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 soothing 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 your dog's birthday, 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 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 and dog parents that dogs will love and dog parents will sob over. Bonus: They're 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!)
These balls 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.
I can vouch for this one: My dog spends all day on this La-Z-Boy, 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 bed, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't crawled in once or twice. It's just...really...comfortable.
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.
Love him or hate him, you can't get away from Donald Trump. If you're not a fan, get this toy for your dog to chew up and spit out. Just in time for November!
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.
Every dog owner knows that the key to a well-trained dog—well, a lightly to medium-trained dog, in my case—is a treat jar. This one will look adorable on your kitchen counter, to boot.
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...
Zesty Paws has a great line of wellness products that taste good and do good for your pup, from multivitamins to immune support and calming treats. If your pup is getting older and their joints more stiff, try these advanced hip and joint treats.
Christmas is coming, and how will your dog know it's time to celebrate without a new treat to open from this advent calendar every day?
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.
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.
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.
I don't have anything to add about these socks. The image of this exquisite creation does all the talking for me. The perfect Christmas present, or the perfect Christmas present?
An easy way to make your dog's day and someone else's, too: Pop into Dunkin' Donuts to pick up an iced coffee and a corn muffin, donate $12 or $15 to the chain's Joy In Childhood foundation, and leave with your dog's new favorite toy. $12 gets you a painfully cute plush coffee cup; $15 gets you a crinkly bag of plush Munchkins, both designed by BARK. Plus, your donation goes straight to help kids battling hunger and illness (the Foundation runs a program that gets service dogs to children's hospitals, too).
If you're buying for someone else's dog and don't really know exactly what they like to play with in their spare time, get this goody box, which comes with a leash, poop bag dispenser, shampoo, two toys, and a bag of treats. Great for welcoming a new dog to someone else's family, too.
Yes, Lilly Pulitzer makes dog pajamas now—and if you're so inclined, you can get matching pajamas for your whole family.
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.
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.
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.