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News / Life / Pets & Wildlife

Most pets, too, get gifts for holidays

Here’s how to select a safe and affordable one

By Vonnai Phair, The Seattle Times
Published: December 16, 2022, 6:03am

No matter how naughty a pet might be, most will end up on Santa Paws’ nice list this year.

A recent poll by Chewy found that 94 percent of pet owners will get their four-legged friend a gift this holiday season.

Toys, home-cooked meals, treats, high-tech gadgets, doggie spa days — with thousands of pet gifts to choose from, how do you pick the right one? Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to find a safe and affordable gift your pet will adore.

  • Stay within budget. If you are making multiple gift purchases this holiday season, it’s especially important to plan your holiday budget — and then stick to it! Be sure to include your pets in the budget, and then shop for gifts within your means.
  • Pick a gift that matches your pet’s personality. Just like people, every pet is different. Some are more active than others, some are food-motivated, some love to chew, and some love to run. Take your pet’s personality into consideration to choose a gift it will really enjoy. Check out the Humane Society’s ideas for toys based on your pets’ personalities and needs, like active toys, distraction toys, comfort toys and more.
  • Choose a gift that is safe. Avoid toys that are small enough to be ingested. Make sure toys don’t have any ribbons, string, rubber bands or anything a pet could swallow. You should also be able to clean toys, whether that means machine washing them or wiping them down occasionally.
  • Know what’s inside your toys. For many dogs — and some cats — destroying a toy is much of the fun. Make sure to read labels to ensure that what’s inside the toy is safe. For example, many toy stuffings aren’t digestible and could pose a danger.
  • Check the ingredients in edible gifts. Stick to treats and foods that are made specifically for your type of pet. The FDA warns that many human treats contain ingredients that are hazardous to pets, such as xylitol, a sugar substitute found in some human foods and dental products. If you’re looking for treats that contribute to dental health, check the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s list of acceptable chew treats for both dogs and cats. In addition to quality, keep an eye on quantity. If your pet has a stocking full of treats, don’t let them gobble them up too fast, as this could lead to choking or digestive issues.