It’s been said animals are the ticket to heaven because they aren’t judgmental and wag their tails instead of their tongues.

For this reason, local pet stores are offering an assortment of gifts designed to ensure pets and pet parents enjoy a “pawsitively” cool yule this holiday season. According to dogtime.com, 95% of pet owners plan to give their pet a Christmas present and most of will spend about $36 per pet.

Pikes Peak region pet stores, such as Bentley’s Pet Stuff, an all-natural pet food outlet that supplies nutrition free from corn, soy and wheat by-products, wants to help.

Owners Lisa and Gio Senafe believe all pets are “pawesome” creatures and that their products will leave pet families howling for more.

Beginning Friday, Nov. 27, Bentley’s Santa gift sack will include dog wipes, handmade safe holiday toys, pork recipe grain-free dog food and Ultra oil skin and coat supplements.

Bentley’s encourages pet families to shop early since many of these items will be scooped up quickly.

Consultants will be available to assist customers in choosing appropriate gifts to fill pets’ Christmas stockings.

Bentley’s believes offering discounts is the “leash” it can do for its member clientele.

“They (members) are rewarded with points on their purchase when they sign up for our rewards programs and at least three free items (are) added to a gift bag with purchase,” said Colorado Area Market lead Tracy Cumpton Tyler.

Also, Bentley’s will provide a “Build-your-own gift bag” (with purchase) that includes tissue paper, ribbon or bow and other items.

“This will be for customers to include additional purchased items they would like to add to the gift bag,” Tyler said.

Knowing pets and pet parents are satisfied with their products is Bentley’s reward, Tyler said.

“We love when customers bring their pets into the store. Bringing awareness for shelter pets is probably one of the biggest things we can all do,” Tyler said.

Bon Pet Supply believes felines are “litter-ally” about the best animals on Earth. Its gift items include a variety of holiday-themed stuffed and non-stuffed pet toys designed chiefly for cats and dogs.

Zuke’s Trees training treats and tree-shaped treats drenched in a festive turkey and cranberry formula also is being offered.

Discounts will start in December, increasing each week up to Christmas day.

Toys are the most popular gift item, as some owners aren’t as concerned about their cat or dog destroying the gift.

“They (owners) buy a cute, fun toy they are sure their pet is going to destroy. But because it’s a special time of year and they know their pet wants to destroy it, they let them,” said Store Manager Taylor Foster.

From now until Dec. 23, Republic of Paws will offer an assortment of goodies for families that are mutts about their canine. These include bow ties, Christmas-themed dog toys, scarves, sweaters and treats for pets, and apparel, candles, car fresheners and mugs for owners.

As with other outlets, the more popular Christmas-themed dog toys sell quickly, according to owner Molly Smith. “It’s the time of year people splurge a little on the soft toys that might get destroyed, but it brings the pups such joy,” Smith said.

Also, military members will receive 10% off non-perishable items and, according to Smith, 3% cash back will go to Paws Perks members.

“We love the Christmas season and think it is a great time to give our dogs and cats some extra spoiling,” Smith added.

The American Pet Products Association reported that people this year will spend more than $60 billion on their pets.

Dogtime.com also reported that 54% of pets this year will have a Christmas stocking; 34%, a special pet-safe advent calendar; 29%, a Christmas card from their owner (even though they can’t read) and that 3% of owners claim their pets will write a letter to Santa Paws.

“People without children typically have pet-kids and want to spoil them during that special time of year so we offer products to make both them and their pet(s) happy,” Foster said.

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