|Top pet gifts, toys
Of course, pets
needn't wander lost for something bad to happen
to them. Make your pet more easily seen at night
with battery-powered glow-in-the-dark collars and
leashes, such as the ones offered by Atomic
Pet. Their leashes and collars retail for $24.95
and $19.95, respectively.
fur and feathers
For birds and ferrets, good gifts would be food
toys -- active toys they have to take apart and
play with to get at the treat inside, says Eldredge.
The line of Kong
products offers such toys for birds and ferrets.
The Bird Kong with Fun Clips sells for $5 to $7
Solutions, while the Ferret Kong retails for
$5 at PetCareRx.
Rabbits like toys they can shake,
says Eldredge. Buy a rattle for as little as $3
Bunny Toy Company.
ruff being alone
Some poor pooches and kitties sit alone all day
while their owners work at the office. Why not give
them something to chew or to keep a cat's eye on?
Eldredge says that some of the best toys involve
putting tasty treats into the toy that the animal
then has to play with to get at the treat. She cited
the Kong toys and the Busy Buddy as examples of
The latest Kong, called KongTime,
releases one of four treat-filled Kongs randomly
throughout the day. KongTime retails for $90 to
$100 at Pet
Solutions, depending on what size Kongs you
select to put inside. The Busy Buddy Twist n' Treat
chew toy sells for $8 to $16 at Busy
Vetere also cited two light-up toys:
the Talk to Me Laser Treatball, which records a
15-second message, lights up and releases treats
at random, and the PetQwerk Blinky Ball, which lights
up for 3 seconds when touched. The Treatball retails
for $17 to $22 at PETCO,
while the PetQwerk Blinky Ball sells for $9 at the
For the cat or bird who watches TV,
Vetere suggests buying a special DVD, such as "The
Birdy Show," which features a 25-minute video
of birds, mice and hamsters: $7 at thekittystore.com.
Of course, toys left with pets should
be durable, so let the pets test them out while
supervising, says Rasmusen.
"One of the best toys is something that's interactive,"
says Eldredge. "That can be as cheap as a ball
for a dog or a piece of string for a cat."
(Be careful to supervise Allie the cat when she's
playing to make sure she doesn't swallow the string!)
Like pet, like
When it comes to cute toys, quality should outrank
quantity, says Rasmusen. "Dogs would be happy
with one really well-made toy and sweater."
Not only do quality gifts make pets
happy -- they make their pet owners smile. Asked
if pet lovers appreciate gifts for their pets as
much as they enjoy human gifts, the experts and
vendors we spoke with said absolutely -- if they're
not enjoyed more.
"True pet lovers derive a lot
of benefits from their pet," says Vetere. "People
feel good giving their pets gifts they value, instead
of old bones or ratty tennis balls."
As for the pet's appreciation, Haas
says, "Every dog loves a new toy."