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Call me reckless, call me crazy, call me disorganized… but I so enjoy last minute holiday shopping! Hunting for the perfect present by running into store after store on my small town’s Main Street is such an important part of December, and a wonderful way to catch up with business owners and friends I invariably bump into during the annual excursion. All the holiday swag and festive decorations around town actually help me destress and really put me in the holiday spirit.
However, unlike years past, I will be joining millions of online shoppers this year, due to COVID-related social distancing recommendations. So, how will I support small businesses this season? Luckily, they all have excellent websites that I can browse, making it easy for me to select the perfect gift and pick it up curbside.
According to this recent article from Forbes, shoppers this year can expect shipping delays due to an overwhelming increase in online orders. So, get a head start in your hometown or check off items on your list in your jammies with these unique gift ideas for pets and pet lovers, all of which are available at small businesses that give back to worthy causes.
Check out the list below for inspiration:
Wild One offers eco-friendly, sturdy toys in thoughtful designs and sustainable materials. The company donates a portion of each sale with the goal of supporting the rescue of 52 pups in 52 weeks. This cool company carries not just toys, but other pet-essential items for walking, sleeping, grooming, feeding, traveling, and more.
I love Jax and Bones’ line of Good Karma rope toys for dogs, designed and handcrafted in California. Their hand-tied toys use non-toxic vegetable dyes, and act as dental floss once your dog bites in and frays the rope. Jax & Bones is serious about their ReDuce, ReUse, and ReGenerate philosophy, and donates 10% of their proceeds to rescue and animal welfare groups to help dogs and cats find a forever home.
Inspired by a fisherman family member, Found My Animal specializes in handcrafted leashes using marine-grade rope, brass, and waxed canvas. Each leash is produced in New York, and includes a numbered, brass tag that reads “FOUND” to encourage pet adoption. The company now offers a full line of pet accessories and donates a portion of sales to animal welfare and rescue organizations, and even has a dedicated page listing adoptable dogs.
Another ‘Made in America’ brand is the design-forward, eco-conscious Foggy Dog. The company focuses on “great design” with comfort and durability in mind. They partner with small, family-owned manufacturers to produce the majority of their products in San Francisco, using recycled fibers and repurposed fabric scraps. From each sale of snazzy bow ties or soft flannel bandanas, the Foggy Dog donates half a pound of food to rescue shelters across the nation.
Chef-inspired recipe? Check! Human-grade ingredients? Check! Vegan ingredients? Check! The Women’s Bean Project is a non-profit social enterprise founded by a volunteer at a women’s shelter in Denver, CO with a mission to help women help themselves. In short, they are a food manufacturing business staffed by full time at-risk women that provides programs geared toward learning new skills, such as computer training, budgeting, interviewing, job coaching, etc. Each new hire is employed for 7 months before moving on to jobs in their communities. This year, the organization partnered with another social enterprise to bring us these yummy, healthy dog treats. Feed your pup and support a sister in need. Win-Win!
Here is another pawsome way to support hoomans: Canines for Veterans dog treats from Harry Barker. These crunchy peanut butter treats are baked in the USA exclusively for the company, with wholesome ingredients that are veterinarian approved and perfect for doggos with sensitive tummies and skin allergies. A portion of sales support Canines for Veterans, a program that rescues dogs and trains them for service jobs. After training, these service dogs are matched to injured and wounded veterans at no cost, helping to assist these brave men and women with everyday tasks. How cool is that?
For the fashionista (pet or owner) on your list, look no further than MaxBone. This NYC-based company is unabashedly devoted to stylish creations, and boasts collaborations with brands like Disney Frozen (which needs no introduction), Away (the coveted luggage company), and Kule, the whimsical clothier that specializes in striped tees. Swaddle your fur baby in this super-soft sweater and see a portion of the price go towards supporting over 20 bark-worthy organizations.
I dare you not to crack a smile at the vibrant, happy colors of Baja Ponchos products. Based in, you guessed it, Baja, California, the company’s products are made by talented local seamstresses. Check out this doggo sombrero that perfectly compliments their one-of-a-kind, handmade ponchos from Mexican serape blankets, which are traditionally worn as a type of shawl by men. This small business supports Baja California Spay and Neuter Foundation by donating a portion of funds from each product sold.
Pet Loving Hoomans
“Every Pup Helps a Pup” is this company’s motto. Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. fuels pet lovers with their line of fair trade and organic specialty coffees, donating 20% of company profits to serve organizations that provide a second chance to pups in need. Born out of love for their dogs, who give them so much happiness, this special company sources coffee beans from top-growing regions. The results are small-batch roasted coffees, produced by their roast master in hope of making the perfect cup of java. From single origin to blend varieties to subscriptions to bundles, this is a gift from the heart that caffeine lovers will enjoy.
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The unique candles from this small business are sure to impress pup fans and wine lovers. Nectar of the Dogs Wine, located in picturesque, vineyard-dotted Simi Valley, California, was founded by two friends who love their dogs and also enjoy sharing a good bottle of wine. Created in honor of their favorite and faithful wine o’clock companions, the company has supported countless rescue organizations since 2015. This year, they introduced a collection of clean-burning candles poured into their own recycled wine bottles that come in two sizes and a variety of scents. That oenophile on your list? Done!
Here’s to giving and feeling good this holiday season!
Products in this article were selected at the author’s sole discretion, and this PetPlace content is not sponsored by any featured companies.