The fire is gently winking and Fido and I are checking our lists and trying to decide what to give our favorite friends. With a little thought, perfect gifts for dogs are easy to find — and don’t need to cost a month’s worth of kibble.
Here are the ideas we’ve come up with so far:
- ZiwiPeak Real Meat Jerky Treats for Dogs. Give this and hope the recipient shares! These treats come from New Zealand in lamb, venison or beef. You can buy small packages at Centinela Feed for about $7. Fido prefers the one-pound bag from Amazon.com, which costs $18 to $19, depending on the flavor. These treats are free of grain, added hormones or growth promotants, salt, sugar, coloring, preservatives or filler. Fido can’t get enough of them.
- Reflective gear. Darkness comes early this season. You and your dog can blend into the shadows out of the attention of drivers or other dog walkers. Fido and I like reflective gear for another reason: it’s simply fun and completely green. Fido has a track harness from Estelle’s Safety Reflective Wear that really makes him standout at twilight. In the photo at right, you’ll also notice the reflective leash wrap. Keep Doggie Safe has a variety of reflective gear as well including leashes, bandanas and collars.
- Seat belt restraint. If a dog goes everywhere with his peeps in a car, he needs some sort of restraint to keep him safe in a sudden stop or a traffic accident. Even the most loving dog owners tend to neglect this. Probably the safest way to travel with a dog in a car is with the dog in a crate and the crate well anchored to the car. Fido has a new, soft-sided crate but we don’t yet have straps to keep it secure inside the car. Our friend Red has a seat belt harness. It’s a basic harness with a long loop where a leash would normally attach. The seat belt goes through the loop and hooks into its fastener. There’s just one problem here: Red is unerring in his ability to step on the seat belt latch and release himself. We’ve ordered a new device to try: a Kurgo Auto Zipline. The line attaches to the handholds above each rear door and a special harness attaches to the zipline and the dog. The dog can move freely in the back seat or even lay down, but can’t climb into the front seat or get thrown around the back of the car. At a cost of about $35 from Amazon.com, it’s worth a try. Other types of restraints including the seat belt harness are even less expensive.
- Tagg Tracker. This is the perfect gift for a roaming Rover. It is a GPS system that attaches to a dog’s collar to track his location and activity. The device texts and emails you when Fido gets out. According to its maker, the device allows you to “pinpoint your dog’s whereabouts on the Tagg map. Then, zoom in and take a look at his exact location on a computer, mobile device or use the free Tagg mobile app. Need directions? We’ll provide those, too. Al you have to do is bring the wandering wagger back home. In addition, this $99 device also tracks your dog’s activity to check taht he is getting the 30 to 60 minutes day of exercise that vets recommend.
- Custom-made leather collar, leash or harness. There is nothing more debonair than a real leather collar on a dog, and a real leather leash is a joy to handle. California Collar Co. offers basic buckle collars from $30 and a basic leash from $28. But there’s more — much more! I’ve been drooling over the decorated leather martingale collars that Fido favors. The custom collars — ranging in widths from 5/8-inch to two-inches for giant dogs — are works of art. California Collar also has name tags for collars, padlock ID tags, metal hiking bells and double-dog couplers for walking two dogs at once without getting twisted in leashes. And we haven’t even touched on their vegan and waterproof collection.
The wonderful thing about dogs is that they will be delighted with whatever you get. They won’t complain that something isn’t their color. And they will never, ever put you in an awkward regifting situation.
Happy giving from Fido and me!
P.S., we’ve made a second list of gifts for people who love dogs. What would you add?