Outside of work, my life belongs to my dogs. They won't have it any other way. And if you're reading this guide, you probably know someone just like me. Maybe you are that person — the one who says, "Some dog toys would be nice," when people ask what kind of gift they're wanting. This guide, of course, is for those people.
Believe me when I say I know the pandemic has been frustrating for dogs, especially super active 100-pound German Shepherds. Even if you're home all the time, much of the adventure that comes with dog maintenance — going to parks, taking a weekend trip, or even just shopping at your favorite pet store — simply isn't available. The dog owner in your life may not be alone, but they are without a doubt struggling in some capacity. So here are some extremely giftable items that will help grant that person some peace.
My gigantic German Shepherd used to hate getting brushed, which was a major issue because he's constantly shedding. Whenever I tried to use a Furminator on him, he'd do anything he could to avoid making contact.
Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that anymore now that this brush is in my life. When I pull this baby out, my dogs push each other out of the way because they love how it feels that much. And for people who own dogs with double coats, this brush is a lifesaver.
Buy it: $17.95, Chewy
Some dogs can maintain stuffed animals and the standard toys you can find at the pet store. The rest of us wouldn't dare buy them because they'd just get torn up instantly. Canine instincts usually result in disemboweled plush toys, with balls of fluff all over the floor, or shredded plastic which then runs the risk of being ingested. Thankfully, the rubber toys that come in Super Chewer boxes have longevity.
Buy it: $45 for one month, BarkBox
This toy follows one of my favorite models of BarkBox Super Chewer balls: A fuzzy exterior with a rubber toy inside, which makes for an exciting playtime, minus the huge mess.
Buy it: $14, BarkShop
That German Shepherd I mentioned earlier has gone through a lot of tennis balls. Through experience, I’ve learned that the most durable option is the real thing, which is nice because actual tennis balls cost less than the flimsy ones marketed to dogs. There’s also the added bonus of no squeakers.
Buy it: $7.99, Amazon
If you don’t have kids but still want to partake in the tradition of opening up tiny doors for 25 mornings in a row, a pet advent calendar may be your best bet. I would just keep it somewhere your pup can’t reach — otherwise they’ll all be gone in minutes, which definitely isn’t the point of an advent calendar.
Buy it: $25, BarkShop
The holy grail of gifts for dog owners? A vacuum cleaner that can pick up all that hair on the floor. I use this robot as a supplementary vacuum cleaner (Remember, 100-pound German Shepherds shed constantly) in tandem with a stick vacuum. The nice thing about a robot vacuum is that you can program it to clean at whatever time you wish, and it picks up hairs stuck to rugs that you never would have seen.
Buy it: $179.95, Amazon
These little freeze-dried nuggets are like dog treats, but packed with nutrients instead. Crumbling them on top of some kibble is a great way to encourage a picky pup to eat, and the dog owner in your life can relax knowing they contain no dubious ingredients. You may not think these make the most exciting gift, but any canine will disagree.
Buy it: $38.99, Chewy
The only thing better than homemade cookies is homemade cookies that look just like your dog. And these custom cookie cutters will be a gift that the dog lover in your life will never forget.
Buy it: $30, Etsy
Some dogs are just too powerful for rawhide bones, by which I mean the entire thing will disappear within 30 minutes. That's where these come in.
Unlike a lot of other dog chews, these things last, making them an excellent deal for their price. Nicer, stuffed varieties (think peanut butter) will run around $10, but you can generally find a knuckle bone for somewhere around $5 at your local pet store.
Buy it: $5.69, Chewy
No matter how much they love you or how much you train them, some dogs will just bolt whenever given the opportunity. It's nothing personal. So these '90s fad-inspired dog tags are a clever way to help solve the catastrophe of a lost dog. They also just look really silly on your cute pooch.
Buy it: $18, Etsy