The Art Of Gift Giving
Pet gifts are one of my favorite topics. Why? Because often you can get extra creative, or personal, when gifting to a pet. Whether it is a family pet, a friend’s pet or even the host of that fabulous holiday party you go to every December, pet gifting can be a lot of fun.
Let’s talk about gifting for a pet that is not your own. Getting a gift for that kind of furrever friend can be even more challenging than purchasing something for their human counterpart. You don’t necessarily know what personality type the pet is, nor what their likes and desires are outside of food. In this context, I always recommend asking their human counterpart before going down the rabbit hole of products available at Chewy.com or in your local pet store.
The same logic, and advice, applies when it comes to bringing a gift for the furrever friend of the host of a party. Clearly there is a lot of stimulation happening at a party. Often that stimulation can end up creating problems for a dog, as well as a cat. When it comes to this situation, my first recommendation is always to purchase a tough chew toy for a dog or a catnip-inclusive toy for a cat to keep them distracted at the party. But, again, you really need to talk to the host or their significant other to get better context on the pet’s needs and wants.
The aforementioned advice does not mean you can’t get creative. I simply caution that if you are going to get a gift for a pet, just like if you would for a child, you need to understand if there are allergies, likes, dislikes and more. When it comes to creativity, you can do things like bake a Pup Cake (or order one) or make a Tutu (or order one). For both examples, please see below.
Obviously buying something for your own furrever friend is easy. You know what they like and don’t. You also know what their behavior is like, meaning are they a chewer, a hoarder or a pacifier? Let’s use Brioreo, the Spokesdog for Pet Lifestyles Magazine, as well as my wife Kylie’s and my little one.
For the purposes of this example, let me shamelessly promote my skills as a chef, baker, and grill master. Yes, believe it or not, yours truly has been cooking, baking and barbecuing since I was five. For more context, I would point you to my Great Bites column in our sister magazine, New York Lifestyles Magazine. For the purposes of this example, let me shamelessly promote my skills as a chef, baker, and grill master. Yes, believe it or not, yours truly has been cooking, baking and barbecuing since I was five. For more context, I would point you to my Great Bites column in our sister magazine, New York Lifestyles Magazine.
Last year, on Bri’s first “Gotcha Day” (the day she was adopted), we didn’t want to just give her another toy like we do every week. I personally wanted to make her something that we could photograph and have a nice memory of. So, I made her a Pup Cake. When making food or snacks for a pet, make sure you check the ingredients for major no-no’s like Xylitol or chocolate. My wife Kylie also gave her a tutu from Tutu Blossom (www.tutublossom.etsy.com). The Pup Cake is available at www.hillbites.com. Full disclosure: I own Hillbites.
To make things easier for our readers, I am putting in the recipe for my Pup Cake so you can make them at home if you want. Otherwise, there is a discount offer below…
HILLBITES’ Pup Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup natural peanut butter. Do not use a peanut butter with Xylitol as it’s dangerous to dogs. Always check ingredients before using to make anything for an animal.
1/2 cup PLAIN applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin mix but actual pumpkin (often in a can)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix together vegetable oil, peanut butter, applesauce and pumpkin puree. Once combined, mix in egg and mix until combined. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour mixture into an 8-inch round pan (a square pan can also be used) that has been greased with oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool on a wire rack prior to removing from pan.
As cake is cooling, prepare frosting. Mix Greek yogurt and peanut butter until well combined. Spread over cake. If not serving immediately, store in refrigerator.
If you are interested in ordering a Pup Cake at hillbites.com, please enter code PLMGift for a 10 percent discount.