The Globe’s annual pet gift guide offers great gift ideas for your four-legged family members – featuring adorable, adoptable animals from the Toronto Humane Society. These animals were available for adoption at time of writing, and there are many more waiting for homes this Christmas. If you or your family is considering a new addition, visit the humane society website to meet the love of your life.
Who knew ugly Christmas sweaters could look so adorable? These dapper seniors – 15-year-old Buster the Dachshund, and his sweet friend 12-year-old Chelsea, a terrier mix – fully embrace the hipster trend. ($14.97, walmart.ca) Don’t let their ages fool you: These pups are full of life and personality – yet still well-mannered and looking for love.
Snow is a two-year-old husky with soulful eyes and a heart of gold. He entered the room and immediately came in for a hug – ignoring the treats, ignoring the toys. His sweater, the Cozy Caribou Hoodie (starting at $40.99, canadapooch.com), is a superbly plush, fleece-lined hoodie to keep him warm – not that he needs it. It boggles the mind that this guy is in a shelter, waiting. This boy has so much love to give; he’s the type of dog that makes you want to quit your job, buy a country home and spend the rest of your days cuddling his soft face.
Sicily was absolutely infatuated with a squeaky fox toy throughout her photoshoot, and tried her best to entice me. A beautiful dog inside and out – Sicily deserves a home full of love. The two-year-old playful, bouncy girl is sure to add a lot of joy to the lucky family who chooses her. Sicily’s holiday cheer is in full effect with this gorgeous dog scarf ($9.99, canadiantire.ca) and, for the dog-obsessed person on your list, she models an adorable new coffee table book, Wet Dog by photographer Sophie Gamand. ($17, chapters.indigo.ca)
Zach, a super smart, seven-year-old border collie, was fixated on playing a game of catch during his photo shoot. I’d throw the ball, he’d snout it back to me, and somewhere in between I’d try to snap his picture. The family that welcomes this intelligent boy will have a merry Christmas indeed. Zach takes a quick rest on his tufted gloriously soft bed and festive bone pillow. ($179.99 and $49.99, bowsers.com)
Katerina is just a year old – and it’s been a rough year for this sweet, curious dog. She’s obedient and playful all at once, and ready to shine for a her future family. And shine she does in this gold-sparkle bow-tie collar ($8.49; petsmart.ca)
It’s 2015, and adorable pet gifts aren’t just for cats and dogs any more. Beautiful bunny Zeus dons an equally stunning bow-tie collar ($35, theroverboutique.com). Bunnies make wonderful family pets, especially for busy families with young kids – and there are dozens waiting to be loved at the Toronto Humane Society.
A tiny dog with a huge heart, Sparky the chihuahua is a 10-year-old darling of a pooch. As an older lovebug with some medical needs, this girl is looking for a caring foster home to live her golden years. She’s keeping warm this winter with an eggplant Everest Explorer Vest ($42.99, CanadaPooch.com)
Chief is a quietly confident cat who dons a necktie collar like he knows he’s in charge ($45, theroverboutique.com). True to his name, he ran the photoshoot on his own terms, posing away from the camera and refusing to look into the lens. Laid-back and cool, Chief is asking for his forever home – and a lap to curl up in – this Christmas. Also on the list for Santa: Super healthy, homemade fresh-breath treats and alpaca-wool toys from Toronto-based House of Cat.
Five-month-old Daniel is not your average cat: He’s spunky, curious and full of character. He wants to play, play and then play some more. While Daniel may not be into tiny hats – he’s more of a feather on a stick type of guy – this book by Adam Ellis (borne of the Tiny Hats on Cats Instagram phenomenon) is sure to please any cat lover on your list. ($12.99, chapters.indigo.ca)
The fanciest of fancy cats, six-year-old Guinevere is a queen looking for her castle. Unbelievably soft, this royal beauty is in the holiday spirit with her festive collar ($6.97, Walmart.ca) Regal as she is, Guinevere knows a quality treat when she sees it: This fancy cat pâté from 4 Paws Pure (an all-natural pet shop in Prince George, B.C.), will do just fine. ($5.99; 4pawspure.ca)
Who doesn’t love a good lounge? One-year-old Kitty Couric is a bouncing ball of energy and oh-so-curious: She wanted to jump on, through and around this stylish cat-scratcher lounge from Pet Fusion ($89.95, Amazon.ca). After a few minutes of careful inspection, Ms. Couric quickly declared it hers and got really, really comfortable.
Sweet, soft Charlotte, just two months old, is a polite country girl who now finds herself overwhelmed by the big city. Still, she was intrigued by this gift set from Toronto’s favourite hipster gift shop, the Drake General Store. The Merry Meow box ($35, drakegeneralstore.ca) is an all-in-one gift for the cat-human duo on your list: it includes cat nip, laser toy, enough playthings to fill a cat stocking and a handy lint roller for necessary clean-up.
Used in this shoot were many Canadian, all-natural treats that helped the photographer get the shot. Among them: as seen on Dragons’ Den, the Ontario-based Barnies with Happy Dog Beef Bites ($3, at Dollarama); from Quebec, banana peanut butter BugBites, which uses sustainable, alternative insect protein ($9.99, getbugbites.com); and from B.C., lamb lung and kitty treats from ($6.49 and $4.99, 4pawspure.ca).