Business

Pet owners plan to find purr-fect gift

Poll: More furry friends on list

LOS ANGELES – Dogs across the country can expect some bone-shaped presents under the Christmas tree this year.

An Associated Press-Petside.com poll shows 52 percent of pet owners plan to buy their animals a holiday gift – up from 43 percent last year.

Gus and Molly, a pair of German shepherds, Rosie the bulldog and Zoe the cat will get treats and toys, “the good sturdy stuff,” said owner Norm Authier, 50, of Long Beach, Calif.

“We have always done this. We don’t have any kids so we spoil our dogs,” Authier said.

The bounce in pet gifts is expected despite the fact that fully 93 percent of Americans say they’ll spend less overall or about the same as last year, according to a separate Associated Press-GfK poll.

The poll found that six in 10 of those who own only dogs planned on shopping for their pet for the holidays. Forty percent of those with only cats planned to pet shop.

Sawyer, a 9-year-old Labrador-border collie mix, will get something special because he was born on Christmas Day, said owner Pat Brown, of Beloit, Wis. He can also look forward to his two favorite snacks – popcorn and ice cubes.

Plush toys are very popular with pet owners, as are candy cane-shaped rawhide chews, said Jessica Douglas, a spokeswoman for the PetSmart pet supply store chain based in Phoenix.

Popular clothes at this time of year include a Santa suit, a Mrs. Claus dress and reindeer costumes. A lot of boots are sold to dog owners in cold weather states. Bling-wise, collars and leads are popular.

“Some ID tags are decorated with sparkly embellishments, and they can be personalized so it’s not just for looks,” she said.

According to the poll, 62 percent of female owners said they would probably buy their pet a gift, while just 40 percent of the men said they would.

Janet Rowlands, of Tulsa, Okla., is planning a celebration for 29 people and pets, including her four dogs. Jack Russell and rat terrier Boodroe, 7, is the only one who steals gifts from under the tree.

“He sees it as part of the fun,” Rowlands said.

According to the poll, 59 percent of owners say pets are only a minor consideration when picking out holiday decorations, even though 14 percent reported that their pets have gotten into the decorations before.

There are no cranberries, popcorn or gingerbread men on the tree at Erica Peterson’s home in Vass, N.C., because of Logan and the starfish, an ornament she and her husband got on their honeymoon.

On his first Christmas with the family, Logan, a male Labrador-chow, knocked the tree over and everything went flying so he could get to the starfish – apparently because it smelled fishy to him. All edible or scented ornaments were banned.

This year Logan will get a big butcher’s bone, while Peterson’s female Maltese named Bubbles, 13, will get rawhide sticks made like candy canes.

Last year, Debra Jensen’s Labrador named Nightmare and a German shepherd-Siberian husky named Ticia got stockings with dog treats in them. This year, because her husband recently lost his job, there may not be a stocking, but there will still be treats – they can count on leftover ham.

“The dogs are our only children. I love my babies,” said Jensen, of Tulsa, Okla.

Pat McCauley figures his 4-year-old Shih Tzu named Crystal can survive the holidays without a present.

“I’m not going to buy the pet anything,” said McCauley, of Princeton, Ill., “I have a daughter who is 17 and she will buy the pets something, but I surely wouldn’t in any way, shape or form buy my pet a Christmas toy.”

McCauley concedes buying pet gifts is not the most ridiculous idea he’s heard.

“If I just had a pet … I’d buy it one or two things a year, like a ball or a tug,” he said.



Click here to comment on this story »



Blogs

Go gourmet without glamping

No boring beans or endless hot dogs here. A couple of outdoorsmen from REI in Spokane share a few of their favorite recipes and tips for gourmet camp cuisine in ...



Hump Day Wild Card — 7.27.16

John Hearn, Coeur d'Alene school trustee and Democratic candidate for the House District 4B (Coeur d'Alene) seat, stopped by Casa Oliveria last even, with campaign worker Cindy Algeo. I showed ...


BLM closes Towell Falls road during fire season

PUBLIC LANDS -- Towell Falls Road in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Spokane District’s Rock Creek management area has been closed to motorized traffic as a fire precaution, officials ...



Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile