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November 27, 2016

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Gift ideas for pets and people who love them

PETS are people, too — at least when it comes to holiday gifts. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group.

Potentially, that’s 39 million dogs and 32 million cats on holiday lists this year, the group reports. And don’t forget all those pet aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, let alone pleasing favorite pet parents and all-around animal enthusiasts with human gifts just for them.

Pet toys

Flatties, some that squeak, are always popular, said Mardi Larson, a spokeswoman for the retail chain PetSmart. And they can be cheap. For the holidays, PetSmart has some with Christmas motifs, like a bright green dinosaur in a Santa cap.

“Pets just love to destroy their toys. Flatties are safe because they have no stuffing,” Larson said.

You can’t go wrong with balls. Lots of balls. Or go for durable toys in sturdy nylon or rope. Consider safety in such things as sewn-on doodads or other swallowable bits.

Beds and bedding

Face it, a pet’s bed is part of home decor. You might as well find one that looks reasonably good as a gift.

For a classic or rustic look,’s exclusive Pendleton collection includes beds in autumn colors or rainbow stripes. The company also has combination gift sets that come with a dog bed, cozy blanket and bone toy for about US$20. will donate 20 percent of any pet bed purchased in November to support Movember and the fight against prostate cancer. That includes beds adorned with bright yellow mustaches.

Oprah chose as one of her Favorite Things of 2016 the Charles Fradin Home Customizable Pet Blanket. It’s a micro-fleece printed with an original hand-drawn image of said pet, for US$395. Head to Amazon.

For humans

Gift your animal-loving human a paw pendant, or head to one of the sites that will customize using a pet’s actual paw, including At, there’s a woman who will make you a pendant from a mold of your pet’s nose. Look for other customizables there, including pet portraits and pillows that look like your dog.

There are kits available for your pet lover to make a paw print mold to turn into a tree ornament or garden stone.

How about a throw? PetSmart has a red one selling strong emblazoned with: “I Just Want to Drink Wine & Pet My Dog.” US$29.99. At, there’s a fleece that reads: “Naps are Better with a Dog.” US$19.99. if just that: A matching collar for pet and bracelet for the human. In a range of designs. US$25 and US$35.

Cats, dogs, etc

How about a holiday scratcher, a la the one that looks like a Christmas tree or the one that looks like a sleigh at PetSmart. Lots of these things exist so don’t sweat it. There’s one scratcher shaped like a DJ’s turntable that really spins. It’s adorned with stickers of cat smiley faces, paw prints, photos of fish-shaped cat treats, and faux band stickers, including “Run DOG.” Flat pack cardboard. No glue necessary for assembly. IS$35. Widely available from a company called Suck UK. Search for DJ Cat Scratching Pad.

Holiday stockings are a thing for pets, including one filled with cat balls that comes with a purple feather toy that’s part of the company’s holiday collection. Another for dogs from PetSmart says: “Bones, Bones and more Bones!”

There are plenty of little sweaters and collars that are gifty, too, at just about any place that sells pet stuff. You don’t have to spend a lot.


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