Holiday time is visiting time, and this season there's a new spirit in the air. Instead of toting traditional host/ess gifts like bottles of wine or boxes of candy, ultrahip guests looking to make a good impression are aiming their largesse lowerat the furry freeloaders of the household. Pet treats have evolved far beyond rubber chew toys and catnip mice. Stores such as All the Best Pet Care, with five locations in Seattle and on the Eastside, offer an almost bewildering range of treats for our animal friends.
Consider the Hide a Squirrel Puzzle Plush Hide 'n' Seek Dog Toy ($16.99), suggested "for highly active dogs." A plush "tree stump" containing three removable, plush, squeaker-containing squirrels, it's bound to provide hours of fun for any dog (and for the dog's owners, hours of putting the squirrels back into the trunk, too). Less labor-intensive is the Prairie brand dry roasted canine treat of marrowbone and liver leather ($5.99). For the athletic dog, consider the Planet Dog Frisbee ($13.99), made of soft but durable gel plastic guaranteed not to chip Fido's teeth.
For feline friends, you can't beat freeze-dried snacks like Grandma Lucy's tuna treats ($6.99 for 4 ounces) or Liv-a-Littles Whole Chicken Treats ($11.99 for 2.75 ounces), the latter so efficacious that its fans have nicknamed it "kittie crack." For just $17.99, you can give Ursula's catnip sleeping mat, a fine damask pad both washable and rechargeable. If you've a kitten on your gift list, definitely consider the Critterbug ($11.99), a laser pointer housed in soft red plastic shaped, who knows why, like a grasshopper. Most cats love chasing the little red spot of light it generates so much that they growl when you switch it off. Some cats, however, are utterly unamused, so results may vary.
All the Best Pet Care stores are open seven days a week. Visit www.all-the-best.com for locations and phone numbers.