Presents for the furry members of our family

Christmas is a time of giving. We give gifts to family, friends, strangers and…of course, our pets. Most of us after all consider our furry (or not so furry) pets part of our family.

Numerous surveys show that people love to go over board buying snacks, toys and beds for their fur babies. Survey results in the U.S. show up to 89 percent of dog and cat owners buy their pets gifts. In fact, one survey showed 56% spend more on their pets than their own family members. And just because I found it interesting, people spend more on dogs than cats. Poor kitties.

The pet industry of course knows our love for our pets and offer a plethora of gifts to choose from whether it is toys, clothing, collars, beds, chew toys, treats, scratching posts, blankets, bowls, grooming kits, carriers, GPS trackers or even pet heating pads.

And it isn’t just dogs and cats that get gifts. People buy for their fish, bunnies, mini pigs, snakes, hamsters, ferrets, horses, goats and any other animal they consider part of their family.

My family is no different. We love our pets as members of our family, and of course, buy them presents.

Dogs

We have 2 Cocker Spaniels – Sadie Rose and Gypsy.

Now Sadie Rose is all about food but we don’t buy her treats as she could stand to lose about 5 lbs. But that doesn’t stop us from buying her a new chew toy or bone.

Gypsy is still so much a puppy as she turns 2 this coming February. She loves anything that anything soft that squeaks.

Typically, I buy one of those stockings full of toys from the pet store and then some sort of rawhide or bone for Christmas evening. They also get gifts from both my parents and the in-laws.

Cats

We have 3 cats – Nikki, Tails and Spooky.

The kitties are all older so not as spry as kittens. And with the dogs always stealing and destroying their toys, we have to be careful where and when the cats have their toys. Being cats, they love things that are soft and full of catnip.

And yes, they get presents from my parents and in-laws too.

Hamster

We have one hamster – Poptart.

Last year was her first Christmas so my daughter wanted to get her something. We ended up getting her a treat (hamster frosted donuts) and then a chew toy (pizza shaped). Poptart liked the treats but not sure the chew toy was worth it as she hasn’t really gone after any of the chew items we have purchased for her.

Sadly, only our family bought Poptart a gift last year.

Now, I don’t spend large amounts on our pets (and certainly not more on them than the humans in my life.) On one survey, 48% of people spent $10-$25 on their pets while 26% spent $26-$50. Only 3% spent over $100.

I don’t think it matters how much you spend, just as I don’t think it matters whether our pets understand what all the fuss is about. It is about showering our pets with a little extra attention. And who doesn’t enjoy a new toy or a treat.

Recipe of the Month – Snow Flake Cocoa

I love white chocolate so when I saw this recipe from AllRecipes.com, I had to try it. Yummy! It reminds me of the white chocolate cocoa that I use to buy at the Spurs Basketball games. It is great for a cold night. And you can replace the white chocolate chips with other flavor chips. This makes 10 servings in a crock pot so this is great for a gathering.

Ingredients 

2 cups whipping cream

6 cups milk

1 t. vanilla

1 12-oz package of white chocolate chips

Directions

Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and white chocolate chips in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes, as desired.

Serves 10 (433 calories per serving)