Fun toys and minty treats are undoubtedly at the top of many pets' Christmas lists. Need help deciding what to get? Ask Robin Mizell, owner of Bark Avenue in El Dorado Hills. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene


Pamper your pets this Christmas

By From page B2 | November 18, 2011

All year they’ve greeted you with wagging tails, wet noses and soft purrs. Now it’s time to show your pet just how much you appreciate their fuzzy companionship.

It’s time to fill their Christmas stocking … but with what?

Let’s start with where your pet takes a nap. “It’s bed season,” said Robin Mizell, owner of Bark Avenue in El Dorado Hills.

Doggy and kitty beds come in a variety of styles, from basic to fancy. Find one that fits your pet’s personality. Is Fido a plaid pooch? Maybe Gigi would like a velvet bed, fitting for the kitty queen that she is.

Next up, pet style.

Collars from bb simon will really add some bling to your pet’s wardrobe. These collars feature rhinestones, fine leather, flashy patterns and every color imaginable. You’ll be able to find your dog in the dog park … just look for the sparkle.

For those with more down-to-earth tastes, Mizell recommends bandanas and, to get everyone in the holiday spirit, jingle bells.

Winter wear — coats, boots, rain gear and sweaters — are also popular and stylish gifts.

No Christmas would be complete without toys. Fun and function is the trend this year and the first toy Mizell pulled out is sure to be a big hit for those who don’t appreciate doggy breath. Planet Dog makes mint-flavored chew toys.

“They’re a good chew toy and a good breath saver,” Mizell said as she held up a soft red and white mint. Your pup can also chew on mint Christmas lights and snowballs and when he gives you a kiss afterward you’ll love it just as much as he does.

Big plush toys, squeaking and honking, always make tails wag, added Mizell. Pet toy makers have really gotten creative with what your dog will drag around, from giant candy canes to unidentifiable creatures.

Keeping your feline friend occupied is also important. Cats have no need for giant stuffed animals but a PURRfect cat toy from Vee Enterprises is probably at the top of their Christmas lists. These danglers feature feathers, bouncy flex necks and reinforced cord. “Then you’ve got some crazy ones with paper in the middle so they make fun noises,” Mizell said.

Add that toy to a new cat tree and you might even see your kitty wag its tail (maybe).

In a day and age where everyone has everything they need or want Mizell said, “People find that the most fun gifts are the ones they buy their animals.”

And don’t forget the animals who don’t have a forever home this holiday season. To help them out Bark Avenue is hosting the Presents for Pound Puppies and Kitties Too donation drive for Animal Outreach and the Grace Foundation. Last year Mizell’s customers donated 50,000 pounds of food. “Isn’t that amazing?” Mizell asked.

Yes, it’s amazing what the holiday spirit can do.

If you need help picking out a gift for your pet or want to make a donation head over to Bark Avenue at 4311 Town Center Blvd., Suite 420, in El Dorado Hills. For more information call (916) 941-7400.

Noel Stack


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