best Dog Gifts
If you absolutely adore your dog then purchasing a dog gift can be an exhilarating experience for you.
No matter what your budget constraints there are an awful lot of dog gifts to choose from. In fact, the sheer variety of gift ideas can often be inundating.
Since there is no dearth of dog gifts, you must narrow down to that perfect dog gift, which also meets your budget.
Dog owners, when buying a dog gift, think in terms of buying something (may be a stuffed toy) for a human baby. However, the two ideologies are better not to be intermingled.
Dogs cannot comprehend cuteness, and would appreciate receiving a gift, which is fun to play with rather than being overly cute. Hence, ensure that the gift is fun for the pet, practical, durable and safe.
An important consideration while buying a dog gift is size. Dog toys must be small enough for the dog to carry them or chew them.
But, they must not be as diminutive so as to inadvertently get stuck in the dog’s throat. For the very same reason, durability is also a major concern.
You don’t want a cheap soft toy that breaks apart due to vigorous chewing. However, your choice of a toy depends much on the dog type.
A docile dog may be well-contented with a soft toy, while an aggressive one may need a more durable and hard toy for chewing.
The Christmas season always promises to be a big spending spree when scads of pet owners splurge on toys, treats, and other accessories for their pets.
You will be surprised to know that even dog gifts have got a technological boost. PetCell, which was launched years ago, is a bone-shaped, scratch-resistant and waterproof cell for your pet.
Inundating! Isn’t it? It is designed for workaholics to stay in touch with stay-at-home pets. Moreover, it enables easy retrieval of a lost dog, since a concerned citizen will be able to callback the owner.
This phone by Petsmobility incurs around $300-$400 with a monthly calling plan of around $15-$25 – a rather luxurious gift for your adorable dog.
Another popular dog gift would be a nice jewelry item for your dog. Your dog could flaunt different colored strands of pearls worn as necklaces, anklets and collar charms.
These glittering items are the latest canine fashion statement. They can cost you anywhere between $50 and $100. Apart from the extravaganza, an essentially useful dog gift could be a pet carrier or crate.
Dog crates are trendy and practical for dog lovers that are always on the move.
If you truly adore your dog and are not anxious about the expense, you could buy the dog its own dining table and dinnerware.
No matter how much you spend on a dog gift, the crucial thing is to remember your pet during the festive season and to assure it that you love it with all your heart.
The Gifts We Give Our Dogs
Whoever coined the phrase, “It’s a Dog‘s Life” wasn’t familiar with 21st century dogs. Time was when the average canine slept outside, ate whatever scraps of food were tossed his way, and if he was lucky, was thrown the occasional bone.
He was even expected to earn his keep!
Times have changed. As the world has grown more affluent, so have our pets. We’re obsessed with keeping our canine companions happy, healthy, and properly accessorized.
So much so that many of us worry about our own welfare less than that of our dog. This didn’t happen overnight– the trend started decades ago.
Take, for example, my grandmother Rose. During the 60’s and 70’s, Rose and Henry discovered cruise vacations. On every cruise, whenever they pulled into port to “shop”, Rosie made it her mission to find stray dogs and feed them.
She’d head straight for the butcher, buy a few pounds of fresh meat, and comb the islands for the hungry and homeless.
She would exclaim, “It’s a crime the way these animals live!”– in spite of the fact that the people of those islands were desperately poor!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not passing judgment on Grandma, or anyone else. I spoil my pets as much as the next guy or gal, and take immense pleasure in it. Truth be told, I’d rather hang out with my dog than with a whole lot of people I know. We share a special bond, my best friend and I. Hey, admit it… lots of you feel the same way!
The fact is, man has always had a close relationship with animals, and has enjoyed having pets around for companionship. Having a pet can bring great pleasure into our lives, and is believed to have a therapeutic effect on the owner.
For empty nesters and those who’ve delayed or opted out of having kids, pets almost take the place of children. We bond with our pets especially because they don’t judge us.
Dogs in particular offer the kind of unconditional love we all crave. They’re always thrilled to have us around!
So, how do we spoil our pets?
Probably in much the same way that we spoil our children! Aside from all of the care attention lavished on America’s pets, a tremendous amount of money is spent providing goods and services that were once deemed a luxury– but are now considered essential.
Today’s dog sees the vet for regular checkups. She eats premium dog food and munches on gourmet doggie treats, is enrolled in obedience classes,
and runs agility courses. She has her own collections of toys, clothing, and possibly even dog jewelry and canine cologne.
She sleeps indoors on a luxury orthopedic bed and takes shelter outdoors in her cedar dog house. She wears a safety harness when riding in the family car,
a reflective vest on hunting trips, and rain gear in foul weather. She can even dodge UV rays with a pair of doggie sunglasses. Her responsibilities are few.
I could go on (don’t worry, at some point I will!). But one of the most notable signs that we regard our dogs as members of our family is the fact that we buy them gifts.
A dog gift for the holidays, a dog gift for a special occasion, or a dog gift to show our appreciation for how much our dogs appreciate us. Any reason will do. Heck, we even wrap our dog gifts!
Here are some very interesting statistics regarding gifts for pets:
More than half of U.S. households have pets, and many of them are including their “best friends” in holiday plans.
According to a survey conducted by the Pet Supplies “Plus” chain, 97% of its customers will buy gifts for their animals this Yuletide season.
28% of owners will spend more on their pets than on their spouses when buying gifts.
47% will spend more on their pets than on relatives other than their spouse.
54% will spend more on their pets than on their in-laws.
83% will wrap their pets’ gifts.
68% claim that their pets will unwrap presents themselves with their paws.
71% will buy something practical for them.
Buying gifts for our pets is only the half it. If someone we know is a pet lover, we often show our support by giving the person a pet-related gift. And, since the saying goes, “love me, love my dog“, there’s often pressure to throw in a little dog gift for Spike too.
For a casual dog-loving aquaintance, our dog lover gift might be a simple coffee mug with a picture of their favorite dog breed. A set of plush doggie-themed golf club covers could make an amusing gift for a colleague.
Maybe Aunt Janine has a collection of dog figurines we can add to. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, one could splurge on a diamond-studded doggie themed bracelet for the wife
(although I wouldn’t recommend this as an anniversary gift. Unless you’re verrry sure.) and a new house for Spike.
The good news is, there’s no shortage of goods and services to inspire even the most rabid of dog lovers and dog gift shoppers.
And dog lover gift shoppers. Whether the names on your gift list are human or canine, you’ll never run out of things to buy and places to shop.
If you’re one of those gifted gift givers who’s never at a loss for what to get and where to find it I envy you. If you’re more like the rest of us, and you need a little help, you’ll find plenty of ideas online (Ahem!).
You can also look for future articles in this series, in which I’ll hone in on various ways you can pamper and reward the dogs and dog lovers in your life.
So go ahead, spoil your furry friends. Celebrate your love for your dog, and your sister in law’s love for her dog. Shower them with goodies and gifts. It’s a dog‘s life. And if I get to come back for another round, I want it to be as one of those lucky dogs!!
Gifts For Dog Lovers, and Dogs
There is a plethora of dog gifts available in the marketplace, with each gift type celebrating a different breed of dogs – man’s faithful companion.
You would be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of gifts and the fact that you could easily find a gift pertinent to any dog breed on earth.
The simplest of such gifts can be a canine care guidebook strictly specific to a particular dog breed of your choice.
Another viable dog gift can be a set of canine feeding bowls or a comprehensive dinner set, with your choice of breed being hand-painted on the bowls.
A similar gift may be a calendar with picturesque backgrounds, featuring your favorite dog breed. Another special gift item is a dog breed greeting card.
Dog lovers would be happy to receive a greeting card with a beautiful image of their favorite dog breed, along with a nice thought to mark the occasion.
You will be glad to know that there is an enormous collection of figurines shaped after different breeds of dogs. Beautiful hand blown glass figurines, crystal figurines and Christmas tree ornaments also make fine breed gifts.
Dog breed mugs and coffee cups, notepads, postcards, placemats, spoon rests, salt and pepper shakers, among others are also viable gift options.
Several household items can also be modeled after your favorite dog breed. You could have dog breed embroidered towels, welcome mats and other door mats, and window and car stickers as well.
Tote bags, bearing a beautiful image of your favorite dog breed, not only suggest your love for the particular dog breed but are also a cool fashion statement.
If your budget allows a bit of leeway, you may buy an expensive breed specific jewelry item. There is a huge selection of breed specific rings, earrings, and necklaces that would certainly bring a smile to a woman who happens to be a dog lover.
As far as dog breed gifts are concerned, there is no dearth of possibilities. The only restrictive aspect would be the amount of money you are willing to spend on a dog breed gift.
Every item you imagine could either be modeled after your favorite dog breed, have a picture of the breed painted on it, engraved or embossed on it, or affixed onto it in one or the other manner.
Choices abound when it comes to dog breed gifts. The only aspect that you need to ensure is that the gift is to the receiver’s liking.
Christmas Gifts for Dog Lovers & their Dogs
If you have dog lovers in your family, it’s time to think of some unique gifts you can give them this Christmas.
They will remember this gift for a long time if you not only give them a gift form themselves, but include something for their dog or puppy.
To get your ideas flowing, here are some gifts you can get for the dog lover: of course, if you can take some pictures of their dog in advance, many of the following ideas will be even more special.
- a T-shirt/sweatshirt that says “My Dog Loves Me” – they’ll be proud to wear it.
- a picture of their dog framed in a paw picture frame – there is no better way to let them know you love them: every time they walk past this picture, they’ll be reminded of your kind gesture, and that you took the time to give them something special.
- a collectible figurine featuring their dog breed – this will become part of the room décor.
- a dog lover’s calendar – excellent gift that keeps on giving: every month they’ll have a new beautiful dog to look at and enjoy.
- a nice, fuzzy, personalized throw to keep them and their dog warm on chilly evenings.
- a cooking book with dog recipes
- dog lover screen saver
Now that you picked a nice gift for the dog lover, it’s time to find some gifts for the dog. Here are just a few ideas to get your started:
- a plush toy: be it a ball, a bone, or some other shape, dogs really enjoy these fluffy toys. Some come with a noise maker, but be careful that this toy won’t become annoying for the owner
- doggy clothing: you may get something pretty, or, if you like practical, get something warm for the winter, so when they take a talk the dog stays warm.
- doggy treats are very popular these days, and you can find them in pet stores everywhere. But, if you have the time, cook some treats yourself, and make a new friend
- treat machine, similar to the candy machines, where you press a handle and get a piece of candy. This will entertain the dog for hours and get him a treat every time he presses the handle. What fun!
- pampering items, like doggie shampoo, a nice brush, and even a nice bandana.
So, as you see, there are lots of ways to spoil your dog lover friends and family and their pet.
So You’re Buying A Dog Or Cat Toy, Is It For You Or The Pet?
Face it, you like toys. So does your pet. That’s because toys are a fun source of amusement for your pets when you’re busy living the part of your life that doesn’t involve leashes and plastic bowls with the name “Killer” across the side of it.
Plus proper use of toys can keep your pet healthy (and you thought they were just good for making fun of Bower when he spins out chasing it across the linoleum).
Toys put your pets in the habit of regular exercise as well as building a sense of enjoyment that will keep them young. After all, a playful pet is a healthy pet.
In fact, toys play a major and important role in emotional and mental development of your pet (they may not have the same effect for you, sorry).
They offer a great solution for boredom, inappropriate chewing and anxiety (and you thought you had problems).
Now keep in mind that just like the multitude of mood swings your furry friend can have, there are a multitude of toys to choose from, but hey,
variety is the spice of life, and don’t worry, when it comes to picking the toy that’s right for your pet you just need the right information from your pet.
To start with, let’s say your cat is touchy and demands a smorgasbord of play things, the message in those creepy green cat eyes is simple, buy cat toy.
Dog owners don’t worry because dog‘s always have the same idea on this as the cats and it’s just as simple; buy dog toy.
So just where do you do that? You will find that smorgasbord of pet toys at any pet store, and they come in affordable prices.
But before you walk in like a cat-eye hypnotized zombie chanting “buy cat toy” or “buy cat toy”, put some thought into what to look for in a cat or dog toy (after all, let’s be honest, you’re going to play with it just as much as they are). Also, don’t forget to buy dog toy while you’re there.
So, to get you started here are a few tips to keep in mind while purchasing;-
1. Try to buy a toy that matches your pet’s size, not your size.
2. Make sure that there are no dangerous small pieces, as your pet could try to swallow it leading to choking, whereas if you tried to swallow it you just might feel really weird for the next three days.
3. Bones and sticks can splinter and cause choking and vomiting. Actually, they can even perforate your pet’s mouth and throat
(for those of you not in the know, perforating your throat is bad) so use non-splinter chew toys such as Nylabone Edible Bones, to allow your pet to gnaw with no fear.
4. Bells can be problematic for birds, besides just being really annoying. Use a treat dispensing roll toy instead, after all, food equals fun.
On that note do not offer any leather toy (if not specially tanned), paint or any wood preservatives to your feathered friend for they can be toxic. So to recap, food equals fun, toxic equals not fun.
5. Cats often enjoy hiding out in plastic bags, and while you are unlikely to go to the pet store for the sole purpose of buying a plastic bag it is important to know .
because doing so can get their head stuck in it’s handle, leading to choking and suffocation, so you’re better off with a treat dispensing roll toy which will not choke or suffocate them.
6. When purchasing toys online, make sure to do a price comparison before ordering because many online shops will offer seasonal discounts that you can cash in on.
And lastly, make sure to supervise your pet while they play with their toy, this will minimize any accidents and then maybe later, if you ask nicely, they may even supervise you while you play with it too. Enjoy the toy.
Stuffed Toys that are Suitable and Safe.
Adorable stuffed dogs are a favorite gift for dog lovers. Learn what to look for and what to Avoid.
Although it’s hard to say when the first stuffed dogs appeared, I would guess that it was soon after dogs were domesticated.
We do know that as long as there have been children, there have been dolls, rattles, miniature weapons, and hand-made animals. Anthropologists have found evidence of toys dating back to the earliest records of human life.
Play is universal and cross-cultural. Though it may vary among cultures and generations, it’s clearly instinctive and a key part of our development.
A child’s play is his way of learning about himself and his world. Play opens the door to a child’s imagination. Some of our fondest memories from childhood are recollections of time spent playing with special people and favorite toys.
A classic among childhood toys is the Teddy Bear, who made his appearance in 1903 and is still popular today. Although the Teddy Bear may be famous because of his political affiliation (he was named after Theodore Roosevelt), just about any stuffed toy can become a child’s favorite.
Especially for infants and toddlers, there’s great comfort and reassurance in having soft, cuddly companions like stuffed dogs to snuggle up with.
As surely as children play with toys, their needs and interests change as they grow and mature. As a child matures, a stuffed toy may come to represent a favorite animal in nature.
Toy stuffed dogs might be huggable versions of media characters like a cartoon or comic strip dog (“Snoopy”, “Scooby Doo”, “Blues Clues”, etc.). Finally, stuffed dogs can play the role of imaginary family pets.
When shopping for stuffed dogs for small children, keep in mind the child’s age, interests, and abilities. Be especially careful when selecting toys for children under age
3. Labels help consumers narrow down which toys are right for a child, but here are some general guidelines regarding stuffed toys for children from birth to three years of age:
For children in the one to three year age range, avoid toys with small parts that could be swallowed, aspirated (inhaled into the air passages or lungs) or inserted into the nose or ears.
The eyes and noses of stuffed dogs should be securely fastened and the seams well sewn. Avoid stuffed dogs with any sharp corners, rough edges, or strings.
Here are some specific guidelines to keep in mind according to a child’s age:
Birth to 6 months
For the first few months babies can’t grasp with their hands, so choose toys that stimulate with sight and sound. High contrast, black-and-white or brightly colored toys and toys that make noise
(like a squeeker toy) will get baby ‘s attention. Puppets can be used by adults to entertain baby.
Once the baby has learned to grasp, look for textured toys that are safe for mouthing. Choose stuffed dogs with short pile fabric.
Never hand a toy from the crib, stroller, playpen, etc., or around babies neck.
6 months to 1 year
Infants become more mobile at this age and interact more with their toys. This is also the age when they love to drop things,
so nice soft stuffed dogs will earn points with Mom for the absence of loud crashing sounds as they hit the floor!! Of course,
your peace and quiet could be spoiled by the fact that toys that squeak when squeezed are popular at this age. Puppets are still a great way for parents to hold a child’s attention, and there’s even one popular brand that doubles as a washcloth at bath time.
The stuffed dogs you choose should still have a short pile fabric. Babies start teething at 6 months, and will definitely chew on their toys, so make sure you buy toys that you can throw in the washing machine
1 to 2 years
During their second year of like, children love to explore. Their play is more physical and involves experimentation and imitation of adults.
At this stage, stuffed dogs might be seen as “pretend pets” to befriend and care for. This could be a good rehearsal for the real thing.
Children are not instinctively gentle with animals. Interactive play between parent and child, using stuffed dogs as props, can be a fun way to introduce them to the idea that a pet should be handled with gentle loving care.
At this stage, objects still get mouthed, so stuffed dogs should still have short pile fabric.
2 to 3 years
Finally, you can graduate to nice, furry stuffed dogs! The long pile isn’t considered a hazard–mainly because children age 2 to 3 no longer place everything in their mouths.*
Kids this age have developed good hand coordination and like to put it to work with arts and crafts and simple puzzles.
Plain stuffed dogs make use of a creative imagination. You might also consider a doggie hand or finger puppet. These work the mind as well as hands and fingers!
*No more thumbs or pacifiers at this age!! It will affect your child’s oral and dental development.
3 to 6 years
After age three, make-believe is a favorite pastime and children interact with each other, using toys as props. It’s common at this age to develop strong attachments to favorite toys,
and express feelings towards a particular doll, teddy bear, or stuffed dog. Toys representing favorite cartoon or TV characters might be the objects of affection. Puppets are also lot of fun for games of make-believe.
6 to 9 years
By now, more sophisticated games and toys are likely to have replaced stuffed toys. The exception is young collectors, looking for stuffed dogs to add to their menageries. Collectors defy age categories; the “beanie baby” craze is a great example of this.
Personally, I never played with dolls as a kid but had an enviable collection of stuffed animals, and am still a sucker for a cute stuffed toy.
Puppets are still appealing, as well as some of the nontraditional forms of stuffed dogs. These might include a pair of slippers in the form of a favorite dog breed, or bookmarks made to look like stuffed dogs.
9 years and up
Especially as they approach their teens, children want to impress their peers and leave “childish” toys behind. Stuffed dogs, and stuffed toys in general, are only for young collectors in this age group.
There are variations on stuffed dogs you might do better with. For example, a pair of dog slippers, a dog backpack or purse, or stuffed dogs suspended from key chains. Young (and old1) golfers would love a plush golf head cover in the shape of their favorite dog.
Finally, since your household (or the one you’re shopping for) may have children of different ages, here are some general rules you can follow for fun and safe play:
TEN STEPS TO FUN AND SAFE PLAY *
When shopping for toys, keep in mind the child’s age, interests and abilities.
Read toy or packaging labels for age ranges and safety warnings.
Be especially careful when choosing toys for children under three. Select toys that are free of small pieces (or pieces that separate or can be broken off), are lightweight, have no sharp edges or points and are non-toxic.
At home, read instructions for assembly and use. Keep product literature in case of future questions and complete warranty cards.
Remove and discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to a baby or small child.
Consider the home environment in which a child will play with a toy and younger children who may be there. A toy intended for an older child may be dangerous in the hands of a younger one.
Always provide toys in conjunction with sensible supervision. Supervise children when they play and set good examples of safe play.
Remind caregivers, including grandparents, of play-related safety concerns
Do not leave toys on stairs. Choose a safe storage place for toys. ( Anything large enough for a child to climb inside should have a cover that’s easily removed).
Check toys at least every three months to determine their safety. Make any repairs immediately or throw away damaged toys.
* Source: www.toy-tia.org
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