Eager to find the best presents for dogs and cats to round out your holiday shopping? It’s only right that the furry members of the family should get their share of stocking stuffers and good cheer come Christmas morning.
But when you start looking for the perfect gift, the search can get overwhelming. The wide and varied range of pet toys, treats, and daily essentials available can make finding a great gift for man’s best friend overwhelming.
Read on for smart tips when buying a present for a furry friend, plus some good suggestions that won’t land you in the dog house.
What To Look For In Pet Gifts
Dogs and cats form special bonds with their human caregivers, and giving special presents during the holiday season could be a good way to reinforce it.1
Need some ideas? There are lots of different types of gifts you could give your pet depending on your preferences and budget, such as:
- High-end or big-ticket items you wouldn’t normally purchase
- Gourmet pet treats or personalized gifts suited to the season
- Upgraded essentials like a new dog bed, leash, or feeding bowl
- New pet toys to stimulate dogs and cats’ minds and encourage exercise
- Seasonal attire 2
- DIY gifts and toys, like homemade treats or even a handmade toy or cat scratcher
Regardless of what type of gift you’re looking for, here are some things to keep in mind when trawling the stores or scrolling through online pet shops.
- Make sure the type of toy and the material it’s made of suits your pet’s breed and playing habits. For example, aggressive chewers or active dogs will need something more durable than your usual plush toy. You should also check the toy’s quality — poor materials or construction can pose a risk to your canine, especially if they ingest the material. 3
- Consider your own ease of use. Choose items that are dishwasher safe to make cleanup easier. This is especially helpful if you end up with a dog toy that dispenses peanut butter.
- Do further research and read user or customer reviews online, especially for trendy or popular pet products. For example, your dog might love bully sticks, but you might want to look into how they’re made if you’re iffy about your pet ingesting potentially questionable animal by-products. 4
With all these factors in mind, it’s on to some awesome pet gift ideas.
Presents For Dogs: Combining Both Fun And Functional
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your pet’s humble abode or help them work up a sweat outside, here are some ideas that combine fun and functionality.
- Interactive toys or puzzle toys: These toys are meant to stimulate your dog’s mind and potentially help them with further training and discipline.5 You can choose from a wide range of direction-changing balls, chew toys they can manipulate to get hidden treats, or even talking toys to keep them engaged.
- “Smart” toys and gadgets: Smart collars or leashes may help manage walks and exercise. Pet cameras can help you keep an eye on your furry family member while you’re at work. Digital or battery-operated lasers or fetching mechanisms can help keep your pup up and moving.
Personalized Dog Gift Ideas
Many pet stores and online shops offer personalized dog and cat gifts. You can opt to have daily essentials, like food and water bowls, leashes and collars, or even dog or cat beds customized with your pets’ names or even photos.
Other unique takes on the personalized present trend include:
- A handmade sweater with your pet’s photo on it
- A “cuddle clone” stuffed animal that looks just like your pet
- A customized pet blanket embroidered with your pet’s name
- A dog DNA test kit (can help you determine your dog’s genetic or biological markers and help you understand their physical health and
- A painting or creative art piece that celebrates your dog or their breed
- A cute clothing piece or accessories like a bow tie or necktie, right in time for the family’s big holiday dinner
- An embroidered or printed dog bed slipcover
Presents For Cats: Creature Comforts
If your kitty rules the roost at home, it’s only right to give a spectacular present befitting a king or queen. Cats might only show interest in the box their present came in at first (or the bow, or the wrapping paper), but don’t worry — they’ll move on to investigating the gift inside soon enough.
Here are some solid ideas for the fine felines on your holiday shopping list.
A New And Improved Cat House
As you may know, your cat might prefer some solitude and a safe space to retreat to away from other pets or pesky children. There are a lot of styles and options for cat houses out there, so it’s best to consider your current space and your cat’s personality.
Good bets include a cat house with built-in scratching posts or climbing towers and/or one with soft bedding inside. Just keep in mind that regardless of the bells and whistles included (actual or metaphorical), when looking for a cat house, cozy is key.6
A Brand New Cat Scratcher
Vets may recommend that cats have dedicated scratching posts or toys to help keep them physically and psychologically healthy. Good scratching posts may help keep kitty from damaging your furniture, too.7 You can choose from tower-like configurations purely for scratching, or fun cat toys with surfaces made from sisal rope or other scratch-safe materials.
Toys, Toys, and More Toys
Wand toys, crocheted mice, ball mazes, and fuzzy balls… not all cats love toys, and they can be picky about what kinds of toys they do enjoy. But by having a small selection on hand, you can help stimulate their brain development and support a healthy exercise routine with all the pouncing and batting they’re encouraged to do.
Find The Perfect Pet Gifts For Your Furry Friend Online To Save Money And Avoid Holiday Hassles
Perhaps the smartest shopping tip is to take your pet gifts search online and fill up a cart without having to leave your house. By shopping online, you may be able to find great online-only deals or apply special coupon codes to shave a few extra dollars off your purchase. Online shops or marketplaces also offer invaluable reviews that can help inform your purchase.
You’ll also have the advantage of skipping long queues and schlepping around crowded malls and parking lots, saving time and gas in the process — which can do wonders in staving off holiday stress.
Whether you’re going big this year with a high-tech present or keeping things low-key with a simple gift, your four-legged family members are sure to appreciate the effort you put into making their holiday a little more special.