Selection of holiday pet gifts just keeps growing and growing

The holidays are upon us, yet I still can’t believe it’s December already.

If you love to celebrate this festive season with gifts for those you love, then you’re probably thinking about your pets, too.

Many great ideas are flowing from all corners of the pet world so I thought I’d explore a few.

My eyebrows raised a tad when I saw the fleece onesies for dogs, but Michael Mastalski from Just Jak’s Pet Market in Altoona assures me they’re all the rage this year, come in a wide variety and are a big hit at his store.

Also, I thought the DJ Scratch pad turntable that I saw online was a really fun yet practical find. So did my cats.

While we’re talking cats, PetSafe came out with the Bolt Interactive Laser featuring an automatic 15-minute mode. How awesome for the laser-loving cats and for us not having to manually shine the light all over the room.

Then there is the Pooch Selfie original dog selfie stick that features a squeaker ball attachment for the top of your iPhone. Now, why didn’t I think of that invention? The more I think of how brilliant this device is, the more excited I get to seek one out!

Speaking of squeaky balls, Chris Schezzini from Poochey Chef in Duncansville just received a shipment of Companion Gear Holiday Jingle Balls!

The rubber bouncy balls not only light up but woof ‘Jingle Bells’ when they bounce.

Pet cams and remote self-feeders are popular again this year as technology continues to find ways for us to keep tabs on our beloved pets while we’re away.

The Hidden Cat Litter Box was another great idea, featuring an artificial plant displayed on top, disguising the discreet litter box. It is actually a nice-looking piece of furniture and is as much for us as it would be for the crew. Although, I think Rio could still fit her big head into the box for a quick, albeit disgusting, snack.

I’ve also seen the Neater Feeder around for a handful of years, but it continues to grab my attention because of how it is designed to contain spilled food and water.

Plus, it’s elevated to help alleviate unnecessary joint and neck strain.

I wonder if Brady would drip as much water from the bowl to the other side of the kitchen if we had one of these feeders?

Starbucks is (wisely) jumping on the pet bandwagon this holiday, featuring a new Pupkin Spice squeaky dog toy. Now, in addition to an occasional foamy treat from dog-friendly Starbucks locations, you can treat your pet all year long with their line of squeaky toys.

Unfortunately, squeaky toys are destroyed within a matter of minutes in our house, so we have to opt for the more dog-proof, durable chews and toys.

Michael at Just Jak’s confirms that owners want toys that last. Toys that are indestructible are in high demand and come with a lifetime guarantee. If they can pass the Rio and Mabel test, they’ll be No. 1 in my book.

Just Jak’s also stocks a large selection of functional toys, like rope toys, for light to heavy chewers that are meant to be destroyed and are made from organic cotton, fully digestible (my ears are perked) and colored with vegan die (non-toxic coloring). My, how far pet toys have come!

I think for our cats I’ll stick with a few treats and even more cardboard gift boxes. They love nothing more than a “new” box to sit and lie in and claim stake to over any toy.

Whatever type of gift you decide on for your pets, I can almost guarantee that someone has thought of it and invented it!

Have some fun exploring your options this holiday and treat your fur kids to a delightful new interactive toy that will keep them busy and distracted during the stressful times of the season.

Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode is the author of “Have Dog Will Blog,” editor of the Central PA Pets magazine and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at ahanna or by mail: Paws and Reflect, c/o Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode, Altoona Mirror, 301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.