The holidays are here, and we all know what that means. The decorations are going up and the shopping lists are being filled. It’s a very exciting time around most households, especially those with children and those who simply love the season.
And this year, add one more to the holiday list if you haven’t already. According to Chewy, holiday lovers are thinking about pets — and not just their own pets anymore. In recent years, pets have climbed to the top of shopping lists and holiday parties.
- 94 percent of all pet parents will be shopping for their pets this year
- 87 percent plan on having a holiday stocking for furry friends
- 83 percent plan to include them in any family holiday photo
- 65 percent put their pet gifts ahead of any extended family members
- 58 percent will be wrapping all their pets’ presents to add excitement
- 54 percent will be dressing up their pets over the holidays
- 46 percent of parents put pets on the “nice” list over spouses
Some other statistics from the survey show how much we all love our pets, and it only makes sense. Most furry (and scaly) friends are credited with delivering unforgettable memories all year long. They’ve earned the holiday spotlight.
So how can you light up the holidays for your pets? Here are six of our favorite ideas.
Match up on your holiday wardrobe. Spark Paws is one of the few pet-human apparel companies making some noise with matching hoodies or T-shirts and scarves. And another company, ShopDogThreads, does an excellent job with holiday patterns. If those two shops don’t provide enough choices, there are plenty of options on Etsy. There are more matching wardrobe patterns for pets than ever before.
Serve up some holiday treats. There is plenty of excitement about advent calendars for pups — stuffed with everything from jerky to dream bones. Cats can get in on the action by enjoying holiday cat treats that taste like a holiday meal. And some seasonal treats are being cooked up for rodents, like cute apple and cinnamon treats. Remember that these fantastic treats are more exciting when spaced out over the season.
Stuff that stocking with creativity. Along with stocking stuffers for pets from AllAboutSpot.com (bones, bowties, and bandanas), we’ve found plenty of gift items to give you a few ideas. One of our favorites for dogs is the new Whistle GPS and health tracker. For cats, we’re very excited about the wall shelves being offered by On2Pets. Rabbits and other furry friends can celebrate the season with willow balls. And if your lizard doesn’t have one already, maybe it’s time for a Penn-Plax lizard lounger.
Take some holiday photos that will last forever. There is no question that most pet owners want to put their furry friends in their family photos. But there is more to making a memorable holiday photo with pets. Try searching for dog-friendly Santa meetups in your area and get their picture taken with Santa Claus! When in doubt, look for special events at Petco or Petsmart. But don’t discount other mall Santas. Several of them have special nights for pet patrons.
Make your holidays pet-proof. While many of these ideas make for great fun, don’t discount safety first. Sometimes the best way to celebrate our pets is to keep them safe. Pay attention to holiday plants that may be toxic (poinsettias, lilies, and mistletoe included). Be mindful that all human holiday treats are not ideal for dogs and cats (especially certain chocolates). In addition to fire hazards, some candles can cause respiratory risks for pets. And, of course, there are plenty of tips for pet- and cat-proofing the Christmas tree.
Donate to your local shelter. Always remember that not all pets will have the happiest of holidays. If your dog, cat, or pet has lightly used toys, beds, or uneaten treats, dozens of pets could benefit at your local shelter. If you’re unsure what they might need, call the shelter first and ask them for ideas. Top rescue needs typically include linens, trash bags, pet food, hygiene products, and potty training pads. Don’t forget to make the donation in your pet’s name.
Lastly, you can always consider a Pet Records subscription at AllAboutSpot.com. Pet Records keeps all your pet information online — health records, vaccinations, food preferences, and more — records that can be shared with anyone with the touch of a few buttons. It’s a fantastic gift that can protect a pet for years, especially while you travel. Happy Holidays!