Sunday, December 3, 2017

Don't Forget The Furry Kids This Holiday Season

The holiday season is expensive. Most people are forking out money and swiping their store and credit cards left and right. There are gifts to buy for the human kids, our spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, family members, teachers, daycare providers, neighbors, etc. It's overwhelming. Often times, people blow through their budgets. They overspend. The Achilles' heel of holiday shopping is swiping the plastic. Spend now. Pay later. Then, we start off the New Year having to pay off the credit cards and scrimping to pay our monthly bills.
I'm guessing this is one of the big reasons why "the pets" are overlooked by a lot of people during the holiday season. I speak from experience.

This will be our 6th year celebrating Christmas in our home. During that time, our kids have received one Christmas gift. It was a few years ago when Coco and Sophie were our only kids. Our neighbor friends gave them a super soft, plush blanket. They sniffed the box. Lisa unwrapped it. To this day, it's one of their favorite blankets.

But, that's been it...

On the flip side, during the holiday season, Lisa and I always make sure we bake a ton of extra Bodacious Holiday Biscuit Love for our humans who have furry kids. For the kitties, we buy store-bought treats because we don't make homemade cat treats. And, in addition, there's been some doggy themed items we've included with their gifts as well.

Before I continue, I need to make several things clear. The first, I'm not putting Lisa and me on a pedestal. We do what we do because we want to and we know the furry kids are part of the family. Whether the kids are furry or human, we make sure to include all. The second, Lisa and I are beyond grateful for any and all gifts that we receive during the holiday season. We're not complaining. The last, we're aware that not everyone understands that "our dogs" are our children. They're part of our family. They're our world. Our life pretty much revolves around them.

When they're not included during the Christmas season, it bothers us. It makes us sad. 

With that being said, if there are humans with furry kids on your gift giving list, there are quite a bit of inexpensive options to include them. It may not seem like a lot, but trust me, to the humans who consider "our pets' family or children and/or sons and daughters, it means the world and goes a long way.

1. Homemade dog treats. If you can whip up a batch of cookies, you can make homemade dog treats. You don't need a fancy KitchenAid Mixer, rolling pin, or cookie cutters. Here's a list of the homemade dog treat recipes that I've created over the past year.  Once baked, you can put the treats in a festive party bag and tie with a bow.

2. Throw blankets are always a hit. Our kids love throw blankets. This time of year, Walmart sells decent throw blankets for $2.88. Or, if you want to upgrade to bigger and thicker, they offer those too for under $6.00. Another inexpensive route is to buy baby blankets. TJ Maxx, Kohls, Target, and other retailers have these super soft selections for under $10.00.

3. Natural chew bones. A lot of your grocery stores will offer raw bones with the marrow inside. Some are fresh. Some are frozen. If the bones are too big, they'll be more than happy to cut them down to size for you.

4. DIY Dog Mom Projects. There are too many to list, however, if you search online you can find a world of ideas from no-sew blankets to doggy beds made out of sweatshirts and sweaters to doggy toy boxes to handmade dog toys. Pinterest is a great place to start or you can search for a specific item via Google.

5. A gift card. Grooming and boarding costs can get expensive for pet parents. A gift card to their favorite groomer or boarding facility makes a great gift. Or, if you're a friend or family member who is called upon to provide either of these services, print out a personal coupon for a free bubble bath or a weekend of free pet sitting.

All of the people on our gift giving list are pet parents. Every year, when we make our annual Christmas baskets, we always include the furry kids. We get creative, bake up lots of biscuit love and we make a lot of DIY Dog Mom Projects. The recipients are always grateful and the furry kids love their Christmas gifts.

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