The holiday season has arrived! A time for love, friendship, and Christmas shopping lists. We are sure your best four-legged friend has already secured a place for their stocking on your mantlepiece, but sometimes choosing the right gift for the ones we care about the most can be tricky. If you are unsure how to fill up your dog’s Christmas stocking, we’ve got you covered. Here are some gift ideas to get tails wagging in excitement!

Treats

Every (or almost every) dog likes treats. If you consider your dog’s flavour and texture preferences when picking out your gift, you’re bound to impress. 

There are treats focused on the unique needs your pet may have. If your dog has a diagnosed food allergy, you may offer hypoallergenic treats. Softer treats are more suited for dogs suffering from dental issues. Others may help dogs with osteoarthritis or those suffering from stress-related conditions. When in doubt, you can ask your vet if your dog will benefit from eating a specific type of treat.

You can also try your hand at cooking and personally bake something for your furry friend! Be careful when picking ingredients: some foods, like chocolate or raisins, are toxic for dogs. And if your dog does not exactly end up appreciating your cooking efforts, remember it’s the thought that counts. Your dog will always love you anyway! If you’re after a trustworthy recipe, try this one from Battersea Dogs’ Home.

Fashion

If you have always liked dressing up your dog (and they are happy to participate), this is the perfect time to update their wardrobe. You can opt for accessories like tags or fashionable bedding. Or perhaps you would like to offer a more practical gift, like a stylish collar, harness, leash or warm vest. 

Can you picture your dog wearing a Christmas-themed sweater? Or will they look better in a Pantone colour of the year collar? From the most outlandish to most discreet, there are many options for every taste and wallet! Just be mindful of any health issue that might influence the type of garment chosen. A harness is preferable to a collar for dogs suffering from neck problems, collapsing trachea, or restricted airways (which includes brachycephalic breeds). Also, remember that not all dogs like wearing coats or jumpers – if your dog isn’t happy, or seems uncomfortable, best to leave it off. 

Dog booties are also a good option if you and your dog have an active lifestyle and usually run, hike, or spend time out in extreme weather. Boots are helpful to keep paws safe from cuts, burns or frostbite.

Toys

Finding the right toy for your dog can be a challenge. You will want to find something fun, engaging, and strong enough that your pet won’t destroy the moment they get their teeth in it.

There are many different types of toys, for chewing, fetching, cuddling or intellectual stimulation. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all perfect toy, you’ll need to think about your dog’s habits and needs when picking out a gift.

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Chew toys are great for dogs that spend a lot of time alone. They help relieve boredom and keep them focused on something other than your furniture. They also promote oral health and stress-relief, since chewing has a calming effect on dogs. 

Fetch toys are a great way to play and interact with your dog and provide the exercise they need. Dogs who exercise are happier, healthier, and less likely to engage in destructive behaviour. These might not be the best gift, though, if your dog has a health condition where exercise can be a problem, like osteoarthritis, heart problems or respiratory disease. 

Toys designed for cuddling are great at providing comfort and helping ease separation anxiety. Meanwhile, puzzle toys are great for stimulating your dog’s brain and increasing their problem-solving skills. Since they are usually designed to put food inside, they can help your dog learn to eat more slowly. 

Other gift ideas

If you are looking for more original gifts, you can always consider offering your dog training classes. They can be fun and help strengthen the bond between you. And you can always show off their newly acquired skills at the next family party. Or you can pamper your best friend with grooming services. Depending on their breed and coat type, grooming typically includes baths, nail clipping and haircutting. 

The main things you need to consider when buying a gift for your dog are their personality, the gift’s safety, and your budget. And you can be safe in the knowledge that for them, in the end, the best gift is your love and companionship!

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