2020 has been a bad year for just about everyone, but not for your dog. These past few 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.
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.
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.
You can't have enough face masks right now, so match with your dog with one of Furtees' adorable bandanna and mask sets.
Intended to mimic the experience of hunting prey, this genius toy, named "The Game," wobbles around tantalizingly while your dog paws at it, dispensing treats if they paw it at the right angle. It's designed to never fall over, just rock back and forth on its round base, and trust me—your pup will be obsessed with this magic dispenser they can't predict or conquer.
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.
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.
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.
This hand-knit sweater is an Amazon bestseller and has already sold out on Chewy, so you know it's good. The striped neck is snug and warm and just the right amount of preppy, and my dog gets compliments on this every time we leave the house.
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.
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.)
Gift the dog in your life a one-month, three-month, six-month, or twelve-month subscription to BarkBox, a themed and customizable box of treats and toys for your pup. For the holidays, they've collaborated with Peanuts for a special box. 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).
I don't need to do much talking about these socks, do I? This picture pretty much does it all for me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BARK specializes in painfully adorable toys that resemble little doggy versions of humans' favorite things—who could forget its Glossier collection?—like these AirPawds.
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 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.
Oh, this is so cute. The lightweight, Scrabble-inspired tile attaches neatly onto your dog's collar. Every letter of the alphabet is available.
Up your dog's accessory game with a charm initial—you can get one for every letter of the alphabet—from jewelry brand PDPAOLA.
Your dog can't talk (that I know of), so make sure they communicate their loving spirit to the world with this collar tag.
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.
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.
Show me a more iconic duo than your dog and a pillow that looks like your dog. I'll wait.
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.
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.
This is the kind of piece that will make guests to your home do a double take. At first it just looks like a modern piece of art, but after a second it'll be clear that it's inspired by the most important being in your house. They aren't customized for your dog, but you can get them for 80 different breeds.
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?
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!)
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.
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.
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!).
When it comes to keeping your dog happily occupied for hours at a time, nobody does it like KONG. The cult-favorite dog brand—you probably have at least one of its items already—recently launched a subscription box, which boasts treats, toys, recipes, and of course a KONG Classic. Perfect for high-energy pups who love a good training toy and deserve a regular dose of the best.
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.
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.
Okay, I know I lost you at "squeak," but hear me out: This isn't your grandmother's (dog's) squeaky toy. It's engineered to emit a specific, quiet-ish squeak that dogs' ears love, and the cute seal toy squeaks and jumps in response to all kind of motion—shaking, dropping, picking up, you name it. It's also much more affordable than most interactive dog toys.
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.
Yes, Lilly Pulitzer makes dog pajamas now—and if you're so inclined, you can get matching pajamas for your whole family.
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...
Have you ever seen a cuter poop bag holder? (Have you ever seen a cute poop bag holder, full stop?) This vegan leather accessory clips right onto your leash, and it even has room for an extra lip balm or key.
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 your dog is as spoiled as mine is, you've likely looked into the possibility of getting human-grade dog food delivered every day (okay, just me?) and decided it was too expensive. Consider this a hack: Mix some of this wet food in with your dog's kibble every day, and they'll be so happy. You can also feed it to your dog on its own, of course, but mixing it into the kibble made this box last us two months.
For the dog with an affinity for art—at least, you assume that's what it means when your pup stares off vaguely in the distance of a wall painting—this lambswool toy is perfect. Bonus: New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which makes this toy, gets it from a fair trade source that supports craftswomen in Nepal.
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.
Want something you can put under the tree for a dog this year? Pick up a Good News! dog box from healthy dog food brand I and love and you, which has a bit of everything: a bully stick, a holiday bandana, jerky bites, chewy bones. You'll be the dog's favorite person this holiday season.
Worry no more about how long your dog's water bowl has been left out for (that water gets gross after a day or two). Just fill up this sensor-based pet water fountain at the sink, and whenever your dog gets close to the fountain, it'll spout out as much water as he or she needs. There's also a replaceable carbon filter, so you know the water's top-quality.
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).
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.
This GoSaintYourself prayer candle, featuring my dog Skipper, is everything I could have dreamed and then some. I got to pick from a variety of prayer candles, inscribe his name in religious-looking script at the bottom, and they did such a great Photoshop job that I could hardly tell between my dog and an actual monk. And it was less than $30!
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.