The holidays are upon us, and that means it's time to show your buddies you care by buying them things they probably don't need. But there's no reason to shell out for an expensive ugly Christmas sweater that he'll never wear, or a tchotchke that will sit idly at the back of her closet, when you could give THE gift that everyone loves: food! We've found the best food and food-related items for anyone on your list, from pets and kids to the true gourmand. Many can be purchased in and around Houston, and some are available online and at major retailers. Let's get shopping!
As a crazy animal-lover, I never neglect to get gifts for my pets around the holidays. I don't dress them up in fancy Christmas outfits or anything (not that I'm opposed to it), but I always make sure they have extra treats and maybe a new bed or collar. And they always have stockings.
Are they spoiled? Maybe. But my pets are my children.
To help out those of you who, like me, strive to make the holidays just as exciting for your pets as they are for your humans, I've compiled this list of the best food-related gifts for your chic cats and dashing dogs. Guaranteed to win extra snuggles!
10. Cinnamon Rollovers from Woof Pet Bakery & Boutique For $10 per dozen, your four-legged friend (of the canine persuasion) can enjoy a breakfast that looks just like yours. Woof Pet Bakery & Boutique bakes their cinnamon rollover dog treats fresh daily at their store in Spring, but you can also order these and many other treats online. The cinnamon rollovers are made with whole wheat flour, beef stock, peanut butter, bananas, yogurt, cinnamon, molasses and a bit of carob powder. Who can resist the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls? We bet your dog can't.
9. Fresh Is Best Freeze-Dried Raw Turkey Heart Nuggets Online Want to really bring out the carnivore in your pet? Feed your little carnivore raw turkey hearts that were beating only moments before! Okay, they're freeze-dried, so it's probably been a while since they were beating, but still. These treats are made with 100 percent USDA human-grade freeze-dried raw turkey and are great for dogs or cats. Or midnight snacks...
8. Stainless Steel Pet Fountain Online Water isn't usually considered a luxury drink, but earlier this year a bar in L.A. began offering 45 different kinds of water to discerning customers. And it wasn't a joke. Why should your pets have anything less? Pioneer Pet makes a variety of stainless steel drinking fountains that constantly circulate and filter water for the freshest, cleanest sips. Never mind that your cat would probably rather drink out of the toilet.
7. Puppy Cake Red Velvet Cake Mix & Frosting from Funny Fur You could buy a doggie cake, sure, but why shell out for some fancy decorating when you could do it yourself? Enter dog cake mixes from Puppy Cake. Each box, which you can order online or find in some pet boutiques, retails for about $8 and makes eight cupcakes or a two-layer, six-inch cake with icing. It might not be delicious enough for you to want to share it with your puppy, but chances are he'll love it just the same.
6. Kitty Kaviar Online It's not exactly caviar per se, but apparently cats love it as much as we love our gourmet fish roe. According to the website, it's high-protein bonito flakes containing no additives, preservatives or by-products. Kitty Kaviar is great sprinkled on top of food to entice picky eaters or offered as a treat when kitty's been good or needs some extra lovin'. Just don't try to sprinkle it on your food...we all know how overplayed that trend is.
5. Happy Cat Catnip Plant from Dunecraft Online This gift could also be a present for kids or yourself if you like to garden. Duncraft, an educational toy company, sells a number of different grow-your-own-catnip plants with everything but water and sunlight. Though catnip isn't really a food, felines love to chew on the fresh leaves, releasing the oil that makes them go a little batty. Once the plant has grown, you can dry it and stuff it in toys for even more fun.
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4. Gingerbread Dog House Online Real gingerbread houses don't last very long in our humid climate, but this one should last for years. Get your pets into the holiday spirit with a gingerbread house pet bed. I think it's technically for dogs, but whatever, my cat would dig it, too. It's collapsible for convenient traveling and cushioned for ultimate comfort. Enticing smells of gingerbread and icing not included.
3. Biscotti and Bon Bon Dog Treats from Jackson's Place Jackson's Place here in Houston makes gourmet dog treats that look almost too pretty to eat. In addition to a variety of birthday cakes, doughnuts and peanut butter cups, Jackson's Place makes dog biscotti and carob-covered bon bons that look just like the real thing. Swing by the shop on Alabama to pick up a variety of sweet treats to stuff your dog's stocking. Because, of course your, dog has a stocking.
2. Baroque Raised Feeder from Barker St. Make your dog (or alarmingly tall cat) feel like a king with this Baroque dog bowl set sold at Barker St. gourmet dog bakery and boutique here in town. The feeders, which are made of cast resin with a stainless steel bowl inside, come in small, medium or large and retail for $50 each. They're handmade, so the carved acanthus leaf and rope detail may vary slightly, but your pet probably won't notice.
1. Christmas Cookies from DJ Bones Dog Bakery DJ Bones is a family-owned and operated pet bakery that's been open since 2010. The baked goods use all-natural ingredients and no preservatives for tasty and delicious treats that will win over even the pickiest canines. The best thing about the treats is that the folks behind DJ Bones make different ones for every season. Right now, scoop up some adorable Christmas cookies for your furry kids. Just be sure to tell your real kids they're dog treats, because they look just like lovely human cookies.