2020 and 2021 were bad years for just about everyone, but not for your dog. These past 18 months, you've been home more than ever before, you're always down for a snuggle, and you insist on going on walks a zillion times a day just to have something to do. When the world gets crazy, the unconditional support and love you get from your doggy BFF is sometimes the only thing that keeps you going—and he or she deserves something special in return, or for something special to be created in his or her honor. Maybe it's a Christmas gift for your dog, maybe it's the anniversary of the day you got them, maybe it's just a random Tuesday—whatever the occasion, they deserves the best. My own dog and I have taken the time to test-drive almost all of the toys and other products on this list (yes, my job is very hard; yes, my dog is very spoiled), and so, please allow us to present: The ultimate gift guide for dogs that dogs will love and dog owners and dog lovers alike will sob over, from genius treats and toys to personalized sweaters and artwork. Bonus: Every one is great for Instagram.
Originally launched on Kickstarter, where it was fully funded in the space of a single day, the Wickedbone is an interactive dog toy that plays with your pup when you can't. It's a smart robot toy—it jumps away when your pup chases after it, and "teases" your dog if he or she stops playing with it. It actually has twelve different responsive modes (for moods like "bored," "tickled," "mad," and so on), so it'll act in line with how your dog is feeling that day.
Custom pet portraits can run expensive—I am an expert on few things, but I have spent hours researching those—but West & Willow sells a whole line of chic merch with your pet's face on it, and (surprise!) it's all relatively affordable. This iPhone case, which comes complete with a custom illustration of your canine BFF, is my personal fave.
These bones look and feel like a normal ball toy—but (plot twist!) they're scented, with flavors ranging from cheese and peanut butter to beef and chicken. The smell is embedded in the fiber of the toy (don't ask me how they do this), so it never goes away and never, ever becomes boring.
Ever wished you had access to a plush, cozy cave where you could go and hide when the world got too much? Well, you can't—but you can provide that for your pup. Bonus: It's really, really cute.
I held out on getting a Furbo for a long time—it's tricky to justify a $200 camera when you can find one on Amazon for $30—but I finally invested on Prime Day last year, and oh, man, what a fantastic decision that was. You can find me panicking over my dog's well-being about 98 percent of the time, and this helps me enormously—the camera is HD enough that you can zoom in on your dog's breathing (don't judge me), and you can toss your good boy or girl treats whenever you need a little pick-me-up.
For dogs that love to hide and burrow, this donut bed with a blanket attached is perfect (you can get one without the blanket covering if you prefer). Made from faux fur, it's like a weighted blanket for your pup.
Gift the dog in your life a one-month, three-month, six-month, or 12-month subscription to BarkBox, a themed and customizable box of treats and toys for your pup. I'm not exaggerating when I say BarkBox day is my dog's favorite day of the month (here's a video to prove it).
Oh, this is so cute. The lightweight, Scrabble-inspired tile attaches neatly onto your dog's collar. Every letter of the alphabet is available.
This smart collar comes courtesy of the American Kennel Club and keeps selling out on Amazon, so you know it's good. It allows you to track your dog using GPS technology, and you'll get an alert if your dog travels outside the "safe zones." (One note: You'll have to buy a subscription plan, which is about $10 a month, to continue using the GPS functions.)
This ceramic pet dish is one of the standout items from Style Union Home, the new brand from True Religion co-founder Kym Gold. The hand-crafted dish comes in six colors, and did I mention you can personalize the name on the front?
Whatever makes your dog anxious—fireworks, your leaving for work, a big move—you can ease his or her fear with this self-warming dog toy with a heartbeat (no, I'm not kidding). These features mimic a real-life cuddle with your dog's mom, giving your pup the sense that they're being safely snuggled, no matter what's going on around them.
This isn't just any sweater with a dog's face on it. Thanks to new brand Sweater Hound, this is a custom-knitted, unisex sweater with your dog's face on it—and it makes a great custom Christmas present for the greatest dog mom (or dad) you know.
Wild One's Bolt Bite is billed as "the ultimate chew toy for dogs." You can put little treats into each end, or use it as part of a game of fetch, plus the middle has a reinforced rubber center so your dog can't tear it apart. Bonus: It's BPA-free and dishwasher-friendly.
Know someone who needs some quality time with their pup? (Maybe that person is you?) Give the gift of relaxation in a remote, dog-friendly location with Getaway—a new company that sends you to cozy cabins a couple of hours from your hometown that are nestled in nature (with your dog, of course) for a couple of ultra-relaxing days. Your pup will love the rural surroundings, and you'll finally be able to unplug.
I can vouch for this one: My dog spends all day on his La-Z-Boy bed, and it's not like he doesn't have options (he has two other dog beds, a big cozy sofa, and, of course, my own bed). Thanks to my dog cam (more on that later), I can watch him sleep the day away on this sofa. Bonus: It'll look gorgeous in your apartment.
I won't lie to you: I buy my dog a lot of toys. None have lasted as long, or are so beloved, as my pup's Fluff & Tuff toys—this unicorn and its brother the blue dinosaur are his constant companions. I'm not kidding: He brings both of them into bed with us every freaking night, and we have to put them through the washer and dryer every few weeks. In spite of this, they've held up for months now, plus they're filled with high-quality padding that are held to the same non-toxic standards as children's toys.
Look, if you get to wear a holiday sweater for the entire month of December, your dog should too. I don't make the rules.
This cute, cuddly throw for dogs and humans alike is actually from boutique coffee brand Grounds & Hounds, which makes delicious blends and gives 20 percent of its profits to organizations that rescue pups (tagline: Every Pound Saves a Hound). I'm obsessed with this throw, but if you're more of a coffee person, check out their blends.
London-based illustrator Kitty uses watercolors and pencil to create a custom portrait of your pup, taking care to highlight the features you love most. Think those old-fashioned watercolor portraits of aristocratic families—but for your canine best bud. You'll want to frame this and hang it in your home for years (okay, decades) to come.
I don't need to do much talking about these socks, do I? This picture pretty much does it all for me.
Unlike human macarons, these handmade, French-inspired dog treats are actually healthy. They come in traditional macaron flavors, like vanilla, rose, mint, and lavender, but they're made with all-natural, dog-friendly ingredients like yogurt and honey.
If you're looking for a new art piece dedicated to your beloved dog, Stellar Villa by Laura is the brand for you. Laura, the artist who founded the small business with her husband Patrick, offers both custom prints with your dog and original prints she's already drawn—like this one, which is how I feel 95 percent of the time I'm out with my dog.
Show me a more iconic duo than your dog and a pillow that looks like your dog. I'll wait.
You can order these soft cotton PJs in a range of dog and human sizes, so the whole family can match! (Whether they want to or not!) Plus, a percentage of every purchase goes towards helping dogs find their forever home.
Scripted Fragrance makes a candle for just about every major breed of dog, including "service dog" (it's so cute, I nearly cried). And while some candles can be dangerous for your dog, these ones are made of dog-safe soy wax. Plus, they're vegan, cruelty-free, dye-free, additive-free, preservative-free, petroleum-free, and phthalate-free.
This personalized stocking can be filled with delicious treats when Santa swings by on Christmas Eve. Also, it's in the shape of a paw, and it's under $20. I rest my case.
You might already be familiar with DL1961, the sustainable, Meghan Markle-loved denim brand that prides itself on changing the way denim is created. Its chic jeans retail at $150-plus, but you can get a miniature version for your dog for a third of that. (Or, you know, buy one for yourself and a matching one for your dog. You do you!)
What piece of artwork could be so beguiling, so dazzling, as a custom portrait of your dog in a setting and outfit of your choosing? Absolutely none.
Your dog deserves the world and then some. He or she also deserves a dog carrier with their name embroidered on it. (A note: It only fits dogs under 20lb.)
This is fashion and function, the ultimate in a painfully cute gift that they'll actually use. Zoo Snoods makes snoods and sweaters for dogs that a) keep them warm in the winter and b) are painfully cute. My favorite is the lion snood.
You can never have enough masks—and this one is particularly amazing, because you can add the faces of up to six dogs and/or humans from uploaded photographs. For every mask ordered, Rock 'Em Socks will donate one to a frontline worker.
This sweet and affordable dog print, personalized by breed, bed color, and name, comes in a variety of sizes and is highly reviewed on Etsy.
If you adopted your pup, this is perfect for you. Each leash comes with an adorable "Found" tag to celebrate adoption, and each tag is individually numbered and stamped. Plus, Found My Animal, which sells this leash through e-comm platform Pawp, actively supports and promotes animal adoption.
Whom specializes in dog beds that double as sincerely gorgeous pieces of furniture. For a little dog who likes to be beside you at all times, get this sweet raised pet bed (and for a bigger dog, it comes in three sizes!).
Tell me what's better than lying on the sofa with your dog under a cozy blanket with your dog's face on it. Seriously, tell me.
For the dog mom who has it all, I present: This hand-made seed bead necklace, which is about the size of a dime and almost painfully adorable. A bonus: Jewels For Hope, which makes it, donates 10 percent of profits to charity, so you can feel good about the purchase.
For the pet whose human is obsessed with football, I present this, which you can of course get for any major football team you choose. If you really want to start a household war, get one for your team instead of the dog's owner's team. The dog will love it—and its owner will be fuming.
If you or someone you know is welcoming a new dog into the family, this is the box for them. It's everything a new pet owner needs: sensitive-skin shampoo, toys, and the classic jerky sticks my dog literally cannot get enough of.
If you crate train your pup—or are in the midst of it and struggling (been there!)—this is the treat for you. This training tool is designed to go inside a training crate (Diggs has those too) to keep your dog happy and busy while in there, making crate time an enjoyable experience instead of something they dread. You can freeze it, cover it in peanut butter, squeeze treats inside the holes...
My boyfriend and I are divided on this one: I think a plush clone of my beloved dog would be adorable; he thinks it reads too much like taxidermy. If you're on team Me, you'll want—nay, need!—this custom stuffed replica of your beloved dog (or cat, or rabbit), stat. What's cuter than a pet cuddling with a stuffed version of themselves, I ask you?!
The ultimate in clean and delicious dog treats, Lord Jameson makes top-tier dog treats from all-natural ingredients. These balls of joy are like home-baked treats from the farmer's market, but without all the baking.
An easy way to make your dog's future bathtimes less traumatic for everyone: Get a shower system with a dog-friendly attachment. It's like your regular shower, but has a baby shower head for your pup so he or she doesn't have to stand sadly under a four-foot-high waterfall of water. The wand also has removable "finger" bristles you can use to deep-clean your dog's fur.
Faintly ridiculous? Yes. Pretty useful? Also yes. I can tell you from hard-worn experience that it's hard as hell to make sure your dog's booties stay on, and sometimes they need them—when it's a boiling hot day and the pavement is steaming, for example, or when it's snowy or icy out. These hilariously designed Walkee Paws leggings with rubber soles actually get the job done.
If you've made it this far in this guide, you're probably the kind of person who throws your dog birthday parties. (No shame; you're talking to one.) This is a perfect party treat for all the dogs that come. (P.S. If you need a dog birthday cake recipe, I've used this one before and my dog loved it.)
This faux-fur dog bed doubles as a plush cream rug (albeit a thick one), keeping both your toes and your pup toasty in the winter.
The flannel print on this gorgeous hand-sewn bandanna—Rocco & Roxie bring in new prints every season—has just about killed me. Plus, it comes in three sizes, so you won't have to worry about tying it just right so the knot remains subtle.
Jiminy's makes treats and kibble made from cricket protein, which is both healthier than most proteins and much more sustainable. These treats mix the cricket protein with just a few healthy ingredients—pumpkin, carrot, oats—for a treat that dogs are obsessed with (mine goes crazy for these).
With one of these chic handmade nameplates from New York brand Rebel Dawg, nobody will ever ask your dog's name again. They're BPA-free and fully customizable.
This toy is taller than my dog, but no matter—he insists on carrying it by the neck everywhere, and will hardly leap up on the sofa without it. I can deal; it's super-soft and very sweet, and my dog loves to fall asleep with it.
This new line of products comes from cbdMD, which makes both an oil and chewy vitamins that I often use, so I was intrigued. These dog chews are delicious (I assume; he likes them, at least), and they contain CBD, which relax your pup—I like to spread the cbdMD peanut butter on a treat before I leave for work so he doesn't freak out.
I first spotted the Shed Defender on Shark Tank, but I don't know whether its founders got a deal or not because I was too busy buying one on my phone. Originally designed to stop your dog from shedding in the car, on the couch, and, well, everywhere else, the Shed Defender people quickly learned that dogs also love the feel of it. The snug fit is thought to reduce your dog's anxiety—like the ThunderShirt, but cuter. My dog wears it to sleep, like adorable doggie pajamas. The onesie comes in nine colors and an impressive range of sizes. Bonus: My lint roller and vacuum cleaner are well-rested.
The iFetch is designed to play "fetch" with your dog so you don't have to get up from the couch, which makes it a gift for your dog and for yourself! The kettle-shaped gadget spits out tiny tennis-like balls to a distance of up to 30 feet, or as close as 10 feet if you're playing indoors.
If you rescued or adopted your dog, you probably don't know exactly what breed he or she is. Annoying, since a stranger asks you what kind of dog you have every single time you walk him. The Embark DNA test is on my Christmas list both for myself and for everyone I know with a dog, because I can't imagine a better gift than having a firm answer for these well-meaning passers-by. You just swab the inside of your dog's cheek and send the sample off for testing; you'll get your digital DNA results (complete with a dog family tree!) just a couple weeks later.