It’s holiday gift-giving time, so I thought I would offer a few ideas for the doggy folks on your list in case you’re stuck. But first, I want to make sure it’s understood that these are my genuine recommendations and not sponsored by anyone. This is more like if you asked me what gift would make a dog person happy, these are some things I would tell you about. And three of them don’t require any gift wrapping!
Okay. The first one is that odd blue thing above. It’s a massage tool called Nukkles that I randomly picked up years ago at a Walgreen’s drug store. It was one of those occasions when you spend just a little too much time in a drug store and begin looking at things you normally would never notice. Well, it turns out that dogs love this thing…and I mean L-O-V-E love it. Despite all of the cute toys, treats and outfits that are out there for your dog, it turns out what they really want is your attention and a good rub. Just put this thing into the palm of your hand and apply gentle pressure, moving slowly around muscles and soft tissue. Your dog will slip into an immediate trance, especially if your pup is older with some aches and pains. You can position it so that the downward cones straddle his spine, that really works wonders. It’s hard but flexible plastic, so it glides easily along fur. There are lots of great specialists offering therapies for dogs these days, but if you’d like something non-medicating that’s always available to you without an appointment and a car trip, this really does the trick. I think I paid about $5 so it’s not an expensive gift, but I promise to a dog it’s priceless. These Nukkles folks do have a website here, and I did see they offer a doggy version but I don’t think it’s different than the people version I bought. They are available in two-packs on Amazon also.
My next recommendation is a subscription to the magazine that I believe does the best job in the dog category: The Bark. I’ve mentioned this publication a few times before, and I really do love it. Self-described as “the dog culture magazine”, The Bark is full of all aspects of dog: literature, art, photography, poetry, health info, legal initiatives, rescue news, nutrition info, new products, book and film reviews. And it’s quarterly so there’s plenty of time to get through an issue before the next one shows up. I’ve been a reader since it was given out free in a newspaper format in San Francisco area veterinarians’ offices, and it’s always stayed true to its mission. Recently I saw they have a gift offer of $10 per subscription, here’s the link.
What to Look for in Wet Food. No-Pull Harnesses Reviewed. Diets for Dogs with Diabetes. Fat, Lazy, and/or Grumpy? Training Tiny Dogs. Choosing an Animal Charity. These are just a few of the article titles from past issues of the stellar publication Whole Dog Journal. This monthly publication is probably the best thing you could ever give to a dog owner, because it offers the broad spectrum of knowledge they need all the time. It covers health issues, medicine (traditional, herbal, holistic, etc.), behavior and training, nutrition (homemade diets, raw feeding, commercial foods both wet and dry), it’s endless. If you’ve ever needed more information about anything, and I mean anything, this is the place to turn. If a veterinarian tells you that your dog has a certain condition or illness and says the only route is to prescribe medication XYZ…guess what? Most likely there are some other options available to you, and Whole Dog Journal will tell you what they are. There are NO advertisements, no tricks, they don’t try to sell you some snake oil concoction, it’s simply an honest resource you can trust. Subscriptions are only $20 and in addition to the monthly issues, subscribers have access to their online archives to search by topic. A link to their website is here.
Last but not least, it’s always a wonderful gift to donate to a charity or rescue organization, and nothing would make a dog owner happier than to know their holiday gift was to help a homeless dog. And that’s a gift for you as well.
I hope these ideas were helpful to you, and that perhaps you can cross a few things off your list, get yourself something to drink that’s either hot or effervescent, and enjoy the holiday season!
Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.