Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Pet Owner

Chances are you have a pet owner on your gift list this year. Here are some gift ideas sure to make any pet owner merry this holiday season.

1. The Peticure
Pets need their nails clipped just like humans do. However, it’s a lot harder to tell how far down to cut a pet’s nail than it is on humans, meaning it can be really easy to injure your pet in the process. Traditional nail clippers have the potential to cut too far down and cause a lot of pain. There’s a nifty little gadget called the Peticure, which trims down the nails of any pet, large or small (even turtles!), in a much safer, more natural way. It works by using a battery powered rotary system that buffs nails into a nicely rounded shape, leaving pets happy and hardwood floors unscathed. You can find it on UBuyEz online for $14.95.

2. Personalized Mug
Who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning and drink some hot steaming liquid out of a mug bearing their pet’s loving visage? Well, maybe not everyone, but most pet owners would at the very least be amused by this prospect, and some might even be genuinely excited. Luckily, Facebook allows us access to thousands of our friends’ personal photos, so finding a nice pet picture on the sly shouldn’t be too difficult. All you need to do is upload that photo to one of the many websites offering personalized mugs, hit the “order” button, and breathe easy knowing you have a happy pet owner checked off your list.

3. Adopt-a-Species
If the pet owner on your list has a soft spot for our non-domesticated animal friends, consider the Adopt-a-Species program from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. You pick which species to adopt, and they’ll send your recipient a thank you package including an info sheet about the species, a plush toy, a letter of appreciation, and a photo. They also have special holiday packages available. The funds from your purchase will go toward animal care both within the zoo and outside of it, including healthcare and species rehabilitation. Check it out at nationalzoo.si.edu.

4. Homemade Treats
For an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift, try your hand at making some pet treats at home. Thanks to the Internet, recipes for almost every conceivable type of pet are available, and most seem pretty simple. Some of them look like they’d even be tasty for humans too, but I’ll leave that up to your discretion. For an extra festive presentation, put the treats in a mason jar with some red and green ribbon.

5. Coffee Table Book
Coffee table books are the grown-up, classy version of the picture books we loved as kids. You can find coffee table book son a myriad of subjects, including pets. The book Dogs by Lewis Blackwell and Tim Flach has gotten excellent reviews on Amazon and features artful shots of different kinds of dogs. The same authors produced a highly regarded book on horses as well, in case your gift recipient is of the equine persuasion.

Madeline Marshall is a freelance writer and also a non-discriminatory lover of all varieties of pet.