With less than a month to go until Christmas Day, the pressure is on to find the perfect gift for that special someone.
And by special someone, we mean your dog.
But take that pressure up a notch: Considering the unprecedented challenges that local businesses and the wider community have faced this year, more Vancouverites than ever are looking to shop local and choose gifts that give back this holiday season.
Thankfully for all of the altruistic pet-owners out there, a Vancouver-based pet app recently launched pup-friendly advent calendars that tick all of the above boxes.
The premise, according to PawSwap, is "12 gifts for your pup from 12 local businesses for the 12 Days of Christmas, while giving back to pups in need."
Dog owners will find PawSwap's 12 Days of Dog Advent Calendars filled with locally-sourced gifts for dogs, curated by the PawSwap team and created in an effort to help highlight the importance of shopping locally this year. The calendars will also give customers the option to donate beds and blankets to help dogs on the Downtown Eastside stay cozy and warm this winter.
Beginning Dec. 14, dog owners can reveal one mini-product per day from the box of mystery presents (think treats, grooming products, and toys) until Christmas Day, "so no furry family member has to miss out on the festive fun."
Dog owners can also scan QR codes located on top of the box to learn more about the products and businesses represented inside. Each code will reveal and highlight the company responsible for the corresponding day's product, meaning if customers have any further holiday shopping to complete for their furry best friend, they'll know where to find these businesses and and how to support them.
“At PawSwap we are always looking for ways to take normal ‘human activities’ and make them inclusive of our four-legged friends which is why we wanted to create this super cute advent calendar for owners and their dogs to enjoy,” said Carly Geill, PawSwap's marketing manager, in a release.
“It’s more important than ever this holiday season to bring awareness to supporting local companies while gift shopping. So many of these companies and stores will be relying on the community to help them make it through these tricky times. With the community of dog owners being so strong, we thought this was a perfect way to encourage shopping locally for your pup as well.”
In the spirit of giving back, PawSwap is also providing its customers with the option to add a donation to their advent calendar purchases. Those donations will, in turn, benefit the pet owners who comprise part of Vancouver's homeless community.
Those interested can donate $3 for a Spot dog blanket, valued at $13, and/or $6 for an Unleashed dog bed, valued at $28 value—provided and partially donated by Anipet Animal Supplies—that the PawSwap Team will subsequently hand out to their four-legged friends living on the Downtown Eastside.
Any additional items not handed out during a designated distribution day will be donated to BC SPCA's Charlie’s Pet Food Bank, a community-based initiative created to improve the lives of pets living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
PawSwap is offering free advent calendar pick-up at three pet store locations (Spoiled Paws in downtown Vancouver, Amore Pet Foods in Burnaby and Paw Street Market in Langley), between Dec. 7 and Dec. 13. PawSwap can also deliver the calendars to dog owners' doors for a $20 flat rate shipping fee.
12 Days of Dog: Advent Calendars
When: December 14th - December 25th.
What: 12 mini pet products from PawSwap’s favourite Vancouver-based businesses
Cost: $38 ($65 value), available for purchase here.