Q: Could you please reprise your holiday gift list? I can’t come up with anything for a few of my cat friends, and I’m sure my husband would appreciate something dog-themed. Thanks!
A: As always, I’ve prepared a handy list for those of you who can’t think of a thing to get all those animal people in your lives. Here’s 2015’s:
1: Roomba (irobot.com)
If you’re 100 percent sure your loved one will appreciate a vacuum cleaner for the holidays (be very, very sure!), the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner is a favorite. How awesome to be able to just set it and forget it! For households that gather tumbleweeds 24 hours after vacuuming, this device is a godsend. $360-$899.
2: Wisdom Panel (wisdompanel.com)
For $84.99, this genetic test will tell you what breeds comprise your dog’s mix. In my opinion, it’s totally worth it. After all, wouldn’t you rather know that the dog you’ve always thought was a Lab mix is really and truly a Dachshund mix? (OK, so maybe not, but it’s a fun gift anyway.)
3: Voyce wearable activity tracker (www.voyce.com)
If you’ve tried a Fitbit (or heard of one), you’ll know exactly what this thing does. It monitors your dog’s heart rate, respiratory rate, activity level, calories burned, distance traveled and quality of rest. As such, this $199 device can be indispensable to dogs.
4: Customized silver pet nose pendants (etsy.com)
Check out these gorgeous silver pet nose pendants on Etsy (enter the search term “pet nose pendant”). Because they’re made from impressions you take of your own pets’ noses (the jeweler sends you a kit by mail), they’re 100 percent individual and absolutely gorgeous. $85-$200.
5: Home-cooked pet treats
Are you a home cook? Bake up a batch of treats for your favorite pets. Google “homemade pet treats” for a long list of fun new recipes to try. Wrap them in a cellophane bag and a handmade card for the ideal DIY pet gift.
6: High places and hidey holes
Cats love heights and hiding. Make these two activities safe by purchasing premade shelves, cubbies and beds. Check out the usual pet stores for affordably mass-produced items and Etsy for lovingly handmade versions.
Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice at Sunset Animal Clinic in South Miami. Her website is drpattykhuly.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.