Top holiday gifts for pets

What do you buy for the pet who has everything? Gift ideas for the pampered pet.

What do you buy for the pet who has everything?

Pets these days are a pampered lot. With more people regarding Fido and Fluffy as full-fledged family members, pet gifts are becoming more extravagant. We’re talking designer doggy and kitty duds, plush pet-carriers, monogrammed beds and gemstone collars. In fact, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, pet owners spent over $40 billion on their pets in 2007.

Not surprisingly, PetSmart’s recently released list of the top pet gifts for 2007 focuses on the overindulgent, the fanciful, and the whimsical.

“This season,” says Dog Fashion Expert Rashell Cooper, “we focused on finding the right fabrics, colors and textures to live up to the theme of overindulgence.”

To that end, Cooper recommends pampering the dog in your life with sweaters and coats featuring faux fur, tweeds and animal prints. “Fashion also meets function,” she adds, “in the form of quilted reflective jackets and reversible vests.”

And it’s no longer just about dogs. Like their canine counterparts, says Cat Expert Heather Tobey Anderson, felines are finally enjoying more and more gift-list options, like holiday hats, a Santa cape and fancy collars.

“For any cat parents that may have felt left out during the holidays – this is no longer the case,” she says. “Dogs are rolling over to share the spotlight with the cats.”

Then there’s the must-have toy, the loofah – better known as ‘Bo-Bo.’ According to Dog Toy Expert Jim Smith, “Pet parents are increasingly eager to add the latest ‘Bo-Bo’ to their collections. In addition to our traditional assortment, we unveiled Mrs. Claus and even a ‘Bo-Bo’ for cats.”

For the little critters on your list, Small Animal Merchandising Expert Sandy Hobson suggests the Habitrail habitat and scented bedding as gift options, especially for people looking to give their gerbils or hamsters a more colorful, contemporary look or pleasant scent.

For dogs and cats, savory earth tones of browns, burgundies and greens complete the home décor look with bed gift sets (complete with matching blanket and plush toy).

If, alas, you’re a bit more practical in your gift-giving approach, you can still buy the tried-and-true rawhide, bones and chews . “We may wrap them up in bows or make them look like candy canes,” says PetSmart Dog Chew Expert Tim Cogil, “but as far as dogs are concerned, they’re just great to chew.”

7 fashionable pet gifts
PetSmart certainly isn’t the only retailer to respond to the current pet-love frenzy. Here are 7 fun and fashionable gift ideas, all available online, for your very favourite pet or pet-parent.

Puppoose. Tired of the designer doggie purse? Check out this hand-crocheted carrier for your small dog that you wear slung over your shoulder. You can buy it online for $80 US.

Dog wigs. Yes, there is such a thing. In the event your pup is having a bad hair day, Ruth Regina, eighth-generation wigmaker to the stars, offers a variety of doggie wig styles from curls to braids to bouffant. (If you’re into something more funky, check out “Yappy hour blue”.) Prices reportedly range from $18 US up to thousands of dollars. (To view a video of Ms. Regina and her dog wigs on David Letterman, click here.)