Is there an Extreme Dog Lover (EDL) on your holiday list? By which we mean dog lovers who are a challenge to shop for because they’re so amazingly well-versed in all things dog?
A word to the wise: These folks are opinionated about what products we put in, on, and around precious canine companions. Many are highly house-proud, and dog lifestyle gifts from bowls to beds are created to complement a specific style of interior — be it traditional or modern decor. Hence, for a hardcore canine-design hound, it’d be tough bordering on impossible to get a doggie home-furnishing gift exactly right.
So, here’s how to prevent disappointment (or regifting) and ensure that your favorite EDL thinks only warm and fuzzy thoughts contemplating your ever-so-thoughtful present.
1. Pet-food gift certificate
Pet food and treats are always a necessity, but don’t buy the actual food or treats — chances are your EDL has strong opinions about pet nutrition. And heaven help you if you gift a vegan with, say, raw-meat treats!
To avoid that kind of snafu, get a gift certificate to her favorite local mom-and-pop or big-box pet food store, or a mail-order supplier such as Pet Food Direct. That way, she can redeem it for the food and/or treats of her choice.
2. Water, water everywhere
Ah, water, It’s such a basic necessity, and yet what about those times, such as during a natural disaster, when it threatens to be in short supply and becomes a precious liquid commodity? In that case, it helps to have a case of premium bottled water on hand.
Give your EDL a case of some fabulous glass-bottled mineral water (Italy’s Fiuggi brand comes in seasonally appropriate green bottles). For fun, make this gift both practical and whimsical by removing one of the bottles and replacing it with a bottle of wine or bubbly! Or, if you’re feeling extra-generous, a water ionizer will turn ordinary tap water into an elixir of canine (and human and feline) wellness.
3. Silent night, Whole-y night
Whole Foods is such a dogsend: It’s open late and carries a wide selection of items for dogs and people of every nutritional persuasion (not to mention an array of bottled water brands, per above).
A gift certificate for this enticing emporium is always appreciated by anyone, but especially so by an EDL — it’ll help her restock on whatever just ran out, whether it’s pet food, coconut oil, probiotics, homeopathic remedies, veggies, steak, or raw beef bones (the best holiday treat ever, from a dog’s perspective).
4. Atmosphere enhancers
Here’s one thing all EDLs can agree on: Items that help keep the home front fresh and calm are always welcome, especially at holiday time, when we expect more house guests and higher stress levels.
One such item is the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, which contains bamboo charcoal to absorb unwanted odors. A case of Get Serious! stain and odor extractor is also a super-thoughtful, practical gift to make doggie messes disappear.
5. Fetching flu fighter
We know that dog walking is a joy, not a chore — unless, that is, you’re down with the flu, in which case it’s a nightmare.
Now that it’s officially cold and flu season, assemble a gift basket that will truly be treasured by the frequent dog-walker. Just fill a decorative receptacle with remedies to help combat the common cold quickly and keep her immune system in top shape: Peppermint tea, raw honey, coconut oil, probiotics (Jarrow has a great new, “Pom-Berry”-flavored chewable probiotic-plus-Vitamin C lozenge), Nordic Naturals Omega-3 oil (in decorative cobalt-blue glass bottles), Umcka Cold Care, and Sambucus.
6. Festive first aid
Regular Band-Aids, large gauze pads, tape, povidone iodine, and polysporin or Bacitractin ointment are essentials for any first-aid kit.
Our ideal first-aid kit would also include Pawz Dog Boots (to protect Spot’s bandaged paw from making contact with the mean streets), arnica montana pellets (for bruises), and neem oil, which has multiple healing uses.
Assemble these items in a handsome container and offer it as a pretty yet practical gift. Your favorite EDL will think of you with gratitude the very next time one of her dogs sustains an owie.
7. Pet-person pampering
Because you always put the dog first, those pouncing paw-pads are probably well-protected already — so why not remind your EDL that humans are entitled to a little pampering too?
For those freezing, midwinter-morning dog walks, help keep sensitive human skin soft and protected — especially leash-worn hands — with lovely lotions such as neem-enriched body butter. Throw in some all-natural facial and eye serums by Jurlique plus a bar or two of Rescue Chocolate, and your EDL will remember you all year with a warm, contented smile.
8. Staycation for their pup
Does your favorite EDL daydream of getting away from it all for just a few days (gasp) without the hounds? Maybe she’s just met a hot new human playmate she’d like to spend uninterrupted time with. Or perhaps an elderly or ailing human family member is suddenly hospitalized and needs undivided attention.
Give your pal a certificate to a few days’ stay at a super-reputable dog boarding facility with fun amenities, so she can rest assured that the dogs will have a safe, fun staycation while she catches a break.
9. Help out an animal charity
A holiday donation to a worthy cause-for-paws is always warmly welcomed by hardcore dog lovers, especially if their own dogs were adopted at animal shelters.
Targeting small, local rescue groups that could really use the cash infusion is a safe bet. But if you want to donate to a national group, for safety’s sake just be sure your donation is going to a cause that actually operates a shelter in addition to doing dog’s work in political circles. (Best Friends Animal Society, which has a shelter and worked tirelessly to get Los Angeles to ban retail sales of pets, is a fine example.)
10. Give a gift to planet Earth
The gift of eco-friendly poop bags is always welcome; environmentally minded EDLs are always gung-ho to pick up after our pups. You can’t go wrong if you pick one we recommend.
With each scoop of poop, your giftee will feel like she’s helping keep planet Earth clean and green.
Are you giving a gift to an Extreme Dog Lover this year? What’s your plan? Let us know in the comments!