Christmas is less than three weeks away, and so far three presents lie under my tree: one for my husband, one for my mother, and one for my cats. I have an Amazon.com order currently in transit and it too includes a present for my cats.
Does your Christmas shopping list include anything for your pets? I’m betting it does. According to a survey from Rover.com[i], 95% of pet owners say they have purchased a Christmas gift for their pet, with the average amount spent being $36 and 5% of respondents reporting that they have purchased a gift for their pet costing $100 or more.
What are pet parents spending this money on? Well, according to that same survey, pet gifts range from the expected treats and toys to extravagances like bubble bath treatments and steak dinners. One respondent even claimed to have gifted their cat with a Christmas tree!
People love their pets and whether or not those pets understand the concept of gifting does nothing to stop their adoring owners from making sure they’re included on the Christmas shopping list.
Another poll[ii] shows pet parents doing even more for their furry friends this time of year:
54% will ensure their pets have a Christmas stocking; 29% will give a Christmas card to their pet(s); 16% will feature their pets on their outgoing Christmas cards and 3% claim that their pets will “write” a letter to Santa. I really think that percentage should be higher – surely Santa loves letters from pets!
If you’re still shopping and looking for some gift ideas for your pets, Good Housekeeping[iii] has put together “19 Totally Pawsome Holiday Gifts for Cats and Dogs” on their website. Gifts on the list range from toys and puzzles to snuggly pajamas and beds to pricey treat dispensing cameras and dog DNA tests.
For the cat lovers, and maybe small dogs too, I recommend a Cat Cave[iv]. The SPCA Albrecht Center was gifted with a couple of these for the shelter cats this year and they absolutely love having a warm, cozy and private spot of their own to hide away. The company provided a discount code for our supporters, so if you’d like to buy one and save 10%, use code SPCA10 at checkout.
If you’d rather shop in town, PetSmart and Petco are never short on anything your pet needs or wants. Downtown Dog[v] and The Bone-i-Fide Bakery[vi], both located on Laurens Street, always have lots of yummy treats and fun pet finds. And don’t forget BarkMart[vii] in Graniteville for all things pets.
You can support the SPCA Albrecht Center directly by shopping for your pet or a pet lover on your list in one of our two Thrift Shops, located at 404 Richland Avenue East and 1557 Whiskey Road. We also sell new collars, leashes, a few toys and SPCA apparel in our shelter gift shop at 199 Willow Run Road.
Finally, if your pets have everything they need and your holiday shopping is done; consider the pets without a home this holiday. Please adopt if you’re able to offer a loving, forever home. Otherwise, you can find several options to help at LetLoveLive.org[viii] ranging from a wish list full of needed items to ways to donate your old things (cars included) for resale and an online donation form for your end-of-year contribution that you can make in honor or in memory of someone special.
Enjoy your holiday shopping, check your list twice, and be sure to include the ones who gift us with unconditional love all year long.
Sarah Neikam is the Operations Manager for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the Albrecht Center since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA Albrecht Center.