Not only are these cute, durable toys made from chemical-free, naturally dyed cotton, but a portion of each sale goes to The Rescue Train, a nonprofit no-kill rescue organization. Cost starts at $8.50. Purchase here.
Nina Ottosson's Dog Brick Game
Swedish designer Nina Ottosson’s Zoo Active series of pet games and puzzles test your dog’s (or cat’s) memory and motor skills. Behind the sliding blocks of The Dog Brick game are little slots for hidden treats. The dog must locate the treats by sliding the blocks with his paw or nose. Zoo Active games are made with recycled plastic and responsibly harvested wood. They cost $57.99 and can be purchased here.
Loofah Dog by Multi Pet
Made from 100 percent certified organic loofah—a vegetable source that is safe for your dog to ingest—this colorful toy will encourage canine teeth and gum health. Each purchase helps support the Bahia Paraiso Preserve Animal Shelter in Costa Rica. Cost ranges from $4.59 to $9.99. Purchase the toy here.
Billy Bob the Cork Ball in Catnip
When it comes to cat toys, simplicity is key. That is the beauty of Billy Bob the Cork Ball. Redolent with the smell of 100 percent organic “Special Blend” catnip, these two all-natural cork balls are soft enough for kitties to sink their fangs into during a delirious game of chase or fetch. Cost is $4.99. Purchase here.
Made with tough, recyclable non-toxic Zogoflex, and manufactured with virtually no waste, Huck bounces, floats, and is nearly impervious to dog damage. The unique grooved ball comes in a range of bright colors and has a one-time replacement guarantee. Cost is from $10.12. Purchase here.
Shelby the Hemp Mouse
Made from durable chemical-free hemp fiber, Shelby is biodegradable and stuffed with organic catnip. Even her friendly face is printed with natural vegetable dye. Cost is $4.99. Purchase the toy here.
Bottle Buddy by Kyjen
Although the ubiquitous mini-water bottle still haunts holiday parties and office meetings, those little bottles can be repurposed as pet toys—thanks to Kyjen. Slide a plastic bottle inside one of these adorable critters and watch your dog delight to the sound of crinkling plastic as he safely chews on this plush and nylon pal. Cost is $11.00. Purchase here.
The Lunker by Ruff Wear
Made from recycled polyester and filled with recycled scraps from the Ruff Wear cutting-room floor, the Lunker is a great toy to toss on land or water. The rope lanyard makes it easy to throw and carry and also helps you avoid getting dog slobber on your hands. Cost starts at $9.95. Purchase here.
The Hair Ball by West Paw Design
The folks at West Paw understand that although cats can be mystifying pets, their playtime needs are simple. Cats generally love fur-covered toys, but for those of us who like to avoid slaughterhouse remnants, West Paw made the faux fur Hairball. Each Hairball is affixed with dark round eyes and filled with USDA organically grown catnip and a little bell to intrigue your prowling kitty. Cost is $7.70. Purchase here.
Lolly Lamb by Simply Fido
Lolly is part of a charming series of plush toys for dogs made of 100 percent organic untreated, unbleached cotton. The fibers are dyed using plant and mineral extracts. Lolly and her friends are machine-washable and include either one or four squeakers. Prices begin at $13.50. Purchase here.
You’re engrossed in stringing cranberry and popcorn, or busy wrapping presents, when your dog or cat drops something at your feet. Reaching down, you recoil in anticipation of a dead mouse, or brace yourself for a slobbery stick, only to discover a crumpled piece of paper—a crude list on which you can barely decipher words like “ball” or “organic.”
Humans sometimes forget that without thumbs, legible penmanship is nearly impossible, even for the most otherwise gifted animal.
Perhaps your cat feels so ashamed of his near illiteracy that he merely leaves the list near the litter box, hoping you’ll find it and understand. Maybe he simply gives up altogether, as many dogs do, gnawing his Christmas dreams to pieces along with his treasured bones.
Luckily, TakePart’s crack team of feline-canine handwriting experts have reconstructed soggy, torn and cryptic pet wish lists from across the country.
Based on expert findings, we’ve compiled the Top 10 Eco-Friendly Pet Gifts to take the mystery out of pet gift giving this holiday season.