Each day, my inbox is filled with pitches for holiday gifts for pet owners. Walk into any store and you’ll find Christmas items already lining store shelves. In both cases, a lot of the gift ideas are downright silly.
If you are looking to find a gift for someone devoted to his or her pets, you should be able to find something he or she can actually use and appreciate.
Everyone knows at least one person who will eat hot dogs in order to buy the best food available for her pets or the guy who will forgo a trip to the doctor in order to get his pet to a vet’s office.
Before you go out and buy a cat house in the shape of an airplane or a wiener dog vinegar and oil set, I thought I might help with some holiday gift ideas that are both useful and imaginative.
Let me give you an example. For years, we transported our dogs in the “dog car,” used only to drive the dogs to various parks every day. It was stinky and dirty, and you would have thought the seats were white from the dog hair.
It was so bad, I wouldn’t even ride in the car for the last few years we owned it.
Since there aren’t many cars on the market that can be hosed out after a muddy trek through the woods, a removable, washable automobile seat cover would seem like a great fit for a gift.
Sure Fit, the furniture slip cover folks, makes bench seats and cargo covers that would keep muddy footprints off upholstery and contain dog hair in the process. Water proof and reversible, the covers come in taupe and graphite and range from $49 to $89. You can find them at www.surefit.net/index.cfm on the Web under pet covers.
Do you ever wonder what your pet is doing while you are away? Samsung’s PetCam WiFi video pet monitor lets you keep an eye on them from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Colleague Dan Roese set one up on a smartphone and said it was pretty simple after he downloaded the Samsung SmartCam Mobile app and created an account. You will need to plug in the power cord to the camera and then plug the network cord into the camera and a router. At this point, Roese said, the camera will cycle through a short boot-up sequence with its power light going from red to blue to a solid green. The SmartCam App will then display a list for you to choose from, and you will then be able to do a quick set up of the app.
The unit touts a two-way talk feature so you can tell Fido to get off the couch, but Roese said he was unable to get the voice feature to work. The camera has built-in LED lamps for night vision, (which is really cool for ghost hunters, he said,) audio and motion detectors and notification that will record your videos and send them to YouTube.
For less tech savvy folks, Samsung has a phone line for those having trouble setting up their systems.
Samsung’s PetCan retails for $178 (I found an online store selling it for $149), and it can be purchased at www.samsungsv.com/PetCam or at any store that carries Samsung products.
Do you know someone who has owned a pet so special they had it cremated following its death?
HereAfter Frames are a unique tribute for that very special pet and come with an engraved name plate and optional hook for hanging. The custom designed frames give you the option of combining the pet’s image with their urn and keepsakes.
The frames can be sized to fit an existing urn, paired with a new one, or come from an urn already built in. A compartment is built into the back of a frame for keepsakes.
For simple frames, prices start at $215. Frames with a suspended vase urn at the bottom start at $350 and customized frames with accents, painted patterns and digital upgrades start at $400.
The company has several artists on hand to recreate your photo in oil, pencil or acrylics, if you would like.
For more information, visit www.hereafterframes.com/#!pets/c1iz9 or call 718-215-0018 for more information.
Other animals in the news:
Thanks4Giving black animal adoption event — One of A Kind pet rescue is discounting adoption fees by 50 percent for all black animals adopted over the Black Friday weekend starting Friday and continuing through Dec. 1. In addition, there will be a 10 percent discount on all store items excluding food during the event. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Nov. 30 and from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 1. One of a Kind is at 1929 W. Market St., Akron.
Santa Paws portraits — Pawsibilities, the Humane Society of Greater Akron is offering photos with Santa from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 30 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the shelter at 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg. Sitting fee is $10, and photos will be available online in time for use on holiday greeting cards. For more information, contact the HSGA at 330-487-0333.
Trunk Show — The Akron Zoo will hold its fifth annual holiday shopping event 4-7:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Twenty local artists and vendors will offer jewelry, art, and photos in the Welcome Center at the zoo’s entrance. The gift shop will also be open. Attendees will get a raffle ticket for every $10 in purchases for more than 20 prizes with at least one item from every vendor at the sale. Free parking and admission..
Photos with Santa — Summit Mall is hosting a photo event for pets with Santa Claus from 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday and 7-9 p.m. Dec. 1.
Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to email@example.com.