to catch debris and a storage tank that supplies several days’ worth of H2O to accommodate pet parents on the go.
Okay, so this gift is more for the pet parent than the pet. But dogs and cats do shed a fair amount of fur, and a robo-vacuum is just the thing to create a cleaner, healthier environment. Plus with the holiday season in full swing, many retailers are slashing prices on these devices, so now’s a great time pick one up for a good deal.
- Most robot vacuums can sweep up on a daily schedule, leaving pet parents with one less thing to do on their list. Not only that, but they’re also Wi-Fi enabled, so pet parents can activate the vacuum with their smartphone.
- Like any vacuum, some pets do flee in terror when the robo-vac activates, but given the smaller size and lower volume of noise, many pets tolerate the bot rather well. In fact, the internet is chock-full of videos of cats taking a ride on the rolling robot.
- Here’s a quick tip to pass along. Pet accidents happen, so make sure someone is home (and awake) when the robot vac is operating, or you may come home (or wake up) to an even messier surprise!
Gift card to independent pet supply shop
Gift cards are always the right size and the right color. When you present a gift card from a locally owned and operated pet supply shop, you’ll show your support to a local business that truly cares about animals and their well-being. In a time when pets are loved like fellow family members, it’s a gift that will truly be appreciated by anyone who has a pet.
- Some parents will use it to pick up something their pet needs, like a bag of their favorite, high-quality pet diet — which will be much appreciated when budgets get tight after the holidays.
- Other pet parents may use it for something indulgent that promotes well-being, like a session at the in-house pet spa.
- Be sure and ask for a brochure that gives an overview of the shop’s philosophy and services. If there’s an upcoming class or a microchipping session they don’t want to miss, they’ll be in the know.
The cats and dogs in our lives are like family members! That’s precisely why our furry friends always appear on our holiday shopping list. Gifts that enhance their health and well-being continue to give throughout the year.
At NutriSource, we prepare each batch so that each serving gives your pet all the nutrients they need to build a healthy body: healthy skin, fewer odors, more energy. We use the best supplements in the industry to give you more nutrition than other pet foods. We go above minimum requirements by adding probiotics and prebiotics to help fight disease and to aid in digestion. See the difference andshop for NutriSource at your local, independent pet supply shop.