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Hey guys! I admit I’m just a little giddy about this post. Now that Halloween has passed, it is officially time to ring in the holiday shopping season. Normally I wouldn’t be that excited about it. My family and I have a very laid back attitude when it comes to gifts, and I hate shopping. But this year, through the power of the dog park and my work here on this blog, I’ve actually managed to make quite a list of dog-loving friends who would all love dog-related gifts. And that makes me super happy because there’s nothing more fun than shopping for someone who has the same taste and interests as you do (in my opinion).
Oddly enough, despite how long we’ve been doing this blog now, I don’t think we’ve ever done a gift guide. Regardless, this isn’t a typical “gifts for dogs” guide. This is a guide for things to buy for the dog lover themselves. Let’s dive into it!
Make Their Life Easier
These first few gifts are designed to make the life of the dog owner a little easier. Because who doesn’t love a gift that solves a problem? These are things that a dog lover can use in their capacity as a dog owner, that can help them do something or protect something that was otherwise presenting a problem. I don’t know any dog lover who doesn’t have at least one of these issues.
Does your pet like to jump up on the middle console of your car while you drive? This may not bother some, but for others, this might be a big distraction that can cause unsafe driving. Putting something on the console, however, blocks you from having a place to put your phone, glasses, or other little odds and ends. The Kurgo Auto Grass is a pet behavior deterrent tool that I think is pretty nifty. You can pop your items into the “grass”, where they’ll stay put, and your dog won’t jump up onto the console. I grabbed one of these for a friend who does a lot of road trips with his dog.
This is hands down the coolest thing I have seen for this holiday season. It’s a phone attachment that has a squeaker ball attached. The ball sits right over the camera area on the phone, so that you can get your dog to look up right at the camera. You can use it for selfies with your dog or just to take pictures with the regular camera as well. It’s great for those Instagram addicted friends who love their dogs, and I’ve grabbed a few already.
This is a pricier gift, so it may only be suitable for your one very good friend or close relative, but I still think it’s a cool idea. If you’ve got a dog lover who doesn’t know what breed their dog is for sure, and you know they’d love to find out, you can treat them to a DIY breed testing kit. This is a really neat way to help them build their relationship with their dog, and it just takes a quick swab of their saliva from inside their cheek.
A leash holder for their wall is a really simple gift, the kind I like to call a “no brainer”. Anyone who has a dog, or especially people with multiple dogs, needs a place to put the leash. There are quite a few designs out there, from elegant wrought iron to homey wooden designs. Here’s a really cute one that always makes me laugh when I see it.
If there’s one thing dog owners love, it’s showing off their fur babies. For some, anything with dogs on it will do – they just want the world to know that they are a dog person! For others, only something with the right breed will make them happy. If your friend has a purebred dog, it’s safe to assume that they would be happier with something that shows their allegiance to their dog specifically. Here are some cute accessories to consider, and just be sure to look for the right breed:
Doggie Kitchen Supplies
From coffee mugs to beer pints, as well as bowls, plates, and everything else you can name, there are tons of fun accessories with dogs on them for the kitchen. I really like these dog wisdom pint glasses, personally (hint, hint). I grabbed this cute mug for a friend; as she drinks, she’ll look like she has a dog nose.
Got a friend who always sports cool socks? You can find all kinds of dog-themed socks to add to their collection. Here are some for women that I think are especially adorable, and check out these Corgi dress socks that men can wear under their boring business suits to work. These make really good stocking stuffers or white elephant gifts.
Help them make their space cozier with a cozy throw pillow that shows off their love of dogs. You can go seasonal with a Santa dog, give them a home motto to live by, or find something a bit more colorful for your artsy friend. Do a search for a pillow, blanket, or other cozy comfort item with the breed name (such as “beagle pillow”), and you’ll be sure to find something that suits their specific dog loyalty.
Everyone has keys to carry around all the time, so this is another useful accessory. It’s also a very easy, inexpensive, casual gift – perfect for those friends who you aren’t exactly close with, but still want or need to buy a gift for. If you can, go with something personalized. Here’s a cool keychain with a Boxer silhouette and the name of the dog engraved on a bone that I found for a fellow Boxer lover. I’m betting you could find similar things for other breeds, or just go with something that can be engraved with their dog’s name.
One of the gifts I really like to get, oddly enough, is wall art. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know anything about decorating for myself, so I let others do it for me. If my house looks even a little bit stylish, it’s because I’ve got a cousin with a good eye who likes to give art for Christmas (thanks, Michelle!) Dog art would be a neat way to give a friend something a little classier that still says “I know you love your dog more than your kids, and that’s okay”. Be sure to consider your friends’ tastes here. Vintage lovers might like something like this Basset Hound sign, while someone with a good sense of humor and style might like these hip pups. You can’t ever go wrong with a cool phrase that can be hung in a random nook like this one.
Fun and Educational
You guys know me; I love to recommend books on this site. If you’ve got a dog loving friend who reads, what’s better than helping them have fun in multiple ways at once? Here are a few books that I’ll be giving as gifts this year to fellow dog lovers:
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life with Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
This book is a very touching book filled with stories and amazing pictures. It’s definitely a beautiful gift, suitable for keeping out on a coffee table, but still totally worth picking up for a read. It’s got stories about dogs who do the incredible, like detect cancer, or dogs who help veterans get through PTSD.
The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs by Elias Weiss Friedman
I love this book. It’s a gorgeous collection of funny, inspiring, or just pretty pictures of dogs that have stories to tell. You get everything from puppy portraits to pictures of dogs wearing their “cone of shame”, to dogs dressed up in fancy outfits, and more. I’m giving this one to a friend who recently got into photography, and has been practicing on her dog. I think she’ll love the gorgeous photographs, and who doesn’t want to look at cute dogs all day?
I’ve recommended this book on the blog before, and I have good reason. It’s one of the best scientific dog books I’ve ever read. It’s still easy to read and understand for the layman, but it’s full of great facts about how dogs experience the world. This is the perfect gift for someone who has a scientific interest in the world and loves dogs. I personally think this one would be a great gift for an older kid who just got their first dog, for example.
#WeRateDogs: The Most Hilarious and Adorable Pups You’ve Ever Seen by Matt Nelson
#WeRateDogs is an Internet sensation that you can’t miss if you’re on any kind of social media these days. It’s definitely a cute book full of amazing photographs and hilarious captions that really do capture what it’s like to live with these cute critters every day. This is an entertaining book that will make you laugh, which is why I like giving it out to friends. I also think it’s a good choice for dog-loving teens, because it’s such a big sensation online right now. You’ll look hip enough to not get an eye roll, at least.
Bonus! Box Subscriptions
Alright, this one really is more for the dog than the dog lover, but hear me out. There are a few box subscriptions out there for dogs, like Bark Box, that I think are just the coolest thing. Depending on what kind of box you get, they come with snacks, toys, dog accessories, and other really neat things. But for so many dog lovers out there, these boxes are either too expensive, or they feel like a luxury that they just can’t afford in the face of regular bills and things. Many dog lovers that I know prioritize setting aside savings for unplanned vet bills, for instance. That’s very smart and responsible of them, and I salute them for it. That’s why sometimes, I think it’s a nice treat for the human as well to get a doggie box subscription. You can usually purchase a short amount, like three months, to give them a fun surprise beyond Christmas. They’ll enjoy the fact that they get an excuse to spoil their dog with this luxury they could never justify, and you get to please the pooch too. That’s a win-win in my book, and I don’t think you can go wrong with this gift.
I know that I’m jumping the gun just a little bit with a gift guide – after all, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a few weeks off yet. But it’s never too early to start making your list so that you can jump on the sales when they get here. I’ll be watching for those sales before I buy any more myself.
The key with a dog loving friend is to keep in mind what else they like, or what problems you could solve with your gift. They love their dog, yes. Do they also love entertaining? Then dog-themed beer pints are great! Do they enjoy Netflix binges? Get that doggie pillow for long show marathons. Do they like to read? You can find a ton of great dog books beyond the ones I’ve listed here. Just a little bit of thought about what this person likes outside of their dog, blended with their love of their dog, and you’ve got the best gift they’ll get all year.
Finally, you can be that person that gives great gifts. It’s easy when you surround yourself with people who love dogs, eh?