Happy almost howlidays, furfriends! Ready to play Santa Paws? Here’s our collection of Christmas gift ideas for dogs, dog owners, and dog lovers. This post is an oldie but a goodie, and we update it each year with new ideas to keep things festively fresh. This is also not a post full of product links and random affiliate product click-throughs. It’s an actual collection of ideas, not items. I hope it helps with the many very good girls and boys on your nice list this year. Woofs!
Christmas Gift Ideas for Dogs
Dog Toys and Treats
For the dogs on your holiday list, treats and toys are easy go-to-gift ideas, whether bought or homemade. We always add a few fun toys to the collection on holidays and special occasions. And (of course) there are always plenty of treats at our place and for sharing with friends.
Although we make a lot of our own toys, we also love buying special toys for our boys. Christmas is a great time to add a few goodies to their toy basket. Oli loves balls, Humphrey love squeakers. Christmas morning is full of noisy chaos, bouncing, and squeaking at our place.
Similarly, although I make lots of our own treats, we also buy special snacks, chews, and treats. Specialty dehydrated items like deer ears, rabbit ears, venison twists, hooves, and other goodies are sourced from local suppliers. Small business shout out to our friends at Raw and Wild (one of our current favourite online shops) and to Natural NZ Pet food and Treats (Lucy does our local markets). Humphrey is also enjoying other yummy goodies from a number of New Zealand dog food and treat manufactures, and we usually buy those from retail pet stores online or in person.
Different pets might have different diets or special feeding plans. If you’re gifting to a friend and are not sure what kind of treats their pup likes, snoop around in stealth mode when you’re hanging out together (“Oh, those look good – what are they?”), check their social media if they’re avid sharers, or simply ask for recommendations for yourself or others. Recommendations are a great sneaky way to get the details on someone’s favourite brands or suppliers when you’re actually shopping for them. The same is true for toys or other products (see below for dog care).
If your pup enjoys dapper dog dress-up, a new bandana or bow tie can be an easy inexpensive gift idea. They’re also easy DIY projects, if you’re a little bit crafty. You can customise a ready-made bandana with embroidery, iron-ons, fabric paints, and other DIY techniques. Try to keep things washable though for easier wear and care with any dog clothing or accessory. Depending on the dog, there may also be specialty dog wear that the dog (or their owners) would appreciate for weather, sports, or other needs. See the practical presents below for more ideas.
Luxury s-paw gift basket, perhaps? Dog care products can be good gift ideas for pets and their owners. Shampoos, conditioners, paw waxes, spritzes, creams, and other products can be doggone great, especially if you know what types of products the owners like and if the dog has any special issues or allergies. Have a friend who frequently takes their pup to a groomer or a doggy day care? See if you can get them a gift voucher or pre-pay one of their sessions.
Practical Presents for Pets and their People
Christmas is also a good opportunity for pet parents to replace or upgrade practical items like bowls, beds, collars, leads, car protectors, etc. We usually swap out collars on birthdays and leashes at Christmas if/as needed from wear-and-tear. I’m not going to lie. There are always a few poop bags in the gift exchanges or stocking stuffers. They might not be glamourous, but they’re by far one of the most practical items. As I joked about my massive stash of poop bags when making our DIY dog poop bag Christmas wreath, you can never have too many, but you can have too few! Haha!
If practical seems a little unexciting, why not add a personal touch with items that are suited to shared activity, like a new running lead for joggers, hiking accessories, or other specialist dog-friendly outdoor or sports gear. Is there a problem you can help with or a way you can make things safer or easier, like safety lights for early or late outings? Perhaps a pet first aid kit for hiking or the car? We made our own pet first aid kid, but there are some awesome ready made products, too. Our Kiwi friends at DogWarts first aid training for dogs and dog owners have started selling canine first aid kits in a handy molle bag and they’ve been incredibly popular.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Owners
Presents for Pet Chefs and Treat Bakers
If you have a baker or an aspiring pet chef on your shopping list, or are simply keen to do more dog treat cooking or baking yourself, why not add a few kitchen gadgets and gizmos to the holiday gift list? They can be dog-specific if you’d like, but general purpose baking gear also makes a great gift. There are bigger gift ideas like dehydrators, food processors, etc. for special presents, but there are also lots of stocking stuffer opportunities. Cookie cutters and cookie stamps are inexpensive and fun, and quality tools or utensils are always handy.
Presents for Crafty and Creative Pet Parents
If you have a dog-crazy crafter or creative on your shopping list, perhaps gift them some craft materials or equipment. General purpose supplies are always handy. Is there something they’ve mentioned wanting? Something you’ve noticed is worn out or causing them trouble? If you’d like to make the gift dog specific, perhaps some dog-patterned supplies for the craft stash or materials to make their own dog toys – squeakers are a must around here! Kits or materials to make ink paw prints or clay paw prints are inexpensive keepsake crafting gifts.
Presents for Tech Loving Pet Parents
For the tech lovers, check out some of the cool new pet gadgets on the market or dog-friendly accessories for tech gear that they already own, like a dog harness/mount for their Go-Pro.
Presents for Pet Photography Fans
If you have a dog-loving photography fan on your shopping list, photography accessories for their iPhone can open up a whole new range of pet photo options. For a very special gift, a DSLR camera is great for high quality pet photos. For newbies, consider gifting it with a DVD for the make/model or a quality photography book to help them learn their new tool. You can also take a totally different angle on their love of dogtography and give them a voucher or gift certificate for printing or photo products.
Other Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers
Not all dog-lovers are pet owners or currently have pets. The gift ideas below can work as inspiration for people with or without pets, depending on the situation and the gift you choose.
Pet-Loving Learners and Avid Readers
There are plenty of doggone great books about dogs or including dogs. Whether you’re looking for an expert insight into dog psychology, advice for health and wellness, training guidance, true stories, novel tales, or simply a fun family read, there are dog books for just about everyone.
If you know your dog-lover well, you might be able to buy a gift-certificate for a local class or event that you know they’ll be available for and want to attend. Careful – these sorts of scheduling things can be tricky, so are best kept between besties (or drop your own hints – hehe…). You can also look at online options for perhaps a little less personalisation, but more flexibility.
Photographs and Artwork
Pictures can be extra special if you know the person’s tastes well enough to choose an artist for a portrait or a local area pet photographer for a gift voucher. Art is also something that can be created from a photograph for beloved pets after they’ve passed, but this is a deeply personal and emotional gift option. It might be best kept for those you know very well or who have shared details on their wish list.
As a little 2020 note on our post, a family photo session is one of the gifts at our house this year. As shared in our farewell post to sweet Oli, not having more photos together is one of my major regrets. We also recently added some art portraits to our collection, including a drawing of Oli.
Paying it Forward
If your pet came from a shelter or rescue, donating or gifting to the people who brought you together can be a beautiful way to celebrate the holidays (or other milestones, like birthdays or adoption anniversaries). Donations can also be given in the name of people on your gift list or in memory of passed pets. Local food banks may also be looking for pet donations. Find a cause that fits your heart or the heart of the person you’re gifting in the name of.
Just for Laughs (and Woofs)
Not sure? No worries! There are tons of novelty pet products that make fun presents or stocking stuffers, covering all ranges of budgets from gag gifts to precious presents and everything in between. I can’t resist anything with a Dalmatian print or a Dali on it. Haha! Although I do have a few trinkets, wearables, usables, or consumables like cute stationary are more practical and purposeful.
A Pawnote on Pet Presents: To Wrap or Not To Wrap?
Although we’re trying to reduce our household waste, I simply can’t resist wrapping presents for our boys. Half the fun is in ripping the wrapping for our wild things. Check out happy Humphrey smiling in his pile of ripped paper in the photo at the start of this post. Cutie! For more fun and less guilty waste, consider using recycled and/or recycled materials. I like using simple papers that can be recycled or composted. Although wrapping is for ripping and not eating, it’s still safer to void anything that might accidentally cause issues, like tags, string, or ribbons. Check out our post on DIY recycled and recyclable gift wrap for pets for more ideas.
Other Gift Wrapping Ideas
Skipping the ripping with gift bags or boxes is a-ok too. It’s all a matter of personal preferences and the lucky pup or people on the receiving end. You can also use the wrapping as part of the present, like gifting treats in a jar or fabric wrapping using a bandana or blanket. Our post on making DIY dog bandanas with serged edges has examples at the end using dog bandanas as fabric gift wrap.