Need the perfect holiday gift for your favorite dog lover on the cheap? Whether you’re looking for a gift for a coworker or your favorite veterinarian or trainer, these $25-and-under selections are sure to be big hits.
I love these things. Really, really love them. Every day, somewhere on the planet, some poor soul will be getting a bruised rear end from slipping on an icy sidewalk while out walking the family dog. Only you and your thoughtful, gift-giving prowess can prevent such things from happening to your loved ones.
If you buy these for any friends that have ever been in such a situation, you will earn automatic hero status. Seriously.
Warning: As safe as Yaktrax make me feel on the ice, they can be dangerous when they are wet on very smooth floor surfaces like hardwood or ceramic tile — best to leave these attached to your favorite dog walking boots and leave in the mudroom!
2. Sponsoring a dog
If your friend loves dogs but is one of those difficult-to-buy-for people — or can’t have a dog right now — consider sponsoring a local shelter or rescue dog for a month in her name. Most shelters have a monthly sponsorship fee of $20 to $25
If your local shelter or rescue does not have a sponsorship program, you may make a donation of any size in most cases. Last year I sponsored a German Shepherd for my friend Carol who had just recently lost her GSD, Sarge. I was able to sponsor a dog from the same rescue she’d adopted him from, and they sent her a beautiful card in loving memory of Sarge.
A Dog’s Purpose was one of the best novels I can remember reading. It’s at the top of my “Only lend to really good friends along with threat of bodily harm for damage of non-return” list (where most of my books end up, but this one is near the top). Dog-loving bookworms of the world, you must own this, so add it to your own Christmas lists as well!
I can’t speak for Cameron’s second book, A Dog’s Journey, but it will be downloaded to my iPad before 2013 arrives.
4. Fingerless gloves
Not only are these great for winter dog walks, they’re convenient for texting in between subway stops!
Another cold-weather gear favorite, I love fingerless gloves if two conditions are in place: they are easy to wash, and there is no thumb or fold-over thumb. I have been gifted many pairs of these gloves by well-intentioned friends, only to find that ones with thumbs really suck when you are training with treats or a slobbery dog outdoors in the winter.
Long-time readers will know that I am a huge fan of Through a Dog’s Ear, a system of music bioaccoustically designed to calm dogs with anxiety or arousal issues. An unexpected benefit of this beautiful music is how calming it can be for me, too.
Through a Dog’s Ear is a big hit at my house, and helps my dogs, cats, and one frazzled dog trainer relax.
If you are buying for a family with small children and dogs, this board game will offer your loved ones the gift of safety. I can think of few gifts more powerful than teaching children how to love, respect, and understand the animals in their lives, and this board game is a fun way for parents to do it. It’s appropriate for children over the age of four.
At $19, the game is discounted substantially from the regular purchase price (usually $30 to $35), so don’t miss this opportunity to get a great gift at an awesome price!
WDJ is one of my favorite publications. Independently printed, the Whole Dog Journal does not accept advertising or sponsors and is funded through subscription revenue alone, which allows the magazine to offer unbiased reviews of popular toys, leashes, collars, and harnesses. WDJ offers special issues that review canned and dry dog foods for quality — these are not to be missed!
This is a wonderful gift that provides great information on modern training, holistic health care and diet, and the newest and best products in the pet industry right to your friend’s door, all year long. Warning: She may expect this every Christmas forever and ask for a friend-divorce if you discontinue it.
Do you have any other ideas for great and affordable holiday gifts for dog lovers? Please share them in the comments!