If you’re still stumped on what to give some of the pet people on your gift list — you’re in luck.
Here you’ll find ten picks for vet-sanctioned, pet-themed presents. Whichever you choose, your friend, their pet, and their vet will love you for it.
Looking for something personal for a family with a new pup or an aging kitty — or anything in between? Get a paw print kit. Lots of vets will offer a molded clay paw impression as a post-mortem memento, but I prefer to have it made while my pets are still alive as a reminder of their best days.
What’s better than a kitschy keepsake of your pet’s uniqueness, suitable for hanging on the wall next to her puppy pic or astride her funeral urn. You can buy these kits online at any of the pet megastore sites and at most craft stores.
If you want to be the most adored person on the planet in the eyes of your besotted spouse/partner/whatever, ask your veterinarian to make a digital copy (or allow you to make a copy) of the X-ray of Fluffy’s fracture (or recent gastroenteritis episode). Pair it with a Sun Print kit and you will be the belle of the day. All you need is a little creativity, some lemon juice, and an inexpensive picture frame, and Fluffy’s nightmare is immortalized in dreamy, vivid shades of cerulean blue.
See: DIY Sunprint Images
What about the neighbor or buddy with the behavioral nightmare adoptee pet? How about hooking them up with a training session courtesy of your local pet trainer or pet behaviorist or, if finances allow, a full scholarship to an obedience class? Most training professionals will happily supply you with a complimentary or affordable gift certificate.
Stocking stuffers? How about a dental theme? Greenies come in a new, dissolvable formula. Gone (reportedly) are those pesky intestinal obstructions that convinced everyone that Greenies were the antichrist of petdom. Along the same lines, consider a fancy toothbrush with a variety of flavored toothpastes.
Know someone whose kitties have nearly convinced them to abandon their home and all of its contents forever? These felines may well find a friend in Feliway — that enticing aroma of synthetic pheromone that convinces them they might not really want to pee on the sofa just now. It sounds like Voodoo, but it can’t hurt, so what the heck? And it comes in both spray and diffuser versions for your price-point convenience.
You might consider making it a gift basket with a gallon of Nature’s Miracle and some odor beating furniture sprays and candles as well.
Can you knit? Pick up the sticks and get knitting your pal a custom pet sweater. If you can’t knit, don’t despair. If your friend has a Chihuahua or similar sized pet, you can always cut up a cashmere sock to make into a sweater.
Alternatively, should your recipient be of the knitting breed, perhaps a knitting book with patterns for pet clothes, along with an appropriate selection of yarn – or a gift card for your local yarn shop – will do the trick. Any friendly neighborhood yarn shop worth its wool will help you put together a perfect kit.
I, for one, would worship anyone who recognized my mania for the needles and coupled it with a pet-related presentation.
Homemade doggie or kitty treats are always welcome. And most are much easier to make than you think — foolproof, even. Unless you burn them, few dogs will turn their nose up at anything homemade. Kitties are another story.
A note of caution — if you try this, be sure to check the ingredient list against any allergies your recipient’s pet might suffer from.
Want an extra-nice touch? Dip the treats in a little white chocolate. White chocolate does not contain the theobromine compound that makes milk and dark chocolate so toxic to dogs and cats, but it is high in fat, so keep it simple.
Should you know someone who loves their pet but doesn’t quite understand the whole microchipping phenomenon — please give them the gift of one. I realize this may involve some potentially privacy-violating planning (paying for the microchip at the pet’s vet and then registering them online or by snail mail), but good friends do these nosy sorts of things with love. Consider it. No pet need risk losing his or her person(s). And it’s only about $50 when all’s said and done.
Consider the gift that keeps on giving: a donation to a charitable foundation in your recipient’s name. One of my clients did this very thing for me and it charmed me silly. I can assure you, your gifted one will feel the same.
Recommended charities? You might earmark a donation to the Audubon Society for their “Cats Indoors” campaign. My top choice is the University of Pennsylvania Vet School’s Shelter Medicine Program. And of course you can also make a donation to your local shelter in your friend’s name. There is no lack of pet charities and they will all appreciate your thoughtful gift. (Please feel free to suggest your favorite pet charities in the comments below.)
Never again will you see the world in the same light. Each time you walk into your home it will feel like a rainbow illuminates your path. Your floors will sparkle with new life. Even after the worst day, the world will feel right again if you have… a Roomba.
Gone will be the unsightly dog hair that coalesces into corner-amassing tumbleweeds without your daily, backbreaking ministrations. And if the glory of cleanliness alone isn’t enough — you will also have a high-tech cat toy to spoil your felines with.
I guarantee that any self-respecting, neat-freak pet lover will not question what possessed you to buy them… a vacuum cleaner.
*See the video: Shark Cat on Roomba