Pets get treats, gifts for holidays

Owners spend average $46 on dogs, cats

SAN ANTONIO - The holiday spirit is unleashed.

Despite tough times, pet parents are perusing the chew toys and designer doggie duds in search of the perfect stocking stuffers.

"We feel like they're part of the family," said Melissa Hines, shopping for a holiday sweater for her pet chihuahua, Gwen.  She said she might even wrap it.

Pets are big business as more than half of pet owners are expected to buy gifts for Fluffy and Fido, according to a survey by Average spending on the family dog or cat will be an estimated $46.

Debra Rose, shopping at PetSmart, U.S. Hwy 281N at Bitters,   was looking for a present for her granddog.

"I just lost my pet last year, and this is my first Christmas without her and I miss her," she said. "And, I'll feel bad if I send something for everybody and not the grandpet."

There was no shortage of gift ideas at PetSmart, including gingerbread shaped treats, Santa suits and boots for chilly morning walks.

At Fifi and Fidos, 5120 Broadway, owner Diana Farrar said customers pamper their pets.

"I think sometimes they may buy more presents for their pets than they do for their children and significant others."

The Alamo Heights boutique was stocked with Christmas colored tutus, organic cakes and kitty caviar treats.

And for the pooch who has everything, there was the "Furr-sace"  velvet jacket or gefilte fish for Hannukah.


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