It is the most wonderful time of the year and pet parents and dog lovers everywhere will ensure they do not come up short with the gifts for their fur babies this holiday season. The role of the family dog has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and with it a major shift in how dog moms and dog dads treat their pets during the holiday.

As a teenager, I recall Christmas Eve with my best friend’s family. Following dinner, we would collapse in the family room, enjoy our eggnog,and watch Scrooge on TV.  A fire would be crackling and their dog would lay off to the side, soaking up the warmth.  Mind you, there was no special bed for this dog to lie on- the floor was good enough.  Hanging on the mantle were stockings filled with gifts.  There was even one for me (the Jewish kid), but there was not one for the dog.  There were no presents under the tree for this miniature poodle and no special ornaments depicting the family’s love for this pup.  Don’t get me wrong, they absolutely loved this dog, but she definitely did not “cash in” during the holidays.

Today, it’s a very different story.  The humanization of pets has gone far beyond the adorable dresses and outfits that launched the trend.  Our dogs get the luxury of sleeping in our bed and the adventure of joining us in most of our activities.  Stores are stocked with gift ideas from holiday themed dog toys to fancy holiday attire. Santa’s everywhere are finding dogs placed on their laps for holiday photos.  Dogs who “celebrate Hanukkah” get their special Menorah and a chance to enjoy at least one potato latke. Seriously, who is NOT going to include their dog in all the holiday festivities?

Millennials, who consider their pets as their “children”, will spend the most this holiday and the baby boomers are not far behind.  Over 95% of people who have dogs report they will be buying gifts for their “pups” this season. Stockings will be monogrammed or breed specific and stuffed to the brim with treats and small toys. Hanging on the tree will be special ornaments, and under it, a number of new toys, clothes, and gadgets to enjoy. They receive cards they can’t read and are included in the signature of cards sent to others. “Santa Paws” will even receive their Christmas lists too…   Never has Fido had it so good!!!

Dog lovers dote on their “fur babies” because they want them to experience the same joy that their dogs give to them so unconditionally throughout the year.  More and more, dog lovers want to share the love for their dogs with the rest of the world.  The “human at the other end of the leash” will no longer be just on the giving end.  This year, countless dog lovers will receive home decor and gift items personalized with photos of their dog, jewelry, and clothing.  Of course all of this is wrapped nicely and signed by the dog.

It is no secret that our pets are now considered very important and deeply loved family members.  As a result, the circle of gift giving during the holidays is now complete.

Written By Gila Kurtz