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Straight Poop’s Annual Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

November 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog Activities and Training

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the official shopping season for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa is open.  Herewith, our annual guide to gifts for the dogs and dog lovers on your list.

Toys 

The most recent push in plush dog toys is to make them stuffing-free.  I’m not sure whether people just got tired of cleaning up all the stuffing from the carpet after the dog tore the toy apart, or if the stuffing really is toxic, but either way, I’m glad to see this trend.  My dogs still tear apart the animals to get the squeaker out, but at least it is now easier to clean up.  Sold primarily under the brand name of Skinneez, these stuffing free dog toys are available from Drs. Foster and Smith and Active Dog Supplies

Skineez are stuffing-free dog toys.

Always a favorite at my house, the Kong brand of dog toys are virtually indestructible and they give your dog a chance to use his brain.  For example, the Kong Wobbler can be filled with treats, and your dog must learn how tip the toy just right to make a treat come out.  Kong also makes the ever popular Wubba, a floating tug toy that can be used on land or water for training or just plain fun.  Some dogs will do just about anything for a chance to play Wubba.  (Kinda’ like the old Klondikebar commercials.)  Kong brand products are available at most major retailers, both in your community and online.

My favorite online store, Best Friends General Store, has been closed due to the retirement of owner Candy Blakeslee, so I’ll have to find another source for you for all of your toy needs.

Sit, Stay looks like it has a large selection and reasonable pricing.  They have a large selection of toys specifically for Christmas, including Orbee Tuff Brand chew toys that are made of recyclable, non-toxic rubber and are shaped for the season.  Their selection includes a giant candy mint, a snowball, and an old-fashioned (i.e. large) bulb from a string of Christmas lights.  Many of these toys also include a stuffable hole for treats.

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply also has a large selection of toys, most priced under $10.

Dog Beds 

Tired of sharing your bed with your dog?  Get him his own.  Fetch Dog carries a wide selection.  Before you buy your dog a bed, take a look at how he sleeps.  Does he like to have his head up on your pillow or on the chair of the couch?  Make sure his bed has a bolster on the rim so he’ll have all the comforts he wants.  Is he a snuggler under the covers?  Look for a “cave” bed that allows him to burrow in.

You will also want to consider whether the bed will go inside or outside when making a choice between the different types of covers.  Some are made for indoor use only, while others are more weather resistant for the great outdoors.

 

Dog Duvets from Bow Wow Beds can be customized with your dog's name.

Bow Wow Beds on home crafters’ site Etsy  sells pet duvets and covers, as featured on the Nate Berkus Show and HGTV.  The are available in many sizes for a variety of uses (in the car, in the crate, or just for lounging around the fireplace), and you get to choose the cover fabric.

If your dog is getting older, you might need an orthopedic bed, such as those shown on Chaz Hound.    These beds can help relieve your dog’s aches and pains from arthritis and other joint diseases.

Food and Water Bowls 

There’s nothing that says, “I love you” like a new set of dishes.  The Official Dog House has a great selection including ChowTime Productions Art Bowls, hand-crafted in theUSA to include your dog’s name.

Does your dog gobble his food so fast he spits it back up?  Check out the Brake Fast bowls that force him to slow down. 

These unique bowls are available from Dogs in Play  They also carry bowls that are resistant to ant infestation, a handy feature if your dog doesn’t finish his food all at one time.

And if you’re a fresh-water freak, wouldn’t your dog love an ever-fresh stream of water, too?  Pet Mountain offers the Healthy Pet Water Station and free shipping if you spend at least $49.99.

Dog Tag Art carries a wide range of stylish dog tags.

Dog Tags 

Keeping your dog safe and having a way for him to get returned to you if he runs away are part of the responsibility that goes with having a canine friend.  But nothing says that dog tags have to be unfashionable.  Check out Dog Tag Art or Pet Tags for some fun, fashionable identification tags.  And don’t forget, if your dog has a medical condition, to list his special needs on his tag.

Dog Books 

In addition to 101 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Dog  by our own doggies.com blog writer, Beth Philley a/k/a The Dog Lady, here’s what we have on our bookshelves this year.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron tells the story of one dog who is reincarnated several times in his quest to find his purpose.

101 Dog Tricks:  Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance with her dog, Chalcy, gives you full-color photos of each training step for every trick.  Many of the tricks shown will help you prepare your dog for competition in dog sports, dog dancing, and dog therapy work.

The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete, draws on the religious order’s experience as long-time breeders of German Shepherds and features chapters on play, crating, adopting dogs from shelter, and canine behavioral theory.

Puppies for Dummies by Sarah Hodgson helps you work through the basics – housebreaking, feeding, training – as well as more advanced topics like traveling, doggie day care, and designer dog breeds.

A Dog’s Life:  Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin tells the story of Squirrel and her brother Bone as they make their way in the world after their mother is taken from them at a very young age.

And finally, Cracker!  The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata tells the fictional story of a German Shepherd trained to sniff out bombs, traps, and the enemy during the Vietnam war.

 

 

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