While you do your holiday shopping this year, don’t forget to place a little something special under the tree for Fido. Luckily for those searching for pet-friendly gifts and stocking stuffers, Milwaukee has an abundance of adorable items. Here are a few favorites!
1) Holiday-themed squeaky toys, Ecopet
Address: 1229 E. Brady St.
Hours: M: Closed, Tu – F: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sa – Su: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Loved by residents of the Lower East Side, Ecopet is a little local pet store that offers a surprisingly big selection of toys, treats and foods for all types of pets. It’s hard to resist the baskets of bones, antlers, bully sticks and even homemade cookies on the natural dog treat table.
But for those looking for something special for their four-legged friend this December, check out their variety of holiday-themed toys, including plush polar bears, elves, reindeer, snowmen and even an “invincible” Santa Claus that should withstand even the strongest of chewers. Also, for the cat-lover in your life, EcoPet has dedicated an entire wall to catnip-stuffed toys and feathery playthings.
2) Gourmet food for cats and dogs, Bark n’ Scratch Outpost
Address: 5835 W. Bluemound Rd.
Hours: M: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tu: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., W: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Th – Sa: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Su: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Let’s be honest: if our pets could tell us what they want for the holidays this year, they’d likely just say, “FOOD.” This is where Bark n’ Scratch Outpost comes in. Committed to carrying a wide range of healthy, natural foods, Bark n’ Scratch is the perfect place to find a gourmet and grain-free gift for cats and dogs. While you and your human family members are feasting, your pup could be enjoying a can of Merrick brand “Pappy’s Pot Roast Dinner” or “Dainty Duck Medley” instead of begging for scraps. Or, if you’re shopping for a discerning feline, consider serving up a bit of Lotus brand, “Pork Pâté” or “Venison Stew.” No pet place setting even required.
3) Green Bay Packers food bowls and leashes, Mac’s PET DEPOT Barkery
Address: 2197 S Kinnickinnic Ave.
Hours: M – Sa: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Su: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
It’s tempting to fall back on holiday gift tropes like candles, sweaters, gift baskets or reindeer socks. But if you have loved ones in your life who are both sports fans and pet owners, then Mac’s PET DEPOT Barkery in Bay View has a great go-to gift: Packers (or Badgers and Brewers!) pet accessories. Wisconsinites everywhere get gear for themselves to support their favorite teams; why not also let their pets express a little Packers pride?
Note: If you’re looking for something smaller, Mac’s also has a display case filled with homemade dog-friendly treats. The cookie decorated as a football might just win “best gift” of the season.
4) “Candy cane” dog bones, Wisconsin Garden & Pet Supplies
Address: 8520 W North Ave, Wauwatosa
Hours: M: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tu – Th: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., F: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sa: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Su: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This supply store is a great excuse to do some shopping in Wauwatosa — they feature most items that a huge chain store like Home Depot or Lowe’s might carry, but with personable service and a lot of local flair. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a gift for a furry family member, Wisconsin Garden & Pet Supplies has a whole wall of holiday-themed pet toys and treats, including adorable candy cane-shaped dog bones made of rawhide. Sold in both large and small sizes, this potential stocking stuffer is appropriate for German Shepherds or Toy Poodles alike, and could be paired with one of the soft, squeaky candy cane toys for extra fun.
Bonus: If you’re not just shopping for Fido, this store boasts a huge range of wreaths, garlands, tree ornaments and bright red poinsettias that your human family members may enjoy.
5) An Honoree Donation Gift (made in your pet’s name), Wisconsin Humane Society
Address: 4500 W Wisconsin Ave
Hours: M: Closed, Tu – F: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Sa: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Su: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Holiday shopping for our pets (or pet-loving friends and family members) is always fun. But if you’re also looking to spread some generosity to homeless pets, consider making a donation to a local rescue, such as the Wisconsin Humane Society. Not only will your donation go to a good cause, but you can change your donation into a gift by making it in the name of a loved one, or in honor of a beloved pet who has passed. Another option for those able to stock up on a little extra while out shopping this season is to help MADACC fill their “Winter Wishlist.” Afterwards, you can put your feet up and snuggle with your four-legged friend, knowing that you both helped spread some holiday cheer to pets in need this season.