How to Choose a Safe and Healthy Holiday Gift for Your Pet

It's time to start Christmas shopping for everyone on your list—including your furry, scaly, or feathered friends! While it's fun to stock up on Christmas gifts and treats, do some research before buying—many holiday-themed treats and toys at big-box stores are unhealthy or filled with harsh chemicals. 

Happy Yellow Dog Under Blanket with Cat

Does my Pet Need a Christmas Gift?

Your pet brings you joy all year. So when it comes time to show love to the most important individuals in your life, your pet definitely shouldn't be left out. Giving your pet a Christmas gift is not only a great way to give them some extra attention, it's also an annual opportunity to evaluate your pet's current needs. Have they outgrown their bed, or do they need some more stimulating toys as they age? Christmas can be a great time to update these items (and to find great deals on them, too!).

Avoid Colorful Holiday Treats Found at Big-Box Stores and Grocery Stores 

When shopping for your pet, you want to make sure you buy gifts that are healthy, safe, and appropriate. Stay away from the colorful pet cookies by the register in chain stores, which are often unhealthy and can lead to gastrointestinal issues. We have high safety standards at Pets on Broadway, and you can trust that we won’t sell anything we wouldn’t give to our own pets. However, if you shop at other pet stores, this danger is important to keep in mind.

If you’re purchasing treats, read the food label before giving them to your pet. Watch out for unfamiliar ingredients or any items on the ASPCA's list of foods to avoid. Additionally, review where the treat was manufactured. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published evidence indicating that pet treats imported from China have resulted in over 1,000 pet deaths. The FDA also indicated that it has received thousands of complaints that imported pet treats have led to serious pet illness including gastrointestinal issues, kidney failure, and hives

Orange Cat Sitting in Unwrapped Gift Box Looking into Camera

Instead of purchasing treats, consider making homemade treats for a great, healthy gift. If you’re looking for a good recipe to try, we suggest trying out a “dog-a-rita”! Mix two cups of either thawed or mixed goat milk with 1 pouch of Weruva pumpkin patch up and blend with one cup of ice for a safe and tasty treat for your dog or cat.

Choosing a Perfect (and Safe!) Gift for Your Pet

If you’re shopping for toys, choose a gift that will make playtime more fun or age appropriate. If you have a dog, a new harness could be a good gift. New perches, lounges, or hideaways are great gifts for fish, reptiles, or birds. Consider installing a window sill for a cat or small animal to perch on.

Stay away from any item your pet could accidentally swallow or choke on. Size- and age-appropriate toys should be more difficult for your pet to swallow or tear up. Small toys and toys with strings should generally be avoided to prevent your pet from choking. Small fabric items, such as small toys or larger toys that are easy for your pet to tear into small pieces, can become lodged in the digestive tract, leading to life-threatening issues that can require emergency surgery.

Additionally, avoid putting up holiday decorations that could be harmful to your pet. For example, although many people decorate their homes with poinsettias each winter, these plants are poisonous to pets and, if eaten, can cause serious illness.

Keep poinsettias and any other holiday décor that could be swallowed away from your pets at all times

Give Gifts that Improve Your Pet’s Life

Jack Russel Terrier Dog Running in Snow

Whether you buy them or make them, think about what you hope to achieve with your pet’s gift. Do you want to make your pet more comfortable? Then a new bed, new clothes, or a new food/water container could be a good option. 

Do you want to find gifts to help you play together more? Interactive toys or outdoor gear can help grow your relationship with your pet. Some ideas include:

PRO TIP: Lots of Pets on Broadway leashes, harnesses, and collars will be discounted all December during our holiday sale!

The perfect Christmas gift for your pet is ultimately a safe, healthy, and fun gift that both you and your pet will enjoy. Looking for specific gift recommendations? Check out our holiday gift guide, which is filled with staff favorites for your pet, or visit our store for a personalized recommendation. Our holiday sale—including great deals on all your favorite products, food, treats, and more—will be running throughout the whole month of December for in-person shoppers.