The Best Gifts for Dog Owners, The Most Insufferable Breed of Parent

Killer presents for the most puppy obsessed among us

December 15, 2023 10:35 am
a dog in a striped sweater
You asked, we delivered: the InsideHook guide to gifting for doggy parents.
Little Beast

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As much as the term might make me cringe, it is an undeniable truth of this cursed, cursed little world that self-appointed “dog people” enjoy receiving gifts for their pups as much as they do for themselves. This is not pet parent slander, but a fact that comes with the territory of owning a tiny, quadrupedal child — take it from me, a person who joyfully accepted hot-sauce-shaped squeaker toys from my office Secret Santa this year. And while there are many downsides to the whole “my dog is my life” schtick, it makes them (us?) easier to shop for when the holidays roll around. Instead of losing sleep over the perfect sentimental-yet-under-$45 trinket to bestow, you can merely reach into the bag of tricks that is the best gifts for dog owners, and voilà! You just won Christmas.

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As a proud dog mom, I’ve been testing a variety of dog gear for the past six months, and I’ve picked out a variety of doggy-focused items that I would love to receive as a gift. These picks should dutifully enhance your freak of a giftee’s life, given that most of the ideas enclosed are things they wouldn’t typically get for themselves — a perfect recipe for thoughtful gift-giving — and all of them improve some aspect of the whole pet thing. Just grab one and nod along whenever they inevitably try to show you pictures. Below, the best gifts for dog owners.

I use this packable sling multiple times a week with my 11 lb dog. It’s perfect if you need to stop in a store or hop on the train without a full carrier. The fabric is comfortable all around, and the adjustable cinch and strap allow you to customize the fit. Bonus: It’s made with recycled nylon from water bottles.

Your run-of-the-mill dog crates may get the job done, but no one is commenting on how inviting they are — pets included. If you know someone who treats their furry friend like their own child, then a proper dog-sized home is one of the best gifts for dog owners can receive. The Crate from Fable looks like a side table while providing a cozy place for Spot to sleep. (If they need a bed insert too, that’s sold separately.)

This couch-shaped bed is not just fancy; it features innovative RecoveryZone cushion technology designed to cater to various sleep styles. The bed also boasts a three-sided bolster made with full-height foam pieces, providing a secure space for dogs to stretch, curl, or lean. The soft sherpa fleece ensures coziness and also comes with a FleeceLock Promise — guaranteed never to pull or pill.

This super affordable waste bag dispenser has become my go-to for keeping poop bags on hand during walks. It’s the least complicated dispenser I’ve tried, and the bags reliably dispense better than any of the more intricate options I have experimented with.

The Enventur is an inflatable crate designed for travel and convenient storage when not in use. It’s perfect for individuals who regularly crate their dogs and frequently visit the same location where they can leave the crate (e.g., a family member’s house — I keep one at my parents’ place!). It’s also suitable for those who prefer driving during their travels, as it is not easily transportable on an airplane.

Hands down, this is the best doggy clothing item I’ve ever owned. It’s high-quality, easy to put on, and serves as a warm layer for my dog on chilly days. When she wears it during our walks, we receive countless comments about how adorable she looks. If you have a friend who loves tennis, the highlighter fleece will effectively turn their dog into a walking tennis ball.

The Roverlund carrier is a versatile 3-in-1 marvel, seamlessly converting into an airline-compliant carrier, a versatile travel bag, and a cozy mobile bed. With features like a flexible rear frame, a waterproof bottom, and a washable fleece-lined bed, this carrier stands out as a must-have for pet owners who value both practicality and comfort on the go.

This is a gift I’d recommend for someone you know has had their eye on it. The set is stunning, high-quality, and generally suitable for most. However, it’s important to note that every dog owner has their own preferences when it comes to walking gear. Personally, I lean towards a martingale collar and a soft leash, while this set includes a harness and a leash made of a stiffer material (which makes it resistant to dirt and odors).

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Available in a variety of styles, these ceramic bowls stand out as my preferred choice over plastic alternatives. These dishes effectively slow down our dogs’ eating pace and remain stable throughout mealtime.

If you’re uncertain about the specific gear your friend might need for their dog, you can always opt for a dog-themed gift, like this puzzle designed by Megan Roy. 

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