It’s the time of year when many of us are thinking of what to get for family, friends, and coworkers. If those people happen to have dogs, we’ve got some great ideas for you! Here are some of our favorite gifts for dog lovers, with prices ranging from $3 to $300.
Microspikes are wonderful for those of us who must walk our dogs on snowy, icy dirt roads or woods trails at this time of year! Even if you’re walking a Chihuahua, if you don’t have traction, you can slip or fall. For a large dog, all the more reason to have a solid grip (and a well-trained dog that doesn’t pull!).
Chuckit! Max Glow Ball is a ball your fetch fiend will love. It doesn’t erode the teeth like a tennis ball, it bounces high, and this one glows in the dark. So even during these very short winter months, you can play fetch in the mornings or evenings.
Food tubes! A food tube is any squeeze tube into which you put a treat your dog loves, such as peanut butter, cream cheese, or canned (paté-style only) dog food, such as Wellness CORE or Just for Puppy. Food tubes are great for a number of reasons: the food is high value, it is great for little dogs because you can give them just a tiny lick (so they don’t fill up fast), it leaves your hands clean, your fingers don’t get pinched by excited dog teeth, AND during cold winter days you can keep your gloves on! My current favorite tube is the humangear GoToob, but my old standby that is also terrific, super cheap, and can hold a lot of food is the Coghlan squeeze tube.
West Paw Toppl is the next generation of natural rubber treat-dispensing toy. You can screw two of them together to make a treat-dispensing feeder ball for dry food or treats, or use one and stuff it with canned food or peanut butter or yogurt. This toy is similar to a Kong in the way it can be used, but if you often end up with a lot of food left in the Kong, the Toppl is a great option because it is easier for dogs to get all the food out. If you have a destructive chewer, the Kong Extreme is still the best bet.
Let’s Go Design dog-walker’s jacket is the purple jacket many of you have complimented me on when I show up wearing it at lessons. It is my all-time favorite jacket! It is extremely versatile and practical. It is waterproof, warm, has a ton of pockets, can be converted into a vest or lightweight raincoat, has a poop bag dispensing pocket, and the belt is an extra leash. The piping is reflective so you can be seen by approaching cars at night. I wear it as my winter coat all winter, and in the spring and fall, I remove the fleece layer and use it as a windbreaker or raincoat. Sometimes I wear the inner shell as a fleece jacket on its own. It comes in red, black, blue, and purple.
Flirt poles are dog toys that are basically “cat toys for dogs.” It is a stick, with a rope attached to one hand, and then a toy (usually a plush squeaky toy) dangling from the rope. You can make one or buy one. You can make a little one for a chihuahua with a drumstick and a piece of string or a massive PVC-pipe affair with durable rope for a 70-pound pitbull. They are a great way to exercise a dog in a small space, and you can use them for training “drop it” and impulse control in high-arousal states, too. An inexpensive and easily available option is the Tail Teaser. My poodle puppy loves it more than anything else on this earth! If you have a big, strong dog and want something more robust, check out Squishy Face Studio.
Did you know that not all DINOS are extinct? I’m talking about Dogs In Need Of Space, of course! If you have a DINOS, you and your dog might appreciate this bright yellow vest that says PLEASE GIVE ME SPACE.
Spray cheese, otherwise known as “cheese in a can,” is a trainer’s secret weapon. Inexpensive and readily available at most grocery stores (look in the snack aisle, not in the dairy aisle!), it is the highest-value treat which is also clean, neat, inexpensive, and easy for us to dispense. No, it is not health food! But it is a very high-value food that can be dispensed through a muzzle or gate or crate door, sprayed quickly and easily into a Kong, Toppl, bone, or trachea. I always have a can in my trainer’s bag.
A magic wand is the perfect gift if your loved one who just wants their dog to behave! Use the wand to gently tap the dog’s nose three times, say the magic words, and sprinkle the pooch liberally with magic dust. But if that doesn’t work, the dog might need training! In that case, the perfect gift is a gift certificate for training with At Your Service. We offer behavior consultations, service dog classes, private lessons, and day school. Contact us to ask about gifting someone in your life the joy of a better-behaved dog.
What is your favorite gift for the dog lover in your life?