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Trends in Pet Toys for the Holidays

Published on: November 29, 2017  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

Dog taking toy from bed

All it takes is a walk down the aisles of any pet store or a quick online search to see just how popular pet toys and other gifts have become. We go crazy over our cats and dog, spending millions on everything from gourmet edibles to luxurious bedding and all manner of apparel - not to mention toys. And we go even crazier during the holidays. It’s the season of indulgence. What better time to show them how much you really care? In our hearts, we know that companies are really catering to us as pet parents. Our cat doesn’t care whether she receives a plain catnip mouse or a box of catnip toys disguised as scrumptious chocolate-covered strawberries, in a package that would make Godiva proud. And our dog doesn’t care if his new toy is a simple ball or it’s all dolled-up to look like Bart Simpson. Or a life-size hedgehog. 

On the other hand, it’s more than “just the thought” that counts. By searching for the perfect, trendy toy or other pet gift, we’re pleasing ourselves, too. Giving them the best we can just as we do with our human kids. 

So what are this season’s hot trends?

Holiday-specific toys and treats. You’ve already seen the growing popularity of themed items. For instance, you probably bought your dog or cat a Halloween costume – or at least an orange-and-black collar. If you’re going for a Santa outfit next, or hoping to transform your feline into a Christmas elf, be sure to consider their safety and comfort as well as the potential photo op. 

If you celebrate Hanukkah, we’re happy to report one of this year’s trends is a far larger selection of Hanukkah-themed pet treats and toys than in the past. Perhaps your furry friend would like a stuffed dreidel. Or a stylish blue sweater or raincoat. 

A related trend? Stuffed toys that look like holiday food favorites (but, thankfully, won’t poison your pet). You’ll also find toys that look like ornaments or other traditional decorations. Be wary, though. This year you can find edible dog treats to hang on your Christmas tree. If your pup is already overly-interested in your tree, it’s going to be darn hard to explain to him that some ornaments are OK to grab but others are not. 

Gift wrapping. Cats and dogs naturally love to rip into things, and ripping open gifts is a holiday tradition. Just be sure your pet’s presents are wrapped appropriately. Our blog on pet-safe holiday decorating has some good tips. It’s especially important to skip anything ribbon-like, because these things can cause dangerous intestinal blockages if eaten. 

Early shopping. You know how it goes during the holidays – the hottest, trendiest stuff sells out soonest. 

Interestingly, millennials are the biggest spenders when it comes to holiday pet indulgence. They spend about 25% more on average than any other age group. Not coincidentally, millennials are also the biggest users of social media. Sharing pet photos is a holiday experience that just keeps growing. Knowing what’s trending ensures your precious pooch will have what it takes to pull off a purrfectly shareable photo. 

And if your furry friend is not a social diva, who cares? The holidays are all about sharing love. 

What should you buy for the trendy pet?

We did some digging (not under the fence, of course) and came up with a few fun suggestions to please your pet, your pet-loving friends, and yourself this year:

  • A monogrammed stocking, so Santa doesn’t forget to leave some treats for your four-legged family members.
  • Anything that says, “Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are.” You can’t get better advice than that.
  • A luxurious cat condo designed for snoozing.
  • Or a dog bed shaped like an ice cream cone.
  • A backpack to carry your cat – complete with peekaboo window so your kitty can keep an eye on the action (and passersby can admire your cat).
  • Matching T-shirts (one for your dog and one for you) that announce you’re “Best Friends.”
  • A pet first aid travel kit. Whether you’re at home or traveling with your pet, the ability to quickly fix a "boo-boo" or manage an emergency until you can get to a vet protects your pet’s health and safety. 

The best treat of all is free!

A paw-shaped stocking full of goodies will surely be a winner with your cat or dog. But you are your pet’s biggest gift. What they really want most this holiday season is more of you – more attention, whether that’s conversation while you’re working in the kitchen, play time, walk time, or belly rubs. Best of all, spending more time with your pet is a treat that never goes out of season.

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