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Gifting 2009: The Year of the Pet (Real and Motorized)

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squigglesWhile November’s retail sales figures show lackluster numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (via USA Today), it’s clear many families are doing all they can to provide a holiday gift for everyone. The gift-ees include eight out of 10 pets, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. “People take their dogs shopping for their own gifts—asking them ‘Do you like this toy?’ or ‘Do you like this treat?’ It’s a real interactive thing,” Jeff Richey tells the Daily Camera in Boulder, where pet owners are considered by law as guardians. For more than a fifth of pets, the holidays also mean getting dressed up. Meanwhile, the must-have kids toy of the year, the non-pet Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters, might just be the lurking hazard of the year. Mr. Squiggles (right), a motorized rodent that requires neither presents nor food, may contain unsafe levels of the metalloid antimony, according to research by GoodGuide (via CNN). The maker of the toy, Cepia LLC, questions GoodGuide’s findings and insists the toys, which have been flying off shelves this season, are safe (via press release).

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