According to a recent poll, over half of American pet owners will buy pet gifts for the holidays, spending an average of $46 per gift. These animals can expect to receive primarily food and treats, followed by bedding, clothing, leash/collar/harness and grooming products. (What, no toys?) Also, one can assume that some lucky pets will receive more than one gift which is another version of Cute Overload.
So, if you are a pet owner or love someone who is, here are some suggestions:
I keep one of these in my truck at all times, you never know when somebody might get thirsty! They flatten down easily and are a big hit at the dog park.
These dog chews are all-natural, fully digestible and incredibly long lasting. They are simply made from yak milk, lime juice and salt. Dogs don't just go crazy over them, they go SILENT.
Let the 'Dog Whisperer' demonstrate how to take control of the relationship and create a happier home life for both humans and canines.
But what about gift ideas for cats? Well, did you put up a Christmas tree with lots of breakable ornaments in the middle of the living room? Good. You're done. Otherwise...
One of our regular cat sitters, Patty, gave Boudreaux one of these and he never, ever tires of it. We always marvel and wonder about the inventor…they must have spent their life studying the feline focus. Available pretty much everywhere.
Sure, cats are designed to be lethal killing machines, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy a hearty salad once in awhile. In fact, eating grass is incredibly healthy for cats and their enthusiasm is evident, just a couple notches below catnip. Which reminds me….
For medicinal purposes only, of course. (Wink-wink!) And since kitty has already sparked a bowl, why not a mewvie?
I swear, if I hadn't seen these in action, I would not have believed it myself. Tracks include, "Backyard Buffet", "Bug Brigade", Birdland Bonanza" and "Hummingbird Happiness." Perfect for the cat lover who is gone all day and worried about kitty loneliness.
And for the less traditional pets...
At one point in my life, I had these hard cookies in nearly every outdoor coat pocket that I owned. They smelled so good (oats, wheat bran, cane molasses, rolled barley, apples) that I even tried to eat one. Turns out, my teeth are too small, but they are perfect for your equine friends. Expect grateful nickering.
Take 'em to see The Big Year, an unlikely comedy about extreme bird watching starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. But if you are shopping for the actual bird, try a cuttlebone, which is not actually a bone but rather the internal shell of the Cuttlefish. It provides a tasty source of calcium to your feathered friend and it's available at most pet stores and grocery pet aisles
Ferrets, anyone? Just looking at them anyone can see they are designed for tunneling. Satisfy that natural design with another design, a plastic, slinky-ish tunnel that can expand up to 20 feet. They are see-through so you can see your ferret in action.
What's that you say? Your pet is already too spoiled? Fine, consider making a donation in their name to some very worthwhile organizations. My favorites:
A national Greyhound rescue organization dedicated to ending dog racing. They work hard to find loving homes for 'retired' racers, also known as the World's Fastest Couch Potatoes.
I know these dogs get a bad rap and they need our understanding and love. But mostly, they need you to throw that stick, dammit!
Their mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
Or, if you want to personalize your donation, pick an animal or breed-specific rescue/shelter operation. I can assure you that any entity that exists to help animals is woefully underfunded. Just google 'cat rescue' and browse the 7.2 million links.
Of course, all animals - both domesticated and none - need only our love and respect. They are simple creatures in all the right ways; we have a lot to learn from them.
BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN; Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Proprietor, ClizBiz
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