By Debra Bell
Lots of thought goes into shopping for our human loved ones, but don’t forget the family pet when it comes to holiday gift giving. Here are five ideas that will help you start your shopping season and bring Fido or Fluffy some holiday cheer.
1. Paw-some garb. Is your furry friend’s collar or leash starting to show some wear? Consider updating their collar and leash set with a custom look. Bangor’s Dogn’i Apparel now has a retail store at Bear Brook Kennel at 19 Bennett Road in Brewer. Owner Cynthia Rollins specializes in creating custom looks for your pup or kitty, accessories, lifestyle gear (such as dog coats, collie flowers for leash accents, and any custom project you can think of) as well as accompanying gear for owners. Check out Dogn’i’s line at dogni.com.
Do you have a cool greyhound or clever Italian greyhound? Consider getting your hound a winter coat through Greyhound Coats, located at Maine Greyhound Placement Service in Augusta. See their line at greyhoundcoats.com. These coats can also fit several other kinds of dogs, especially those with barrel chests.
2. Bandana blitz. Bandanas are an easy way to spiff up your pooch’s looks. During hunting season, bandanas and collars are the best ways to show that your pup is a dog and not a deer or turkey. But even after hunting season, sometimes pup just wants to look special.
BarkDannas, created by Janice Kanzler of Newburgh. These bandanas feature a buckle instead of requiring you to tie the it on. Find them at Kanzler’s grooming salon, Groomin’ on 202 at 2938 Western Avenue in Newburgh or at For Dogs Boutique at 251 Main Road in Holden.
3. Good grooming. Sometimes the best gift is the gift of pampering. Consider buying pup any of the products from Mutt Nose Best’s grooming line. These naturally-formulated, locally-made shampoos, balms and more are eco-friendly and safe for use on pooch or human alike. Choose the right shampoo for your pooch to keep her looking and feeling her best all year round.
And for the holidays, now’s the perfect time to take your pup or kitty to a professional groomer for a fresh style. Don’t neglect your pets nails, teeth and ears either. Keep your pet healthy and happy and you’ll have a great holiday season.
4. Toys. Sometimes the best gift for the furry family member in your life is a toy. Oodles of dog and cat toys, made in Maine, are available for purchase.
Kitty will love jingling balls or catnip mice. Pups will love toys they can tug, throw, play, and cuddle with.
Loyal Biscuit, a Maine-based company recently launched its Tug ME Toy line. These toys are manufactured in Maine and are made entirely of 100-percent polyester fleece and are braided, durable and washable. Find out more at loyalbiscuit.com/products/tug-me-toy.
5. Family portraits. Family portraits are a great way to honor your pet while also creating a keepsake that will show your family bond. If you choose to do your own portraits, have someone else run the camera and use squeaky toys, treats or anything else that keeps your pet’s attention to make the session fun. Understand too that you’ll need lots of patience.
If you want to pass the buck on to a pro, watch for local pet portrait events, or hire a photographer who specializes in pet photos.
My pet photography business, Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, will be offering holiday pet portraits on Nov. 16 at For Dogs Boutique at 251 Main Road in Holden. Sessions are $40 for 20 minutes or $70 for 40 minutes and include a gift print and a $10 donation to Furry Friends Food Bank at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Learn more at bffpetphotos.com/news.