A Short Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs and Dog-Lovers

So, Christmas time is approaching! If you’re looking for gift ideas, either for a dog-lover or a dog, you can take a look at our selection! Today I’ll present our favourite toys, treats and accessories, among others. The selection is based on quality and our (and Nix’s) personal preference.

So, without further a do, let’s begin!

For Dogs

Toys

Classic Kong

Image credit: Kong Company

This is a classic toy, and perhaps not very original, but it’s actually a tool more than toy. It can be used to play fetch, but you can also use it to train or dog or to keep him entertained while you’re away by stuffing it with food. So even if your dog does not enjoy chewing it for the sake of it, you can still fill it with food for him.

Another advantage of the classic Kong is that it comes in different sizes and toughness, so there are versions from small to larger dogs, and from puppies to seniors and strong chewers.

Kong Squeez Bone

Image credit: Kong Company

Nix loves chewing and playing tug-of-war with us using her purple rubber Kong bone. Unlike the classic Kong, whose rubber is more rigid, this Kong bone is made of softer rubber. We also use it to play fetch (in a very constrained manner) at home.

We’ve had it for a while and its held up very well, even more so considering that Nix enjoys destroying her toys. In fact, I have to mention that she managed to pull the insides of the bone out but it’s still usable. It originally squeaked, but it’s been a long time since the mechanism broke.

Trixie Flip Board Strategy Game

Image credit: Kong Company

This trains problem-solving skills. The Trixie Flip Board Strategy Game comes with three different “challenges” that your dog has to deal with in order to get the treats which are hidden underneath them. From all the available similar toys, we chose this one precisely because it has three different types of “test”, whereas others only have one of them.

Although it’s very fun to challenge your dog using problem-solving toys, they should always be used under your supervision. In our case, Nix could easily turn the toy upside down just by trying to find the treats, so we have to keep an eye on her and sometimes even hold the toy down.

Treats

Image credit: Champion Pet Foods
Image Credit: Alpha Spirit

For treats we’ve settled on the ones from Alpha Spirit. They come in the shape of sticks or in treat-sized cubes. They seem very tasty and the ingredients look good, too.

I also think that the Acana / Orijen treats would be great, but they are very expensive.

For Dog Lovers

Books

The Other End of the Leash

Image copyright: Penguin Random House

I’ve already raved about this book in this review, but this is a must for any dog-lover or dog-owner. This book can help us dog owners (and lovers) better understand and communicate our dogs. It’s written in a very engaging and understandable way, and includes many anecdotes about the author’s own experience. Note that Patricia McConnell has a PhD in animal behaviour and worked as a dog trainer and ethologist for many years. So she knows what she is talking about.

Marley & Me (either the book or the film)

Marley & Me Book Cover
Image credit: Harper Collins

Another classic. Although the book is several years old (and so is the film), it’s one of the funniest memoirs about the life of a dog and his owners. If you’re not into reading, you can always opt for the film, which keeps the essence of the book. You can read our review here.

For Nix!

So you may be thinking that this list is nice and so, but what will Nix be getting for Christmas? So far, she’ll be getting a couple of toys which double up as a food source, both from Kong. And no, we’re not getting paid to mention Kong toys, but I just happen to think that Nix will enjoy them and that they’ll be useful to us.

Toys

Kong Wobbler

Image credit: Kong Company

The Kong Wobbler has the same shape as the Classic Kong. However, it’s much bigger, made of plastic and only has one hole. The idea behind it is that you fill it with food and works as a food dispenser. However, the challenge is that the toy stands upright and your dog has to interact / play with it in order to get it out. It comes in two different sizes.

I’m really looking forward to trying this and seeing how resistant it is.

Kong Extreme Traxx

Image credit: Kong Company

I’ve also had my eye set on this toy for a while. It has the shape of a tyre and its made of the same rubber as the classic Kong. It also has an indentation where you can place treats so that they are not as easy to retrieve for the dog. I think they’ll be quite easy to retrieve, but we’ll see.

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