Let’s be real for a second — more often than not, pet owners would rather chill on the sofa with their pooch than spend another minute arguing abortion rights with their right-wing uncle at the Christmas dinner table. Heck, most would rather discuss their latest Tinder date with their cat than actually go out on another one.
People love their pets and those pets are becoming more involved with the festive season than ever before. So if you know a dog-lover or a cat-fan, these 15 gifts should make them and their pet smile on the big day. And if you’re skint, just give them one of the boxes from your presents. That’s what they’ll end up using anyway.
We first stumbled upon WonderWoof back in November and with clever tech and an adorable design, we still can’t get enough of ’em. First time dog owners, or owners with a dog that likes to have a few more sausages than they should, will love this one.
Created by female-focused digital startup Wondermento, the bow-tie is neatly attached to the dog’s collar, then synced wirelessly with an Apple or Android phone. After inputting a few basic details, the app will recommend physical goals and measure the dog’s health and happiness. Feeling flush? This one comes in at around £119 from the WonderWoof website.
Ever wondered what life is like through dog’s eyes? Well, if it’s anything like this pooch running to the beach, it looks like a dream. Now you can get your pet-lovin’ pal a GoPro harness of their own, allowing them to attach the camera to their pet and see where the world takes them.
Maybe they’ll finally discover where that favourite shoe went or where their pooch likes to explore when the house goes a bit too quiet. You can bag one for £48.99 from Camera Jungle (GoPro not included. Obvs.)
If your pal loves pets, chances are they may have more than one. Feeding time can be pretty tricky when there’s more than a single mouth to feed; even when food is divided, some will scoff quicker than others and head to another bowl to get a free second helping.
The Microchip Pet Feeder means that only the pet with the specific microchip will be able to open the protective hatch guarding their meal. Sorry pooches, you’ll no longer be able to gobble up the cat’s dinner. It’s available on Fetch for £86.99.
12. No Bark Collar
Maybe your friend got their dog only a few months ago and are still struggling with some basic training. They’ve tried puppy classes, tasty treats and everything in between and still, their pooch won’t come back to them during their regular walk.
The Clix Remote No Bark Collar sends vibrations to the dog to let them know when it’s time to come back. With no electric shocks and working up to 50 metres away, both dog and owner will be as happy as can be. This one comes in at £49.49 and you can bag it from Fetch.
11. Sureflap Catflap
Cats come and go, sure, but sometimes the cat that actually lives in the house can be joined by a few friends thanks to that nifty catflap. The Sureflap catflap uses the cat’s existing microchip (meaning no extra microchip insertion) and lets only him or her in and out.
It’s battery powered and with no need for a collar, it means there’s no chance of that collar getting caught or snagged. You can pick this one up for your pal at Nott Cutts for £79.99.
Around this time of year, it can be hard to keep an eye on your pet thanks to the sun nose-diving around 4pm and never really rising until err, May. This LED flash and glow collar is a perfect gift for your pal that likes to take their pet on long strolls after work.
With three settings and three designs, it’ll definitely suit their needs when they need to take Rover for a twilight walk around the block. Starting from £9 at QVC, this is a great little gift.
9. Cat Laptop
As a tech-obsessive, you’re bound to be surrounded by like-minded laptop-a-holics. To ensure their moggie doesn’t feel left out, why not give them the gift of a cat laptop? No, we haven’t transported to a world where cats have actually taken over the world (here’s hoping), it’s a cute cardboard version that allows the cat to scratch to their hearts content.
SUCK UK explain, “Tiddles will love getting her claws stuck into the irresistibly scratchy cardboard keyboard (and it will keep her from tearing up your furniture). If you want to upgrade the operating system or install new applications, simply print a new screen on paper and slide it inside.” Grab it for £20 from SUCK UK.
8. Piper Smart
We don’t get to spend as much time with our pets as we’d like, due to work and social commitments. There are plenty of home security options out there, but this one’s a little different.
The Piper smart home security gadget lets people keep an eye on their pets when they’re not home, speak to them through the microphone and save clips of them – so they can watch them later or share them on their dog’s Instagram. Because obviously they all have those now. Amazon is selling them for a slightly painful £215.19.
7. Dart Laser
How many times have you seen a cat chase well, pretty much anything? I’m guessing a lot and as we all know, their favourite pastime is to get involved with a good ol’ laser.
This Frolicat Dart Cat Laser means laser pens can be chucked away and replaced with a state-of-the-art techie toy that’ll keep Fluffy entertained for hours on end. Or at least, away from the Christmas tree decorations. Pets at Home have them for sale at £35.00.
With increasing pet obesity, it’s important to make sure they’re fed the correct amount of food. This clever 3-in-1 jobbie means no measuring before chucking the food in the bowl, with an in-built scale tool as well as filtered water and of course, the food bowl itself.
The bowl is said to also encourage pets to drink more, so it’s great for those hot summer months. Amazon are selling them for £37.90 but they seem pretty popular, so you should get on it.
The PitPat is almost like a FitBit for dogs — tracking pups’ activity throughout the day, the owner can see what they’ve been up to since they’ve been gone using the PitPat app on both Apple and Android phones.
There’s also exercise guidelines for over 200 breeds, it’s waterproof and the PitPat itself can attach to existing collars. Coming in at an affordable £39.99 on PitPat, it’s a perfect go-to for tech-loving owners.
Dogs tend to get pretty bored when they’re left to their own devices or y’know, tend to chew up a delightful range of shoes, toilet rolls and that really expensive cushion your mum got you for Christmas last year.
The iFetch Tennis Ball Launcher is a brilliant toy that lets the dog play fetch with him/herself all day long. Just be sure to put it where the ball won’t be crashing into anything too valuable. You can get one at Pets at Home for £135.
The worst thing in the world is when a cat goes walkies and their owner is unable to find them. Whilst microchipping is great for when they’re found, the TabCat is a GPS of sorts to keep tabs on those walk-about-kitties.
The bleeping mechanic can also allow owners to train cats to come home on demand; your pal will be a full-blown cat-herder in no time. Although it’s only available for pre-order at £69.99 from the TabCat website, your pre-present will be more than appreciated.
Don’t want to go down the GoPro route? The EYENIMAL pet cam is suitable for both dogs and cats and is able to be attached to just about any collar.
There’s an integrated microphone and and video transfer as well as aUSB battery recharging. You can get yours from Amazon for £59.87.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could actually have a conversation with your pets? British start-up company Bare Conductive have created an electronic tool kit that connects any surface, object or space to the digital world – enabling inanimate objects to speak with a single touch.
If the board is set up according to the pet’s movements, the owner can train their dog to touch certain objects when they want something – like to go outside for the toilet. The owner can pre-program a vocal response to each object too. Snap one up for £95 from Bare Conductive.
Main image: Camera Jungle