Bark the Halls: A Christmas Gift Guide for Pups and People

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puppy presentChristmastime is magical. I love everything about it. Well, everything but the cold temperatures. Snow can be so pretty, sweaters are so comfy, hot apple cider is so comforting, and trees, lights and decorations are oh so merry.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday passed, chances are you’ve already begun—or maybe even completed—your holiday shopping. But did you remember the special animal in your life? Whether your own pet, a friend or family’s, an animal rescue or charity in need, or even just the crazy cat lady you know, shopping for animal gifts is so much fun.

I get presents for my own pets every year, and often, something for my parent’s and in-laws dogs, too. One year I crocheted sweaters, another year bought treats from a local doggie bakery. But the past few years, I’ve tried to get useful presents for the pooches in my life. Dogs need new things too! So last year when Brick’s bed was getting icky, he got a nice fluffy new one for Christmas. The cat’s toys seemed to have disappeared, or gotten awfully used and sad looking, so they each got a couple new balls to bat around.

My Own Wish List

This year, one item is high atop my list for Brick—dogIDs’ not-so-fast bowl. I swear, every time we feed him, he acts as if it’s the first time he’s tasted food and wolfs it down like he’s in a competition. Sometimes he gobbles it up so quickly he actually chokes on the kernels. I really don’t know how to get him to stop. I heard about putting a tennis ball in his bowl, but knowing my dog, he’d just move it out right away and go back to speed eating. I am really eager to try this bowl for him and see if it helps him eat … well, not so fast!

Bowties are a cute and easy gift for fussy pups

Bowties are a cute and easy gift for fussy pups

Two other items caught my fancy on the dogIDs shop. First, some bow ties to make your pups look dapper. Not all animals will tolerate wearing sweaters or other apparel, but since these bow ties are more like a collar (and actually use Velcro to fold right over a collar), even my fussiest cat doesn’t mind wearing one. And gosh does he look cute in it!

Next is the water repellant canvas bed, which is of course, customizable. One of my cats sometimes acts out and piddles on Brick’s bed, and we’ve gone through so many beds trying to find one that is either A) easily washable, or B) completely water (or urine) repellant. Thankfully, this bed is both. The durable outer canvas can be zipped out of the fluffy inside and thrown into the wash if needed. What a relief.

Suggestions for that Special Someone

Here’s some more ideas for great gifts you can get right from dogIDs for the pets and people on your list:

Gifts for Active Dogs

These durable collars will hold up in the toughest environments

These durable collars will hold up in the toughest environments

- Waterproof Soft Grip ScruffTag Personalized Dog Collars, because ScruffTags are awesome to begin with, and this kind will hold up in the toughest conditions.

- Paws Aboard Dog Boat Ladder, for the family that boats together, perfect for helping your dog get in and out of the water with ease.

- Feather-Weight Launcher Dummy, for the hunter-in-training, with a great price and great value. It’s one smart dummy.

- Ultra Compact-A-Bowl Dog Bowl, for the dog who needs to drink on the go. Perfect for camping or long walks in the park.

Gifts for Stylish Small Breeds

- Designer Leather Padded Dog Collars, with several styles to choose from, these are super cute collars for the doggie who wants to show off his unique style.

- Dog Booster Seat, for the little guy who can’t sit still and isn’t happy without a window view during car trips.

Gifts for Dog Lovers

- Dog Key Rack, with over 100 breed options available, a handy and cute way to store your keys, collars or leashes.

Charm bracelets let pet owners display their love on their wrist

Charm bracelets let pet owners display their love on their wrist

- Charm Bracelets, for the stylish jewelry-wearer. dogIDs has several bracelets, but the Eldora Love Charm is my favorite.

- Paws & Bones Dog Food Mat, for the sloppy eater.

Stocking Stuffers

- Custom ID tags for dogs or cats. Because every pet should be able to be found if lost! Plus, show your pride for your favorite sports team with these.

- Signature Dog Breed ID Tags, available in gold or nickel-plated solid brass with over 100 breed silhouettes and 13 fonts. For the person who loves to display their favorite breed.

- Custom Christmas Leather Padded Dog Collars, with four festive patterns to choose from. Super cute for use around the holidays.

- Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags, because sometimes you need the practical, unpleasant items that you just never seem to be able to buy enough of.

medium-bison-natural-rawhide-bone-chews-2-pack_658_310x310- Hypoallergenic Bison Rawhide Bones. My dog loves rawhides, and I love that they keep him entertained longer than a regular ol’ toy or treat.

- Hurley Zogoflex Dog Toy, for dog that needs something really durable during playtime.

Alternate Avenues

Other ideas are to make your own homemade treats and package them up in a cute holiday-themed bag or basket. If you’re feeling super crafty and ambitious, you can even make your own custom pillows! Just get a photograph of the pet you want pictured, and get that print made onto fabric or canvas. Cut it out, get some stuffing, and sew it up. One DIY project I hope to attempt this year for my doggies-in-law are fleece scarves.

Other ideas for pets and their people are kitty scratching posts, cute paw-print clothing, or even kitchen items. I love my bone-shaped cookie cutter for making treats at home.

Strapped for cash? Give gift certificates that your friends or family can claim for free walks, baths or play time. I know I’d appreciate having some of those for the times of the year I get super busy and just can’t devote as much time to my animals as I would like.

Get a little creative, and you’ll make everyone on your list purrfectly happy with no barks about it!

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About Amanda Huggett Hofland

Amanda Huggett Hofland works as a writer and editor in Fargo, N.D., and volunteers at a local dog rescue by producing its newsletter and maintaining its blog. She and her husband own two cats named Captain and Little Girl and a goofy Boxer-mix dog named Brick.
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You can also find her on Twitter @AmandaHuggett.

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