Pet parents look to splurge this holiday season

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Here are a few gifts that can help you keep your pet healthy

New research from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance shows half of pet parents (50 percent) are planning to spend up to $75 on their furry companions this holiday season.

Nearly half of those respondents (45 percent) said they plan to spoil their pet with toys and treats, but giving too many cookies and snacks could be unhealthy for your pet in the long-run.

In an interview with ConsumerAffairs, Natasha Ashton, co-CEO of Petplan insurance, explained that many gifts and gadgets can actually help make your furry friend healthier.

“We know that over 95 percent of pet parents consider their pet a part of the family. So it's only natural for us to want to give back to them, especially since our pets unselfishly love us year round,” she said.

Holiday gifts for pets

Here are a few pet gifts that can help boost the health of your four-legged companion:

  • For the mind. Toys can help keep your pet’s mind healthy and sharp. To engage all the senses during playtime, choose playthings in varying shapes, sizes, textures, and even scents. Puzzle toys and puzzle feeders make pets problem-solve for food, which satisfies their natural-born need to hunt, says Ashton.

  • For the body. Making sure your pet gets sufficient exercise is critical, and many gadgets can help you stay on top of your pet’s daily activity requirements. Ideas include a hands-free jogging leash or bike leash, a dog or cat obstacle course to help your pet get exercise at home when it’s cold outside, a FitBark activity tracker to monitor your dog's everyday activity, and a cat tree for cats to climb.

  • For the home. “A pet’s environment is just as important to his health as diet and exercise,” Ashton said. To keep pets from inhaling off-gassed chemicals while they sleep, give the gift of a nontoxic bed made with natural fibers. Aromatherapy diffusers can also benefit pets’ well-being, whether the oils are pheromone-based or in soothing scents like cedarwood, chamomile, or lavender.

Tips to save

With holiday spending expected to reach record highs this year, you may be keeping a close eye on your budget. Fortunately, a few shopping strategies can help you cut costs while shopping for Fido or Fluffy.

“Price matching is huge – stores like Petco and PetSmart price match if you find a lower price through a competitor. This tip can carry you through the holiday season to get you the best deal,” George Bousis, founder and CEO of savings app Raise, told ConsumerAffairs.

Following pet stores socially and signing up to receive emails for exclusive coupons and sales can also help you save, he noted.

Several price monitoring digital tools can also help you save. An app called Earny monitors for price drops at retailers (including pet stores). If the price drops on an item you already purchased, Earny’s bot contacts the company to get your money back.

Toolbars like Honey can also automatically apply eligible coupon codes when shopping online, which can save you money when shopping at a favorite pet retailer.

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