Christmas Gifts for Dogs: What Should I Get My Dog in 2023? · The Wildest

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What Should I Get My Dog For the Holidays?

Your pup deserves the best this holiday season.

by Rebecca Caplan
December 1, 2023
A collage: a dog putting up his paw in front of a bow, a sweater, and dog toys
Collage: Kinship Creative

Mariah bangers on the radio? Must be holiday shopping season! Making a list, checking it twice, worrying that you’ll forget an extended cousin. At least there’s one family member who’s always fun to buy for — the same one who’d be happy receiving nothing but continued affection, despite their lack of cognitive understanding towards the season or its ceremonial rituals. Yes, the only thing we love more than our dogs is buying gifts for our dogs. Be it toys, treats, or comfy sweaters, these are just a few of our favorite things — not to mention witnessing the pure joy your dog feels when they see something new they can try to chew to bits.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

Gifts for small dogs

modernbeast pod dog bed

Modernbeast’s Pod beds are the softest surface your dog can get their paws on, wrapped around a form-fitting core that’ll give them the feeling they’re hopping into quicksand made of clouds. Beyond that, having an extra comfy bed like the MD Pod can help ease separation anxiety by acting as a  safe space  for your dog while you’re out. It can even help when you’re around, as well. “Teaching your dog to ‘go to bed’ — a reliable retreat full of high-value rewards — gives you a tool you can count on in a range of potentially stressful situations, such as when guests come over, you’re on work calls, or during tempting family meals,” dog trainer Melissa Dallier  explains to The Wildest. Plus, the bed’s inner fabric is comprised of 100 percent recycled high-loft fiber, each pound of which diverts roughly seven plastic bottles from lingering at landfills. —Sean Zucker

kong puppy

Kong toys are super durable and great for mental and physical stimulation. The puppy-sized version of their classic conical toy works wonders for  redirecting puppy teething — a natural activity that is best done not  on your furniture. For additional joy, fill the toy with peanut butter and pop it in the freezer to keep them biting safely for an extended period of time. “As I’m writing this, he’s already been at this thing for over 30 minutes,” wrote  one happy Kong reviewer. —Kelly Conaboy

Gifts for medium dogs

Gifts for large dogs

Physical activity gifts

idig stay dog toy

If your dog loves to dig, the iDig Stay Digging Toy is the ideal solution for both your pup and your front lawn. This cleverly designed interactive toy allows your pup to dig, search, and discover hidden treasures all from the comfort of your living room. It’s also a great stress reliever, which we could all use around the holidays. 

“Hide some treats, your dog’s dinner, or even just toys inside and let your dog have fun digging!,” trainer and The Wildest Collective member Nicole Ellis says about the iDig. “I put this toy away when they are done digging; this helps them stay interested in it and prevents them from chewing on the digging flaps.” —RC

wild one walk kit

Wild One’s walk kit comes available in a number of colorways (mix and match if you want!), and it’s soft, stretchy, and adjustable to prevent any chafing. The harness uses a trusted back-clip leash attachment and secure under-the-arm-attachment style, which comes highly recommended by veterinarian and The Wildest Collective member  Dr. John Iovino. “It’s just more practical when they walk and sniff, especially if you have a short dog,” he says. “It’s a lot easier to keep the leash above ground and just a little bit of tension when it’s hooked on the back than the front.” —Avery Felman

Wearable gifts for dogs

trill paws dog ID

Bored with the pet ID tags on the market, LA-based designer Rachel Jones founded Trill Paws, a line of pop culture-inspired dog accessories that are anything but basic. From tags embossed with tongue-in-cheek sayings like, “Not all who wander are lost, but I am” and “Straight Outta Rescue” to tags shaped like a taco and crying Drake (classic), you can be sure your dog is always on trend. Trill Paws also regularly donates tags to rescue organizations including the Take Paws Rescue and Rescue City in NYC. —Heven Haile

Christmas themed gifts and treats

Are there any Christmas gifts suitable for all dog breeds?

When shopping for a gift for your pup, size, age and activity level should take precedence over anything that has to do with breed. You might have a Golden Retriever who finds fetch achingly boring or you might have a Havanese who is obsessed with tug-of-war.

Whatever your dog’s interests, make sure you get them something size appropriate. A Chihuahua-sized tennis ball is sure to be a choking hazard for a Great Dane. Luckily, any reputable brand will have a size chart for their products that will allow you to select the size safest for your pet. 

How can I keep my dog safe during the holidays and around presents?

The jolliest dog is a healthy dog, so make sure to take appropriate steps to keep your dog safe during the holiday season. Properly store non-safe holiday foods, such as peppermint, nut, alcohol and chocolate in a place where your dog cannot reach. In addition, when opening gifts immediately clean and dispose of any choking hazards, such as bows and ribbons.

And remember, holiday gatherings and the frenzy of a million people opening presents can be overwhelming for some dogs — make sure they have a safe and quiet space they can relax in if they need a break from the festivities. 

How can I involve my dog in the holiday celebration apart from gifts?

A lot of holiday celebrations can be overwhelming for dogs, so try to include them in less stimulating celebrations if possible. Even better, take them to dog specific festivities such as PetsSmart’s Santa photo days

Should you consider your dog’s personality and interests when selecting a Christmas gift for them?

Of course! Far more important than breed or age are their personality and interests when it comes to selecting a gift. Just make sure to buy size and texture appropriate gifts based on your dog’s shape and age (i.e. some puppy toys will be too soft for adult dogs, while some senior dogs might need senior specific chew toys).

rebecca caplan

Rebecca Caplan

Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.

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