Animals aren’t cartoons. They are sensitive beings that help us through our days, enabling us to survive better. They amaze and delight us with their beauty and make us laugh with their antics. Giving your loved ones handcrafted animal jewelry is a wonderful way to honor our relationship with them.

Unique sterling silver jewelry has always been a great gift idea. But I have a better idea! For your loved ones who are crazy about animals, think about some gorgeous sterling pendants that symbolize all their favorite animals! No, I don’t think you’re necessarily made of money. I mean get one pendant for every one on your gift list, deciding (and this could be the hard part) which animal means the most to each and every one of them.

You could always go “non-denominational” and get everyone a paw print jewelry design. At least that can symbolize a dog or a cat. If your cousin or sister is crazy about lizards or snakes, that probably wouldn’t work.

Of course there are other gift ideas for animal lovers. Since I try to limit my meat intake, I sometimes give holiday presents of vegetarian cookbooks. That can be a little tricky, though. I don’t like to be thought of as a vigilante for that cause.

That’s why I personally prefer jewelry gifts. If I were rich, I’d give everyone gold jewelry. Since my income is more moderate, I go for either enamel, pewter, or silver pendants, earrings or necklaces.

If nothing else, your friends and family will be aware of how much you care about them because you bought them something related to their pets.

Of course they don’t have to know you spent very little time shopping on an online jewelry store! They may guess because everybody seems to do their shopping that way these days. It is surely more convenient and you can search for exactly what you need without having to drive all over town. At least the gas prices have gone down, but still!

One holiday some of my best friends and I did a name drawing kind of thing. I ended up with someone who not only loved jewelry; she was absolutely crazy about her pet cocker. I found a jeweler who was able to make a likeness of her dog in clay. You should have seen her face when she unwrapped that package! I’ll never forget how happy that little pin made her, and that’s why to this day I recommend giving your favorite people sterling silver or (if you can afford it) 14K gold jewelry that has the likeness of something so dear to them.