Another ten days and we'll be well into the Christmas Eve. We will all be getting ready to celebrate the best holiday time of the year, eat great food and spend time with our families. Are you going to treat your dog this holiday season? We've previously discussed best Christmas gifts for pet parents, but what about best Christmas gifts for dogs?
* 2016 UPDATE: 17 Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Dogs That’ll Surprise Them
Give some thought to what your dog would really enjoy before just filling your cart with random, unnecessary dog toys that break quick or other cheap dog supplies. Many types of toys for dogs may be fun for a few minutes or even a few hours but then they end up in the trash or ignored in a corner. That's a waste of money in my book.
We have this misconception that dog toys should be replaced a few times a month. This should not be the case, and the best dog toys will disprove this myth.
The same can be said about the best Christmas gifts for dogs which must last for a long time, and not only for days or weeks but rather months and maybe even years. Best Christmas gifts for dogs should provide many hours of playtime and enjoyment instead of 5 minutes of chewing.
7 Best Christmas Gifts for Dogs That Last
Interactive Dog Toys
Interactive dog toys are excellent Christmas gifts. They don’t just keep your dog occupied like the usual chew toys for dogs. Interactive dog toys stimulate the dog’s mind, encouraging him to think about how to get a doggy treat.
Dog treats are usually hidden in little compartments in the toy. The dog has to figure out how to get the treat by pawing or pushing on the dispenser. This type of activity alleviates boredom and helps the dog become a better, more well-adjusted furry friend.
These toys for dogs are designed for supervised play. They should not be used to keep a dog occupied while you are out. Interactive dog toys are not made to stand up to chewing, either. In terms of choices, there's an abundance of these toys available to purchase online.
Amazon is one of the leaders on dog toys and pet supplies in general. However, other online retailers such as Chewy, Dog.com and Drs Foster and Smith have pretty good prices and a wide selection of interactive dog toys as well.
Dog Chew Toys with Treats
Treat dispensing dog chew toys that are designed to stand up to your puppy's chewing are one of the best Christmas gifts for dogs who spend hours alone while their humans are at work. They are also great for alleviating boredom when you’re home with the dog.
These types of doggy toys dispense treats when the dog chews or licks the toy. They are designed to stand up to chewing and rough play after the treats are gone. The toy can be filled with a dog biscuit, small treats, peanut butter, cheese, cream cheese or any other best dog treats to keep the canine occupied.
When the weather is hot, dog chew toys can be filled with peanut butter, soft cheese or cream cheese and kept in the freezer, which is very convenient for my own household. I usually give my dogs their frozen doggy treats to keep them occupied for hours, and it works like a charm.
There are a lot of very good chew toys for dogs, but one of my favorites are those from KONG. KONG's treat-dispensing dog toys are well-known for their ability to stand up to persistent chewing and rough play. Obviously, there are other good options that are also durable and you can check out Amazon, Chewy and Dog.com that have a huge selection of the best Christmas gifts for dogs at decent prices.
Knock-about Dog Toys with Treats
Doggy treat dispensing pet toys that dispense kibble or small dry treats keep dogs occupied and moving. They are a little similar to the above mentioned dog toys, but a few factors sets them apart, and both make for the best Christmas gifts for dogs.
RELATED: Being Choosy About Dog Toys
With this type of dog toys, the kibble or dog treats fall out of the holes in the toys when they are kicked around the room or pushed around by your dog. This type of toy is best for dogs that have room to move the toy around to get the treat.
Dogs that are kept in an exercise pen or crate with a raised grate on the floor should not be given this toy as they will get bored of it quickly. The treats or kibble will only fall through the floor of the pen and cause frustration.
Some of these puppy chew toys hold a fairly large amount of kibble or treats so be sure to adjust the dog’s diet accordingly. Do not overfeed your canine with treats, which can be dangerous. If your pet ordinarily gets 1 cup of dog food each day, put ½ cup of food in his bowl and ½ cup in the toy so that he doesn’t get too much to eat.
New and Unusual Dog Treats
Healthy treats are excellent doggy stocking stuffers or wrapped presents for under the tree. Take this holiday opportunity to try something a little different from the normal, everyday dog treats that your pet is used to. One of the best Christmas gifts for dogs is if you can treat him to something new and unusual this holiday season.
Here's a list of dog treats ideas dog owners may want to consider:
- Nutro Crunchy Real Mixed Berries doggy treats are made with real blueberries, cherries and cranberries. They can be used for your dog's training, put into a treat-dispensing toys or given just because your dog is looking particularly cute at the moment.
- Blue Buffalo Health Bars are also great and healthy pet treats. They are available in a variety of flavors including yogurt & bananas or pumpkin & cinnamon. These are baked biscuits that can be given as a bedtime treat or stuffed into a treat-dispensing dog toy to keep your pooch occupied while you are busy or away from home.
- Himalayan Dog Chews are long-lasting dog chews that will keep your canine busy for hours and hours. They are actually made from a type of cheese that is extremely hard. Your furry friend will not be able to chew this up in a matter of minutes. They are 100% natural cheese.
- Elk Antler Chews are great, long-lasting chews for dogs that we have discussed before. These antlers are shed naturally so you can be sure no elks were harmed in the making of these dog chews. They do not splinter, chip or harm the dog’s digestive tract.
- Ark Naturals Breath-less Brushless Toothpaste dog chews keep your pet's teeth clean and improve their breath. These chew treats have abrasive ridges that scrub off tartar and help fight plaque. They also contain a doggy “toothpaste” in the center that further assists with tooth cleaning and breathe freshening of your pooch.
- Evanger’s Nothing but Natural Wild Salmon Freeze-Dried treats for dogs are nothing but salmon. They are a very healthy and definitely unusual treat for your pet which again makes for one of the best Christmas gifts for dogs.
Doggy Toys with Squeakers
Squeak dog toys should be on every dog owner's Christmas “to buy” list. Even those dogs that are hard on squeak toys and usually have the squeaker removed within minutes deserve squeak toys.
One of my favorite companies, KONG, makes really amazing, tough squeak toys for dogs that will challenge even the most ruthless squeak-toy-destroying canines.
For example, their KONG Squeezz JELS are recent additions to their line of tough dog toys. They have a gel-type appearance in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The squeaker is well-protected at the center of the toy.
Squeaker dog toys like the above are great for playing fetch with your pet. KONG ones in particular are shaped like animals, balls or rings. These odd shapes make them bounce erratically, adding more fun to a simple game of fetch, and peaking your dog's curiosity even further.
Pet Toys that Crackle
Crackle dog toys are one of the best Christmas gifts for dogs who like some noise motivation but don’t really like high-pitched squeakers. They are also good for pet parents who don’t like high-pitched squeakers and get annoyed quickly by the sound of these dog toys.
Top Dog Tips is not sponsored by this company, but again, KONG Squeezz Crackle dog toys are great: they crackle when the dog bites on it, providing an unusual noise that most dogs like. These crackle dog toys from KONG are made from a gel-type material that holds up well to most chewers. They are shaped like a ball, bone, dumbbell or stick.
For more information on safety of dog toys, and how to pick the right ones, take a look at some of this advice:
- How to Choose the Right Dog Toys by Age
- Durable Dog Toys That Will Outlast Your Puppy’s Jaws
- 25 Best Puppy Toys for Dogs that Chew A Lot
Dog Christmas Every Month
Another one of the best Christmas gifts for dogs is the subscription for dog treat boxes. These monthly gift boxes for dogs are the perfect doggy Christmas gift that keeps the fun going all year round. They are “surprise” gift boxes that are filled with a variety of items for dogs selected at the discretion of the company you buy them from.
The gift boxes often contain random dog food samples, treat and toy samples, which is a great way to try something new that you wouldn’t usually buy in order to see if your dog likes it before you buy a whole package. Companies that offer this usually give you the option of getting a new gift box every month during the year or as a one-time deal.
Dog.com is offering a 2-pound monthly Doggie Box for $24.99 each month and they make a donation to an animal shelter with each Doggie Box order. Google images of these boxes – they look pretty cool.
BarkBox.com offers the monthly Dog Gift Box for $19.00 to $29.00, depending on the number of months you select. A one-time gift box is $29.00 while a monthly gift box for 12 months will cost $19.00 per month. Pet parents love these!