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Unique gifts for animal lovers that won't break the bank

by Carolyn Sumner 25 days ago in list

Feel good about where your money is going - support small businesses, artists and animals

Unique gifts for animal lovers that won't break the bank
Photo by Jasmin Schuler on Unsplash

I, like most people on the planet, am tired of putting my hard earned money into Jeff Bezo’s pocket. This gift list allows you to make purchases that will go towards the artists that made the products, small businesses, and causes that directly support animal welfare. It's been crafted by me (a nerdy, dorky, animal-loving veterinarian) and includes purchases I enjoy and have bought either for myself or for family and friends as gifts this year. If you know and love someone with a weird sense of humor that enjoys animals, then this list is for you. Without further ado, let's get into it!

For that person with a quirky sense or humor, or your ornithologist friend, I am obsessed with these snarky birds. From artist Matt Adrian, they come in magnet form, cards, calendars, pins, patches, stickers, mugs, you name it. It's hard not to find one that resonates with you or makes you chuckle, here are some of my favorites:

Can be purchased here -

Or this one, especially appropriate for BLM supporters -

The down to clown one is holding up my nephew's artwork on my fridge:

His online shop can be found here:

A good life motto:

I am a bibliophile. This book is short, but is perfect for any dog and picture book lover you know and love. The illustrations are touching and sweetly encapsulate the joy and companionship a dog brings to your life.

Inside illustration

Can be purchased here for $10.95

There is also one for my feline friends!

I absolutely love the artwork.

I am also a woman that appreciates a good pair of socks. Conscious steps is a great place to purchase socks with meaning. They support causes that empower women, fight for equality, help end hunger, fight malaria, support LGBTQ, plant trees, or support mental health initiatives. Aiding a good cause and gifting a cute pair of socks to boot is a great way to feel good about your purchase. You can pick something meaningful for the recipient.

I love these socks that support Best Friends Animal Society and help save dogs, and they're in my favorite color to boot.

There are a lot of great options for men as well, like these socks that help protect sloths with Conservation International.

If you can't get enough of socks (like me) or want a different style, another great option are these socks from BlueQ. These tickle my funny bone, and there are again choices for the dog or cat lover in your life.

For $10.99 can be purchased at the link below, their website also includes a place where you can enter your zip code and find a local small business where you can purchase these items, which certainly rocks my socks off!

Sometimes I'd rather be around animals than people too.

They even have cute totes! I'm a fan of octopuses. Why not be eco-friendly when getting groceries and keep you smiling too. This one is $19.99.

This is called the Here Kitty Shoulder Tote

Every once in a while you stumble into an artist whose work really resonates with you. I found Sophie Corrigan on Society6 and purchased a few of her pieces. She has 'anatomy' images for multiple animals including a dachshund, hedgehog, goat, and fox among others. The anatomy is on point.

Link here, available for $23.99:

Her art is a wonderful mix of whimsical, weird and endearing.

Available for $19.99

And Society6 allows most images that you like to be printed on anything from hand towels, mugs to rugs.

Society6 is a great website to buy content created by different artists and support their work, as well as obtain unique wall art to decorate your space. The way that 2020 has gone, this pigeon may represent your mood better. If you like this pigeon, the artist Felicia Chiao has a lot of other irreverent pigeons to choose from.

One final recommendation from Society6 is a tote bag I am in love with. For those that want some Ruth Bader Ginsburg in their daily life, look no further than this amazing tote bag. I own it and personally love the color and art.

Can be purchased here for $19.99 -

One of my favorite stores I've found is called Global Gifts. I love that they offer items from all over the world and all their products are fair trade verified, so they are always ethically made. There are some really unique products from anywhere from Ecuador to Kenya and they offer items from over 40 different countries.

Global Gifts is a non-profit business committed to creating sustainable economic opportunities and safe and equitable working conditions for disadvantaged artisans around the world. Their stores are full of handmade, one-of-a-kind items. They're a non-profit business and rely on volunteers.

I LOVE their scarves, they are hand made in Peru. The fox is my favorite, but they also have a dragon, cat, owl, alpaca, lion and unicorn

At $44 this is the most expensive item on the list, but certainly worth the price.

Another product that caught my eye were these incredibly unique and whimsical felt birdhouses made in Nepal, they come in many different designs and styles. These are also a little more expensive at $39.00, but given the unique style and hand-made craftsmanship, I feel it's well worth it.

Look at this ladybug birdhouse!

Or this fantastic gnome

If you're looking for a customizable option for that special pet look no further than Etsy. These adorable succulent planters can be customized to look like your pet.

These are beyond cute. Look at those baby blues! I feel like I'm seeing Frank Sinatra's reincarnation. Or a cat Frodo Baggins.

Because I am a veterinarian and a proud science nerd, I present to you my favorite gift option. Giant microbes! Perfect for your doctor, nurse, veterinarian, scientist, phlebotomist friend in your life. Or if you want a unique way to let someone know you gave them an STD, look no further than ordering one of these plushies.

Plushes feature bacteria, yeast, protozoa are a million times their actual size. The best part is the 'super bugs' like MRSA have capes.

Or you can beat up a giant Coronavirus plush to release that pent up anger.

Can be found at the link below for $14.95. Also comes in a giant version.

I love these and they're great options for anyone who's been affected by a disease, or likes to treat them. They even have a dog toy version of Rabies your pup can chew on.

I personally own a uterus keychain and am quite fond of it.

This next gift idea is from a fantastic animal rehabilitation center called Seal Rescue Ireland that I personally know and love. I spent some time volunteering with them rescuing seal pups last year. They're the only seal rescue center within the Republic of Ireland and they respond to orphaned seal pups nationwide. They aim to rehabilitate them back to full health so that they can be returned to the wild. They also promote ocean conservation and quite a lot of their money is achieved through donation driven tours of their facility where they educate the public about the plight of orphaned seal pups (often orphaned as a sequelae of actions from humans like plastic pollution). This year has been especially difficult for them as tours have been made impossible during quarantine. However, you can still support their efforts and help rescue these fantastic animals by adopting your very own seal pup! The money will go directly towards their food and rehabilitation and rescue! When you adopt you get a certificate with a picture of the seal that you adopted.

An adorable feel-good gift and truly making a direct impact in saving these animals lives.

What about gifts for pets? I have fallen in love with many of the cute, affordable dog toys made by Zippy Paws. My dog Bean can attest they are great fun.

I love this bottle of Rose wine, it has a plastic bottle inside that you can replace once it's been chewed and my dog loves the noise the plastic makes.

At only $7.99 this is a steal

If you're partial to a different type of drink though they have many options to choose from, even a stout beer (not pictured).

Bean also loves his spiced pumpkin latte from Zippy Paws

Purchase here for $6.99 -

There are many more toys to choose from besides drinks and so many quality made inventive designs. If you purchase Drake the Dragon part of your purchase goes towards Paws With a Cause®, a national non-profit organization that custom-trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities.

For those who want a tattoo but can't commit to the permanence of one, look no further than temporary tattoos! These are a fun, creative gift. There are some really beautiful designs like these created by Oliver Jeffers on Tattly.

Only $15 for all 8

That penguin is up to something...

My final gift I'm recommending comes in the form of greeting cards from Positively Green. Celebrate the most important people in your life with the best-selling Positively Green line of cards, which feature beautiful illustrations, thoughtful quotations, and a helpful green tip on the back.

A blue baby card featuring an illustration of a smiling brown dog and the quote “A little body often harbors a great soul.” —Proverb.

Or one for an old friend:

Affordably priced at $3.95.

If you buy 4 you get 20% off your order.

They even have pet sympathy cards

and anniversary cards

You can feel good about this purchase as they print their cards on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified 100% post-consumer recycled fiber at an EnviroStars printer that uses green power. Each one comes with a green eco-friendly tip on the back.

I hope you found something inspirational, whether it's snarky bird magnet for your refrigerator, a coronavirus plush, or a unique Fair Trade felt birdhouse. There are lots of options to celebrate animals and the animal lover in your life.

If nothing else, this is a great purchase to honor the year 2020 for the dumpster fire that it has been.

Or this one, as we've all had to implement a bit of this in our daily lives.

Thanks for reading and feel free to 'like' the article if I helped you find that perfect gift or made your smile!

Carolyn Sumner
Carolyn Sumner
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Carolyn Sumner

Hello! I'm a veterinarian who loves to travel. Thought I'd try my hand at some writing as well as it's something I enjoy doing. I've been to 22 countries and counting, favorites include Japan, the Galapagos Islands and Switzerland

See all posts by Carolyn Sumner