Even with inflation worries this holiday season, most pet owners still plan on spoiling their fur babies with holiday gifts.
According to one recent poll, more than 90% of pet owners include their pets on their holiday shopping list, and a new study shows that giving to pets makes people happy.
However, with thousands of pet gifts to choose from, ranging from toys and treats to doggie spa days and advent calendars, how can you choose a good gift for your pet? BBB recommends the following tips to help you find the perfect gift: one that is safe, within your budget, and one 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 that are 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 they will really enjoy. The Humane Society has ideas for toys based on your pets’ personalities and needs.
- Choose a gift that is safe. Most importantly, 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, etc., that 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 – some cats – destroying a toy is much of the fun. Keep this in mind when shopping. Read labels and make sure what’s inside the toy is also 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 dogs or cats. The FDA warns that many human treats contain ingredients that are hazardous to pets, such as xylitol. If you’re looking for treats that contribute to dental health, check the Veterinary Oral Health Council website for a list of acceptable chew treats for both dogs and cats. In addition to quality, keep an eye on quantity. If your dog or cat has a stocking full of pet treats, don’t let them gobble them up too fast, as this could lead to choking or digestive issues.
- Weigh the pros and cons of subscription services. Subscription services can be a fun way to give your pet gifts all year round, but you’ll want to do plenty of research before signing up. Get to know the company, investigate free trials, and make sure you know how to stop a subscription before you choose a service.
- Check out pet advent calendars. Pet advent calendars have become incredibly popular in recent years. These can make good gifts too, but they aren’t always a bargain. You’ll need to compare calendars to get the best deal. In addition, keep an eye out for advent calendar scams, which have become especially common through social media ads.
- Purchase gifts from reputable vendors, especially if you are making a purchase online. Read consumer reviews before doing business with a company, and keep an eye out for fake websites while you shop.
BBB just released a study update on puppy scams; take a look! If you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org.