Three Pet Gifts to Avoid

December 13, 2022
By: Adriana Valle

It’s the holidays and many of us are spending money we don’t have on gifts we probably shouldn’t be buying. For this reason and especially in the current economic climate, we thought it would be wise to cover the three pet gifts to avoid this holiday season. If you are so inclined to make a gift purchase, you can be sure you’ll be using your money wisely. 

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Rawhide should be avoided all year round because it’s not safe for canine consumption. Because rawhide is made with potentially toxic chemicals and poses a significant choking risk, it’s a risky gift to give. Yet, around the holidays, retailers stock up on cute stockings full of rawhide bones and wreaths. Don’t fall for it! Please walk right by these dangerous gifts. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for the illness or injury they can cause your or your loved ones’ pets. 

Cheap Stuffed Toys

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It’s tempting to pick up a cute holiday-themed stuffed toy this time of year but beware of the potential dangers. Many of these cheap, low-quality toys are made in China where there are little to no controls over the materials used and labeling. They can often be covered in dangerous chemicals and are very rarely specifically designed for pet use. For this reason, you may find that they do not stand up to pet-specific play. Dogs chew and cats claw their toys. If you don’t purchase a toy specifically designed for the species, it could break very quickly and, as with rawhide, could become a choking hazard. Not to mention, some of the fillers in cheap toys can be ingested and lead to toxicity, intestinal obstruction, even death. 

When purchasing toys, only consider toys that are specifically made for the species you’re shopping for and always opt for pet items that are made in the USA. Here’s a great article that explains the benefits of buying American-made pet products. 

Clothing and Accessories

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Most pets don’t want to wear clothing. They don’t care that the family is coordinated in matching jingle bell pajamas. Pets are happiest when they are “naked.” They should, in most cases, only be made to wear a collar that displays ID tags. 

Clothing and accessories are tempting pet gifts because they can be so cute and festive, yet, practically speaking, it’s hard to buy an article of clothing, harness, or raincoat for a pet when they aren’t present. Sizing is of utmost importance when it comes to comfort and safety therefore avoid buying clothing and accessories unless you are sure the pet enjoys wearing that particular item and can size them for it appropriately. 

A Better Gift

If you’re shopping for your friends and family’s pets, you are already on the right track. Nothing says, “I love you” like giving someone a gift for their beloved pet(s.) To ensure that your gift will be well-received, however, consider purchasing a gift card from a local pet supply retailer. In Old Saybrook, we have The Feed Bag and Smithland Supply. Both offer unique shopping experiences including nutrition counseling at The Feed Bag.

For those that live far away, consider purchasing a gift card to PetCo, PetSmart, or Target. These three retailers have many items that would be welcome in most pet-friendly homes including beds, healthy treats, and more.

Or, even better, check out our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Pets in which we feature unique and thoughtful gift ideas from Connecticut-based artisans and specialty shops.

The Best Gift

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For local pet lovers, the best gift you can give them is the gift of peace of mind and adventure. If you’re interested in learning more about our referral program, gift cards, and our new client intake process, please contact us or 860-964-0464.

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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