With the holidays fast approaching it’s likely you are making your Christmas list, and checking it twice! Your mom has a book waiting under the tree; you bought your dad a gift card, but what about your pets? According to a Petfinder.com survey, 63 percent of dog owners, and 58 percent of cat owners will give their pets Christmas gifts.

Still haven’t found the perfect gift for your pet? Here are 10 great holiday gift ideas for your feline or canine friend:

1. A Commitment to Exercise Your Pet More Often. This gift is beneficial for both of you and the only expense is your time! Dedicate at least a half an hour each day to walking your dog, or playing with your cat.

2. The Obvious Dog Gift- a new chew toy. Buy your dog a more natural chew toy, such as a Himalayan chew, or deer antler. These natural chews are better for dog’s teeth, safer, and give them an outlet to relieve stress or boredom while you’re away at work.

3. The Obvious Cat gift- a new toy. If you are a cat owner you are probably aware of the wide variety of cat toys available. Try purchasing a laser light to play with your cat, or even a fresh bag of catnip to sprinkle over your cats sleeping areas. Try branching out from ordinary toys, and give your kitty a new scratching post. Or, if you are on a tight budget, try one of these upcycled, homemade toys!

4. A “Spa” Day. Take your pet to a groomer for a nail trim, bath, or de-shed treatment to pamper and help prep their winter coat!

5. A Wellness Check. The most important part of your pet’s wellbeing his his/her health. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a wellness check to update any vaccinations and to receive an overall physical exam for a clean bill of health!

6. Comfy New Bedding. Of course the options are endless. Simple floor pillows for your pup, or a heated dog bed (great for puppies and seniors), or a Kuranda elevated bed are just a few of your options. Many hip designer-style beds are also available to match your own furniture if you are splurging. For cats, choosing a hooded bed is great, as most cats get a sense of security by feeling hidden during rest. If you’re feeling really crafty and would rather make your own pet bed, check out some of these creative options:

Wood Pallet Dog Bed

Sweatshirt Bed

Felted Cat Bed

7. A Donation to a Local Rescue in Honor of Your Pet. If you feel like Fido has too many toys already, or you want to honor a pet that has passed away, why not make a donation to a local area rescue in lieu of a gift? Donate much needed supplies like pet food, toys, beds, cleaning supplies, or donate a monetary gift to homeless pets for the holidays. If a donation isn’t in your budget, simply volunteer. Most rescues need volunteers in all areas of work, from marketing, to working charity events, to socializing with animals.

8. Snow Gear! Prepare your pup for winter with paw and nose balm. A great gift to help soothe your dog’s paws or nose after taking wintry walks, it protects paws from becoming dry, cracking, or chapped from winter wind chills! Try paw balm such as Musher’s Secret.

9. A Cat Tree or Wall Perch. Cats love climbing and being elevated helps cats to feel safe and less vulnerable. If your cat is always climbing furniture, or sitting in a window a cat tree or wall perch might be the purrfect gift! Etsy.com is a great resource for finding unique and creative cat furniture!

10. Time. Dedicate some extra “cuddle” time, or personal pampering for your pet. Let’s face it; you are the most important aspect of their life! Give your cat 15 minutes after work for a special brushing twice a week, or take your dog hiking with you during the weekend. The best thing you can give your pet any time of the year is you! – Merri Collins

Merri is from Meigs County, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. She works as a Marketing Coordinator full-time, and also as a freelance copy-writer. Merri has always had a passion for supporting animal rights and helping animals in need. She is a PetPromise cat foster, performs TNR in her area, and has an adopted cat named Big Poppa. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstsock