Q. What Does Fido Want for Christmas? A. Antlers to Chew

Severna Park pet shops all agree that antlers are the chew toy of choice this season, along with other favorites sure to please even the most finicky pet.

Do you hang a stocking for your pet and fill it with special treats and toys for Christmas? (Answer on the poll below). In the meantime, learn what's hot in the pet snack and toy bins this year at Severna Park's pet stores.

Antlers are moving quickly off the shelves, according to all three pet stores in the park, , and Petco Unleashed.

"Antlers are a big seller, long-lasting, great for the teeth and they don't splinter," said Heather Jones, manager of Mutt & Joe on Benfield Road. The shop has a variety of antler sizes with pricing from $6 for small dogs to $20 for larger breeds.

Pet owners' interest in antlers isn't new, but Andy Morris of All for the Pet in the center of town has noticed an increase in demand for antlers so far this year.

"They [antlers] are growing in popularity. The dogs get into the marrow of an antler and it cleans their teeth," he said.

Elk and deer shed their antlers naturally, a fact most people don't realize, said Morris, whose family has been operating the pet store in the park for more than 30 years. "There is no killing of elk or deer involved," he said.

All of the shops are stocked with seasonal toys, like jingle bell collars at Petco Unleashed in the Severna Park Marketplace. The staff reports that the pooch apparel, especially a red and white striped onesie for smaller dogs, is selling quickly. If fashion isn't your gig, there's a chewable snowball that is 100 percent guaranteed not to puncture and is "indestructible" or your money back.

If your pet requires more adventure when chewing, try a Himalayan dog chew made of yak and cow milk, salt and lime juice, for $13 at All for the Pet. How about that for a unique stocking stuffer?

Over at Mutt & Joe, the crew is busy washing dogs, selling coffee and waiting on customers in their gift aisle where a Crypton crate mat in four sizes is on special, buy one get one half-off. This mat is water, mildew and stain resistant, and antibacterial to boot. The mats come in four sizes and range in price from $11 to $42.

"We pride ourselves on selling things made in the USA and sell only organic, all natural treats," said Jones.

If you are looking for a T-shirt, check in the corner by the window for "Kiss my Mutt" gift for the dog lover in your life.

Let's not forget the cats and kittens who would enjoy an Eggcersizer ball to fill with treats and plop in their stocking for $10 at All for the Pet. For the glamour-puss, there are also elegant feather wands to entertain your feline for $15 to $20.

Do you give a gift or fill a stocking for your pet? Answer the Patch poll question below—let's see how many people have their favorite pooch or feline on their shopping list.


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