Best Gifts for Dogs: What Pet Parents Really Want
Choose gifts for dogs that are safe, stimulating, sentimental, healing or extravagant. Try pet photography, paw print kits, dog and pet parent adventures or make homemade natural dog cookies! Gifts geared toward rescue dogs and senior dogs approaching transition are popular and thoughtful, like healing crystals or Reiki sessions.
It’s easy to buy gifts for your friends’ children, but what about all your besties who are Pet Parents?
Don’t grab a bag of cheap toys and chemical-laden chews that are found in many pet stores or dollar stores. Instead, sit back and browse our Ultimate Doggy Gift Guide for amazing, safe and healthy gifts that your friends and their dogs will really, really LOVE!
Hints and Etiquette
Some gifts are better suited to certain types of dogs. We give you hints on which gifts are best for senior dogs, particular breeds, sizes, activity levels and diets.
We even include an etiquette guide to help you choose and present your gift in a way that will be cherished!
Whether you’d prefer something practical, sentimental, budget-friendly, home-made, extravagant or a really cool dog and pet parent experience, we’ve got you covered! To make it super easy, we’ve included links to our favourite gifts to help you choose the pawfect gift for that sweet Fur Soul, without having to leave home.
Ready to Find the Pawfect Gift?
What are you looking for? A gift that’s fun? Sentimental? Practical? Budget-friendly? Extravagant? A cool experience? Check out the best gifts in each category.
Fun Gifts for Dogs
This treat ball provides stimulation and rewards dogs with treats for rolling, nudging, dropping or kicking the ball around. It’s best for small to giant breeds, dogs with anxiety, dogs that spend time alone and those that need stimulation or gentle activity to encourage them to move. Great for all levels of activity. It’s not made for chewing, but even our super-aggressive chewers have not damaged it yet – and we’ve had these for years! We love that treats take a bit of time and effort before falling out so our food-motivated dogs have to work for it!
- Load up the ball before leaving for work so dogs are occupied through the day
- Add grain-free cookies to your gift so they can start using the treat ball right away
- Don’t fill with perishable treats, as they can spoil
- Include the calories in cookies as part of your dog’s daily intake – overuse of treats can contribute to weight gain
Light Up Ball
This soft plastic ball flashes and changes colours when the ball is dropped or squeezed. It’s amazing for night-time play or camping trips. Gives dogs visual and tactile stimulation and looks funny as heck when he carries it around in his mouth – flashing colours!
- Best for medium to large dogs. Check the size as larger balls may be too big for a small or toy breed to carry.
- Not recommended for dogs that chew, rip apart or swallow toys. The plastic is soft and holds up well for normal play. Not a super high bounce, so it’s great for playing in small spaces.
Wiggle Giggle Ball
What is it? A hard plastic ball that squeaks and giggles when rolled around. Provides sound stimulation and gentle exercise.
- Best for medium, large and giant breeds.
- The “giggle” is super funny, but may be a little loud for apartment dwellers or those who prefer not to be woken from a deep sleep (think parents with babies or small children).
- We’ve never seen a dog bite through the hard plastic, but supervise giant breeds who may wish to chomp on this ball.
- May not be suitable for highly anxious dogs or those who react to noise.
You’ve seen these soft toys made of cloth or fabric that contain a small plastic squeaker or crinkle paper. Designed for sound stimulation and great for dogs who like to carry things in their mouths, like Labrador or Golden Retrievers. Go for a high quality toy with strong fabric like un-dyed natural canvas or organic cotton.
- Suitable for all dogs.
- Get a toy that matches the size of the breed. They should be able to comfortably carry it in their mouth without the risk for swallowing.
- Look for toys that complement the breed or the holiday season e.g. ducks for Golden/Labrador Retrievers, mice or groundhogs for terriers, reindeer for Christmas, bunnies for Easter.
- Supervise dogs that are heavy chewers or who might remove or eat the squeaker
- For aggressive chewers, go for a high quality leather or canvas toy without a squeaker
This super-addicting item is a hand-held device that directs a coloured laser beam wherever it’s pointed. Also known in our house as the elusive “Red Dot”, this encourages a dog’s natural instincts to chase and catch. Dogs follow the light, play hide-and-seek and get pure joy and exhaustion from the chase.
- Great for all dogs (and cats)
- Apartment dwellers may especially enjoy this in-door activity
- Buy extra batteries – trust us!
- Use indoors or take this outdoors for a wild night-time chase
- Dogs see the colors blue and light yellow best, although they will still enjoy chasing any color laser light. Our dogs have no problem “seeing” the red laser light
- Hide the laser pointer when not using, as obsessive doggies may try to search and destroy this elusive light! It is addicting for dogs and parents!
Healing Crystal Pet Charm
This one-of-a-kind gift is a crystal charm that attaches to the dog’s collar, providing gentle healing properties when worn – it’s bling with a bonus! Choose amethyst for anxious dogs, rose quartz for rescues, garnet for pregnant dogs and citrine for show dogs. Book a virtual consultation with our Animal Reiki Master and get a free recommendation for which crystals are best for your furry pal.
- Suitable for all dogs – especially therapy dogs, rescues, show dogs, seniors and those with health conditions
- When ordering, ask for crystals that are the appropriate size for the dog. Check out the unique selection at Healing Fur Souls
- For an extra special gift, get a Healing Crystal Gift Set. Gift sets include a healing crystal pet charm plus a matching bracelet for the pet parent.
- Gift sets are a touching gesture for senior dogs and pet parents who want to remember them furever
Paw Print Kit
A super thoughtful gift for all dog parents, but especially those with senior or ill pets. Paw parents can capture their precious dog’s paw prints furever. We love this photo memory box that protects the paw print, dog’s photo and allows room for sentimental items like a collar, tag, pet charm or even ashes.
Hire a pet photographer to capture the unique spirit of your dog pal and provide lasting memories. Look for a photographer that specializes in pet photography, as they know how to pose dogs, reduce anxiety, manage doggy behaviours and bring out the dog’s personality.
- Avoid photographers that don’t have experience with pets
- Ask whether the photographer has props, costumes or can provide indoor/outdoor photography
- If you happen to live in Southern Ontario, Canada, we love love love Paws A Moment Photography! Check them out on Facebook or contact us at Healing Fur Souls.
Budget – Friendly Gifts
Homemade Herbal Dog Treats
Make these delicious La-La Lavender biscuits at home with our most popular recipe, developed by a Canine Herbalist at Healing Fur Souls. They are a scrumptious bedtime treat, and especially soothing for dogs that are anxious, have separation anxiety, are afraid of loud noises or car trips.
- Pair the biscuits with a bottle of raw goat milk for a yummy healthy gift that dogs go crazy for
- Add a wine and cheese basket for the fur parents, and you’ve got a totally cool complete gift that everyone will love!
Homemade Flea & Tick Spray
This natural, safe bug repellent is an especially thoughtful gift for dogs that walk near tall grass, camp or live in high tick areas. This recipe with step by step instructions is easy to make and is a thoughtful, non-toxic way to keep bugs away.
Bubbly Bath Time Basket
Fill a basket with dog shampoo, a fun towel and a rubber ducky squeaky toy. Keep the shampoo products fragrance-free and safe by checking this list of the best (and worst) shampoos for dogs.
- Include basic skunk spray products in your basket for dogs that are curious with critters, spend lots of time outdoors, camp or hunt. The pet parent will appreciate hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn liquid dish soap. Include the recipe and instructions in your gift by clicking here.
Bandana, Hair Bow or Bow Tie
Order some fun swag – who doesn’t love a fun bandana, sweet bow or handsome tie? Add a matching hair accessory or shirt for the coolest fur momma around.
- know the size of the dog’s neck, if ordering bandanas that aren’t adjustable
- many bow ties attach directly to the collar, so just pick a size that is appropriate to the dog’s breed
- look for swag with that complements the dog’s personality
- include doggy fashion items for the pet parents’ favourite holidays, seasons and personality
- we suggest browsing Etsy.com for some really unique products (you can even personalize them with the dog’s name)
Experiences and Adventures
Got a cool, adventurous friend that loves spending time with her Fur Soul? We absolutely LOVE these adventures that deepen their bond and create lifelong memories.
Virtual Reiki Session for Dogs
Purchase a gift certificate for Animal Reiki – a science-based form of energy medicine that supports profound relaxation, energy balancing and healing. The best thing? Reiki can be done remotely by a Reiki Master. For a perfect bonding experience, include the Fur Parent in this therapeutic Reiki experience “fur two”. Book a virtual session now!
- make sure the Reiki Practitioner holds a Master’s level certification for animals and people
Canine Chiropractic Treatment
Are you buying for a senior dog or one with joint issues? Purchase a specialized treatment to help dogs with pain or mobility issues related to injury or aging. We’ve seen some significant improvements in our dogs with hips dysplasias, sports injuries and mobility issues related to nerve and muscle involvement secondary to cancer.
These professionals are either licensed chiropractors with animal training, or licensed vets with chiropractic training. Search here for a veterinarian chiropractor wherever you are in the world.
A Day at the Doggy Swim and Dive Pool
If you know your fur friend likes to swim, this is a no-brainer! Get a gift certificate from your local canine swim and dive pool and give your friend and their dog a super fun day of water play!
- Serious swimmers that would love this gift include: Standard Poodles, Newfoundlanders, Labradors, Chesapeake and Golden Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs
- Even if the dog isn’t a natural swimmer (like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Shih Tzus), they can still have a glamorous day being carried around the pool by their fur parent – just add a doggy life jacket
- Add a fun towel or floating water toy and you’ve got the perfect day!
Explore a Local Dog Festival or Breed-Specific Fundraising Event
Book a day to spend with your friend and her dog. Check out your local dog festivals or go big and plan a road trip to one of these famous dog events! Check out a dog-friendly cafe afterward for coffee and a treat for the tired puppy.
Purchase the Services of a Professional Pooper Scooper
Who wouldn’t love to skip pooper scooping for a month or two? Consider a gift certificate for a professional waste removal service. The service should be insured and offer minimum weekly pick-up.
- Ask if your friend’s pooch is fed a raw food diet. Why? The waste from raw-fed dogs is smaller and quickly dries up and blows away (and has little to no smell), so there’s no need for excessive scooping. You might get more bang for your buck with a different gift.
- Add a nice coffee mug for the fur momma so she can enjoy her morning coffee in the back yard without the ahem… stinky smell.
Subscription to DogTV
Oh My Dog, we love DogTV! More than just TV for dogs, this premium streaming, cable or satellite service uses scientifically-designed sights and sounds to enrich your dog’s environment. It switches between periods of stimulation, relaxation and exposure for an all-round fun experience. This is a must have gift for dogs that are anxious, spend time alone, are under-stimulated or depressed. Healing Fur Souls loves DogTV so much, we are offering a free trial and special price for our readers!
Vegan Leash, Harness or Collar
Upgrade your fur pal to a cruelty-free vegan leather leash or collar. They are waterproof, odour-proof , mold-proof and dirt-resistant. Perfect for your animal-loving, vegan friends and ideal for water dogs.
- Make sure you get the neck size and weight of your dog buddy before you order.
Furminator Dog De-Shedding Brush
Grooming tools are a staple – especially with long haired dogs and those who don’t use professional grooming services. Although most fur parents have a basic brush, consider adding this tool, specially designed to remove fur in the undercoat that forms those clumps of hair we find on our clothing and under the couch. We love the Furminator for high shedding dogs like Huskies, Afgan Hounds, Akitas, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds.
When it comes to large dogs and ones who pull, we prefer harnesses over collars, as a harness limits physical stress and trauma to the neck region. We have seen dogs with damaged necks, spinal trauma, thyroid problems and vocal irregularities that can be attributed to collars. Think your friend’s dog is too old for a harness? Show you’re thinking ahead and get one with a handle, that makes it super easy to help lift up the dog if he starts to have trouble walking or needs help getting in a car or up the stairs.
Orthopaedic Dog Bed
If you’re buying for a senior dog or one with arthritis pain, look for an orthopaedic bed with supportive cushioning.
Bully beds are of a high quality and have styles to match your dog’s size and sleeping preferences (and home decor).
They specialize in beds for large, aging dogs and those with arthritis pain. Infrared technology comforts stiff muscles and sore joints and is one of the most thoughtful gifts you could give.
- buy one that matches the dog’s fur colour
- beds are designed for large to giant size dogs
Although doggy eye goggles are fun too, they actually protect the eyes from damage by bugs and debris. Doggles are perfect for dogs that love to stick their head out of the car window or bushwhack through the forest!
Go Pro Camera
Get your adventurous dog pal a wearable camera to let you see what he does as he races through the forest, sniffs other dogs or jumps in the lake! We’ve put some of these doggo videos to music and can’t stop laughing!
We told you this was extravagant! Whether you’ve won the lottery or are just feeling super generous, we have to say that Tesla Electronic Vehicles are the dog-friendliest car around! With their all-glass roofs for the best bird-eye views, your dog will always have something to look at! Streaming features allow you and your pooch to watch DogTV together. But by far, the best feature is Dog Mode. This feature allows you to take your dog everywhere, in any season or temperature. When activated, Dog Mode maintains a consistent temperature in the car to ensure your dog is cool and comfortable when you leave your vehicle. So, if a lottery win is in your future (and we hope it is), think of your fur pals!
The Pawfect Etiquette for Gift Giving
You’ve picked out some amazing doggy gifts! Now here are a few tips to make sure those gifts are thoroughly enjoyed, well-used and remembered. Follow our gift giving etiquette to ensure your gift won’t be tossed out, donated or regifted.
Ask about allergies or special diets
Many dogs are on grain-free diets or are at risk for choking or teeth damage from rawhide. Older dogs with poor teeth and gums may be unable to safely chew bones or eat large size treats.
Ask for measurements
When purchasing a bandana or other clothing, ensure you have the correct size. At least know the breed you are buying for, as you can often find the correct size based on the breed. It helps to know if the dog is male or female, as females tend to be smaller.
Go for organic, grain-free treats
Avoid heavily processed treats and purchase organic, grain-free treats. Better yet, make your own, with one of our recipes
Include a gift receipt
Gift receipts are a simple and kind gesture – don’t forget to include one.
Wrap gifts in a dog-friendly manner
“Wrap” gifts in a gift bag with easy access so the dog can simply pull out his gift. However, if you know the dog LOVES to rip apart boxes and does so safely, we love placing the gift in a small box, surrounded by a larger box for the epic fun of watching him get to the gift! Stuff the box with newspaper and get your camera out! And of course, help to clean up the fun mess!
Be kind to all living beings. Respect the planet we share together.