Holiday gifts for the family pet can be so much more than a standard chewy raw hide for poochy or a jingly mouse for kitty-cat.
These days, the growing fur (and not-so-furry) baby marketplace caters to pet parents of every style and budget. Everything from the silly to the serious to the downright adorable can be found for your companion with a few clicks of the mouse.
Here's just a few of the more fabulous selections out there to choose from for the naughty (or in household's case, VERY naughty) to the nice on your list.
Did you know that the average plastic bag takes 1,000 years to biodegrade? That's a heck of a carbon-pawprint just to clean up a little pooh on the lawn or in the litter box.
Not with Earth Rated PoopBags. The bags biodegrade in 40 days, come in various quantities and get this, they even smell like lavender. Fancy, fancy.
GO AHEAD, PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
Mom used to say "Don't play with your food, eat it!" But what if playing with your food is good for you - or good for your dog, at least?
NORTHMATE's GREEN looks like a tuft of grass that turns your dog's meal into a challenging game. Just scatter food among the plastic blades of grass and watch the little pup hunt and peck.
The clever item recently won the "best of the best" Retailer Select Award for Product Excellence by the editors of Pet Age Magazine at H.H. Backer's Christmas Pet Show in Chicago.
PAMPER OLD FRIENDS
Pets are living longer and more productive lives, but even happy and healthy old bones need a little TLC.
The Carolina Pet Company's Ortho Sleeper Bolster Bed relieves pressure on achy joints and tender tissue with four inches of medical grade orphopedic foam and 100 percent high-loft polyester fill. Sounds dreamy.
They also make the Mysterious Kitty Kup, which uses electrostatic charge to trap hair, dirt and dust.
PUPS LESS FORTUNATE
Some pups don't get the pleasure of snuggling up to their humans this holiday season. And with government budgets shrinking up, shelters find it harder and harder to help homeless animals.
Givebones allows you can buy your dog a collar and help out a less fortunate pup take shelter at the SPCALA. While FreeHand donates an equal amount of food to a local rescue organization or shelter for every pound of dog food sold. The line offers four holistic, dry dog foods. Give a little, get a whole lot more.
KITTY AT THE MOVIES
While the concept of the cat-focused DVD may sound strange, these 'mewvies' go a long way in kitty entertainment. With exciting tracks including, "Backyard Buffet", "Birdland Bonanza" and "Bug Brigade", they make the perfect pet sitter for the indoor kitty who doesn't get enough outdoor time. Also, let's face it, it's just fun to watch - the cat, not the DVD. Plenty of choices online (Amazon, pet stores, etc.) but there's always CatDVD.com!
Non-furry critters need not be left out this holiday season. In fact, giving caged animals something new might be just as important as for those that can roam.
Bird Paradise gives your feathered friend toys to delight, entertain and mentally stimulate to shake up the cage duldrums.
A scruffy-faced Bearded Dragon needs lots to feel comfortable, but this Zilla Deluxe XL all-in-one kit makes them feel right at home.
And even your fishy friends might want a little holiday love. Dress up their fish tank with a new coral and plants, like this one by Top Fin.
PET-GIFT FAILS (CLICK BAIT)
Not all gifts are created equal (or useful). Here's a few that might be worth the splurge even just for a good chuckle.
Perhaps your cat's forehead's a little jealous of that magnificent tail. Hence, Inflatable Unicorn Horn for Cats. [That's not a happy-looking kitty in the photos, but it's darn funny.]
If your pup's exposed backside bothers or embarrases you, then maybe you need Rear Gear Butt Covers. Though I'd venture the adornment might actually draw more attention, but the designs are kind of cute.
And my personal favorite, the Suck UK Cat Scratch complete with cardboard, mixing deck-shaped cat scratching mat, spinnable deck and poseable tone arm.
The attention to detail's fairly impressive, right down to the "I heart Tuna" sticker on the DJ deck.
Whatever you and your pet's fancy, there's lots of wonderful options this holiday season to tell that special member of your family you care.
And if all else fails, you can always go for the standard ugly holiday sweater.
- Follow Holly & Violet's human @erica_holloway.
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