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Pets pampered during holidays

Jill Lufrano
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Mister Mega the Shitzu gets groomed by Susan Richards in A Pawsitive Image Grooming Salon in Carson City Wednesday morning.
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Maybe she is kind of strange, she joked as she picked through different styles of miniature sweaters. But Katrina Lumpkin of Lake Tahoe loves buying gifts for her dog.

This year, Lumpkin hung up a stocking and bought new bowls for her four-legged friend.

She wasn’t alone Wednesday afternoon as she was shopped for her friend’s dog, too. Other shoppers at the newly opened Petco in Douglas County browsed through Santa chew toys and stockings filled with doggy treats.

“All the people who love their animals are here on Christmas Eve,” Lumpkin said.

Strange or not, an estimated 40 million Americans were expected to shop for the family pet this holiday season, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

Top-selling items, as listed with Petsmart, included dog booties, pet beds, leather and rhinestone collars, and elevated feeding bowls.

The association lists a talking treatball as a hot item this year. The toy lets pet owners pre-record personal messages for their pet to listen to while their owners are away. The ball also dispenses treats and is supposed to help pets with separation anxiety, the association says. Also popular were edible dog greeting cards.

Putting up stockings or wrapping dog bones and sparkly collars weren’t the only trouble pet lovers were going through around Carson City in the days before Santa arrived.

Poodles and pups jammed shops to get their fur washed and styled, causing stylists at A Pawsitive Image Grooming Salon to start at 6 a.m. Tuesday and work 13 hours straight.

Pet boarders were also full this week. Anyone who hadn’t booked a room for his or her canine or feline friends at least a month ago were out of luck.

“There’s nothing available in Nevada right now, and that isn’t just our area – it’s everywhere,” said Peggie Roberts, owner of Canine Country Club in Minden. “With the growth in the area and the holidays being a time when the dogs need more care than they would in the summer because of the weather, advance reservations are absolutely mandatory.”

Kennels at the Hound House in Carson were fully booked two months ago, housing 40 dogs and cats for the holiday, said manager Cindy Morse.

Christmas won’t come with gifts for some Carson canines, though, who will spend the holiday in the city animal shelter. Operator Tracy Arnold said the shelter adopted out several kittens, but still had a few larger dogs on hand.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.