Pet owners have many options when they set out to spoil their four-legged friends for the holidays.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Tammy Wilson-Teeter, co-owner of Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort, 1811 E. Baseline Road, in Tempe, emphasized locally-sourced goods for holiday gifts. The pet resort carries items like collars and pet-themed cards from Valley businesses.
"People tend to be steering away from the high-manufactured, heavily produced things that are available everywhere," Wilson-Teeter said. "And they seem to be going for the customized dog beds and high-end collars."
She noted that pet portraits are another way to personalize gifts. An employee at Wiggles and Wags paints custom pet portraits, measuring 9 inches by 12 inches, and 18 inches by 24 inches. Medium sizes are individually determined. Prices for the various sizes range between $25 and $50.
The Bone Appetit Bakery and Boutique, 4810 E. Ray Road, Suite 5, in Ahwatukee also features locally-produced goods with its hand-knit dog sweaters by Judy Manahan from Tempe. The acrylic sweaters are available in festive colors.
Bone Appetit co-owner Helen Goldblatt said she has seen people buying pet gifts during the holidays that aren't specific to Christmas or Hanukkah.
"With the economy like it is, we've been finding people just buy more generic because they can use it all year long," she said.
But Goldblatt still puts Christmas and Hanukkah toys on Bone Appetite's shelves. Her husband, Joe, who runs the bakery side of the business, also creates special dog treats for the holidays. One item is "Fido's Holiday Feast," the Goldblatts' name for a TV dinner for canines.
Malinda Malone, owner of Malinda's Pampered Pets, 4302 E. Ray Road, in Ahwatukee, suggested pet owners learn pet CPR and first aid for their four-legged friends.
"That would be a wonderful gift for someone who has pets, because you never know when something is going to happen," Malone said.
Malinda's Pampered Pets will conduct an eight-hour PetSaver class on Jan. 22. The workshop, which costs $120, will teach CPR, first aid, geriatric care and dental care. For those only looking to learn CPR and first aid, a four-hour class will be available for $80 that day.
For pet owners looking to indulge their pets sooner, photos with Santa are another option. Malinda's Pampered Pets will offer photos with Santa during two fundraising events in December.
Malone's nonprofit Potato Chips Pomeranian Rescue will benefit from the first event on Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Another session, to raise money for the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 10, and from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 11. Appointments are required. The cost for either event is $25.
A pet-friendly Christmas party is another way owners can spoil their pets during the holidays. Malone is hosting "A Very Pommie Christmas Party" on Dec. 17.
Dogs and their owners are invited to the event, which will kick off at 6 p.m. The party will have raffle and auction items to raise money for Malone's Pomeranian rescue.
Christmas parties and other holiday frills aside, quality time is perhaps the best way that owners can dote upon their pets. Malone, who owns five Pomeranians, said one gift is, "Just being with them. They enjoy that more than anything else."
For more information, contact Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort at (480) 491-4040, The Bone Appetit Bakery and Boutique at (480) 785-9499, and Malinda's Pampered Pets at (480) 753-5766.
• Kiali Wong is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.