Around F.C.

‘Purr-‘fect & Pet-Friendly to Gift a Furry Friend

When it comes to the holidays, most people may be worrying about what to get their family, friends or significant others as a gift. In certain cases, people may be scrambling to make sure their beloved pet can partake in the season with a present or treat. 

Whether it be chewing toys, a scratching post or a tasty bone/treat, pets can join in on the holiday spirit by receiving gifts from their owners. Although the classic frisbee or fake mouse filled with catnip, new products and toys have grown popular among animals and their owners, due to their entertainment and pet-friendliness aspect.

A creative gift for dogs, cats and other pets is putting together a holiday “goody box.” A pet owner can put their animal’s favorite toys, treats and other items in a box or basket, as well as holiday-themed activities or traditions one can start with their pet. When the goody box is put all together, a pet owner can give it to their animal, ensuring a sweet surprise for their furry friend.  

Brad Kriser is the chief education officer at Loyal Companion, a Fairfax-based pet store that provides both pet food and pet supplies. During the holiday season, Kriser said Christmas and holiday-related themed items are the most popular products bought by customers to give to their pets. Treats and “chews” — an object that makes it safe for an animal to bite on — are also sold at a higher volume during this time, according to Kriser. 

For those who may be on a holiday budget, Kriser recommended a silicone baking treat mold, which allows pet owners to freeze or bake treats for their animals in the shapes of Christmas trees, candy canes and other holiday-themed objects. 

As for what types of gifts can keep a beloved furry friend safe during the holidays, Kriser said having the “proper safety gear” for an animal during the winter months is “really important.” These can include safety lights and collars, winter apparel to keep one’s pets warm during the winter months and more. One product sold by Loyal Companion called “Musher’s Secret” is a balm-like substance one can put on the bottom of their pet’s pads to help protect them from becoming cold or from the ice melting salt that is common during the winter months. 

Although not thought to be a “gift” for pets, gift cards can be given to your furry friend as a pet-friendly present. Falls Church-based animal boarding center Dude’s Dog House and Spa offers gift cards for the services they offer, such as daycare, boarding and grooming. Giving a pet a gift card to a local pet store can also be a great way to take one’s animal to “pick” out an item of their choice. 

To those worried about the possibility of losing their pet, an electronic tracker to place on an animal’s collar is a good holiday gift to ensure a pet’s wellbeing. Most trackers, such as the Whistle GO & GO Explore, use real time location tracking so one can always pinpoint where their furry friend may be. The Whistle GO & GO also can be used as a health tracker, as it monitors behaviors such as licking, scratching, and sleeping, which then can be emailed to a veterinarian every 30 days.