GUEST POST by Eliza R. Williams.
Our dogs are a big part of our families, and while they might be unable to grasp the concept of birthdays – they sure deserve a gift or two, don’t they? To make sure your fur friend gets the gift he (or she) deserves – we have put together a quick guide with gifts your pooch will love, and that will hopefully last more than a few seconds.
If you already have your pup’s birthday presents ready, then how about a special treat just to show them how much they are loved?
Dogs & Birthdays – What to Consider
Not everyone buys presents for their pets, but why not celebrate the birth of your best fur friend? If your dog is a rescue or if you don’t know your pup’s birthday, you can always choose to celebrate the date you brought him or her home.
Dogs are incredibly grateful, no matter what you give them, but we wanted to have a look at the best birthday present ideas out there, to properly acknowledge everything our dogs do for us by simply being part of our family.
When choosing a toy, item, or treat – try to pick something your dog would like. Sure, you can certainly get a stunning, customized pet portrait to hang by the door, but perhaps it’s a good idea to also get something your pup can play with.
Some dogs love to fetch, others are more into playing tug of war, and some dogs would rather chew on a bully stick while you watch TV at night. Take your dog’s individual personality into consideration when choosing their special birthday reward.
Dog Birthday Gift Ideas
All dogs are different, so we wanted to find the best options for a variety of dogs out there. Dogs live in the now and appreciate the small things, and there is so much we can learn from them; they are there for us when nobody else is – listening attentively even though they might not fully understand.
A dog, unlike humans, is able to love unconditionally in the true meaning of the word, and for that, they deserve to be recognized. Let’s have a look at a few different toys and items that could make your best fur friend feel a little extra loved this year on their birthday.
Stuffed Animals & Plush Toys
For some reason, stuffed animal toys are often the first thing to come to mind when considering a gift for a dog. They are ideal for dogs that like to carry something in their mouth, dogs that enjoy tug of war or that just likes to snuggle, and we have picked out toys that are durable and worth their cost.
Outward Hound Stuffingless Gecko
This durable orange gecko toy from Outward Hound is the ideal present for dogs that tend to pull the stuffing out of their toys. It is made with durable materials, with double linings and double seams, and – best of all – no stuffing!
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Plush
Continuing with another toy from Outward Hound – their extremely popular squirrel puzzle toy. Put the tiny plush squirrels inside the trunk, let your dog work to get them out, and enjoy a moment of relaxation while it keeps your dog occupied and engaged.
ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz 3-Pack
With these ZippyPaws animal toys, your dog gets triple the fun! A pack of cute and fuzzy animals that are made to last. Ideal for medium and large-sized dogs – these fuzz friends contain no stuffing and each is equipped with 3 high-quality squeakers.
Balls & Toys for Playing Fetch
Dogs that love to play fetch will probably bounce up and down with excitement if you give them a new ball or a frisbee, and it is a toy you can play with together when you need a little break from work or when you come home after a stressful day.
Chuckit! Max Glow Ball 2-Pack
Regular balls are so last year, and now it is time for an upgrade – tennis ball-sized balls that glow in the dark! These are ideal for playing during the winter months when daylight might be scarce, and the material is both durable and easy to clean.
NERF Dog Tennis Ball Blaster
Let’s face it – some dogs can play fetch for hours and hours without ever getting tired. The reality? Human arms do get tired, and this tennis ball blaster is the ultimate solution! Easy operation and the capacity to skyrocket a tennis ball up to 50 feet, and a toy any fetch loving dog will go crazy over.
JW Hol-ee Roller Do-It-All Puzzle Ball
While this toy isn’t ideal for extreme fetchers (you won’t be able to throw it as far as a regular tennis ball), it is a great ball to start out with when teaching fetch. What is so great about the JW Hol-ee Roller is its versatility – it can also be used as a puzzle ball where you place treats or toys inside for the dog to pull out.
Enrichment Toys & Brain Games
It is a common misconception that as long as dogs get physical exercise, they are living the good life! While physical exercise is essential for a dog, mental stimulation is just as important. With these canine enrichment toys, your dog gets a chance to use his or her brain, and you get a much-needed chance to finish that hot chocolate.
West Paw Zogoflex Tux Treat Dispenser
A treat dispenser like the West Paw Zogoflex Tux forces the dog to push the toy around until the treats fall out. It is shaped to move unpredictably when knocked over, which provides the dog with a fun and stimulating challenge. This kit also includes healthy freeze-dried dog treats.
Pineapple Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers
When first spotting this pineapple-shaped kibble dispenser, it may not look like much, but it provides the perfect enrichment experience for a kibble eater! The small hole at the bottom allows you to fill it up with kibble or treats, and the dog will then have to roll it across the floor to get the food out, using either its snout or paws.
LickiMat Wobbler Slow-Feeder Bowl
If you haven’t heard of a LickiMat already, it is a product with a textured surface, where you can smear peanut butter, wet dog food, mashed banana, or something else for your dog to lick. This LickiMat Wobbler Bowl takes it a step further with this innovative bowl design, which adds movement to the enrichment experience as it wobbles across the floor.
Harnesses, Collars & Leashes
Giving a dog a leash or a harness for their birthday might seem comparable to a child getting a sweater rather than a toy. However, if the collar, harness, or leash means the dog will get more walks – he or she is unlikely to object.
Hurtta Casual Padded Dog Y-Harness
Comfortable, washable, lightweight, and durable are four words that perfectly describe the Hurtta Padded Y Harness. It is a harness designed to fit active dogs by not restricting their natural movements, and it stays in place with high-quality straps and buckles.
FLEXI New Classic Retractable Dog Leash
Retractable leashes are somewhat controversial, but they can give a dog invaluable freedom if used correctly. A busy city environment is probably not ideal when using a retractable leash, but this durable and classic FLEXI leash is perfect for open areas or nature walks where the dog cannot be unleashed, but still wants some room to roam around.
Black Rhino Weatherproof Reflective Collar
Few collars are as colorful, durable, and secure as these, and it is no coincidence that the Black Rhino reflective collar is a bestseller on Amazon and other retail sites. Pick the color that will look good on your dog, and don’t forget to add a dog tag with your name and contact details.
Treats & Chews
Most dogs enjoy chewing, and it is always better to provide safe chews rather than to have your pooch chewing up your couch or carpets. We have picked out three durable chew options that will (hopefully) keep your four-legged friend entertained during their birthday.
Himalayan Yak Cheese Dog Chews
These Himalayan Yak Cheese Chews have exploded in popularity in recent years due to their durability, and your dog is likely to chew on their Yak Chew for quite a while. They are hard without being too hard and made with yak milk, cow milk, salt, and lime juice.
Smokehouse 12-Pack Dog Treat Pizzle Stixs
Treat your fur friend with these high-protein beef sticks! The Smokehouse Pizzle Stixs aid with keeping the teeth clean, are 100% digestible, low in fat, made in the United States, and suitable for power chewers.
Nylabone Power Chew Textured Dog Chew Value Pack
Perhaps you have tried bully sticks, Himalayan Yak Chews, and no-hide, and they all disappear within a matter of minutes. If so, then a non-edible Nylabone might be the way to go! In this Nylabone 3-in-1 Value Pack, you get three flavored chew toys for power chewers, providing your pup with a mix of exciting new tastes!
Wrapping/Unwrapping Dog Gifts
Alright, now that you have chosen your dog’s birthday present – it is time to wrap it! The unwrapping can be a great activity for dogs where they need to use their brains to get to their present, and it is an opportunity you don’t want to waste.
First, pick out a cardboard box and place the gift at the bottom. Fill the box with any type of material you have lying around at home, such as crinkled-up paper, old clothes, shredded paper strips, wrapping paper, or blankets, and then wrap up the box neatly.
You can add a smelly dog treat to the box to make unwrapping more intriguing for the dog, and then you let your pup rip its way into its very own birthday present!
Remember, always supervise your dog to make sure he or she does not attempt to eat the cardboard box or the material you’ve used to hide the gift.
The toys suggested in this article should only be used under strict supervision, which is the case with all dog toys, and we recommend that you remove or replace them if you notice any concerning damage or significant wear and tear.
A toy can be a way of entertaining your dog so that you can take a break, or it can be something the two of you can enjoy together. Pick the toy you think your dog would enjoy the most, wrap it up, and bring it out to surprise your pup on his or her birthday. Show your dog some appreciation on their special day. Happy Birthday!