The Ultimate Gift Guide for Animal Lovers

gift guide for animal lovers

I know. Another gift guide for animal lovers? Noooo! So I wasn’t going to write one. But then I started shopping online, armed with my own gift criteria, and realized another guide might help folks in the same boat as I.

These were the criteria I used to produce my gift guide for animal lovers: (1) All-purpose (most of what’s on my list will please most people); (2) Under $50 (most on my list are under $25); and (3) Gifts that in some way give back to animals.

So I assembled a list of 15 gifts categorized as follows: candles, chocolate, coffee, coffee table books, cookies, mugs, water bottles and wine. Also check my favorite animal-friendly books for holiday reading that make great gifts too!

I know my gift guide for animal lovers won’t please everyone, but at least you won’t waste hours deciding if it’s useful. And remember, you can always give the gift of a donation on behalf of the receiver. Consider the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, Humane League, Mercy for Animals, PETA, and the hundreds of other deserving groups.

And whether you’re religious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic, the holidays tend to magnify what each of us finds uniquely sacred. I found this quote that, whatever your leanings, I think you’ll appreciate:

“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” ─Abraham Lincoln



Rescued Wine Candles

Price: $25

Rescued Wine’s repurposed wine bottle candles and products are handmade. The company gives back to animal rescue groups with a portion of every sale. Rescued Wine uses the best ingredients to produce a high quality, one-of-a-kind product. Each of its soy candles is inspired by wine and hand-poured to perfection. As a company that’s passionate about animals and caring for the planet, these candles are the perfect gift for ecofriendly animal lovers everywhere!

PETA Comfort and Joy Candle

Price: $12.49

Help support PETA with a Christmas tree in a jar! This White Pine Forest-scented candle is 100% vegan soy, organic and hand-poured. Each candle comes in a 7.5-oz. glass jar with a brushed silver lid.

Mercy for Animals Compassion Candles

Price: $18

Spark everyone’s compassion with MFA’s vegan candles. Available in adorable chick (mint/cucumber), piglet (lavender) and calf (green tea) designs, each 8 oz. candle is made of pure soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks.



Rescue Chocolate

Price: $1.69-$40.05

From each Rescue Chocolate purchased, 100% of the net profits are donated to animal rescue organizations around the country. Rescue Chocolate is always 100% vegan, fairly traded and organic. Its chocolate is handcrafted, certified Kosher and made in the finest Belgian tradition without artificial preservatives. Flavors include Peanut Butter Pit Bull, Forever Mocha, The Like White collection and many more.

PETA Vegan Holiday Chocolate Box

Price: $22.49

These decadent and delicious vegan chocolates are made exclusively for PETA by Harbor Candy Shop. Each 10 ounce box contains both dark and light vegan chocolate. Ingredients: dark and milk vegan chocolate, as: cocoa, cocoa butter, rice powder, soy lecithin, natural vanilla, almonds, sugar, cherries, raisins, coconut, peanuts, walnuts, raspberries, modified starch, corn syrup, maltodextrin, propylene glycol, glycerol diacetate, oils of canola, cottonseed and sunflower.



Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

Price: $9-$14.99

Grounds & Hounds Coffee is committed to using the sale of its fair trade organic specialty coffees to support the no kill rescue organizations providing safe-havens for pups between homes. 20% of all Grounds & Hounds proceeds are donated to its rescue partners working to make the second-chance mission a reality.


Coffee Table Books

Shelter Dogs (96 pages, hardcover, 8.8” x 9.8”)

Price: $26.01

In this book, photographer Traer Scott presents over fifty endearing and frequently heartrending portraits of shelter dogs. These images capture the genuine spirit of dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, and temperaments. Above all, these photographs reveal the strikingly intense emotion, dignity, and even humor that Scott saw in each face, despite the dog’s circumstances.

Animal Shelter Portraits (96 pages, hardcover, 7.2” x 7.3”)

Price: $5.70

Every week thousands of abandoned dogs and cats are picked up from city streets and put into shelters, where they wait for people to adopt them. Those lucky enough to find a home leave the kennels within a couple of days; those who do not are euthanized. In Animal Shelter Portraits, photographer Mark Ross turns an unflinching eye on the unfortunate animals stranded at kill shelters. Animal Shelter Portraits provides deeply compassionate and haunting portraits of our furred friends.

Shelter Cats (128 pages, hardcover, hardcover, 8.8” x 10”)

Price: $13.89

Cats are now our most popular pets, but every year growing numbers of lost or abandoned cats and kittens enter shelters. In this captivating new book, photographer Michael Kloth makes a passionate appeal to animal lovers everywhere with over 80 endearing portraits of shelter cats.


The Black Dogs Project: Extraordinary Black Dogs and Why We Can’t Forget Them (128 pages, hardcover, 10.5” x 10.5”)

Price: $10.74

One of Tumblr’s most viral blogs of 2014, the Black Dogs Project is a stunning photo series by animal photographer Fred Levy. Known as “Black Dog Syndrome” in animal shelters and rescues, it refers to the unfortunate phenomenon that black dogs are frequently the LAST dogs to be adopted and the FIRST dogs to be euthanized in rescue shelters. These stunning photographs have been shared worldwide, spreading awareness and attention to the problem. A portion of all proceeds for Black Dogs Project are donated to Labradors and friends.



Mercy for Animals Decadent Vegan Cookies

Price: $34

MFA’s exclusive cookie gift box features a variety of 41 delectable vegan cookies that anyone is sure to love. Flavors include Ginger Snap, Shortbread, Chocolate Ganache, California Snowball and Lemon.



“Rescued is My Favorite Breed” Ceramic Mug

Price: $16

Rescued dogs are special, and if you agree, you’ll want this mug. Portions of the proceeds from this mug go to the New York Bully Crew. This 15 oz. dishwasher-safe ceramic mug has a multicolor picture of a pit bull on it, is BPA-free, glazed with natural clay-based ceramic, and printed using 100% solar energy. It comes in a recycled gift box.

“Peace Love Cat” Ceramic Mug

Price: $16.00

You know the answer to all the world’s problems: peace, love and cats. Proceeds from this mug go to Bronx Tails Cat Rescue. Your coffee or tea will never taste better than when you drink out of this 15 oz. dishwasher-safe mug. It’s BPA-free, glazed with natural clay-based ceramic, and printed using 100% solar energy.


Water Bottles

Mercy for Animals Cow ‘Kindness’ / Pig ‘Kindness’ Water Bottle

Price: $24.99

MFA’s adorable water bottles are sure to quench your thirst while gently reminding the world that we all have boundless kindness to share with everyone, including farmed animals. Each 27 oz. water bottle is made of food-grade stainless steel and 100% free of toxins, BPA, phthalate, and PVC. Not for hot liquids.



Chateau La Paws (wine)

Price: $11.50-$15.99

Located in the heart of the wine-growing region of Central California, Chateau La Paws makes wine that not only tastes great and is affordable, but that gives supports no kill shelters.

Life is better with best friends. That’s why Chateau La Paws backs up its belief with action. It proudly supports No Kill Organizations around the country and its labels feature adorable shelter dogs to draw attention to this great cause.

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