When it comes to gift giving, animal lovers are a breed of their own. Sure, you can always toss a dog a bone, get a cat another nip toy, or buy your fish-favoring friend the latest exotic marine life calendar. But why not do something different this year? There’s a wide world of animal-related items out there for those willing to look a little deeper to find something meaningful. From presents for the furriest member of your family; to offerings for humans who want to make a difference; to high-tech gadgets that make your pets’ lives just a little more fun, this selection of gifts should please even the pickiest creature cuddlers on your shopping list.
The reasonably priced SnoozePal Cat Hammock combines cats’ natural love of boxes with their natural love of being lazy as hell. Your kitty can cool out in the fleece-lined hammock and survey his or her domain from the cozy shelter of the SnoozePal’s sturdy cardboard frame. A portion of the proceeds will go to a no-kill animal rescue organization of your choosing.
Purchasing a clothing item from the Nonhuman Rights Project supports the only organization in the U.S. trying to establish a set of basic legal rights for animals. These t-shirts, available via the organization’s Café Press store, feature the world’s most litigious dolphins and the NhRP’s defiant slogan: “I’ll see you in court!”
There’s a common misconception that dogs like to attack mailmen, but the truth is, they’re just really into getting mail. Watch your pup’s eye’s light up with the arrival of this monthly “box of goodies for dogs and their humans.” Each BarkBox package contains a theme-coordinated collection of toys and treats; 10 percent of the company’s profits are donated to animal shelters.
According to the Audubon Society, “Cuba is the hottest destination for roving birders right now,” so why not take someone you love on an avian-themed tour of the Caribbean island? It’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but Victor Emanuel Nature Tours offers cultural and historic experiences including “excursions with local birding guides and conservationists to find many of the island’s specialty birds, from the imposing Great (Cuban) Lizard-Cuckoo to the tiny Cuban Tody.”
It may shock you to learn that you can look at pictures of adorable critters even when you’re not online. Check out Shop Cats of New York, starring the city’s “iconic felines and the stories behind them,” or Susie’s Senior Dogs, a heartwarming collection of “ our oldest and dearest canine pals.”
Help a friend become a proud adoptive parent to a vulture, corvid, or falcon. When you donate to the North Carolina Raptor Center, which Charity Navigator rates five stars, you get an official adoption certificate, a photo of the adopted bird of prey, and a free pass to come visit your new feathered friend on his or her mew, if you happen to be in the North Carolina area.
Earlier this year PlayDate raised more than $700,000 on IndieGoGo—more than six times their fundraising goal—to create a camera-enabled “smart ball” that could be controlled remotely. Now dog or cat owners can watch and play with their pets from anywhere via an app on their smartphone or desktop. These toys are available for pre-order now, but you better hurry up—according to PlayDate, for now supplies are limited.
Awaken your canine’s inner mariner with this dog bed cover crafted from recycled yacht sails. The manufacturer, Ella Vickers, was a championship sailor and now her products keep 20,000 yards of cloth out of landfills each year.