Chances are, you’ve got someone on your gift-giving list that falls under the “pet lover” category. A 2018/2019 survey from the American Pet Products Association (APA) showed that 68 percent of US households own a pet— the rough equivalent of about 85 million people. With a majority of the population feeling the animal love, it's safe to assume that a present revolving around a pet will be right up the alley of someone you're buying for. The best pet lover gifts honor the bond between human and companion, and there's no shortage of personal, unique finds out there that do just that.
Why are pets so important to their owners?
In addition to the obvious unconditional love pets provide to their owners, there are a multitude of scientifically-proven benefits to having an animal in one's life, right down to the physical level.
A 1999 study out of the University of Buffalo found that having a dog or a cat as a pet controlled blood pressure better than pharmaceutical ACE inhibitors. "This study shows that if you have high blood pressure, a pet is very good for you when you're under stress, and pet ownership is especially good for you if you have a limited support system," university research assistant and professor of medicine, Karen Allen, Ph.D., said at the time.
A subsequent 2002 study from the same university published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that people may find more support in their animals than their spouses — or even their friends. "Our participants' responses to stress, combined with their descriptions of the meaning of pets in their lives, suggest to us that social support can indeed cross species," wrote Allen, who acted as the study's lead.
No wonder 2019 research from Psychology Today suggests that 65 percent of pet owners see themselves as "parents!"
The Best Pet Lover Gifts
Whether you’re shopping for a cat lover, a dog lover, a bird lover, or someone with an animal that's ... slightly more exotic, FIRST for Women has got you covered. We’ve got a head start on your holiday shopping with a roundup of 12 of the most unique pet lover gifts around. Keep scrolling for FIRST’s top picks for the best pet lover gifts on the market.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.