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If your family participates in gift-giving traditions in the holiday season, it’s likely you’ll be including your dog(s) in the exchange. In a recent Healthy Paws survey, more than 93 percent of pet parents said they will purchase gifts for their dogs. And most lucky pets will receive more than one present, with 68 percent of pet parents planning to purchase multiple gifts for their pets, mostly toys and treats, according to another study. It must be something about how fun it is to watch pups tear into the wrapping on their gifts.
From extra special treats to the latest high-tech gadgets, there’s plenty of joy-worthy gifts to choose from whether you are shopping for the dog-lover in your life or the four-legged friends themselves.
Gifts for the Dog Parent
A GPS tracker
If your loved one has a dog who’s an escape artist, help ensure they will never lose their pet by investing in a GPS tracker. There are several kinds available in a variety of price ranges, but the one that gets the highest rating on Amazon is Petfon Pet Tracker. Petfon uses GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to track your loose canine anywhere — even in places such as in the wilderness where there’s no cell coverage — so there’s no monthly fee. The waterproof tracker allows you to track your pet’s activity and pinpoint their location in real-time using a smartphone app on your iPhone (Android app available soon). The tracker does have its limits with a range of 3.5 miles and 8-16 hours of battery use between charges. “I’ve had this tracker for a few days and tried it in the woods and on the beach in New Jersey with one of my dogs. It worked well and gave me peace of mind. The app is easy to use and location was always accurate,” one reviewer wrote. Price: $170 on Amazon
A book to help understand your dog
For years, scientists have resisted the conclusion that our dogs can experience love, warning against anthropomorphizing our pets. Now entering the fray is Dr. Clive Wynne, a behavioral scientist who directs a Canine Science Collaboratory, with his new book “Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.” The book draws on the latest canine research to show that a single, simple trait — the capacity to love — makes dogs such perfect companions and explains how humans can reciprocate their affection. A former skeptic, Wynne’s own adoption of a mutt named Xephos inspired his research and conclusions. “A humane, illuminating book, Dog Is Love is essential reading for anyone who has ever loved a dog and experienced the wonder of being loved back,” one reviewer said. Price: $17 hardcover, $15 Kindle version on Amazon.
A next-generation safety harness
If you love a pet parent, you’ll want to help them keep their beloved furry one safe. Sleepypod’s Clickit safety harnesses go from car to dog park and have been crash-tested for safety. A unique design, in combination with an energy-absorbing padded vest, is designed to distribute and reduce damaging forces in an accident without the need for additional hardware or attachment straps. Prices range from $69-89.
Give a dog experience instead of stuff
A newish trend in our over-consuming society is to buy experiences instead of stuff as gifts. You can apply this eco-friendly practice to your dog-loving friends and family too. Think about giving gift cards to a local dog wash or dog trainer (as long as they won’t think it’s a hint!), a doggy daycare they frequent or a home-made gift card to walk or check in on your loved one’s dog when they can’t. Price: Any amount you want.
A calendar to celebrate dogs every day
Yeah, so most people don’t really use paper calendars anymore. But what if your friend could enjoy an illustrated thought from a dog every single day of the year. The desktop Thoughts Of Dog 2020 calendar provides just that: funny, sweet, sometimes profound thoughts written in doggy grammar. Based on the popular Thoughts of Dog Twitter account where a Golden Retriever shares deep thinking such as: “occasionally during our walks. someone will pass us. and completely ignore my human. but whisper hello to me. i really enjoy this”. Price: $16
PawPad cover for bed and car
PawPad is a waterproof, lightweight, absorbent, machine washable and dryer safe solution for everyone who loves to sleep with their dogs but doesn’t care to share the fur and dirt. Throw the PawPad on your bed, in the back seat of your car, on a couch or anywhere else where you want to contain shedding fur or wet and muddy paws. When it’s dirty, it can be easily washed and dried. Available in two sizes. Amazon reviewers give this protective cover a 5-star rating. Price: $68 plus shipping.
A subscription to Modern Dog Magazine
If the dog-lover in your life wants to keep up on the very latest in dog trends, products, training, food and treats and enjoy some heartwarming stories too, a subscription to Modern Dog might be just the ticket. As an added bonus, Modern Dog is offering a buy one, get one subscription offer right now so you can also get one for yourself (shhh!) Subscribe here. Price: $16
Gifts for the Dog
New foam bed
Pamper your pooch with a new memory foam bed with cozy supportive sides. Pet Lifestyle And You (P.L.A.Y), a company that makes dog beds, toys and accessories, has won industry awards for their California Dreaming Memory Foam bed. The company makes its products with sustainable and recycled materials, so if you purchase an extra-large bed, you’re actually putting 108 recycled plastic bottles to use! The beds are also fashionable and durable with removable covers and cushions that are machine washable. Like Healthy Paws, P.L.A.Y. gives back to help homeless pets by donating beds to shelters and rescue groups. Price: $199-$379 for the California Dreaming bed.
Elevated dog dish
Using an elevated dog bowl puts less strain on dogs’ necks—especially helpful for older dogs or those with mobility issues, arthritis, or joint disorders. The Cityline Diner from NMN Designs is a sleek, modern dog feeder made of solid, recycled steel, making it suitable for both indoors and out. Comes with two stainless steel bowls. Available in various sizes. Price: $65.
An interactive puzzle
The American Kennel Club recommends the Outward Hound Paw Flapper interactive dog toy/puzzle to keep dogs stimulated while you are away. With eight treat chambers, multiple scent guides and adjustable difficulty, this toy will keep your dog entertained. One reviewer on Amazon said, “The Paw Flapper is challenging enough that it takes my dog some time to get all the treats (or her dinner!) from it yet not so challenging that she’ll give up. It’s one she sits up and begs for when I’m pulling toys off the shelf.” Price: $19.95 from Amazon.
A new fetch toy
If your energetic pup just can’t get enough of fetching and your arm gets tired trying to satiate them, check out the new EPEC Disc toy. Keep your hands slobber free with the adjustable grip and launch the EPEC Disc up to 30-60 yards, entertaining your dogs until they are exhausted. Made in the U.S. with dog safe materials and it floats. Price: $27 (Classic version).
Something to gnaw on
If you need a stocking stuffer, sniff out the bones and chewy treats from Jones Natural Chews . Their products are natural, oven-baked chews with no artificial ingredients and are raised and sourced in the U.S. Available at specialty pet food stores and online Price: $5-$15.
A personalized dog tag
Don’t make your dog suffer embarrassment with a dog tag that looks like everyone else’s! You can customize a thick metal tag by color, font and a symbol such as a paw, mountain or flowers with these handmade tags from MetalDoods on Etsy. Round or bone-shaped. Price: $10 plus shipping.
For the serious chewer
Whether for fetching, tugging or just chewing, these durable dog toys are made from repurposed fire hoses and are designed to withstand the roughest of surfaces and extreme heat and pressure. Made from various sizes and colors of firehose, no two are exactly alike. Each toy has a new squeaker inside. “Great product. Dog LOVES her firehose. She’s a champion chewer and these last so much longer than other toys. Thank you!,” one reviewer said. On Etsy. Price: $18.50
Anytime doggy ice cream
If your dog loves ice cream but it’s too time consuming to make the dog friendly variety all the time, try the Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix for dogs from Puppy Cake. Available in flavors such as vanilla, maple bacon, peanut butter and carob, you just add water to the mix and freeze it, turning out real, scoopable and natural ice cream for dogs. Most reviewers say their dogs love it and didn’t have any problems, but be cautious if your dog has a sensitive stomach, as this product contains milk and salt. Price: $9 for one, $25 for a four-pack on Amazon.