27 gifts for pets and the people who love them

Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored
Updated Thu December 5, 2019

With holiday shopping in full swing, our thoughts are on making magic for our loved ones — including our precious pets. This holiday season, do you have the urge to stuff a stocking or leave a special treat under the tree for your dog or kitty? Of course you do. And yeah, sure, they might not know Christmas Day from Groundhog Day, but seeing our fuzzy friends pounce on a new toy or twirl around at the sight of an unfamiliar treat bag can definitely add joy to the holidays.

Lucky for us, the pet gift industry is booming. And while that's definitely a good thing, it also means that we have a massive assortment of products to pick from. So, how on earth do you know which goodies are worth buying? We're stepping up to help you play Santa, or whoever's the best gift-giver in your household. These 27 pet gifts are sure to make your furry pal feel the love. Oh, and if you want to treat yourself or a fellow doting pet parent to something special this festive season, we've got those ideas, too. Also, if you find yourself still stumped by what to buy your favorite people, we've got guides for all the must-have gifts for her, gifts for him and top-rated Amazon gifts.

Bark Fa La La La Latte Dog Toy ($9.99; target.com)

It's easier to get through the hectic holiday season clutching a frothy latte — and that goes for your pup as well. This squishy, fetchable toy has a big squeaker securely embedded inside to perk up playtime. Remember, it's better to give than to retrieve.

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L.L. Bean Reversible Field Coat ($29.95; llbean.com)

Whether your region sees rain, snow, or both during the winter months, this snappy topper will keep your doggo comfy. It's reversible, so he can sport canvas or flannel depending on the weather. A Velcro adjustable strap ensures a good fit, and the leash conveniently runs through a slit up top.

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Knit Dog Ornaments ($28; uncommongoods.com)

Take your pick of the litter: You can gift the dog lover on your list a one-of-a-kind ornament reflecting their favorite breed. Options include dachshund, Havanese, Airedale terriers and 12 other popular pooches. Each ornament is handmade in Peru from alpaca fiber.

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On2Pets Cat Tree ($159.99, originally $164.99; petco.com)

This is the feline equivalent of a shiny red bike under the tree. There isn't a kitty alive who wouldn't relish perching on the three cushioned platforms hidden inside the foliage. Finally, a cat tree you won't mind having sitting in your living room.

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Blueberry Pet Furry Dog Scarf ($19.99; amazon.com)

Canine fashionistas of all sizes will stay warm and stylish in this plush scarf with rhinestone accents. Everyone in the neighborhood will swoon as they sashay by on their walk. Available in baby pink and cream.

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Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test ($149.99; amazon.com)

More and more of us are rescuing dogs rather than buying purebreds, and that's great. But we're left a little (or a lot) curious about the breed of our new buddy. Boston Terrier ... and maybe Bulldog ... with some Boxer mixed in? Just a big Yorkie, you think? This kit solves the mystery once and for all. Even better than satisfying your curiosity, though, the test tips you off to the likelihood of your pet developing any of more than 150 genetic health conditions.

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Snoozzy by Petmate Hide & Seek Cat Bed ($24.99; petmate.com)

Many cats and small dogs like to nestle under blankets, nice and cozy. If yours is one of them, this is going to be the best $25 you've ever spent. Thanks to its unique shape and soft fabric, this tent-style hangout will lure your pet into blissful naps.

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Wild One Walk Kit ($88, originally $108; wildone.com)

Does your dog's walk need a serious upgrade? Through the uber-chic pet brand Wild One, you can get a sophisticated leash, collar and poop bag in colors like navy, blush pink and rust red.

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ANWA Calming Vest for Dogs ($16.99; amazon.com)

If your dog is the sort that is easily rattled, it can be heartbreaking to watch how frightened they get at the sound of thunder, fireworks or construction noise. This solution is worth a look. This vest works on the same principle as a weighted blanket to soothe scared puppers.

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Purina Beyond Natural, Grain Free Cat Treats ($5.46; walmart.com)

Cats have a (not entirely undeserved) rep for being picky eaters. Turn the head of your finicky feline with a yummy, healthy treat. These are made with quality, natural ingredients without grains, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

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Treat a Dog Furry PupRug ($119; amazon.com)

Beds that are comfortable, night after night, for large dogs can be hard to find. Breeds like Great Danes, Afghans and Newfies need orthopedic support. The memory foam base of this bed alleviates pressure on joints. Plus, it has a waterproof lining, a handy feature for elderly dogs that occasionally have accidents.

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Catit Grooming Kit for Long-Hair Cats ($39.99; amazon.com)

Fluffy cats are irresistible, let's face it. But all that hair on furniture and your favorite black sweater is considerably less beautiful. The best defense is a good offense ... brushing that furball every day. Your cat will enjoy the ritual, and it will prevent hairballs.

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Petfon Pet GPS Tracker ($169.99; amazon.com)

With all the hubbub of the holiday season — running to the door to grab packages, letting guests in and out and being more distracted than usual — it's easy for a pet to slip out unnoticed. This smart device can save the day. It uses real-time tracking to locate your lost pal up to 3.5 miles from home. It's water resistant, so rain won't foil your reunion. And you won't have to pay monthly fees.

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Wild One Air Travel Carrier ($125; wildone.com)

Would you describe your dog or cat as a jetsetter? This is the bag for them. With breathable mesh walls and an interior cushion that folds out into a bed, they'll be traveling in style.

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Merry & Bright Holiday Reindeer Hat ($3.99; petsmart.com)

Let's not pretend this is a gift for your pet. You're ordering it because you want hilarious pictures for Instagram. There's no shame in that holiday game.

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Custom Painterly Pet Portraits (starting at $180; uncommongoods.com)

Submit a picture of a special pet, and get a stunning painted portrait on stretched canvas that's ready to hang. This could be the ultimate gift for a friend who recently lost a beloved pet. Just have tissues ready.

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PetFusion Ultimate Cloud Cat Lounger ($49.95; petco.com)

It doesn't look like one, but this artsy curl-up spot doubles as a scratching post. Your pampered cat can get a workout and chill out in the same place.

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FreshStart DogiPack (starting at $24.99; amazon.com)

An extra set of hands for those who like to take long walks or hikes with their dog. This holds poop bags, a collapsible water bowl, a water bottle, your ID, phone and more. Plus, a part of the proceeds go to dog rescue groups.

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Plato Turkey with Pumpkin Dog Treats ($11.83; walmart.com)

Share the flavors of your own holiday dinner with these seasonal morsels. Aside from U.S.-raised turkey and pumpkin, these tidbits also bring vitamins E and C to the table. What they don't have, though, is corn, grains, artificial colors and flavors, GMOs and synthetic preservatives.

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Jackson Galaxy Fun Fish Cat Toy ($4.95; petmate.com)

Stuff his stocking with this lightweight, durable toy that just begs to be batted. The felt pieces are infused with organic catnip, so don't be surprised if he tries to climb inside his stocking on Christmas Eve!

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DJ Cat Scratching Pad ($35; uncommongoods.com)

Is this not hysterical? Designed in London and made of 100% recycled paper and wood, this clever scratching pad lets your cat stretch their muscles and sharpen their claws while living out their DJ fantasies. It arrives as a flat-packed kit that is a snap to put together.

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Snuggle Safe Heating Pad ($27.99; amazon.com)

This gift is sure to be a winner for any cat or small dog that loves to bask in the sun (read: all of them). Sun can be scarce in the dark, short days of winter, so treat them to a portable, toasty snoozing spot. It heats up in the microwave, so it couldn't be simpler.

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Petsafe Easy Walk Dog Harness ($22.95, originally $34.99; petco.com)

Give your dog a useful (and adorable) present. This adjustable, strong harness is designed so that the leash attaches to the front chest area, a boon if you have a puller. Meanwhile, the sparkly, ribbon overlay provides holiday bling.

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Pet Photo on Metal ($17.72, originally $44.30; canvaschamp.com)

Looking for a gift with a modern, edgy sensibility? Order an image of their fur baby on shiny metal. It'll deliver maximum impact at a budget-friendly price.

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Cat Nip Grow Kit ($16; urbanoutfitters.com)

Feline fanatics with a green thumb will think this is the best present ever. No need to buy catnip ... just grow your own! It's easy to do. And you know what you're giving your cat is fresh, with no pesticides.

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Cafe Press Yellow Labrador Tote Bag ($15.95; amazon.com)

Yellow and chocolate Labradors have lots of fans. If you know a proud Lab parent, gift them a roomy tote that pays homage to these sweet, loyal dogs. They're perfect carry-alls for trips to the dog park.

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Best Friends by Sherri Shag Cuddler ($37.37, originally $53.99; amazon.com)

Your dog deserves to be spoiled, right? Show it by giving them this luxurious sleeper. It comes in three sizes so your pup can curl up in one that's just right. The kicker is that it's machine washable.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.