Pet Matters: Alexandria is the perfect place to be a pet during the holidays

Pet Matters: Alexandria is the perfect place to be a pet during the holidays

Visit a pet boutique this holiday season and find a gift that will drive your pet crazy with delight. The present also may inspire a stern shake of the head from your disapproving spouse.

While at the shop, pick up something to ensure your furry fashionista makes a statement at your holiday soiree. Consider a Christian Loubarkin plush toy or an arctic leopard dress for your little lady.

And don’t be surprised if your macho canine seems very much at ease in a two-toned, Pup Crew hooded sweatshirt. After all, doggie’s got style and doesn’t like to be cold, even though he will never admit it.

Isabel Alvarez

Also be sure to browse the treat section; the food critic who regularly looks up from his food bowl in disgust doesn’t want to find a box of dry, hard treats under the tree. Instead, your pup wants gourmet treats in flavors such as blueberry, sweet potato, molasses, cheddar cheese and, my personal favorite, pizza.

Foodie pups enjoy fancy jerky made from specialty cuts of meat — like venison, bison and wild boar — not the flavorless white rawhide that gets stuck on the roof of their mouths. And dogs salivate at the thought of finding bones in their stockings, especially large ones with delicious smells.

They dream of enjoying these decadent bones in the comfort of a new, oversized bed. Maybe the bed even features their name embroidered on the front, saving the pup the trouble of marking it to keep others out.

Cat owners need not feel left out. There also are plenty of fabulous gift options out there for your fur friend.

Maybe your cat secretly dreams of ruling the world. If so, the El Gato catnip cigar is just what the pet psychiatrist ordered for your conspiring kitten.

Have an outdoorsy cat? A kitty fishing lure serves as the perfect thriller for your adventurous feline. Be forewarned, though, as the family may fight over the toy. It’s really fun to play with, even for a girly-girl like me.

Bedazzle your prissy kitty with one of the many spirited pet accessories on the market. Jingle bells and rhinestones definitely will dress up your cat’s collar and make him or her stand out in the crowd. But your cat may be up all night trying to figure out how to silence the new collar.

Gourmet cat treats come in several different varieties, such as organic grasses and seeds, wild Alaskan salmon, white albacore, and duck liver. Your finicky cat may turn up his or her nose at volume-produced treats but will be unable to resist the specialty stores stock products. Stay on guard, though, since your cat may come to expect these new treats long after the holidays are over.

Before leaving the store, make sure to grab something special for a less fortunate pet. Homeless pets need a treat, too, especially considering they don’t get to curl up with you every night. The local rescues will be happy for your visit.