Christmas Gifts for Pets


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Not taking the pandemic into account, last year, according to the American Pet Products Association, 42 percent of dog parents purchased at least one Christmas/Hannukah gift (so that’s nearly half the people with a dog) and 26 percent of cat parents do the same. Cats are still getting ripped off compared to dogs but millennials are in the process of rectifying this discretion, and are increasingly buying gifts for their cats.

Even 21 percent of pet birds and 17 percent of pet reptiles enjoyed gifts for the holidays. Although, a corn snake might respond differently to a new artificial climbing branch compared to a dog with a new squeaky toy.

Here are 12 howliday gift ideas for 2020. Experts suggest ordering as early as possible due to far more than usual online orders of all gifts for family members with two legs or four.

Pet Cameras: Oddly this item isn’t truly for the dogs or cats as much as it is for pet parents who want to connect with their dogs or cats remotely from work or wherever they happen to be. The increase in remote pet camera sales may indicate that separation anxiety isn’t only about the pets suffering distress, it’s about how we feel when we are separated from our pets. Also, many of the cameras are slightly less expensive than last year. However some cameras are out of stock – that’s just how popular they still. Still, there are many choices. The Petcube Play 2 camera includes a controllable laser pointer. The Furbo Dog Camera’s app on your phone alerts when your dog barks. You can dispense treats remotely on your phones using the Furbo and Pawbo cameras. A comparison of some of the most popular pet cameras can be found here. Costs vary from approximately $40 to nearly $200, depending on the product.

Barkbox: A monthly subscription service that has a box filled with treats and toys arriving at your doorstep. What arrives is matched with your dog’s size, tastes and dietary restrictions. Boxes start at $23 per month. And for a limited time, a special holiday box includes Peanuts-themed items (as in Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang).

Indoor Hunting Feeder

Doc & Phoebe Hunting Feeder:  Cats are safer indoors, for sure, but they require their prey drive to be activated. Dr. Liz Bales created feeders to ultimately be hidden in various places around the house for the cats to “hunt,” and then maneuver the feeders to release food. There are feeders for dry kibble as well as moist food. This really can’t be described as a toy, but instead providing cats an opportunity to do what they are born to do, to seek and hunt, $8.99 to $21.11, from Target and Amazon.

snuffle mat

Dog Water Bottle: The idea when you walk your dog(s) is to take this plastic water bottle with you. Tip the water into a scooper at the end  of the bottle which makes it easy for the dogs to drink. Yet, the doesn’t spill out in a backpack or however you carry it. Comes in two colors and either 12 or 18 ounces, $11.99 to $15.99 from Amazon.

Snuffle Mats: Drop kibble or treats in these mats which dogs can entertain themselves by sniffing out. Snuffle mats are being discovered big time as an array of other food dispensing toys and food puzzles which help to enrich our pets’ lives. There are a wide variety of snuffle mats available at Amazon and elsewhere, some even in holiday colors (though unsure pets much care about the festive colors). Here are snuffle mats from Amazon, $16.99 to $41.95.  And more snuffle mat options from Chewy, $24.99 to $52.99.

Nina Ottosson interactive puzzle toy

Nina Ottosson Interactive Brain Games: Various interactive food puzzles. The price varies on the level of difficulty from $9.99 to $30.35 (from Amazon). The idea is to move pieces around and sometimes to complete a series of steps in the correct order to get to the treats. Supporting mental exercise is about alleviating boredom on snowy days or when you’re not home, and there’s some evidence that mental stimulation may deter the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction (like Alzheimer’s Disease in dogs).

Wooden Foraging Feeder for Parrots: Just as a trend for dogs and cats are foraging feeders, the same is true for pet parrots – who absolutely require enrichment and the opportunity to find and then figure out how to get to their food. Parrots enjoy puzzles. This box has drawers which different treats are found inside, adding to the fun is to keep them guessing; they may not know what’s inside the magic drawer until they open it – an avian version of the Price is Right. This feeder is for mid-sized and large parrots, $9.99 from Amazon.

PetSafe Kibble Nibble and Ricochet: Includes two coupled toys that let your dog jump back and forth by changing sound, supporting independent play. When your dog plays with one of the toys, the other toy emits a squeaky sound from up to nine meters away Both toys automatically turn off after 60 minutes of inactivity (to save battery). The moving squeak provides a fun puzzle for your dog, as the sound is never where is sometimes unpredictable, $34.95 at Amazon.

Mew and Me

Mew and Me: When the Purrson is away, the cats can play on your ipad. The app not only offers fun interactive games for kitties, but measures which games the cats prefer and spend the most time on,  $1 per month.

Aqua Paw Slow Treater: For dogs who don’t necessarily love their baths, many can be distracted with (low fat, low salt) peanut butter or moist dog food applied on to the Aqua Paw which has suctions that stick on to tile surfaces (even if wet). Easy to clean in the dishwasher and is freezer safe so you can freeze your pets favorite treat on the day before bath day. This product is Fear Free certified, $19.95 at Amazon.

Pooch Creamery Peanut Butter: Just add water to the ice cream powder mix, place the container in the freezer, and after eight hours it’s ready to serve. Made of only five ingredients, including lactose-free whole milk and real peanuts, this delicious treat will stay fresh up to six weeks in the freezer once opened. $5.99 from Chewy.com.

Holiday Cranberry Snackers for Guinea Pigs: Surprise your special little porcine with a special holiday treat, $10.99 from small pet select.