Holiday Gift Guide for Your Staff

Josh Winer
Josh Winer December 8, 2021

Ready to find the perfect gift for your amazing staff this holiday season? Check out these perfect gift ideas for your dog walkers and pet sitters.

The holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means… decorations, merry songs, holiday parties, and gifts! But wait—what do you get for your staff?

What do you get for a team that does a fantastic job, day in and day out? For your employees who are always dependable, responsible, and reliable. And who would do anything to get the job done, without a complaint. How do you come up with the perfect gift for those awesome people? No worries… We’re here to help!

We all know that the holidays are always a busy time of year. And that’s especially true for pet care providers who make themselves available for everyone else’s crazy holiday season and vacation schedules. That makes this the perfect time of year to show your appreciation for your team!

Holiday Gift Guide for Your Staff

Staff gift “no no’s”

Before we jump into the great gift ideas, we wanted to take a quick moment and give you some advice about gifts to avoid as well. Even though you are very well-intentioned, that might not always shine through with the gifts you pick. If you’re not sure what to choose from the lists of great gift ideas, please make sure not to pick from this list.

Gag gifts or White Elephant gifts

Although “White Elephant” gifts can be fun and hilarious with your friends or family, they may not turn out the way you had hoped with your team. You might not know your staff as well as your own friends. And they might not know each other very well either. Plus, it’s hard to determine what might offend each person. You wouldn’t want to get someone a gag gift that’s “all in good fun,” just to realize you’ve hurt their feelings or embarrassed them in front of the whole team.

Also, gag gifts don’t exactly say “appreciation.” They more so say “waste of money.”

Alcohol

Keep in mind that some people really aren’t big drinkers. And others may not drink at all—depending on their personal preferences, or based on their religious beliefs. And remember that some people struggle with alcoholism, so it’s not a great idea to tempt them with more alcohol.

Even for those who do enjoy certain wines, beers, and hard liquors—your preference is going to vary quite a bit from theirs.

Jewelry, clothing, and perfume

First of all, things like jewelry, clothing, and perfume are definitely preference-specific from person to person. You wouldn’t want to get them something they don’t like. And honestly, they don’t want to feel the obligation and pressure to wear something they don’t like, just because you got it for them.

Don’t forget that clothing sizes are tricky, and guessing people’s sizes can also hurt someone’s feelings or make them feel uncomfortable.

Chocolates, muffins, and fruits baskets

Ok, how can you go wrong with food? Well, it’s possible. Again, we’re back to the personal preference issue. And now you’re adding in the element of possible food allergies. On top of that, some people may be on a healthy diet, and they don’t want the temptation of a basket of muffins sitting in front of them.

These are a few ideas for gifts to stay away from if you're not quite sure which direction to go for gifts. But obviously, you know your team better than anyone, so just use your best judgement. Now, let’s figure out the best gifts you can give your staff that will let them know just how much you appreciate having them on your staff team.

Presents on a table

Great gift ideas for pet sitters and dog walkers

Ok, let’s get on to the great gift ideas. Below we have several different categories of gift ideas, depending on your personality, your budget, and what you think your staff would appreciate the most. Remember, even if you think it’s cute or fun, you’ll want to make sure you think through things your staff members would actually want and use. What will make them feel the most appreciated, while staying within your budget?

Industry-related gifts

Think through some gifts that relate to your employee’s job. Most of you have dog-walking or pet-sitting businesses. What gift could you get your staff that doesn’t normally come with the job title, but would definitely make their job easier and more enjoyable?

  • The Furbo Dog Camera – This would definitely help your pet sitters keep an extra eye on their clients’ pets, while also providing some extra treats for the precious pups or kittens.
  • Dog Walkers Revival Kit – Check out this adorable Etsy gift for dog walkers! It has luxurious hand cream, exfoliating foot cream, relaxing bath foam, and handmade soap. What dog walker wouldn’t want that?
  • Dog Walking Gloves – “These lined warm dog walking gloves have leash grips and touch screen compatibility for the perfect cold weather walk.”
  • Dog Gone Smart Flashlight Dog Leash  This rechargeable flashlight connects to your dog walkers leash, and is 2.5 times brighter than a smartphone flashlight. It also has a flashlight on the front and the back—so the walker can see where they’re going, and cars can see them.
  • Portable Hanging Neck Sports Fan – This portable neck fan is USB rechargeable. It hangs around your neck like a pair of large headphones, and the mini fans blow on your neck while you walk. This is perfect for those hot summer days.

Cat with box

Pet-related gifts

I would say it’s pretty safe to assume that your dog walkers and pet sitters actually like pets. In fact, it would appear that they LOVE pets! So why not get them some pet-related gifts?

And if most or all of them have their own pets, you could do a little research through their Facebook photos, and make these gifts not only pet-related, but also personalized!

  • Pawfect House Welcome Mats – These welcome mats are hilarious and adorable… as are all the pet-themed gifts in this list! Once you know the pets that your staff members own—after doing your research—you can personalize these for them. But if someone doesn’t have a pet, you can just put their favorite animal on the mat.
  • Unifury Pet Mugs – This is another great, custom pet-related gift. You can give each staff member their own personalized coffee/tea mug with their pets on it.
  • I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats – Ok… this cat-themed book is a little ridiculous, but also hilarious for any cat-lover! And it’s just an example of fun and funny cat or dog-themed books.
  • My Photo Socks – These are a classic pet-themed gift! Who doesn’t love pictures of their dog on their socks? And yes, I know I said you shouldn’t purchase clothing for a staff member. But thankfully, socks come in size ranges. And these fall more into the personalized pet-themed gift category than the clothing gift category.
  • West & Willow Pet Portraits – These beautiful pet portraits would be a great gift for any pet-lover. I know that I would love to have portraits of my two furbabies hanging on my walls at home.

Holiday Gift Guide Dog and present

Gift cards

Now before you write off the idea of a gift card because it seems impersonal, let’s talk about it for a minute. Each one of your staff members has their own unique personality, style, hopes, dreams, and wants. And that all spills over into the gifts they would prefer. Some of them may be trying to save up for a big, expensive new tech item. And others are more practical, and want something like new pots and pans.

Wouldn’t you love to give everyone on your team the gift they really want for the holidays by getting them a gift card? It may seem impersonal, but it definitely shows them that you care about their value, by giving them something valuable. Just make sure it’s a decent dollar amount—at least $50-$100. Or more, if you can swing it in your budget. And write them a very thoughtful holiday thank you card to go with it, telling them just how much you appreciate everything they do. And ff your team is made up of pet parents, you might consider getting gifts/gift cards from your local pet stores. This could be a great opportunity to network with other local businesses.

Holiday bonuses

The same principles apply here as they do in the gift card category. If business has been good, that’s in large part due to your wonderful staff. And speaking of showing them just how much you value them… Nothing says value like a holiday bonus!

Again, don’t think of it as impersonal, especially if you write them a heartfelt card. Instead, think of it as you adding to their yearly salary, and giving them the extra pay they've earned by being such a great team member!

Make sure to check out our Time To Pet Academy and Blog for more great resources.

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