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Holiday Gift Ideas for Pets and Pet Parents

Animals are cherished all year long as important family members — here you'll find suggestions for thoughtful yet practical holiday presents for them and/or for people who adore their own.

During the holiday season it's more important than ever to try to get as much as you can, out of every gift you buy. This includes the gifts you get for your own precious pooches, fantastic felines, and all the others you hold dear, whether they may be feathered, finned, or furry.  If you don't have pets of your own, you most definitely know of someone who holds at least one close to his or her heart. The following is a guide to help you make sure the pet gifts you buy this year will not only be greatly appreciated, but will also be well-worth purchasing.

"I think that our customers think of their pets as family members and are doing whatever they can to spoil them, just like their human family members (especially the children)!" said Amy Kinne, director of business development for Especially for Pets, which has stores in Acton, Canton, Medway, Newton, Sudbury, Wayland and estborough.

Kinne said she's got a variety of "go to items" when shoppers ask for ideas for the holidays:

  • Chilly Dog brand sweaters are attractive, machine-washable and really warm
  • Patriots or Red Sox collars, harnesses, leads, bandanas
  • Berber or fleece dog beds or orthopedic beds for the seniors or machine washable pads for puppies (we have all price points and many brands)
  • Arubacat Cat Furniture-produced locally in Plaistow NH, this top of the line furniture looks great in any home, lasts for years and is safe for cats with no exposed staples or screws; is erogonimically designed so it will not tip over!Bully sticks or antlers- long lasting
  • Upscale holiday or winter collars and leads
  • Squeaky holiday dog toys from MPI Toys- you can’t go wrong with a cute toy for any size dog
  • Durable dog toys such as Kong, Planet Dog
  • Kyjen plush dog toys (pictured)
  • Treats such as Goodness Gracious (made in Marblehead and 51 percent of profits go to animal charities)
  • Everlasting treat balls and treats-to keep your dog occupied while you enjoy your holiday dinner or during a snow storm! "Originally created as a separation anxiety toy, these toys have evolved and become a top seller all year long."

And here are some more ideas courtesy of follow editors at Patch.

  • Through a Dog's Ear, Music CD:  Music is a genuine way to bring peace and calmness into your life--now you can share this same joy with your dog(s).  Through a Dog's Ear CD's have a unique compilation of classical music created specifically for canine's under severe stress, as well as others just needing some down time. 
  •  Jax and Bones, Good Karma Rope Toy is a positive new twist on rope toys for dogs. These animal-shaped natural dog toys are created to be extra tough.  Another good thing about purchasing one of these adorable toys is that part of the proceeds is donated to a nonprofit animal rescue organization found at: www.therescuetrain.org.
  • Pet Clothing is great fun for many dog owners.  But there are some brands that are certainly making a name for themselves as far as quality.  "RC Pet Products are extremely popular right now, and in high demand", says Judy from Country Pet Boutique.  Their stylish vests will help ease winter strolls, by coming with reflective strips and warm soft lining;  both of which are so important for this time of year when doggie walks are taken during dark hours, and in chilly temps.  When possible, this manufacturer also donates money to animal rescue organizations. 
  • Pens, Pillows, and Pads:  Cute knick-knacks that resemble different breeds of pets such as decorative pillows, cute pens, and small note pads, are just a few useful things, that animal lovers will love and appreciate.
  • Pet odor neutralizing candles are a wonderful idea for pet parents of any animal species.  They are a great way to enjoy candle burning, while taking care of those unique smells, that only these precious family members can bestow upon us. The candles at www.catmandoo.biz are one example of this product that can be found at pet shops in our area.
  • Superpet is a large manufacturer of items to keep smaller pets happy, safe and busy.  This season try a Grassy Boot.  This hideout allows critters sized from dwarf hamsters to bunnies, to climb in and out, up 'n around, while enabling them to use their natural instinct to gnaw and chew.  It can be found at The Feed Bag, along with many other items for most exotic pets of all sizes.
  • Kong chewing toys have become a staple in the lives of many animals.  Their strength allows for the release of serious frustration associated with  teething puppies,  as well as bored or stressed-out dogs.  They also have them for kitties, and other animals as well. Amy of The Feed Bag , suggests trying the new Wubba made with corduroy for extra durability.
  • Bully Sticks are the perfect stocking stuffer. They are  a much healthier alternative to raw hide, which is often used to satisfy dogs natural craving to chew.  
  • Gift Certificates definitely shouldn't be overlooked as something that may not be appreciated. They can be used on something as necessary as grooming.

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