Covering the Land of Lincoln

Rockford area pet stores say holidays are big business

While you’re making your holiday gift list and checking it twice, don’t forget your furry friends who are occasionally naughty but usually nice.

Gift buying for dogs, cats and the people who love them is a big business during the holiday season, according to Jane Femminella, owner of The Canine Crunchery, 1888 Daimler Road.

“We have so many people who are coming in and buying holiday gifts not only for their pets, but for their grand pets and their niece and nephew pets,” Femminella said. “We had several people come in today to buy gifts for their neighbors’ pets. It’s a really big holiday.”

So, what to get for that hard-to-buy for canine on your list?

“We have everything from stocking stuffers to mind-stimulating activities, puzzle games and bully sticks,” Femminella said. “We have Christmas toys that have fabric wrapped around dental balls, so if the dog chews through the fabric, they’ll have a toy that cleans their teeth.”

While The Canine Crunchery caters primarily to dogs and their owners, the business also sells items, including Christmas-themed toys, puzzles and treats, for your favorite feline.

Femminella is a former Rockford City Market vendor who launched her business in October 2013.

The Canine Crunchery is open from 11 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Friday and 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

The holiday season triggers an uptick in traffic at Bark on Mulford, 2202 S Mulford Road.

“People have purchased personalized ornaments with their dog’s name that goes on the Christmas tree,” said business owner Kaye Busse-Kleber. “One business we partnered with makes dog cakes and pies.”

The store also offers toys, treats, collars and leashes but also has gift items for dog and cat lovers, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, beanies and picture frames.

Bark on Mulford celebrated five years in business on Nov. 26.

The store is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday.

“We gift wrap presents for dogs and cats to open as well as gifts for their people,” Busse-Kleber said. “Pets are members of the family, of course, so people look at them like they are furry kids.”

Christmas-themed dog toys are seen on Friday, Dec.  9, 2022, at The Canine Crunchery, Inc. in Rockford.

Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, [email protected] or @DeCosterKen.

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