Christmas, birthdays, happy events... There are plenty of opportunities to give your dog a nice gift!
For the past few decades, dogs have become full-fledged members of French households and, as such, more and more owners are giving them gifts and other dog accessories every year.
Would you like to treat your dog for his birthday, or just because you love him? Here is an overview of the leading items on the dog market that may give you some ideas.
Gift Ideas for Playing with Your Dog
Some dogs are a bit phlegmatic, but most can't get enough of playing with their owners, an activity that is excellent for both their physical and mental health. There are different types of dog toys that allow you to work on different aspects of your dog's education and physical and psychological health.
But first of all, I would like to make a few recommendations to ensure that everything goes smoothly during the games, both for the owner and for his dog. First of all, the dog should never be restricted during the games, so that he can fully let off steam and enjoy this moment of complicity with his master.
This does not mean that no limits should be set: your dog should only use his toys and not your property to have fun, and he should not bite or nip, push you around or run away. Always try to initiate play and, ultimately, all interactions with your pet.
Also, games are great for training your dog, but don't always make them into training sessions and remember to give your dog moments of pure fun. Also, don't reprimand a dog that refuses to give up his toys and prefers to chew on them in his corner or hide them in the yard.
This behavior, called "resource guarding," is natural to all dogs, and trying to overcome it in highly attached specimens can cause them great emotional distress. If the animal simply growls when you try to take his toy or run away with it, leave him alone: this is neither disobedience nor aggression, and you'll both benefit from letting it go.
Finally, try to play with accessories designed for dogs: stones, sticks, tennis balls are dangerous objects, the cause of many serious injuries and broken teeth every year.
Kong Safestix Stick
The Kong brand is one of the most renowned in the dog toy market, and the durability and quality of its products are widely approved by owners. The Kong stick is an alternative to the wooden stick that you can pick up anywhere, with the difference that it pays off, but it is also safe for your dog.
Indeed, accidents due to playing with pieces of wood are legion, and we no longer count the number of dogs who have been stabbed or seriously injured in the mouth because of these objects. However, there is one small drawback: Safestix are not the strongest toys from Kong and are not suitable for hardcore chewers.
Trixie Activity Flip Board
This toy from Trixie is a thinking game that stimulates the intellect and the sense of smell, activities that are often neglected by the owners and yet so important for the dog.
However, beware of owners who might be tempted to give this toy as a gift so that their pet can be occupied in their absence: it is strongly advised against leaving your dog alone with this toy.
According to some owners, parts of the toy can come off and be swallowed by the dog. The master's supervision is therefore required, and dogs that are too gluttonous or destructive should probably be kept away from this Trixie toy.
Dog toys that will allow your companion to vary the pleasures without ever getting bored.
Made of cotton, these toys are non-toxic, sturdy and durable, although they can break under the jaw of a Staffie who gets a little too excited... Like all toys. The set contains chew toys, pull toys and throw toys for small and medium dogs.
Gift Ideas for Sporting Dogs
Sporting dogs have a heightened need for physical activity, and it can be difficult for some owners to keep up with the long daily walks. Fortunately, there are plenty of accessories to give your faithful companion to give a second wind to your daily activities and maintain his physical and mental athlete.
First of all, a few recommendations: avoid intense physical activities during puppies' growth (until they are about 1 year old, depending on the breed) to avoid the risk of them developing hip dysplasia, especially if they are predisposed to it (large and medium dogs). Also, avoid intense activity during hot weather, especially if you have a short-nosed dog (brachycephalic) such as a Bulldog, a Pug or a Boxer.
Finally, if your dog exercises a lot, pay special attention to his health and diet to ensure that his body can handle the strain and not be worn down prematurely by efforts that are not adapted to his health, breed, size or age.
Eagloo Dog Harness
The Eagloo anti-pulling harness is one of the best sellers on Amazon, and not without reason. Strong and inexpensive, it is perfect for owners who are tired of their dog's jerky walks and pulling on the leash.
Equipped with a buckle located at the front of the harness (at the level of the neck), this accessory makes it possible to teach the dogs not to pull on the leash by modifying the point of attachment of this one. The sensation of pulling on the front of the neck is indeed destabilizing for the animal, without ever hurting it or bothering it physically.
Agility kits for dogs
Are you tired of long walks in the same places, of throwing the same balls to your dog and of repeating the same games over and over again to evacuate his overflow of energy or to maintain his physical shape? Agility is a sport which allows to develop the complicity between a master and his dog, to work obedience, endurance, speed, and, of course, agility.
You don't need to have the ambition to compete to start: offer a beginner's kit to your dog and imagine all the courses you like to have fun together. With the kits available on the market, you will have access to safe obstacles designed to practice this activity without danger for the animal.
The Pawhut kit is designed for small dogs, with a hoop, a slalom and a bar (hurdle) to create an obstacle.
Gift ideas for older or frail dogs
Some older dogs suffer from osteoarthritis, and other animals may be convalescent, frail or sometimes disabled, which limits their opportunities for physical activity.
However, these brave dogs also deserve their gifts, which will bring them some comfort and help them keep their spirits up and their mental balance.
Walking is essential for all dogs, and even those with mobility difficulties need to get a breath of fresh air every now and then and continue to explore their surroundings.
For dogs with limited mobility and owners who like to pedal, the bike trailer is an ideal accessory for walking your pooch safely, without tiring him or causing him pain. Comfortably installed in his little home on wheels, your companion will be able to observe his environment from the windows of the cabin and breathe the fresh air without having to make any physical effort.
Heating mats are a comforting gift for older dogs with osteoarthritis, as they keep their joints warm and thus prevent the synovial fluid from losing viscosity due to cold, which increases pain.
The Backture mat is an electric device, praised by most owners, but it is not suitable for destructive animals that can be electrocuted by biting its electric parts. Warning: heating mats must be used strictly according to the instructions provided with the accessory, and never without a suitable protection to protect the animal from the risk of burns.
Gift ideas for dogs with a sweet tooth
Gluttony shouldn't be punished, even though it can lead to dramatic overweight problems in dogs.
So that your dog can enjoy treats without getting too fat, here are some gift ideas that will make his mouth water while preventing him from gobbling up a bunch of candy.
The Classic Kong Toy
Here's a new Kong toy on our Santa list, but this time it's the classic that made the brand so successful. The Classic Kong is made of solid rubber, and you can choose the size and hardness according to your dog's behavior (big chewer, old dog, puppy, etc.) to adapt the comfort in the mouth and the durability of the object to your pet.
Why do I recommend it to food lovers? The Kong toy is designed to be filled with treats, which, combined with its ergonomic design so that it can bounce around, will keep your gluttonous pooch entertained for hours.
Is my dog sensitive to gifts?
It's hard to tell if a dog is capable of understanding the extent to which a gift is a gift, but it's very easy to see how he reacts to the gift you give him. Most dogs love to discover new things, and your gift is bound to make them happy, as it offers them a rare opportunity to satisfy their curiosity and innate thirst for discovery. Your attitude is also important: if your gift is an excuse to play or cuddle, your dog will probably be delighted, because your attention is the best gift for him.
How to choose a gift for my dog?
Only an owner can know what his dog needs, so you just have to pay attention to your pet. If he is old or fragile, give him something to comfort him and improve his daily well-being, and if he is more active, a gift that will allow him to practice his favorite activities will undoubtedly satisfy him. However, I advise you to avoid treats, which are more effective when they are only used as a nudge to educate your pet.
Where to buy a gift for my dog?
You can find a large number of dog accessories in pet stores, online stores and general online retailers. Big box stores also often offer dog toys, but the quality is rarely good.
How do I find gift ideas for my dog?
If your dog already has everything, there may not be much point in giving him yet another toy. Your time and love will make him even happier, so don't hesitate to get creative and take him on a hike in a new area, try out an Agility course or take him to play with his peers at a dog park.
Finding a gift for your dog is not always easy, but when you know your pet well, it's not hard to know what he might like. If you lack imagination, take a closer look at your dog: is he greedy? Is he a sportsman? Adventurous? Tired?
And don't hesitate to pick up some ideas from the list we've put together for you, which features accessories that can delight a wide range of dogs. Some of our ideas may give you more, and there's no doubt that you'll end up with the perfect gift for your faithful companion.