Paws Corner: The Right Gifts for Dogs or Cats

by Sam Mazzotta

My daughter and her family have two big dogs and a cat. I like giving gifts to the pets as well as my grandkids. Do you have any suggestions?
               —Tammy, via email

DEAR TAMMY: Anything that looks cozy, fun and safe for pets is a good bet. I’ve always appreciated even small gifts like a cute bandanna for my dog or small catnip toys for my cat. If you’re looking for gifts beyond stocking stuffers, here are some that most pet owners will appreciate:

Dog and cat beds: These range in price from about $15 on up to a few hundred dollars. Look for a sturdy fabric covering that is easy to brush fur from, and stuffing that can’t be easily pulled out and chewed on.
Cat furniture: From a simple padded windowsill seat to “kitty condo” play complexes that cats can wander through, cat owners appreciate these combination scratching posts and rest areas.

Travel safety: A number of products have come on the market to keep dogs and cats safe in the car, from traditional travel crates to adapted seat belts that keep Fido securely in his seat.

Toys: For your daughter’s big dogs, sturdy chew toys are probably welcome. I still really like Kong chew toys, which are nearly impossible to damage and can be filled with peanut butter or another treat. For cats, something beyond the catnip mouse could include one of Bergan’s “Turbo Tracks,” in which a ball inset in a round or figure-eight track scoots around with every swipe of the paw.

No matter which gift you choose, or if you decide to just give small, inexpensive gifts to your daughter’s pets, I’m sure they’ll be appreciated.