If you have a dog parent in your life, gifting them fun items, like personalized socks, a dog-shaped key chain, or a custom pet portrait might be tempting. While any of those would likely be loved by your recipient, they probably wouldn’t be used very much. That’s why we’ve put together a list of more practical gifts for dog parents.
Practical gifts might not be quite as fun to pick out as a pillow with a dog’s face on it, but they’ll probably be far more appreciated. Pets are expensive, so anything that saves a dog owner some cash is going to be most welcome! Let’s take a look at some useful things you can get for all your favorite dogs and their owners.
Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from LifeSavvy, How-To Geek, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!
Dog Treat Molds with a Recipe Book
Store-bought dog treats are all well and good, but nothing brings a dog owner more warm fuzzies than presenting their pet with homemade treats. These silicone molds are the perfect way to bake or freeze adorable dog treats that come out shaped like a paw or bone.
This gift also comes with a recipe book that features a variety of ways you can fill these, from refreshing frozen pup-sicles to tasty baked goods. It also gives tips on feeding dogs raw food and which food items to avoid giving them.
Because these molds are made of flexible silicone, your gift recipient may want to put them on a plate or cookie sheet before moving them to the freezer or oven. This will help to keep the molds stable instead of sending the treat mixture dripping everywhere.
Lick mats are the perfect gift for dog owners. Why? If they already have one, they’ll always be happy with more. If they don’t have one, they won’t believe how they survived without one once they finally get it.
This pack comes with two lick mats that each have a unique pattern. The simple design of a mat involves a flat silicone surface covered in raised silicone grooves. Just spread peanut butter, wet food, yogurt, or any other soft substance on it and let the dog lick away.
Repetitive licking releases endorphins in dogs, so this mat is great for making any pup happy and reducing anxiety. They can also be useful during baths and while an owner is away from home to keep their dog distracted.
Puzzle toys are ideal for any dog owner who has a dog that’s too smart for its own good. These toys challenge dogs’ brains by forcing them to solve various puzzles to access treats. Some dogs will figure these out pretty quickly, but many will spin hours trying to unlock the toy.
Even after a dog has figured out how to solve the puzzle toy, it can still be used to hide treats or dog food to lengthen meal time. Puzzle toys are highly recommended by veterinarians dog trainers and other dog experts because mental exercise is just as important for canines as physical exercise.
This puzzle toy is one of the most popular on Amazon. It features 24 small compartments with sliding lids. Hide treats in the compartments and the dog using the puzzle has to move the lids around one by one to access each treat. It takes up a lot of time and is great for smart pets.
Himalayan Dog Chews
Long-lasting chews are as essential for dog owners as Netflix is for parents. Whether a dog is being rowdy when people are over or has a ton of energy when its owner is trying to work, there are many scenarios where being able to distract a dog with a treat for an hour is necessary.
Unfortunately, safe chews can be hard to find. Rawhide doesn’t digest easily and can cause stomach problems, while bones and antlers can crack a dog’s teeth. And many safe treats labeled as long-lasting get gobbled up by moderated chewers in about five minutes.
Enter Himalayan dog chews. Made from dried yak’s milk, these chews were originally invented as a way for Himalayan farmers to snack on a long-lasting food item while they took long journeys through the mountains.
Dogs have to gnaw at these treats for a long time before the chew becomes soft enough to eat. These are made with only two ingredients and are odorless and stain-free.
Treat-Dispensing Dog Camera
If you wanna splurge on a gift, the dog owner in your life will be incredibly grateful for this one. Dog cameras are one of the best ways to put a dog owner’s mind at ease whenever they’re away from home. It allows them to see what their pup is up to while they’re gone and gives them peace of mind that nothing has gone wrong in their absence.
This treat-dispensing dog camera has two features in one product. It connects to the user’s smartphone and allows them to see and communicate with their dog at any time. It also lets them send their dog treats with the push of a button.
It’s a fun way to let them interact with their pet even when they aren’t physically nearby. It’s a particularly good gift for dog owners who work all day and leave their pup at home for long stretches of time.
Furbo Dog Camera
Never feel too far from a pet with this treat-dispensing camera.
Snuffle mats may have a weird name but they are a fantastic addition to any dog owner’s home. These mats are covered in various pieces of fabric that create different designs, pockets, and shapes. They encourage a dog’s instinct to forage when treats and other goodies are hidden inside.
This snuffle mat is large enough to be used by dogs of all sizes. It contains plenty of little pockets to hide treats or kibble and can keep a dog occupied for a good chunk of time. It has a buckle design that allows the user to secure it to furniture or the floor, which will prevent a dog from flipping it over and making a mess.
This mat folds up and can be easily secured for storage. It’s also machine washable and will last for years.
AWOOF Snuffle Mat
Encourage a dog’s natural foraging instincts with this snuffle mat.
Interactive Wiggling Dog Toy
If your friend has a dog that is always on the go and never seems to tire out, gift them this toy. It’s an interactive electronic device that moves and wiggles on its own. It can give a dog hours of playtime without any effort on the owner’s part.
This toy isn’t a replacement for a walk or game of fetch, of course, but it can be great for dog owners who are at their wits end with figuring out how to entertain their pup all day. The toy resembles a small furry creature that many dogs will go crazy for.
It’s not the best toy for large dogs or aggressive chewers because the outer coating can be torn up pretty easily. However, it’s ideal for small, gentle, and curious pets that will stay busy for a long time as this thing rolls around the house.
The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever
Dog owners love showing off their dog’s tricks to others. But teaching a dog a new trick takes a lot of time and effort. It can also be confusing to find helpful teaching guides that don’t overcomplicate the process and actually help the owner reach the end result.
The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever by Larry Kay and Chis Perondi contains over 100 tricks your loved one can teach their dog. Each page contains step-by-step instructions and plenty of photos to make the process as easy as possible. The tricks are organized from beginner level to pro and cover every from shake to peekaboo to hug.
The book even covers advanced tricks and stunts, like how to teach a dog to pull a wagon or jump through a hoop. No matter what level their dog is at, your friend or family member will have fun working their way through this book.
A Dog Shammy
Anyone who’s ever bathed their dog at home can attest that it creates a mess unlike anything else. Long-haired dogs, especially, can absorb an unbelievable amount of water. Even after drying them with two towels, somehow the entire house is covered with water when the pup is set free.
Many dogs are afraid of blow dryers, so air drying dogs when they’re bathed at home is pretty common. What’s the solution? A better towel, for starters.
This adorable dog shammy is designed specifically to absorb water from a dog’s fur. The microfiber blend is super absorbent and the large fibers get deep into the fur to pull out water that a normal towel would miss. It also has hand pockets that give the user good control when drying under the belly or on the paws.
Jolly Pets Soccer Ball
Many dog owners buy toys knowing they won’t last forever. This process can get a little disheartening when they think about how much money is being spent on stuffed animals that will be gutted in a week or two.
Jolly pets, a staple brand within the dog community, is best known for their indestructible toys that stand up to even the roughest of chewers. They create durable items that can last a dog’s lifetime. This soccer ball is made with a special flexible plastic that is lightweight and easy to play with but built so that it will never deflate, even when sharp teeth puncture the outside.
This item is perfect for dog owners with tough, hyper, or intense dogs that seem to tear through toys before they even hit the floor. The recipient will thank you for years to come (because that’s how long this toy will last).
A Dog DNA Test
Your dog owner friend may not feel like they need to splurge on a DNA test for their dog, but it would make a great gift. For someone with a mixed breed, the results can help them learn important things regarding their dog’s health, like what illnesses it may be prone to, its life expectancy, and more.
This test screens for over 350 breeds, types, and varieties. It is also one of the most accurate tests available, with the ability to detect down to five percent of the total breed make. It’s also easy to use and only requires a simple cheek swab to be mailed in.
Owners of pure breeds won’t need this, of course, but anyone who adopted a dog or owns a mixed breed will be thrilled to receive this gift.
Portable Shower Attachment
Anyone who takes their dog to the park or beach knows the struggle of figuring out how to keep a dirty dog from ruining their car after the events of the day. A towel or washcloth can only get so much dirt off. Sometimes beaches will have outdoor showers available, but you can’t always bet on those.
This cool rubber attachment can turn any 16-ounce to two-liter bottle into a portable mini shower. It attaches to larger plastic bottles and lets the user spray a rainfall of water over their dirty pup. This allows a dog owner to give their dog an emergency bath anytime and anywhere.e
This attachment is too big for most water bottles, which is important to keep in mind. However, a regular water bottle probably won’t contain enough water to rinse off a dog anyway. Using a two-liter bottle can result in a shower that’s almost a full minute long, which is plenty of time to clean away the worst mud and dirt.
Dog owners love fun gifts, but they love useful ones as well. Any of these items will be used often by your lucky gift recipient. From snuffle mats and long-lasting chews to dog cameras, we’ve got the goods for any and all dog-lovers in your life.