Best Gifts for Pets (and the People Who Love Them)

Looking for great gift ideas for pets and the humans who love them? Here are our recommendations for excellent pet gift ideas.

photo by MARCZERO1980

11 Great Gift Ideas for Dogs

It might be relatively easy to talk yourself out of buying yet another chew toy for your dog most of the year, but when the holidays roll around it’s pretty hard to resist. Why not give your pooch something to “unwrap” when the rest of the family is opening gifts? In some cases, these great gift ideas for dogs are as much a gift for you as they are for Fido.

>> And don’t miss these great gift ideas for people who love to travel with their pets!

Pampered Dog Gift Basket
Best friends deserve the best gifts. The snacks in this basket include a doggie croissant, doughnuts, beef jerky, biscuits, and so much more.
>>Buy it on Amazon

4 Plush Rope Toys with Squeakers
Cute plush animals that your dog will love! Play a game of tug, toss it in the yard, and watch your pup run around while trying to find the squeaker in the plush heads. Remember though, always supervise your pet with toys like this as they may accidentally eat or swallow pieces.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Zippypaws Burrow Squeaky Plush Toy
Choose from chickens, hedgehogs, or mice in cheese. These cute plush toys are great for stimulating your dog’s desire to hunt and seek. Hide the little critters in their homes and watch your pup paw and stick their noses in the holes as they pull out the little plush animals.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Kong Squiggles Dog Toy
Multi-use toy that you can shake, stretch, and squeak. These come in 4 colorful, cute characters with speakers in both ends.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Kong Extreme
I’ve had dogs that have loved this toy. The extreme black one is the toughest one around. Stuff it with snacks, peanut butter, and even dinner! Using a Kong toy will strengthen your dog’s jaw muscles and help keep them from chewing up your furniture.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Loofa Dog Plush Dog Toy
This stuffed toy is a big hit with the canine population.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Kong 3-Pack Sport Balls
Time for fetch with your athlete! Extra bouncy and great for smaller dogs. Play soccer, baseball, basketball, or pool.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Jolly Ball
The Jolly ball is a toy that all animals love. Next time you go to the zoo, look at the toys the animals are playing with, chances are the polar bears have a jolly ball. The plastic ball has a smaller ball in it, and multiple size holes for your dog to bite and carry the ball around. It’s tough, rugged, and great for outdoor play.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Fashionable Suede Dog Coat
Winter is here, buy your dog a top-notch coat for those chilly walks around town. Sherpa lined with with faux suede will keep your dog stylish and warm.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Whistler Balls
Have a dog that can’t stop playing fetch? Buy these whistler balls for hours of play with the Chuckit launcher.
>>Buy it on Amazon

Dogs on the Run: Catch the Last of Summer! [PHOTOS]

If your dogs – like you – are trying to catch the last fun moments of summer this Labor Day weekend, then you’ll appreciate this photo collection of dogs on the run.

Happy Labor Day weekend, Petswelcome community!

creative commons photo by An Ceann Corr
creative commons photo by MiiiSH
creative commons photo by kajo0069
creative commons photo by docoverachiever
creative commons photo by kev_hickey_uk
creative commons photo by SD Rebel
creative commons photo by JohnGoode
creative commons photo by sweetron1982
creative commons photo by acidpix
creative commons photo by Chris_Parfitt
creative commons photo by M I T C H Ǝ L L

Pet-Friendly Lodging Profile: Sandbridge Realty

One of the things that can make or break a vacation when traveling with pets is the accommodation. Not all “pet-friendly lodging” is created equally, so at PetsWelcome we thought we’d start highlighting properties that take being pet-friendly very seriously. If you own or know of a property – a hotel, vacation rental, B&B, etc. – that should be profiled here, let us know!

Today, we’re learning more about Sandbridge Beach Vacation Rentals from Lisa Roland, who is the Sandbridge Realty marketing director.

Tell us about your property. Where is it located? What’s nearby to do/see? What time of year is best for a visit?
Our beach vacation rentals are located in Sandbridge, in the southern part of Virginia Beach.

Many of our guests that bring their pets take them to the beach for long walks in the morning and also in the late afternoon. The best time of the year to bring a dog to Virginia Beach would be in the spring and early summer, and then again in the fall. Basically before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. There are some rules and regulations that the city posts for bringing your dog to the beach, such as leash lawas and time you can walk your dog. In the off-seasons, the regulations are less stringent. The other advantage is the weather is more pleasant for a dog, as high summer temperatures are not well tolerated by many breeds.

You can take your dog to one of many close city parks, there is a dog park, and you can take your pet to the resort area of Virginia Beach and stroll along the boardwalk.

What makes your property pet-friendly? What else about your location makes this a great place to vacation with a pet?
Currently Sandbridge Realty offers over forty homes that are “pet-friendly.” Some of our pet-friendly homes offer either fenced-in yards or deck areas with gates. Sandbridge Realty also gives your dog a little gift upon checkin – we want your furry friend to have a great vacation, too!

Many many of our guests send us photos of their vacation with their dog playing in the sand. We love to see the smiles and wagging tails!

What else about your location makes this a great place to vacation with a pet?
One of the nicest features of Sandbridge is the lack of big businesses and traffic. It is the perfect vacation destination to truly relax with all of your family members! The two main streets are low speed zones, too, which makes for a pleasant walking or jogging experience for you and your dog.

More about Virginia Beach, from PetsWelcome:
Virginia Beach is a resort city on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s on the southern part of the Virginia coast, right on the border with North Carolina. This is no sleepy beach town – Virginia Beach is actually Virginia’s most populous city – but it remains a popular draw for visitors seeking great beaches, a year-round temperate climate, and easy access to everything one needs on vacation. The beach is obviously the main draw, but if you’re looking for other things to do you can check out the 18th century Cape Henry Lighthouse, see several beautiful state parks and wildlife refuges, spend some time kayaking or fishing, have fun in a 19-acre water park, go golfing at any of the eight public courses in Virginia Beach, and visit the unique Mount Trashmore Park, a recreational park built on top of an old landfill.

Learn more about the pet-friendly properties available from Sandbridge Realty by clicking on “Rentals” and choosing “Pets” from the list of amenities.

Do you LIKE PetsWelcome on Facebook?

Those of you reading this article on PetsWelcome are, in all likelihood, subscribers to our newsletter. That’s great, because it’s the easiest way to keep up with the new things we publish here on the PetsWelcome blog. But even though there’s a Facebook box on the website and in the newsletters, you may not realize that there are good reasons to connect with PetsWelcome on Facebook, too.

Here are five reasons you should LIKE PetsWelcome on Facebook, if you haven’t done so already.

1. There’s more stuff on Facebook than the blog.

We always make sure that the latest articles from the PetsWelcome blog get posted to our Facebook page, but that’s far from the only thing we post there. We put a variety of animal-related tidbits on our Facebook page – including funny pet photos, inspiring stories of pets and their people, and animal news items that sometimes make us laugh or cry. You’ll find one or two new posts on PetsWelcome during the week, but we’re posting on Facebook every day – so clicking the LIKE button on our page will give you a daily dose of animal goodness.

2. Time-sensitive information goes on Facebook.

We monitor the news for announcements about pet food recalls and other time-sensitive information, but we don’t often put those things on the blog. Why? Because by the time you got the newsletter (or found the article by searching online), it may well be out of date – and that’s not useful to anyone. To be in the loop on time-sensitive issues that may be critical to your pet’s health, follow our Facebook page.

3. You can connect with other traveling animal lovers.

Reading the posts on the PetsWelcome blog is great, but it’s a very one-way street – we write articles, and you read them. Sometimes you comment on them, yes, but on Facebook the conversation is much more dynamic. Not only do you get to react to what we’re saying and posting, you get to interact with other people in the PetsWelcome community. You’ll find funny comments, questions about pet travel, and photos that fans have posted.

4. Sharing is caring.

Building on the point above, we’re always excited to get notes from PetsWelcome community members on Facebook, and to see photos of their pets as they travel. (Sometimes we even offer thank you gifts for that kind of sharing, we love it so much.) The bottom line is that we don’t want Facebook to simply be us talking at you – we want you to share your pet travel experiences with us, too. And if you like PetsWelcome’s Facebook page, why not share it with your pet-loving friends, too?

5. You’re on Facebook anyway, right?

Let’s face it – most of us spend at least a little time on Facebook every day anyway, so why not add PetsWelcome to your day in a place where you already know you’re spending time?

So, do you LIKE PetsWelcome now?

Pet-Friendly Lodging Profile: Carolina Designs Realty

One of the things that can make or break a vacation when traveling with pets is the accommodation. Not all “pet-friendly lodging” is created equally, so at PetsWelcome we thought we’d start highlighting properties that take being pet-friendly very seriously. If you own or know of a property – a hotel, vacation rental, B&B, etc. – that should be profiled here, let us know!

Today, we’re learning more about Carolina Designs Realty from Ryan Thibodeau, who works in the company’s social media and marketing department.

Dogs enjoying a Carolina Designs pet-friendly pool!

Tell us about your property. Where is it located? What’s nearby to do/see? What time of year is best for a visit?
We’re a vacation rental property management company located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our vacation rentals are in resort beach areas in the towns of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head in the northeastern corner of the state. We have visitors year-round, predominantly in the summer months, but we also experience a large volume of guests during the spring and fall shoulder seasons.

What makes your property pet-friendly? What else about your location makes this a great place to vacation with a pet?
Our company has over 325 luxury vacation rental homes in our program, many of which are oceanfront homes, and 114 of which are pet-friendly. Our beaches are clean and typically low density.

More about the Outer Banks, from PetsWelcome:
The Outer Banks is a stretch of narrow islands just off the coast, extending 200 miles from North Carolina up into Virginia. It’s a popular tourist draw for many reasons, not least of which are its lovely beaches – many of which are dog-friendly. This is also where the Wright brothers took their first successful flight in 1903, so you can incorporate a bit of history into your beach holiday with a stop at the Wright Brothers National Monument. There are several other state parks and wildlife refuge areas worth checking out on the Outer Banks, too, and some of them are pet-friendly as well.

Learn more about the pet-friendly properties available from Carolina Designs Realty by clicking on “Homes by Amenities” and selecting “Pet Friendly Homes.”

The Carolina Designs staff, ready to help with your pet-friendly vacation.