Humans Not the Only Ones Receiving Gifts From Santa

Sidney Toth enjoys her Cat Play Center, a great gift idea for pets this holiday season. Photo Credit: Amanda Toth

By Amanda Toth
Outlook Editor

In most households, it is easy to see who is in charge, usually a parent. My house is no exception. It is quite clear that the ruler of the roost is our cat.

Whenever I shop in a store as such as Wal-Mart, CVS, or Giant, I find myself inevitably being drawn towards the pet supplies aisle, where I face a strong internal battle over whether or not to buy her something.

It was no different a few weeks before Christmas, when I found myself peering down at fruitcakes for guinea pigs, and a jungle gym for cats. I imagined my pets enjoying these items, and I was sold—and so were the items.

This past Christmas, I spent approximately $30 on presents for my pets. Before you judge me, know that I am not alone in spoiling my companions.

When asked why she buys presents for her pets, senior Marie Fitzsimmons responds, “They see everyone else opening presents, why not them? They are a part of the family. I think it makes them happy. It’s always nice to get a new toy or new treats!”

I recently spoke with Jess, a manager at Petco in Dickson City. She said that there was no particular group that buys presents, no “typical buyer.” She added that she thinks it’s becoming popular because “pets are like family.”

Is it beneficial to the pets? “It makes them feel special. They see things going on with everybody else and they get to be a part of it.”

But with the economy in decline, and families having less and less discretionary money, does that mean less presents for Fido? “I think they’ll still find money, but it might be a tiny little bone, just to give them something. It might be in how much or in spending, but not a drop off.”

“Families should at least get their pets one little thing, like new treats or a new toy,” adds Fitzsimmons. “It won’t hurt to spend a few bucks on your pet. Just showing them a little extra love or giving them more attention is just as good though!”

One thing is for certain, though. No matter how much college debt I’m in, there will always be presents under the tree for my Sidney.