Our dogs are part of the family. They keep us warm at night, give us their loyal companionship and impress us with their endless joy for life. That’s why we were inspired to collect some of the most innovative new toys, treats and gadgets that will please every dog and dog lover.
To show our appreciation for our favorite furry household members, we’re going all out with a list of toys, treats and canine amenities. Whether your dog needs a convenient doggie water bottle for when you’re on the go, a captivating “smart” toy for when you’re at work, or a ultra-comfy dog bed, we have you covered.
Here are six of the top dog gifts for Christmas that will keep your pup happy, healthy and entertained.
Mind Challenging Dog Toys
Puzzle toys are an incredible way to keep your furry pal engaged, active and out of trouble. These interactive dog toys come in a variety of configurations, such as plush “logs” or other shapes filled with smaller toys for your pup to pull out and play with.
Puzzle toys engage your dog’s natural instincts and challenge their mind. They even often please even picky dogs. (However, the plush versions aren’t suitable for aggressive chewers—choose a non-plush puzzle toy instead.)
Another variety of mind challenging dog toy is the food puzzle feeder. These innovative toys are fantastic for dogs who tend to put on extra pounds or chow down too quickly at the food bowl. Puzzle feeders are toys that contain kibble or treats, but your dog must manipulate the toy to retrieve them, encouraging him or her to exercise. They’re available in a ton of shapes, including balls, “kibble mazes” and more. Veterinarians have noted that puzzle feeders can reduce stomach upset, bloating, and even food pilfering, for dogs that eat their own food too quickly and then go in search of other snacks.
Funny, Plush Dog Toys
We’ll probably never know why our dogs favor some of their toys over others, but you might as well stock up on some hilarious plushies anyway. Whichever toy they decide is most lovable, at least you can enjoy the sight of your canine friend dragging around a plush pizza slice, anthropomorphic taco, or smiling cactus.
Some plush toys even have another smaller toy hidden inside for when your pup destroys the outer casing. These double-fun plushies make such innovative dog gifts because the “inner toy” is fun for the dog to discover—and often a hilarious surprise for the owner, too!
My personal favorite? Get your dog a plush doggie-shaped toy that looks just like them. It’ll be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen (until it ends in cannibalism.)
Portable, Travel Dog Water Bottle
Making sure your dog stays hydrated on long walks and car trips is pretty important, but can also be tricky. I’ve seen dog owners try every trick in the book to be able to offer their dog a drink, from pouring water into their hand to bringing along a bulky plastic bowl, which ends up being a hassle to carry. Most on-the-spot hacks are awkward and may even end up under-hydrating your dog.
The solution is one of the most innovative dog gifts on our list, a doggie water bottle which features a scoop-shaped drinking bowl.
The plastic bottle is lightweight, BPA-free plastic and is compact enough to bring anywhere. When it’s time for a water break, simply press the button on the bottle to release a stream of water into the bowl, where your dog can comfortably lap it up. Problem solved!
Smart Toys to Keep Dogs Busy While at Work
Smart toys are a new addition to the field of dog toys. They interact with your smartphone to provide a whole new level of playtime for your pet. Some can also record and transmit video and audio so that you can see and interact with your dog when you’re away from home.
Beyond those basics, smart toys have a pretty large range of capacities and styles. There are robots that can throw balls and dispense treats, as well as simpler bouncing or wiggling chew toys. You can make a smart chew toy roll or bounce around your home using your phone as a controller, or you can leave the toy with your dog and it will do the entertaining for you. There are even “smart puzzles” and gaming consoles for dogs that adjust the difficulty according to your dog’s progress. Most include treat or kibble dispensers to provide rewards.
Smart toys can keep anxious or destructive dogs from taking out their energy on your shoes or furnishings while you’re away or too busy at home to give them your full attention. Plus, most have multiple types of interactivity to keep each session interesting and new.
Gourmet Dog Treats
Plain brown bone-shaped treats are all well and good, but when you really want to pamper your pooch, spring for some decorated doggie cookies! Cookies for dogs come in all kinds of canine-friendly flavors, like peanut butter, pumpkin, carob, vanilla, and bacon. Plus, they’re often available in cute shapes and with adorable icing designs. Sure, your dog will definitely ignore the decorations, but it will still make a great Instagram pic!
If you’re in the mood to treat your dog, cookies aren’t your only option anymore. Dog cakes—both pre-made and boxed mixes—are growing in popularity. Bake up an amazing confection for your pup’s birthday and decorate it yourself (here are 6 Recipes for Dog Christmas Cookies), or pick up a pre-made “pupcake” topped with treats and dog-safe icing.
A Dog Bed that Looks Like Furniture
There are dog beds, and then there are dog beds. The field of mattress innovation has definitely not passed over the dog world—you can now find dog beds with memory foam, orthopedic features, or even the look of a fur throw rug or a tiny couch!
These stylish beds not only make your dog feel super cozy, but they’ll actually enhance the look of a room. After all, there’s no need to choose a plain beige rectangle for your pup anymore when super-adorable plush cushions and comfy bolster beds are available at a variety of price points. And the extra-luxe comfort features of some beds are perfect for older dogs and those with hip issues.
Dog experts advise that all dogs are different, and therefore no dog bed type is right for every dog. Consider not only the size of your pooch but also whether they like to sleep with their head propped up (bolster bed), if they have joint issues (orthopedic bed) or if they like to burrow (cave bed). Tiny dogs may appreciate small domed beds, which make them feel extra secure.
Emily is an animal lover and has a passion for writing about pet care & health. Through her writing she is spreading awareness on how people can live better happier lives with their pets. Till now she has adopted 3 stray cats & always encourages people to adopt animals from shelter homes.