Tis the season for shopping! Whether your purchasing your gifts online or venturing out to fight crowds Christmas shopping is high on the list of priorities right now. Picking out the perfect Christmas gift for the special people in your life can be daunting, but let’s be honest, it’s not as daunting as picking out the best Christmas gift for you dog! There are so many options from so many different companies its hard to know what products are good and what to avoid.
We include our dogs in every holiday in some way, but Christmas is my absolute favorite, usually. This year is obviously different with Covid-19 still going strong here in New York State. Instead of the HUGE family gathering it’s just going to be our core getting together. That makes for a little more of an intimate gathering, but because of everything going on it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Maybe it’s my need for shopping therapy, but I think giving more will help brighten the lives of those I love. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is as uplifting as watching a dog get something they really enjoy. Their happiness and enjoyment is almost infectious.
Dog Christmas Gifts to Avoid
Not all dog toys are made to the same quality. Quality toys are not cheap and there are many cheaper alternatives online. In this case you maybe saving money on the toy but in the long run these toys may cost you money or your dogs life.
Rawhides are extremely popular and extremely dangerous for your pooch. They are one of the most dangerous dog Christmas gifts. These are chemically treated pieces of leather that are completely undigestible. Pieces can get stuck in your pups digestive tract and need surgery to remove. On top of that the chemicals used to treat can cause health issues such as pancreatitis.
What dog doesn’t love to chew and chase a tennis ball? Just because they love them doesn’t mean there good for them. These balls are built to play tennis not to be chewed on. They just cant stand up against the dog’s strong jaws. Chewed off pieces of rubber and felt can cause sever intestinal issues such as blockages that can cost thousands of dollars in surgery to correct.
People tend to think because these are natural they are a wonderful thing to give your dog. Not really! Hooves are super hard. Chewing can lead to broken teeth and mouth cuts. For some reason dogs don’t have an ouch button they will continue to chew even after they have damaged their teeth and mouth. Trust me our dog liked to chew rocks and destroyed all of her teeth.
These are a better option over all the others, but still not a great one. Pigs ear pieces can get lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat causing them to choke.
Phthalate Containing Toys
Phthalate is a toxic ingredient found primarily in soft vinyl toys. This chemical is absorbed through the dogs mouth as he chews and can lead to kidney and liver damage.
Cheap Squeaky Toys Make Bad Dog Christmas Gifts
Squeaky toys stimulate your dog’s prey drive and they love them! They will do almost do anything to get to that squeaky, and eventually they will. The squeaky itself is a serious choking hazard. Spend the extra money and get one that has extra safety precautions. Kong and GoDogGo are great dog toy companies.
Great Dog Christmas Gift Ideas
Dogs want to be comfy too! These beds are great to take pressure off pressure points and give relief to stiff, achy muscles and joints. You try sleeping on the floor all the time. If your dog is a heavy chewer try a bed from K9 Ballistics. They have beds engineered for even the heaviest chewer.
Furbo Dog Camera
Keep in contact with your dog while you’re away. The Furbo Dog Camera not only allows you to give your pooch a treat remotely, but it actually will take selfies of your dog throughout the day! That’s not all this nifty little piece of tech offers you to real-time smart alerts notifying you of when your dog is active, barking, people come into frame, and most importantly when your pet may be in trouble!
A dog’s play and prey drive are the same thing. Dog’s love to destroy their prey whether it’s the rabbit outside or his plushie. With Terribles your dog can rip them apart over and over again satisfying your dogs most primitive instinct.
Nerf Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy
Nerf is everywhere in my house! The only thing my son has asked for for Christmas is Nerf stuff. Now they make toys for my furbabies! This baby can shoot a “tennis ball” up to 50 ft.! Spend extra time bonding with your dog over an intense game of fetch. This my be confusing because I mentioned earlier NOT to give your pooch tennis balls, but there are safer dog specific “tennis balls”. In the case of heavy chewer you may need to do what my family does and not give them any alone with the balls.
Ifetch or Ifetch Too
You will definitely tire of fetch before your dog does, enter the Ifectch (or Ifectch Too for larger dogs). An automatic ball launcher will keep your dog moving while giving your shoulder a much-needed break.
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
This interactive ball makes giggling noises without a squeaker device! The Wobble Wag will keep your dog occupied for hours over the winter months.
Musher’s Secret is a 100% natural wax paw protectant. It will prevent snow and ice from building up on your dog’s feet during the winter but can also be used to protect your dog’s sensitive pads during the summer from pavement or sand burn.
Bag Balm Pet Nose, Paw, and Hot Spot Moisturizer
This is a great dog Christmas gift or stocking stuffer! We all know how drying and damaging the winter weather can be to our skin, your dog is no different. Noses and pads can become painfully dry and cracked. Bag balm has not changed their formula for over 100 years and it still is the best on the market, in my humble opinion.
AWOOF Snuffle Interactive Dog Mat
This nose work mat will provide your dog with tons of mental stimulation. The AWOOF Snuffle Interactive Dog Mat encourages your dog’s natural foraging instinct in a safe and controlled setting.
I absolutely love GoDogGo plushies, well Salem does therefore I do! These plushies are specifically made more durable for heavier chewing dogs. Plus, the squeakers in some plushies are silent!!!! They are at a decibel too high for human ears, so your dog will hear it but you won’t!
This toy is great for extreme chewers. It can hold up to the constant chewing yet is soft enough to not damage teeth.
KONG Classic Goody Bone
This has been a favorite of my dogs for years! These things last. We have had three that have lasted over 5 years! Plus, you can fill them with Kong Easy Treat Paste or Stuff’N.
PetSafe Cozy Up Folding Pet Steps
Jumping on and off furniture is actually taxing on your dog’s joints no matter what age they are. Keep their joints healthy by providing steps for easier access. You won’t regret it!
Jolly Ball Romp-and-Roll
I can’t even begin to describe to you how much my dogs, especially Thor, LOVE their Romp-and-Roll! It is a great tug-o-war toy or for just individual play. We have actually nicknamed this toy the wrecking ball because Thor will just slam it against the floor and it has been known to go airborne. It is very durable, over the last 7 years we have only gone through 2!
Dog Christmas Gift Warning
Indestructible is next to impossible when it comes to dogs! No matter how safe a toy claims to be accidents do happen. It is never recommended to allow your dog to play with toys unsupervised. When toys begin to show ware and tare they need to be replaced.
This Christmas is going to obviously be different, but we have to make the best of what we have. Dog Christmas gifts don’t have to be complicated. Stick with brand that are known and watch packaging for any harmful ingredients. Giving gift, for me, is an anti-depressant, but watching my dogs open and play with new toys is a joy I cannot describe. The wonder and amazement that they show is crazy uplifting! I hope you and your dog have an amazing holiday season and a wonderful new year!