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5 interesting holiday gifts your dog will actually be happy about

Dogs love being included in the holiday festivities and many derive extreme pleasure from ripping wrapping paper to shreds to get at the newest squeaky toy hidden inside. This is great fun for pet parents too, that is, until about half an hour into playing when the dog pulls the arms or legs off of their newest play buddy. Choosing the perfect toy can be challenging but we’ve got you covered in the doggy gift department this year. Here are five cool holiday gifts for dogs that they’ll actually use and love.

Furbo Dog Treat Dispenser and Camera

One of the hardest things for all pet parents is having to leave their dogs home alone. The Furbo treat dispenser allows you to interact with your best friend remotely. The basic camera allows you to see and speak to your pooch and even toss him treats with the press of a button. For $6.99 per month, you can subscribe to Furbo Dog Nanny that will send alerts to your smartphone if your dog barks. You can then check in on your dog to see what’s going on and help settle him down.

Benefits at a glance:

  • The camera has night vision and a 160-degree wide-angle.
  • You can toss a treat to your dog using the free Furbo iOS/Android app.
  • Your dog is safer with real-time alerts and cloud recording videos.

The camera has a 4.6-star rating and more than 20,000 reviews on Amazon where pet parents report that it’s “easy to use” and offers “considerable peace of mind” when dogs are home alone.

Hurtta Extreme Warmer Insulated Dog Parka

So many winter coats for dogs look great but they don’t keep dogs warm enough, aren’t water-resistant, or don’t stay in place on long walks. You can tick the boxes when you purchase this Hurtta dog parka. Located in Finland, the Hurtta company started in the human fashion industry and expanded into designing functional canine gear when the owners sought clothing to protect their dogs during frigid winters.

Benefits at a glance:

  • The foil liner reflects body heat for extra warmth.
  • Breathable, water-resistant material helps dogs stay comfortable and dry.
  • High visibility 3M reflectors make nighttime walking safer.

The parka has a 4.7-star rating on Chewy where reviewers describe it as “awesome,” “fantastic,” and “perfect.”

Outward Hounds Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Puzzle Game

If you’ve got a dog who loves a mental challenge, then this puzzle game is sure to be a big hit. It is among the top three interactive toys highlighted in a New York Times Wirecutter article where trainers referred to the Nina Ottosson line of toys as “the best for highly-intelligent breeds.”

Benefits at a glance:

  • Dogs receive mental stimulation during playtime.
  • The game boasts three different levels of difficulty.
  • Puzzles encourage dogs’ natural hunting skills.

Ottosson, who works to raise awareness about the importance of mental stimulation to a dog’s health, received a 2017 Pet Age Icon Award for her development of innovative treat puzzle toys.

BarkBox Monthly Subscription Box

A monthly subscription to BarkBox is a gift that keeps on giving to your dog throughout the year. Each month is a different theme and each box comes with two toys, two bags of treats, and a chew.

Benefits at a glance:

  • Boxes are customized for small, medium, and large dogs.
  • BarkBox offers a fun selection of durable interactive, squeaky, and rope toys, as well as toys specially designed for puppies and aggressive chewers.
  • The company’s treats are all-natural and chews are made with quality ingredients never containing wheat, corn, or soy. The company also offers allergy-friendly boxes.

Barkbox has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon where many pet parents are as excited as their dogs about the monthly surprises. Australian shepherds Nelson and Cash enjoy playing tug of war with their BarkBox goodies. Their mom reports just one drawback: “The boys think every delivery is for them!”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

5. PetFusion Ultimate Orthopedic Dog Bed

While we’re sure you allow your dog to cuddle with you on the couch and bed, many pups prefer to snuggle up in their own beds. No matter your dog’s age you can’t go wrong with the PetFusion Ultimate Orthopedic Dog Bed.

Benefits at a glance:

  • The bed has memory foam which provides older dogs with joint relief.
  • The cover is easy to remove, machine washable, and can be tumble-dried on a gentle cycle.
  • The bed’s bolsters provide extra support and comfort.

This durable bed has thousands of reviews on Amazon where it has a 4.7-star rating. One pet parent said her elderly boxer is enjoying the supportive thick memory foam base and “loves the cushion roll at the top for resting her head.”

After you’ve chosen a gift for your best friend why not send some holiday cheer to the homeless dogs at your local shelter? It’s as easy as checking out the wish list on your shelter’s website or giving them a call to ask what they need. It will make the holidays even more special knowing you’ve brought joy not only to your dog, but also to rescue dogs waiting for loving families of their own.

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Vera Lawlor
Vera was the pet columnist for 201 Family magazine and has contributed pet and animal welfare articles to Bone-A-Fide Mutts…
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