It’s that time of year again – there’s a chill in the air, it gets dark in the afternoon, and Christmas is here!
Right about now, we’re all racking our brains as to what gifts we should buy for our loved ones – including our dogs. So, to help make your life easier, I’ve pulled together a list of some of my favourite products for your dog and you.
I should mention that I am not affiliated with any of these companies or have been paid to write reviews. The gift ideas are based solely on my personal experiences with the products. I have linked to the manufacturer’s website or Amazon, but I encourage you to do your own research to find the cheapest price.
Affordable, long-lasting, and easy to clean, Gorilla Tubs might just be my favourite product of the year. These amazing buckets can be used for practically everything – from mixing large batches of your dog’s home-prepared food, toy storage, paddling pool, water bowl, outdoor dog bed (just add a cushion) and so much more.
I love the Ruffwear company and everything they make! Their brilliant outdoor gear is great for you and your dog. Yes, they’re expensive but they’re built to last and so are worth the investment. In particular, I love their harnesses. Secure, comfortable, and durable. Some of them have a control handle on the back, which is really useful for manoeuvring and assisting dogs up and over obstacles when out on a country walk. Or for helping senior dogs and dogs with mobility issues.
The Noxgear LightHound harness is the perfect option for keeping your dog safe and highly visible during the dark winter evenings and early mornings. The light harness works for all types of dogs, but it’s particularly great for long-haired dogs. Having tried many other lights on my own Husky, all of which gets lost in his coat, I really can’t say enough good things about this Noxgear vest. It’s reflective, bright, water resistant, rechargeable and machine washable. And the best thing is there are lots of light patterns to choose from so if you have two or more dogs, they can each have their own setting.
Have you ever wanted to know why your dog has spotty black and tan fur or where they got that high-energy and cheeky personality from? Knowing your dog’s genetic makeup is not only fun, but also important to understand their behaviour. These types of dog DNA tests can also shed light on any genetic predispositions they may have for specific health conditions.
Did you know that stainless steel bowls are the most hygienic dog food and water bowls to use? They are durable, dishwasher safe and they will also last longer than plastic bowls. Two brands that I use myself and often recommend to my clients are the Hunter and Yeti stainless steel bowls. Both of which have a non-slip, grippy bottom. The Hunter stainless steel bowls come in a variety of sizes and are great value for your money. On the other hand, the Yeti Boomer 8 bowl is on the more expensive side, but it’s worth the investment, particularly if you have a larger dog. Its double-wall, non-insulated stainless-steel design makes it incredibly durable, easy to clean and harder to ‘push around’.
Snoozer Cozy Cave dog bed
If your dog likes to burrow and snuggle under blankets or in their own little ‘den’, then this is the gift for them! The Snoozer Cave dog bed is a soft and snuggly bed and blanket in one, that will make sure your dog gets a lovely and restful night’s sleep.
Waterproof long line lead
A waterproof lead is a great tool for walking in muddy and wet conditions. It doesn’t absorb any water and is easy to clean when it gets dirty when trailing along the ground. It works especially well as a training lead or for giving your dog more freedom but with the security of a long lead to grab in an emergency. As an added safety, I’ve tied a simple knot to the end of my lead to prevent it from slipping under my foot should I need to stand on it. Always attach a long lead to a harness with a back-attachment ring to prevent injury.
A food dehydrator might sound like something from the 80’s. But don’t dis it until you’ve tried it. A dehydrator is brilliant for making your own healthy dog treats and snacks, from beef jerky to dried fruit and vegetables. They’re really easy to use and can save you a lot of money in the long run by reducing the need to buy store-bought snacks and treats. Excalibur has always been considered top of the range and it’s my favourite but there’s lots of different types of food dehydrators to choose from, depending on your needs, kitchen space and budget. Check out UK Juicers online to help you decide which product is best for you.
The Retract-A-Gate is by far the best gate solution I’ve tried. It’s easy to install, really strong and durable and it also looks great. It really is a brilliant piece of equipment, especially if you have a mischievous dog or puppy in the household. For instance, it’s a great way to block off unsafe areas or create a ‘quiet’ and safe area for your dog. And sometimes, it’s just nice to have a little extra peace of mind knowing that your dog is in a safe area and not getting into trouble or sneaking out the front door.
I initially bought this for myself but then realised that this little brush does a fab (and much easier) job at shampooing my dogs. It works especially well for long haired dogs as it cleans deeper and increases the effectiveness of shampoo lathering, allowing less product to go further. As a bonus – it is much cheaper than a branded dog shampoo brush!
Aquapaw slow treater
If your dog doesn’t like getting their nails cut, being groomed or having a bath, then this is the perfect thing to distract them. Simply spread the Aquapaw slow treater with a thin layer of your dog’s favourite treat – mashed banana, yogurt, peanut butter (xylitol-free of course!) or wet food – and freeze it. Then, stick it to the wall and let them eat while you get on with the task in hand.
I routinely use and recommend Thrive treats to my clients. They are a single protein treat making them especially great for dogs with health issues like gastrointestinal problems or allergies. Some of their flavours can handily be cut into smaller pieces meaning they can last longer, are easy to fit in your pocket and work well for training treats.
Some dogs eat their food far too quickly, which can result in them gulping air and increase the risk of them vomiting and abdominal bloating after their meal. To help stop this and slow down the feeding frenzy that some dogs display, I recommend using a slow feeder. As well as this, they can provide enrichment, because they can act to keep your dog mentally stimulated and engaged while eating.
For the last three years, I’ve put together an end-of-year list of some of my very favourite dog products but I’d love to hear what your favourite products are and why? Send us an email or let me know in the comments on our instagram page.
I wish you all and your pets a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.