Jamie Cooke, a dog sitter in Springfield, Missouri, pampers her own dogs. Candy and Buddy both have new bling collars with their names spelled out in rhinestones. Well, Buddy’s collar says “Grumpy,” but that’s a case of “if the shoe fits…”
Heather Patterson, her friend, provides a service baking treats for doggie parties, birthdays or other special occasions. Her cakes are healthy and edible by both canine and human friends.
People love to buy gifts for pets for special occasions or just for love. Dogs and cats receive the great majority of gifts. Favorite offerings include clothing, necklaces or collars, treats and toys.
While Fido or Fluffy may receive the gifts, it’s the heart of the human that is truly won. Whether it’s a rhinestone necklace, doggie bon-bons, kitty treats or a plush new bed, the giver’s heart is filled with love.
“Holidays are the largest time of year and the pet’s birthday is also a big gift giving day, says Jeremy Cady from Pet Warehouse. “Owners who adopt a pet with an unknown birthday often designate a day to celebrate with their furry loved ones.”
“Nearly all pet owners purchase a gift during the course of the year,” Cady continues. “The average gift ticket at our store is about $20. Typical gifts for dogs include chews, stuffed and squeak toys, tugs, beds and apparel. Cat toys are generally smaller items that can be filled or shaken with catnip, such as crinkle balls and faux mice. Scratching posts and cat furniture (like a cat’s jungle gym), wands with feather and tassel attachments and Crazy Circles (a ball in a donut shaped contraption) are popular.”
“The Ultramouse Collar, a handmade item with rhinestones of Austrian crystal, come in various designs and colors. Though more costly than regular collars, they make a unique gift to be used for special occasions and outings.” Cady says that owners today treat their pets as a more significant part of their family than in times past.
Cady talked about a friend of his in Little Rock, Arkansas, who has opened a pet spa that offers massages and other luxury treatment for dogs. He said some hotels across the country are beginning to offer spa and day care services for pets. Anyone who has traveled with pets knows that service has great potential.
“We offer all levels of pet care,” says Laura Gott of The Pet Shuttle in Springfield, Missouri. “About forty percent of our customers pay us to pick up and deliver their pets for grooming services. We provide basic bathing and grooming or full spa services. Our most luxurious service consists of a full spa treatment (grooming including nail and pad care) plus painting the dog’s toenails. Our pricing depends on the size and breed of the dog, and the services requested.”
“We have a trained staff and we spend quality time with each pet,” says Liz Graven of Happy Hollow Pet Lodge amp; Training in Ozark, Missouri. “With forty acres, there’s room for plenty of exercise and activity. In nice weather, we walk dogs down to our fresh water spring. Each animal has its own quarters. Dogs sleep on cots and have doors to go out to their play yard. Cats stay in their own little condo in a room with a safari motif. There are little trees for climbing and playing. Padded steps connect the play area to their rooms.”
If you’re searching for a unique gift, check out the Furcedes Car Bed or the Barkswaggin Car Bed from www.englishrose.com (click on Pampered Pets New). Happy Tails and Cain and Able are canine spa collections. They include items such as paw rub, between bath spritz, and bowwow butter balm. Another option is Crunchkins edible greeting cards.
Special treats from www.plowhearth.com include a heated kitty bowl bed with an orthopedic foam base or a Log Cabin Dog Bed that sells for $159.95. Perky Paws Café, a luxury online pet boutique, offers bon bons, charms and a variety of toys and treats.
But if you’re looking for the truly unique and you occasionally pop a top, you might want to share a beer with your dog. Check out bowserbeer.com. They offer a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beer, made it a real brewery, that is healthy for dogs and allows Rover to share your refreshment time. Plus you’ll be giving him a treat fortified with Glucosamine and Vitamin E.
If you’re more conventional but still want to treat your dog, consider a gift from Kool Dawg Tees (www.kooldawgtees.com). They offer holiday sweatshirts, coats, sweaters and necklaces for dogs. Their special toy line is call Wild Thangs and features toys with natural shapes, colors and textures, such as a Wild Thang fox, Robby Rabbit or Sneaky Squeaky Squirrel.
Whatever gift you choose, your love will be received and returned. That’s at the heart of sharing your life with your furry or feathered friends, anyway. So shop to your heart’s content, and enjoy that special relationship. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas or a birthday, a holiday is a great time to be sentimental about people and pets.