The Ultimate Holiday Pet Gift Guide 2015

Photo by Kevin Lowery |

Photo by Kevin Lowery |

If you’re a dog, odds are over 50/50 that there will be Christmas gift under the tree or Hanukah present awaiting you, according to the American Pet Products Association 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey. About 40 percent of cats will receive a howliday gift, and even pet Birds even get into the act, as 25 percent are remembered with a gift.

Here are some new products, and gift ideas, many seen at the Backer Total Pet Expo, held in Rosement, IL:

  • While some dogs manage to tear open the wrapping paper, no one wants the pup to tear apart the gift, as some dogs destroy plush toys in a matter of days, or even in a few hours. Godog plush toys appear to look be like so many others, but they are different, featuring Chew Guard Technology. The seams are also double-stitched. No dog toy is indestructible, but they sure are super tough. In fact, Quaker Pet Group puts their technology where there mouth is, offering a money back one-time replacement per household. Available at many places where pet products are sold, $5.99 to $19.99.
  • Dogs fetch, cats pounce – and giving them the opportunity to do so with interactive play is vital – and necko flies found at the end of a fishing pole are as good as it gets because the objects truly resemble real insects, and may flutter just like real bugs, $9 to $11;
  • For the lazier of us, those who don’t like slobbery tennis balls, or people who just aren’t very adept at tossing tennis ball after tennis ball, let the K-9 Kannon Tennis Ball Launcher do the work. You simply load the Launcher, aim and fire balls for your BFF to fetch (up to 75 feet). One gun holds standard size tennis balls; another shoots mini-balls for mini-dogs. Available at many places pet products are sold, $15.99 to $29.99.
  • Increasingly pet behavior experts and veterinarians suggest feeding dogs from enrichment toys or food puzzles, and the Foobler is a new one using modern technology; it’s even red and green for Christmas. This smart food (and treat) dispensing toy has six individual dispensing pods, and a bell rings when it’s time to play. You can set the timer for when the bell rings, which means the dog can now roll around the toy and food or treats will dispense. It’s available online and some pet stores, $39.99. Learn more
  • Cats also benefit from treat dispensers. The Roll Play is several toys in one – a treat, kibble or catnip dispenser, a feather toy, and the ball is wrapped in sisal to scratch on should the spirit move kitty, $15. Learn more at
  • Even birds now have foraging toys – and the idea of providing enriching feeding activities is arguably even more important as for dogs and cats. One example, are disco balls – neon-colored plastic balls stuffed with cotton for birds to pull out; you can also stuff small treats inside. Available many places bird toys are sold; $2 (per ball).
  • Kathy Ireland has hundreds of home décor products, and she’s now making a splash on the pet scene with her Loved Ones collection. Aside from pet travel accessories, leashes, collars and bedding, there are toys, including the waterproof Hide and Seek Balls. All available many places that pet products are sold, $5 to $20 for the balls.
  • Catnip is legal in all 50 states, and no prescription is required for Dr. Meowsky’s Medical Grade Catnip. It’s organic, gluten free, likely approved by Cheech & Chong, and grown in the USA. It’s the good stuff nearly guaranteed to make any cat yowl for more cat cannabis, from; $9.95 per one once jar – not available as a ‘catnip cigarette,’ as smoking is bad for cats.
  • Also, containing no preservatives are Himalayan Dog Chews from an ancient recipe of the people of the Himalayas. It’s made in the mountains at more than 15,000 feet, using traditional methods with yak milk and cow milk. For most dogs, this chewie is very long lasting. Himalayan Dog Chews are available at many pet stores, and online; $9.95 to $21;
  • Your dog may appreciate a low cal holiday treat – light as a snowflake, called Vanilla Snowflakes. According to the marketing materials they’re made with real snowflakes, $4.99 to $5.99 at many pet stores.
  • When it’s time for the dog to go outside never struggle again to attach the leash. The Magic Latch instantly connects with a magnet - and that’s some powerful magnet. For people with limited mobility in hands, or are just in a hurry, the Magic Latch is pretty cool,, $4.99 to $24.99.
  • Tooferme is a leash which can multi-task. The leash is an ordinary leash, and it’s a harness, a Gentle Leader-type head halter, a dog seatbelt and it can serve to walk more than one dog at a time. If nothing else it’s creative; available at, $19.99 to $34.99
  • When a hungry dog returns indoors, what type of feeder is he using? Ordinary stainless steel bowls holds food fine, but they don’t improve upon home décor – not that dogs much care. However, people might care – and Mike’s Custom Pet Designs do too, creating beautiful and upscale feeders. Bowls come in a variety of colors. There are many styles. One example is peach colored Italian iridescent glass with mother of pearl glass paws, distressed white marble edging. The price range is $150 to $500;


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Positively Expert: Steve Dale

Steve is a certified dog and cat behavior consultant, has written several books, hosts two nationally syndicated radio shows, and has appeared on numerous TV shows including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "National Geographic Explorer," and "Pets Part of the Family." Steve’s blog is


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