There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes from giving your favorite four-legged furry friend a gift that transforms playtime into something special. Dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds can enjoy a range of toys, treats, and unique gifts – and with a little creativity and thought, it’s easy to come up with ideas that for dog gifts that are sure to be treasured, no matter what your budget is:
Look for toys that can help your favorite pooch burn off excess energy.
Dogs of all ages and breeds can get bored and depressed if they don’t have enough physical playtime, and this in turn can lead to behavior problems. Dog gifts that provide opportunities for active play and mental stimulation can help dogs curb issues with chewing, digging, grouchiness, and so forth.
This is especially true with toys that your dog (or your friend’s dog) can safely play with unsupervised when pet parents are away from the home, when the dog is more subject to boredom that leads to mischief.
And speaking of safety…
Make sure you read the packaging or inserts on a dog toy before you purchase or provide to the dog. A bit of Internet research never hurts, either. Not every toy is safe for every dog, and some toys are only safe when used with human supervision. Be especially cautious of “off-label” toys purchased at dollar stores or even from big-box general retailers, especially if the toy doesn’t come with a lot of instructions. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian for guidance.
Mix it up.
A great dog gift giver is someone who doesn’t give the same type of toy each time. For example, you might try a fetch toy for one gift giving occasion, and a rope toy another time (something that the dog can tug on or safely chew).
Also, be sure and consider your dog’s age and overall health when giving a gift. An older dog who is challenged with arthritis, for example, may benefit from some toys that encourage exercise He or she will also enjoy “pet stairs” that help them more easily climb up onto furniture, a heated blanket, or some doggie bones that help promote dental health.
Comfort toys are great gifts, too.
A stuffed animal can be a cheerful companion for dogs who like to have friends join them in their crate or who like to carry “babies” around. However, it’s important to remember that not all dogs are into “security blanket” types of companions. Some dogs enjoy stuffed animals and squeaky toys because they want to try and “kill” them by taking them in their mouths and vigorously shaking them around, or by chewing the toy until it’s destroyed. In those cases, the stuffed animal or squeaky toy in question should be designed for that purpose – otherwise, you can run the risk that the dog can accidentally ingest something that induces poisoning or choking.
There’s no rule that says your doggie gift has to be a toy! Some dog gifts are sure to please your doggie friend (and the doggie’s pet parent in cases where the doggie isn’t your own) include:
• A new blanket for a crate or kennel
• Gourmet treats
• A gift certificate for dog grooming services
• Gift certificates for fancy pet hotel stays or doggie day care
• Coupons for pet sitting or dog walking provided by you
• Extra-special toys, like an automated fetch toy or a basket of new balls
For more great ideas for dog gifts, click here