Gifts for Pets and Pet Owners
As the holidays near, pet owners will be looking for the perfect gifts to give to their friends and their pets.
The holidays are a time when consumers include their pets, family and friends in festive traditions and shower them with presents. According to PwC, last year’s consumers were projected to spend $1,250 on holiday gifts, travel and entertainment, with $67 to $183 of that going to gifts for their pets.
“We can always spoil our furry friends, but it feels more and more routine during the holiday season,” says Gretchen George, president of PetRageous Designs. “Including the pets in the gift giving feels natural. Pet parents can buy them a new toy, new holiday-themed pajamas or any kind of special treat that will make the memories, photos, videos and sharing that much more special for the whole family.”
PetRageous, located in Wilmington, Mass., is known for its pet clothing, including pajamas, sweaters and outerwear. The company also has pet bowls and feeders for both dogs and cats, toys for pets and even mugs for pet owners.
“We have a great assortment of holiday-themed pajamas and sweaters,” says George. “It is really cute and exciting to see all the holiday cards that include dogs dressed in their PetRageous holiday garments.”
Laura Taylor, Woofables’ top dog, agrees that gift giving is a way to make pets feel extra special.
“Gift giving is a significant part of the holiday season for many people,” says Taylor. “When we include gifts for pets, this gives the pet a way to be a part of the fun!”
The Coralville, Iowa-based gourmet dog bakery produces bulk dog treats, decorated theme biscuits and even gift baskets for various occasions throughout the year.
“Treats are an easy way to do at least a little something for your pets,” says Taylor. “We find that even people who do not go for gourmet treats during the year are willing to splurge on decorated treats over the holidays.”
The company’s holiday treats are decorated like candy canes, Christmas trees, snowmen, dreidels, menorahs and more.
“During the holidays, the decorated treats are more popular as people have fun sharing a form of ‘Christmas Cookies’ with all the dogs in their life,” adds Taylor.
Out of the (Wrapped) Box
Many pet owners give their dogs and cats gifts throughout the year, but one way to make the holidays exciting for pets is to gift them something out of the ordinary.
“Pet parents can best treat their furry friends by spoiling them and giving them that something special that is not a regular purchase,” says Victoria Bouldin, VP operations for Primetime Petz. “Get them that special item you have been eyeing and know they will love.”
Based in Rockwall, Texas, Primetime Petz sells pet lounges, crates and gates, as well as the company’s Hauspanther Collection. Designed by Kate Benjamin, the Hauspanther Collection includes lounges, scratches and perches for adventurous cats, as well as a new cat toy collection.
“Our brand new Hauspanther Cat Toy Collection launched at SuperZoo in August, [and] is sure to be a favorite gift for cats with all the interesting shapes and textures cats love,” says Bouldin. “Our new toys are in stock and ready to ship. They make perfect stocking stuffers!”
Another great option for pets is one that makes pet parents feel secure and will keep pets close to home.
“The best gift for our four-legged friends is their safety,” says Tom Glessner, U.S. chief commercial officer for My Family. “Our four-legged friends’ unconditional love is not based on the number of presents received, but while they constantly strive for our love and attention, purposeful gifts, such as an ID Tag, lead or collar, can enhance the connection between pets and their parents.”
The Groveland, Fla.-based company manufactures tags, collars and leashes in a variety of fabrics and colors. Pet tags come in shapes such as hearts, bones and paws, as well as wild animals, pets and flags.
“Customers who are looking for something special can purchase one of our leads and or collars, and then match it up with a complimentary ID tag that can be personalized in pet specialty stores that have our state of the art, self-service, ‘Techla’ or ‘Techla XL’ engraving systems,” says Glessner.
The Techla engraving machines offer customers on-the-spot customization services, allowing stores that carry the machines to stand apart from their competitors.–
Gift giving is also a great way for the gifter and giftee to bond, whether it be human to human or human to pet.
“Pets love seeing their humans coming home,” says Sharon Gick, customer relations for Pet Qwerks. “The gifts they bring will just be a bonus. It is especially fun if you unwrap the gifts in front of them. There’s that sense of excitement, wagging tails and a lot of sniffing that is priceless!”
Pet Qwerks, based in Irvine, Calif., manufactures a variety of dog toys, ranging from bones and chews to rope and plush toys. The company has new flavor-infused bubbles for dogs and cats.
“Our Babble Balls have been around from the beginning,” says Gick. “They are especially popular as gifts. Most pet parents buy a few at a time just to give to relatives and friends because they think it’s a hilarious gift and they want to share the fun!”
During the holidays, people are constantly keeping their eyes out for the perfect gift for their friends and family, so it’s important for retailers to promote products in the best possible way.
“Of course you’ll want gift items up front and center,” says Taylor. “Use them to draw new people in, and make it so your regular customers can’t miss seeing them!”
Woofables provides retailers with acrylic bins that can hold up to 50 treats at once. The bins open to the front so customers can easily choose what they want, and they’re stackable for stores with less counter space.
“If it is possible to create a special holiday-themed display toward the front of the store with a variety of unique gift items at various price points, I believe shoppers would be intrigued, and this would allow them to discover items they might not ordinarily purchase,” says Bouldin.
Primetime Petz supports its retail partners by providing stores that purchase a 4-ft. Hauspanther starter section with a video monitor for the display that comes with instructional videos.
George believes that retailers should start promoting holiday products as early as possible and build seasonal endcaps.
“We suggest bringing in the product early and creating holiday endcaps,” she says. “The product should be visible, and bringing it in early lets customers know that you have the product.”
When it comes down to it, gifts are always going to be a big part of the human-animal bond, and retailers should do all they can to promote them.
“It is a gesture of kindness that communicates thoughtfulness and care to the recipient, regardless of whether the recipient has two legs or four,” says Bouldin. “I believe giving pets gifts makes them feel loved and cared for which fosters closeness between pets and their pet parents.” PB