I never thought I’d be one of those people who treated their dog like some mini human – talking to him in this sickly sweet high pitched gaga language like he’s a baby and spoiling him rotten with all the dog toys and chews and various bits and bobs I can get my mitts on. Jeez it wasn’t even that long ago that I swore blind I would never even get a dog. And yet here I am sat with a 16 week old Cockapoo puppy (Baxter) at my feet and I have 100% become that person.
And with Christmas fast approaching (seriously, is it me or does it feel like the Xmas adverts start earlier and earlier each year!?!) my thoughts turn to not only what to buy the kids this year, but also what to buy Baxter – well, it is his first Christmas after all 😉
Every year we put together our wellness themed Christmas gift guides and this year I thought it would be good to do a similar one for dogs. As I’m sure you’re all aware, owning a pet, particularly dogs, is hugely beneficial to our own health and wellbeing. And so I figured we owe our furry friends a bit of thanks for that. Plus if you’re dog is treated well, then surely those wellness perks are going to come flying right back to you as well.
With the help of one of his friends (Monty), Baxter has tested out the following products and thinks they should all be included in our dog Christmas gift guide. Read on to discover what he’s chosen:
The Perfect Gift For Mucky Pups
At this time of year it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to have a soggy doggy to deal with after walkies. Then there’s the mud and the fox poo and anything else they can find to roll in. And that s**t literally stinks! No one wants their house smelling of wet dog. Giving your dog a bath is a fantastic way to bond, as well as to get them smelling sweeter again, but not all dogs are up for a soak and you do have to be careful what products you use on them to ensure their coats keep the essential oils they need to protect your dog and keep them looking and feeling healthy.
This dog shampoo and dog cologne from Norfolk Natural Living is absolutely perfect, as it contains no nasty chemicals and yet still has the power to make clean even the pongiest of pooches.
The shampoo uses ingredients that mainly derive from coconuts, along with other cruelty free and vegan ingredients that help to gently cleanse and moisturise your dog’s fur and skin. We tried out the Sea Salt shampoo, which has a subtle citrusy scent that isn’t too overpowering, even for a dog’s sensitive sense of smell. Baxter doesn’t particularly like bath time, but he was certainly a lot calmer than he has been before and seemed to love me massaging the shampoo into his fur. It lathers up an absolute treat so you really don’t need too much of it. And it washes out very easily too, which means bath time doesn’t need to take an absolute age.
Norfolk Natural Living dog shampoo is available in either Sea Salt or Lavender scents and is priced at £14.50 for a 500ml bottle.
Now, let’s talk dog cologne. Yep you heard me, perfume for dogs. Available in Sea Salt, Lavender, and Rose Garden, these 200ml spray bottles are perfect for spritzing on your dog in between washes, spraying on their bed or blanket if it gets a big whiffy and for just generally making them smell a whole lot nicer. It’s made from just 3 ingredients – distilled water, witchhazel and essential oils – and is therefore suitable for dogs with sensitive skin. Baxter loved me rubbing it in to him, especially as it meant more belly rubs, and I loved that it made him smell half decent again.
The Norfolk Natural Living Dog Cologne is available to buy from their website and is priced at £13.50 for a 200ml bottle.
Personalised Bowls For Your Pampered Pooch
Who realised dogs could be so picky when it comes to what bowl they’ll eat their food from? But it turns out they can!
When we first got Baxter we bought him a bog standard plastic bowl that came with a silver metal bowl as part of some deal at the pet shop. The plastic bowl he was fine with, but the metal bowl he had huge issues with and refused to neither eat nor drink from it. Eventually I figured out that it was because he could see his reflection in it and so we resorted to using a Tupperware lid for his food until we could find one he would eat from.
Thankfully, the gorgeous handmade ceramic bowls from Chow Bella were bought to my attention and finally we seem to have found a bowl that’s up to Baxter’s high standards.
The company was set up because the owner was looking for a bowl for her Cocker Spaniel that stopped her ears from dangling in the contents. After much searching, she realised there weren’t any and so as a trained potter she set about creating her own. Each bowl is hand painted in your choice of colour and can be personalised with your dog’s name.
As you can see from the photo above, Baxter’s ears sit neatly either side of the bowl and needless to say he hasn’t got any issues about eating from it! Aside from this being a beautiful gift to buy your dog this Christmas, it’s kind of also a gift for you as you can choose a colour to suit your home decor and as someone who has recently undergone a huge home renovation, let me tell you that this matters. The bowls are also dishwasher safe (hooray!) and because they are handpainted it means the colours won’t fade like some other bowls which use transfers instead.
Chow Bella dog bowls are available in 6 different sizes with prices starting at £22.99 for the smallest bowl and going up to £33.99 for the largest one. They also sell treat jars and cat bowls, which can be personalised with your pet’s name or the words of your choice.
Perfect Prints For Dog Lovers
OK, OK so this one’s as much a present to you as it is to your dog, but these dog prints from Rocket Jack are so gorgeous it would be downright rude not to.
Modelled by the magnificent Monty, this modern black Labrador print is one of a few different dog breeds that Rocket Jack offers. Their website currently sells: Dachshund, Labrador, Jack Russell Terrier, Husky, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, French Red Labrador, Doberman, Chocolate Labrador, and Beagle, but they will also take requests if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
With a choice of 7 different colour backgrounds, 3 different sizes (A4, A3, A2) and with prices starting at £19.00, we think this would make a great addition to your home and even better above your dog’s bed… you know, just so they know where their space is 😉
The frame isn’t included, however that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it means you can choose one to suit the colour and style of the room you intend it to go in. Great as a gift to the dog lover in your life, or even better why not buy it as a gift from the dog to yourself and the rest of the family. Come on admit it, that’s a super cute idea!
Monty clearly loves it, and so do we 🙂
Pawsome Bedding Gift For Your Dog
Baxter has slept in a crate from the first day he came home with us. He cried for the first couple of nights (I mean, who wouldn’t if they’d been taken from their mum and siblings!), but then we discovered his love for Radio 2 and since then as long as we leave it on for him overnight he sleeps through without any problems. We kitted the crate out with a nice piece of VetFleece, a puppy pad, a blanket smelling of his mum and a cuddly sloth (he loves that sloth). The VetFleece has basically become his bed and in addition to this we now have a piece that my husband takes to the office with him so that Baxter can go there with him sometimes and we also have two larger pieces that we have out in the living room so that he can sleep out on it during the day when we’re at home.
VetFleece is great as it is lovely and soft, and also retains heat, making it a really comfortable surface for dogs to lie on. From a practical point of view it can be washed in a washing machine and still retain it’s comfort factor, so if there are any little accidents at any point it’s completely salvable and you can be confident that there’s no nasty bacteria lurking deep inside.
As you can see, Baxter’s rather pleased with these two gorgeous designs from the VetFleece website and absolutely loves that he can roll around on them when he’s getting his belly rubs from the kids. The fleeces are available in a range of colours as well as in a paw print design (we have charcoal and red, but there are 11 other ones to choose from) and in a camo print (we have purple and white, but there are 5 other colour combinations to choose from). A seemingly practical gift, but one that is also stylish and one that your dog will very much thank you for.
Vetfleece is a premium quality high pile veterinary grade pet bedding and as such has the backing of RSPCA, very high praise indeed. Indeed for every piece of VetFleece you buy from the website, a percentage of the sale goes to the RSPCA to help contribute to their work in helping animals in need. You really can’t get a much better gift than that, can you?
These VetFleeces cost between £8.99 and £40.99 depending on size and they can also easily be cut to size to fit wherever you need them to.
Great Gift Idea For Big Dogs
I’m sure all you owners of big dogs out there will have experienced the rigmarole of feeding your beloved hound only for them to go at it like they haven’t been fed for days, knocking food and water everywhere and sending their bowls flying across the room. Big dogs aren’t exactly the most delicate of creatures, and boy do they get hungry!
These dog bowls from PetWeighter are exactly what you and your dog have been looking for. The bowl sits on top of a base, which can be filled with sand or water to create a weight on the bottom, thus making it impossible for even the strongest of dogs to knock over. And OK sure, there really is absolutely no getting away from the fact that these are big bowls, but then if you have a big dog I’m guessing you’re fairly used to BIG by now!
Monty seemed to really love the bowls (Baxter was a bit too small to test them out properly 😉 ) and his owner said that he doesn’t usually drink that much, but he certainly lapped the water up from this bowl!
The top bowl is really easy to unlock from the base, which is handy as it means it’s easy to fill up with water from the tap and even better it can be put in the dishwasher to be cleaned. But it’s not just about trying to create as little mess as possible. These bowls are also hugely beneficial to older dogs that struggle to stoop down and eat from lower bowls. The elevated height puts less pressure on their joints and aids digestion, both of which are common complaints in older bigger dogs.
PetWeighter Dog Bowls come in 6 different colours and are available from Amazon for £24.99.
The Doggy Gift That’s Not Just For Christmas
You know how they say that dogs look like their owners? Well, I’ve come to learn that they also behave like them too. You see, I absolutely love surprises when it comes to presents, and turns out Baxter’s a big fan too!
When our first Collar Club subscription box arrived I cannot even begin to describe how excited Baxter was. From the moment I put the box down on the floor he sussed it was meant for him and he got his snout snaffling away in there straight away. As you can see the box is jam packed full of doggy delights and it’s enough to make any little puppy pee with excitement.
What I love most about a subscription box, aside from the surprise element, is the fact you get exposed to new brands. I’m a bit of a one for sticking with what I know, so to have the opportunity to try out new products that I may not have necessarily heard of is a real benefit. Baxter’s not complaining either, just look at this lovely loot he got included in this month’s box:
- Scrumbles Nibbles – Grain free training treats, with calming ingredients (we like!)
- Pet P.L.A.Y Fries Toy – A multi-sensory toy with soft and crinkly pouch stuffed with three squeaky fries toys.
- Lamb & Rosemary Wellybix – Hand-baked lamb flavoured biscuits.
- Anco Bully Tendons – 100% Beef and great for chewing!
- Green & Wilds Fish Deli Cubes – 100% fish skin, great for shiny coats and sparkling teeth.
- The Pet Nanny Fish Treats – Contain no artificial ingredients and another great training treat.
The contents obviously vary with each box, but what you are guaranteed is that all contents are 100% natural, eco-friendly, paraben and chemical free, and they can also cater for dogs with allergies and there’s even a tough toy option if you’ve got a bit of a furry shredder!
The box costs £32.99, however if you sign up to their mailing list you get a 25% discount off of your the first box, so that’s well worth taking advantage of. You have the choice to sign up to a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly plan and this can be cancelled at any time, so there’s none of this signing your life away malarkey.
Baxter LOVED his box, particularly the Fries toy which he went nuts for, and I loved the fact all of it has kept him entertained for so long, even the box it came in!
To get more details about these amazing doggy subscription boxes check out the Collar Club Subscription Box website.
Whatever you get for your dog this Christmas, we hope that we have given you a bit of inspiration and a few ideas so that your pooch can wake up on Christmas morning with a waggy tail and get to join in and enjoy the day as much as the rest of the family.
For more Christmas gift ideas check out our other Gift Guides below:
What’s your dog putting on their Christmas list this year?
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*all products gifted for review