The Best Gifts for Your Pet

Why shouldn't your pets be included in the holiday celebrations? But what are the best gift ideas for your pet?

Why shouldn't your pets be included in celebrations, such as birthdays and holidays? Dogs love tearing into wrapping paper, and although your cat might not be as enthusiastic, he might thank you by not urinating on the Christmas tree. There are entire Web sites dedicated to products your pets might enjoy, so you have no shortage in your selections.

But what are the best gift ideas for your pet?

1. Homemade Treats

If you want to give your pet a gift from the heart, jump in the kitchen with pet treat recipes. Homemade treats are always fun to make - especially if you have a few cookie cutters in the shape of animals - and they are often healthier than the dye-filled treats you can find at the store. GourmetSleuth.com has a few good recipes, such as Flea Haters Dog Buiscuits and Bread Machine Buscuits, but you can find them just about anywhere.

2. Custom Tags

No one wants to contemplate the idea of a lost pet, so why not get your pet a pair of custom tags to wear around the neighborhood. You can have them made through your veterinarian, or visit a PETsMART location to use their machine. You can choose from a wide variety of shapes and colors, and even fonts for the information on the tags.

3. Gift Baskets

You can buy them already assembled at the store or online, or you can make them yourself. Gift baskets make great gifts for pets, and they are inexpensive for your holiday budget. You'll find baskets that have treats and toys, while others have dog and cat bath products. MyPetGifts.com has Christmas baskets with toys sitting in a holiday bowl.

4. Personalized Ornaments

Another great gift idea for your pet is a personalized ornament. You can find these at department stores like Wal-Mart and JC Penny, and they will serve to commemorate your pet on the Christmas tree for years to come. The shapes, sizes and colors vary widely, but you can have your pet's name stenciled on the ornament and include a picture of your dog or cat in the frame.

5. Pet Clothes

If you live in an area that gets cold during the winter, your pet would probably appreciate a thick sweater or a form-fitting t-shirt. Pet clothes are very popular gifts, especially when it's snowing outside, and your dog or cat can stay warm all winter.

6. Beer for Dogs

Happy Tail Ale is one of the only beer products intended for dogs. Not only is it non-alcoholic, but it also contains beef drippings and several essential vitamins that can help your dog fortify himself for the cold weather ahead. This beer isn't carbonated and is considered safe for your pets to drink. Bottles come in six-packs.

7. Squeaky Toy

Nothing can ever tarnish the beauty of the time-honored squeaky toy. If your pet loves things that make noise, you can assail your ears for a few hours Christmas morning when you present the new toy to your "best friend". You can find squeaky toys at any pet shop or department store, and many are even themed for the holidays!

8. New Crate or Carrier

Is your dog or cat tired of the same old crate? Is the carrier starting to look worn around the edges? A brand new home for your pet would be a great addition to the Christmas tree. If you want to go the extra mile, you can throw in a new blanket and toy to keep your pet comfortable.

9. Stocking

If your pet doesn't have his or her own stocking, this year might be the time to pick one out. You can get specially-made stockings with a picture of your pet on the front, or you can buy a generic one at the store. Either way, this presents a new medium through which to shower your pet with treats and toys.

10. Cookie Jar Likeness

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so your pet might like a cookie jar that looks like him! Of course, the cookie jar itself isn't as interesting as what you might store in it - such as treats.

There are several Web sites that sell cookie jars that look like different breeds of animals, so search for one that looks like your pet this holiday season.