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2023 Last minute gift guide for dogs and dog lovers!

Are you still looking for the perfect gift for the dog lover in your life? Still looking for the perfect gift for a dog? Then look no further, listed below are some of my favorite recommendations! Please note, some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning I will make a small amount of money from each purchase at no additional cost to you! (Also note, some of these products are made to order so they will likely not make it to you before the holidays! Make sure you check delivery dates on these products!)

Two mixed breed dogs sitting in front of a christmas tree
Regis and Phoebe always enjoy their Christmas!

For the avid outdoors person:

High Tail Hikes is a fabulous woman owned company based out of California. They create custom biothane leashes and long lines that are waterproof, easy to clean, and just plain FUN! For anyone that loves to spend time outdoors with their pups, a biothane long line is a necessity. You can give your pup more freedom than a 4 or 6 foot leash will allow, and practice distance stays, recalls, and other skills for hiking!

Two mixed breed dogs on long lines in the forest
Regis and Phoebe love their long lines!

For the avid reader:

Now, if the dog lover you’re shopping for has already read most dog books, you’ll want to make sure they haven’t read this one before buying it, but if they haven’t, it’s a wonderfully written, engrossing book all about the science of making your dog happy! I cannot recommed Wag: The Science of Making your Dog Happy enough! If the person reading it is somewhat new to dog training they’ll find this book full of valuable information that they can apply to real life, and even seasonec dog people will find useful tidbits in this book!

For the comfy girlies (and guys!):

Woof Cultr produces amazingly comfortable t-shirts, sweats, and all kinds of swag that make great statements about positive reinforcement training and living in a force free way with your dog! Anyone who has taken classes with me has seen me wearing Woof Cultr’s shirts over and over again, and I can’t recommend them highly enough!

A dog trainer feeds treats to two Labrador retrievers
Seen hearing wearing my "let your dog be a dog" shirt while wrangling a puppy 3 playgroup!

For the person who loves to walk their very strong dog:

Alright, I’m plugging the same company I plugged above but for a different product! I LOVE High Tail Hike’s Handsfree/Convertible leashes! If you have a strong dog that pulls a lot and you struggle with confidence handling them out in public, I cannot recommend using these leashes enough. Make sure you have a harness that has both a front and a back clip (something like the freedom harness, balance harness, Petsafe 3 in 1 harness, or the ruffwear front range harness), and when you clip one end of the leash to the back clip, and the other end of the leash to the front clip, you will have two points of leverage on your dog, which balances out any harness shifting that can be caused by heavy pulling. Plus, you can wear these leashes all kinds of different ways (around your waist, over your shoulders, you can use it as a tether, etc). Purchasing a multi function leash is truly life changing!

For the dog training nerd:

A new dog training pouch or vest will always be appreciated by someone who’s into training! For treat pouches I like: Doggone good clicker company, Wilderdog treat pouch, and the Karen Pryor academy treat pouch. As far as training VESTS go, the cream of the crop is going to be the Hurtta training vest, BUT if that’s too much for your price point an option like this fishing vest also does a great job! Just make sure that pockets will fit a variety of treats, tennis balls, and tug toys!

For the person (kids included!) who wants to learn more about dog (or cat!) body language:

There are two books in particular that are great for all ages when it comes to body language! For dogs we have Doggy language and for cats with have Kitty language, both by the famed artist Lili Chin! If you recently brought home a new animal companion and you want to make sure everyone is learning how to speak their new family member’s language, these books are the way to go!

For the new puppy owner:

Have someone in your life who loves to reach and recently brought home a new puppy? This will make for a great gift opportunity! For new puppy owners I love to recommend the following books:

Two books about puppies
Some of my favorite puppy books!

For the person who wants to support Happy Hound University:

That’s right, we’ve got our own merch! We sell t shirts, tanks, and sweatshirts that will be shipped directly to your home! Use our bonfire store to make your purchase!

And now for gifts for the pooches in our life:

For the dog who likes to CHEW:

These have been an old standby for me, so this recommendation may not be exactly mind blowing, but I’d be remiss to leave it off! Yak cheese chews are consistently a big hit with the dogs I work with and my own personal dogs! They tend to be very hardy, and take dogs a while to work through. Plus, when they get too small and become a choking hazard instead of having to throw the end out like you might with a bully stick, you can throw it into the microwave to cause it to puff up and become a cheesy, crunchy snack!

For the dog who needs some low calorie food toys:

I have really been loving the Woof toy lately. My dogs get a frozen snack almost every night that I get home from work late, and these will keep them busy for about 15 minutes! Bonus for pups who are on a weight loss regimen, it’s pretty simple to make this a low calorie treat! I just take canned pumpkin, spoon that into the molds that you can purchase with your woof toy, and cover the pumpkin with bone broth! These won’t last as long as a more substantial mixture of food might, but it will allow your dog to lick and chew without packing in a bunch of additional calories! (PS If your dog isn’t on a diet, then feel free to experiment with peanut butter, wet dog food, yogurt, goat’s milk, and more! Or purchase their special treats.)

Two dog toys
As you can see, our Woof toys are well loved!

For the new puppy who is still working on crate training:

One of the more genius toys that I’ve seen recently, I am loving the Diggs crate toy! This toy is inserted into the bars of your puppy’s crate so that they cannot go in and take the toy out, and has grooves to smear on food like peanut butter, wet dog food, cream cheese, etc. If your puppy is still learning to love their crate, freezing peanut butter onto this toy and then inserting it into the back of the crate will give your puppy the opportunity to move in and out of the crate as needed but develop a positive association with being IN the crate!

For the dog who likes to SNIFF:

If your dog loves to use their sniffer, why not teach them how to find something with it? This Nosey Nose nosework game is a great way to start playing this game with your pup! (Heads up, if you’re hoping to compete in competition nosework any time in the future I recommend avoiding this game as it may complicate competition goals!) Or, if that seems too complicated a new snuffle mat is always a good idea!

For the dog who needs more to do and the dog who likes to put on a show:

Winter is a difficult time for enrichment! Cold temperatures and bad weather reduce time outside, and if your dog NEEDS to keep busy it can be a challenge to give them enough to do! That’s where these two books come in handy: Canine Enrichment by Shay Kelly and The Big Book of Tricks for the best dog ever! With both of these books on hand, your gift recipient will have plenty to do all winter long until spring comes again! Want to really go out? A blue-9 Klimb is a great platform for anyone really into more complex training tasks!

Two dog training books
Two of my favorite enriching books!

For the dog who loves to chase critters:

I have yet to find a toy that is as enticing as the flirt pole for giving dogs an outlet for their critter chasing! My personal favorite flirt pole is the tail teaser as it’s inexpensive, easily replaced, and has that squeaky prey like attachment at the end which makes it so effective!

For the dog who gets chilly:

There are few dog coats on the market warmer than the ones produced by the Finnish company Hurtta! They know what it’s like to have to brave cold weather, and their designs show it!

Additionally, if you’ve got a pup who also gets chilly IN the house, a heat mat for their bed (make sure to follow instructions provided with the mat to prevent injury!) would be a great choice! This is especially nice for chilly dogs who have joint pain or arthritis!

For the dog who loves to snuggle:

Got a bed who likes to go under the covers and get all warm and cozy? They’re likely to enjoy a cave style bed! These beds are great for dogs who get chilly and are always looking to move under the covers!

A mixed breed dog on a walk at a forest preserve

There you have it! I hope this gift guide was a help to you for this year, and if you’re already done with this year’s shopping keep it on hand for the 2024 holiday season!


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