Gifts for Those Likely to Chew the Stocking

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By Jackie Kostek

This holiday season, the dog days are most definitely not over.

According to a new AP-Petside.com poll, more than half of all pet owners will buy a gift for their pet this holiday season. And some pets may get more than one.Naresh Jessani, co-owner of New York Dog Spa & Hotel on the Upper East Side, said he often sees an increase in business around the holidays.

“Pets are part of the family,” said Jessani. “Pretty much everyone buys a Christmas gift for their pet and puts it under the tree.”

Jessani said many of his clients bring their pets in for holiday grooming.

“They want to deck their dogs out in Christmas gear,” said Jessani. “Reindeer antlers, jingly collars and Santa coats are popular.”

Sandy Robins, a pet lifestyle expert based in California, said the economic recession shouldn’t put a stop to a pet’s holiday bliss.

“If people do have a little bit of extra money, they’re going to splurge on their kids,” she said. “Whether their kids have two legs or four legs.”

Robins said the market for holiday-themed pet gifts has exploded in the past five years. This year, she said, most people will tend toward more practical gifts.

“If you’re someone who goes for walks at night a lot,” she said, “maybe you’ll buy your pet a collar with a reflector or one that lights up. Your pet gets something new that is also functional.”

The trendiest pet gifts this year are puzzles, Robins added. She likened the puzzles to board games for adults, except that the pet doesn’t play against anyone and she gets a treat when she wins.

“Puzzles will keep the pet very, very busy,” she said. “They also offer great mental and physical stimulation.”

Holiday Pet Events
“Rosie’s Toy Drive.”
Not every dog or cat has such a fruitful holiday season—donate your pet’s gently used toys or purchase something new. All donations will go to Bideawee. The New York Dog Shop, 46 W. 73rd St., thenewyorkdogshop.com, 212-595-0800.

Holiday Adoption Extravaganza.
Not all pets have a home in which to celebrate the holidays. Two rescue organizations will host the two-day weekend event, where families can also take photos with one of the organization’s mascots: Santa Maddie, a 6-foot-tall miniature schnauzer. The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., 212-463-0200, Dec. 18-19.

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