Christmas Presents for your Pets?

December 21, 2003 -- Posted at 7:06 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-- You can't deny that pet owners are passionate about their naturally, with only a few days until Christmas, owners are out and about shopping for the perfect gift for their pets. Pet-Co in Jonesboro was packed with customers making last minute purchases on Sunday.

Madison Ingle was out shopping for her two pets, a dog and a fish.

"I'm going to get a lot of toys for my dog and some treats," she said proudly.

Connie Vanhoozer was shopping for her family's pets but admits this was the first year she had purchased a gift for a pet.

"It's the first year that our family has had pets. My son's dog Sunshine is getting a candy cane and my daughter's dog Mocha is getting dog treats," said Vanhoozer.

"Everybody wants their animal to be warm for the Christmas holidays and they want toys to open up on Christmas," said Martin Simes, a Sales Associate for Pet-Co.

Seaters, treats, toys and beds are all popular for pets this holiday season....and then sometimes, the gift needs a few gifts itself...

Barbara Osment just got a seven-week-old Maltese puppy.

"She's my Christmas present from my boyfriend and we came out here today to buy her Christmas gifts," laughed Osment.

But buying a Christmas present for a dog or a cat is easy compared to shopping for a pet like a snake or a ferret. Arnold is a Columbian Red Tailed Boa Constrictor, and even he gets presents at Christmas time.

"I'm going to give him a small rat, and I'll give him some new vitamins, give him a good bath, because he loves baths," said Pet-Co Associate David Scrogum.

But you might be surprised at what Pet-Co's top selling gift is...

"Nemo is probably our number one selling item. A lot of people are setting up salt water tanks for the Christmas holidays....everybody wants to wake up and see Nemo in their house," said Simes.

But if you already have a fish, you know it's a hard pet to buy a present for...

"I think he has enough, he likes to swim in his fish tank and explore," said Ingle.

Annualy, Americans spend around 35 billion dollars a year on their pets, and during the holidays, those numbers slither up to around 40 billion dollars....and that makes for a whole lot of catnip.