Gift Guide for Dog Lovers

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Practical gifts for the dog-lover on your list!

Gear

Exercise Pen.
I love my expen. It’s like a crate, only bigger and more versatile. I can set it up as a pen to keep puppies from getting into trouble, or I can open it up and block large openings.
A built-in door makes getting in and out less of an ordeal, so spring for that model.

Summer Infant Decorative Walk-Through Gate.
Baby gates are probably one of my top 5 favorite pieces of doggy equipment. They don’t have to be ugly and you don’t have to risk breaking your neck navigating them. Summer Infant makes some really pretty options.

Doggone Good Rapid Rewards Deluxe Treat Pouch.
This bait bag is a favorite among dog training professionals. With a magnetic closure, large capacity, easy open access and durability (I’ve had mine for about 6 years) it easy to see why. For $20 it’s a steal!

Sleepypod Travel Accessories.
Humans have seat belts, but what about dogs? After hearing about a colleague’s experience in a car accident with one of her dogs, I began taking a much more serious approach to safely transporting dogs. The last thing anyone wants is for their dog to become a projectile in an accident.
Sleepypod is a bit spendy, but it’s currently the only company to crash test their products. They make a car harness (Clickit) and carrier (Mobile Pet Bed) for transportation.

House tether.
Tethers are lengths of plastic coated, small gauge cable with clips on either end. One end is secured to an eye bolt in the wall or around a piece of sturdy furniture and the other end clips to your dog’s body harness. They’re great any time you want to confine your dog to one location—guest arrival, dinner prep, or office work. Because of they’re made out of cable, you don’t have to worry about your dog (or puppy!) chewing right through it.
IMPORTANT: tethers do present a strangulation hazard. Never leave your dog unsupervised on a tether.

Bold Lead Designs 8-Way Leash.
This has become my favorite leash for neighborhood walks! The extra two feet of length give the dog additional room to explore. I just recently had a client tell me how much of a difference it seemed to make for their dog!
I typically configure it like a typical leash with handle, but I have also used it to temporarily tether a dog to a lamp-post while I went ahead to shoo a cat out of our walking path. True story.

Balance Harness.
This harness is my all-time favorite and I recommend it to all my clients! The neck buckle is such a bonus for dogs who don’t like things going over their heads, and without a strap cutting across the dog’s shoulders, he can move naturally.

Toys

Kong.
What would we do without Kongs?! Filled with food or an extra special treat, they keep the dog occupied while tiring him out! Kongs are great for enrichment feeding because they can be used for dogs who are just learning how to eat from toys and for graduate level pros.
Pro Tip: the Kong company makes “puppy” versions of their toy, but I find most pups can jump right into the classic, red model.

West Paw dog toys.
If your dog destroys one of these toys, you can send it back to the company for a free, one-time replacement. Need I say more?

Slo-Bowl.
Some days you feel lazy and your dog doesn’t. Slo-Bowl is your friend on these days! Dump your dog’s meal in the bowl and set it down. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

Treats and Chews

Ziwi Peak Dog Food.
Ziwi Peak is a very high quality dog food made up of 96% fresh meat, organs, bones and seafood. I use it as a higher value training treat for dogs who are harder to motivate, are fearful, or when working in more challenging environments.

No-Hide.
One of my favorites for puppies! Did you know most rawhide is actually not good for dogs? No-Hide is rawhide-like, but also rawhide free so you can feel good about giving it to your dog. It comes in five flavors (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Venison and Salmon) and multiple sizes.
**Remember to always supervise your dog closely the first time you try a new chew.

Dozers.
Another puppy pick. I’ve found that the best solutions for illegal puppy chewing are legal items that are meant to be eaten. Dozers are all natural dog chews that are meant to be consumed.
**Remember to always supervise your dog closely the first time you try a new chew.

Honest Kitchen Dog Food.
Another dog food that I use as a treat. Honest Kitchen Dog Food comes in a dehydrated powder form. For each meal, measure out the powder, add the appropriate amount of warm water, let sit, and then feed as usual. Bonus, this stuff is human grade!
Honest Kitchen is a recent addition to my training arsenal. So far, I’ve used it for conditioning a recall, but I also want to try it for Kong stuffing!
Pro Tip: if you want to try it without committing to a big container, check out Pet Supplies Plus in northwest Austin for single serving containers!