Stocking Stuffers for Dogs: A Great Gift for Family & Friends
When You Can't Think of What to Get That Special Someone....
...give them something for their pup.
They already have a ton of clothes and every kitchen gadget imaginable. And you don't want to give them yet another scented candle, pair of socks, or scarf. But what dog owner won't appreciate some gifts they can use for and pass along to their four-legged family member?
If you're a dog owner yourself, maybe you already do this for your own beloved pet, but a stocking filled with canine Christmas goodies for your friends and family who also have dogs is a great gift idea -- a useful one that won't get stuffed in the back of a dresser drawer. You can spend just a little or quite a lot when filling that stocking, and you can get creative and crafty too.
Here are some ideas.....
Start with the Stocking
If you know "Rufus" or "Lady" doesn't already have his or her own stocking, that's the logical place to begin. Or if they do, you can always fill a basket or a simple, very inexpensive mesh stocking, like the one pictured here, for the owner/giftee to put in the dog's personal one. This kind of stocking is handy for when the stocking isn't really part of the gift.
Make the Stocking Part of the Gift
Here's a nice canine-theme stocking, with paw prints and bones. Just be aware that, although it's shown as monogrammed, that's not included. If you want to personalize it with your giftee's dog's name, you'd need to do that yourself (glue and glitter perhaps) or take the stocking to a local embroidery shop. Or you could possibly find a pin with the dog's name or maybe get a doggy name tag made at the local pet store and hang that on the outside of the stocking, which would turn into another nice little gift.
How About a Cute Paw Stocking
This lower priced but popular pet stocking in the shape of a paw will stand out from the rest of the stockings hanging from the mantle.
We used to have a dog that could tell her stocking apart from the rest and would get quite excited when we'd hang it up.
Types of Stocking Stuffers for Dogs
Here are some ideas for filling up that empty stocking, with specific product suggestions pictured below.
- Bones and other chewables, from the durable, non-edible kinds to real bones to pieces of antler
- Toys, like tug ropes, balls, fuzzy toys, challenge toys you can hide treats inside, a small frisbee
- Dog clothing like sweaters, coats, t-shirts, booties, bandanas, or even costumes
- Treats, like chewy training snacks or crunchy cookies. (You can even take the extra time and love to make them yourself.)
- Collars, harnesses, and leashes
- Personalized dog tags
- Gift cards or certificates for local or online pet stores, grooming services, or a stay at a local pet resort
- Small pet accessories like collapsible bowls (ie. for hiking or traveling), collar lights for seeing "Fido" at night, a doggy backpack (if it fits in the stocking)
- Homemade coupons for pet bathing and grooming, dog walks, pet-sitting
- Grooming supplies, like brushes, nail clippers, doggie shampoo
- Dispensers of handy poopie (clean-up) bags. (There are some "stylish" ones you can clip onto a leash or belt loop or what have you.)
Stuffers in the Chew and Treat Department
Our dogs love their flavored Nyla bones ... which, if you aren't familiar with them, aren't the kind of bone that's meant to be ingested. It's a durable bone-LIKE chewable to keep your pooch happily occupied for a long time.
Eventually, Nyla bones get pretty mangled, so depending on how much of chewer the dog is, the bone will need to be replaced every once in a while. With our fervent chewers, we replace them every 2 - 4 months.
FYI: Nylabone does make an edible type of bone, which is sometimes found in a two-pack with the non-edible kind, so read the package/product description before you buy.
Super Long-Lasting Antler Chews
We give our dogs pieces of elk antler cut from those we find in the woods. But if "shed hunting" isn't your thing or you haven't had any luck finding some yourself, you can buy them. And they sure do last a long time. Keep in mind that these antlers are dropped annually, not cut off the heads of the animals. So these are a great dog gifts for those who don't want anything that came from hunting or the food industry.
I've personally never met a dog who doesn't enjoy a rawhide chew. Our dogs, one large and one small, and they spend many happy hours chewing away when they get a rawhide treat. In fact, they don't stop until the bone (or other form) is gone. A treat like this might keep your friend or family members' dog busy while everyone opens their gifts.
There are SO many different kinds of treats out there, in a very wide range of prices. So, I'll just suggest a couple (of many) we've given to our dogs.
These dental chews aren't the cheapest of treats, but they're recommended by our vet and liked by our dogs. They come in a variety of package sizes, and sometimes are deeply discounted on Amazon. They contain vitamins and minerals and are good for dogs' teeth ... not to mention their breath.
Natural Jerky Treats
We've given these natural treats to our dogs and have some friends who use them also, particularly when training. They're not too expensive, and with grains, fruits and vegetables and fresh lamb in the mix, they're a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Making Homemade Dog Treats - Stocking stuffers with a personal touch
Here are some links to some good recipes, some of which even I can make! (Which, if you know my culinary skills, means they're pretty hard to mess up, even if they don't end up looking great.)
"Did you say, 'TOYS'?"
A Few Thoughts About Dog Toys - Some things to consider
There are, of course, dogs that just aren't into toys (especially some older dogs), but even those who do love them usually have their preferences. So it helps if you know this about the dog (and dog-owner) you're buying for.
Does "Rover" prefer to tug? To fetch? To chew on his or her toys? Some dogs will try to tear apart anything they get their mouths on, while others like to curl up and cuddle with their favorite stuffed animal.
But one thing rule of thumb I always stick to -- because I usually LIKE the person whose dog I'm stuffing a stocking for -- is to stay away from the SQUEAKERS.
Stocking Stuffers in the Dog Toy Department
In addition to others you'll see here, one brand we really like is Toys 'R' Us. Yep, they make dog toys too, and as far as what we've seen and purchased from our local Petsmart, they're not only very affordable (some brands are REALLY pricey!) but also extremely tough.
Those you see pictured here have been chewed and tugged like crazy by our two avid players, and they still look like new. Not even any teeth marks, which is amazing.
I haven't seen this brand on Amazon, but they're available from the Petsmart website (the link will take you directly to this brand's dog toy selection) and local stores.
And here are some others I recommend....
I'm pretty sure you've probably heard of this popular brand, Kong, known for being super tough. This particular toy is a favorite among dog-owners and, most importantly, dogs, While these can be used for a game of fetch (or, if you have a dog like mine, a game of keep-away and chase), but they're also meant for hiding a treat inside, which your pup then has to figure out how to get to.
Durable Tug Toys
I know lots of pooches, including ours, that prefer interactive play, including a good game of tug, either with their human companions or another canine friend.
This model by Kong is easy for hands and mouths to get a good hold on.
Our Jazzy with her Favorite Tug Toy
This is a fun combo-toy, which you can tug and then toss--another one that holds up very well over time and teeth, as I can personally attest to.
Toys with some challenge, some problem-solving features, are popular with both pets and their owners. With this one, you can adjust the difficulty level as the dog figures out how it works. This is just one more example of the MANY "smart" toys there are for dogs ... but I rule out many of them for being squeakers.
This is a cool, multi-use toy: a frisbee and a collapsible water dish in one. Because it's soft, you can fold it up to stick it in a pocket or backpack. It's also washable (always a plus for slobbery toys), and it's easy on a dogs gums. One thing it isn't is a chew toy, so this is really an interactive play-thing, not something to leave laying around when not in use.
Other Kinds of Stocking Gifts for Dogs
Think grooming, walking, even something for the clean-up crew
This is a best-seller in the grooming supplies department. You can also put a rubber hand groomer in there (the kind you wear and brush with), one of those furniture hair-removal rollers, maybe some doggie shampoo and/or conditioner, nail trimmers, dental supplies (if you know the owner attempts to clean the dog's teeth on their own ... not me!), or if the dog happens to be a stylish type, maybe some hair bows.
We definitely need one of these in OUR dogs' stocking.
This is a mesh harness with stretchable elastic webbing. This is the medium, but this very affordable harness also comes in small and large sizes.
How about a monogrammed collar or a name tag? These are a popular seller, in all different colors and sizes. You can get them personalized when you order.
Gifts for Night Walkers
If the owner is a night dog-walker, perhaps taking Rufus or Lucy to the dog park or the woods after dark, this bestselling light would come in handy.
I work with a K9 search dog handler who uses lights similar to these on her dogs when on night missions.
Practical and Handy Gifts
I guess this is more for the pet owner than the pooping pet, but still ... it makes for a handy (pun intended) stocking stuffer that only costs a few dollars.
Refills are available both online and in many local pet supply stores.
Merry Christmas from Jazzy and Remy!
© 2013 Deb Kingsbury