My dog refuses to tell me what she wants for Christmas so I went to the experts to get some ideas about what’s hot for the pet set this holiday season.
First stop was Montclair Feed and Pet Supply at on Glenridge Avenue where owner Joel Tabor told me that some of the most popular holiday items are dog and cat beds. A top seller, he said, are the beds with thermal inserts for added warmth, which sell anywhere from $45 to $134. I asked the inevitable question, “Why does a dog or cat need a thermal bed?”
Tabor explained that as our pets age, they can become more sensitive to the cold, just like humans. This is especially true, he added, if your dog or cat sleeps near a drafty window or door.
Tabor also has hundreds of cat and dog toys from which to choose, including the new Kong Wubba and even a plush “Mr. Bill” doll.
For feisty felines, cat condos are always a big seller and range anywhere from $65 to $300, depending on size.
The dog cookie treats are undoubtedly one of the most popular gifts, not only for the holiday season but year round. There are gingerbread men, snowflakes, footballs (Kelly’s favorite), Hanukah dreidels, and Santas. If you were to put these beautifully-decorated cookies out on a platter on your kitchen table, I challenge your guests to tell the difference from “people” cookies (unless they bite into them, of course). Made with all natural ingredients such as whole wheat flour and yogurt, they contain no sugar and sell for $2 apiece. Gift boxes are also available for $10 and up.
Top sellers in his store are the Mighty Dog line of colorful toys that manage to combine indestructibility with plushness. Sold in a variety of sizes, they range in price from $10 to $20.
Dogs also love his Sweet Potato Chicken Wraps ($9) and cow tendon chews (a bag of 15 sells for $20). Unlike rawhide, which can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs, especially smaller breeds, the tendon chews are safe for digestion.
Bonito tuna flakes are a favorite among the feline set and bags sell for $5 for a small and $10 for large.
For pooches into fashion, Heaps sells Fab Dog reversible, two-tone, winter parkas with Velcro straps, ranging in price from $35 to $40. There are also Chilly Dog hand-woven Peruvian sweaters that come in all sizes that will fit the smallest teacup Chihuahua to a full-grown Mastiff. They range in price from $30 to $40.
Earlier this year, one of my assignments was to find a birthday cake for a dog named Paco, believed to be the oldest dog in New York at 20 years of age. You would think Manhattan would be a bastion of amazing pet products but the closest doggie bakery I could find was in Brooklyn–too far. So I went online and discovered the Pupcake Dog Bakery, in Caldwell.
In addition to delectable cakes and cookie platters for all occasions, Pupcake Dog Bakery sells a variety of items, ranging from the practical to just plain fun.
Owner Michael Dattolo and store manager Tracey Hinkle spoke highly of the Port-a-Poo, a device you attach to your dog’s leash so that once you pick up your dog’s business, you don’t have to carry it – the dog does. It retails for $9.99.
For dogs who like to throw back a cold one now and then, there’s Bowser Beer, which comes in either beef or chicken flavor and is sold in a six-pack or by the bottle. Six-pack, $19.99; single bottle, $3.30.
Other popular treats are Puppy Pizzas ($5.99), freeze-dried Ice Cream for Dogs ($3.99), and Mr. Barksmith’s Cool Treats, a six-pack of fruit smoothies made with apples and bananas ($6.99). Cookie platters start at $12.99.