Gifts for Dogs, Dogs as Gifts

Are you trying to figure out what to give your dear dog for the holidays? We’ve compiled a list of gift ideas to make their month extra special! Of course, these ideas are in addition to wonderful free gifts like quality time with you and plenty of belly rubs.

  • Homemade treats: If you enjoying cooking and baking, you can try out one of these recipes made especially for animals.
  • Doggy Playdate: If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, you can set up a playdate. Consider pairing your dog with a dog of similar size/build, similar activity level, and the opposite sex. If you don’t have the time to set up a playdate, remember that DogServices’ staff evaluates your dog carefully to match him with compatible dogs for playtime during Doggy Daycare. For more tips on choosing a playmate for your dog, check out this article from the ASPCA.
  • Dog Excursion: Did you know that DogServices offers Excursions through our partners at River City Dog Excursions? Simply book through DogServices and our friends at RCDE pick up your dog during a day of daycare or boarding, take them on a nature hike at a nearby trail or park to run, play, and explore, and return them to DogServices afterward. Your dog will have a safe and positive outlet for their energy through stimulating exercise and personalized attention. At the end of the day, your dog will be very tired and very happy.
  • Store-bought toys and treats: You can find an extensive selection and support local businesses by shopping at a specialty pet store in Richmond like RedRidge Pet Market, For the Love of Pete, or Fido’s Park Avenue Dog Boutique. Each of these stores has friendly, helpful staff to assist you in picking the perfect presents. Some popular choices include the classic Kong toy (great filled with peanut butter), Nylabone chew toys, and the Hide-a-Squirrel toy set.

Giving a Pet as a Gift

If you are thinking about giving someone a pet for Christmas, please consider the following before you make your decision. The ASPCA recommends the giving of pets as gifts only to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and the ability, means and available time to care for one responsibly, and to children under 12 only if parents are ready to take on full responsibility.

You may want to ask the recipient questions like how active of a pet they want, whether they’re okay with grooming it regularly, and what they would do with the animal when people go to school, work, or on vacation. The ASPCA also recommend that pets be obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, friends, family, or responsible breeders – not from places where the source of the animal is unknown or untrusted.

To help with the transition, consider delivering a “starter kit”—bowls, food, toys, a collar, an ID tag, or litter—with the new pet, and encouraging new owners to get their pets licensed in their city or county.