For those of us who love our canine companions, we are probably putting a lot of thought in holiday shopping for our favorite pooches. With so many different gift options out there, it can be difficult to find just the right gift. Not all gifts are created equal, and sometimes dog owners can be lured into buying flashy toys and treats that end up actually being harmful to our pets. Here is a quick list of dos and don’ts when it comes to holiday shopping for dogs.

  1. Do: Dog Beds

If your dog doesn’t already have a cozy little spot to call his own, you might consider giving him a new bed or cushion this holiday season. Dog beds maximize comfort for your dog and can be small or large enough to fit a Chihuahua to a Great Dane and every breed in between. Dog beds could be the perfect solution if you’ve been hoping to reduce the amount of pet hair on your furniture, and some pet beds include materials that trap hairs and odors.

  1. Don’t: Rawhide Chews

You might have heard this before, but it’s advice that bears repeating: Rawhides and natural animal bones can be very harmful for your dog. The organic nature of these items leads them to fracture irregularly as your dog chews them down. Even if your bone is the right size for your pooch, the bone can still break off into a size that poses a choking hazard. If that wasn’t enough, some of these rawhides and other “natural” dog treats are obtained through illegal and inhumane activities that should not be supported by true animal lovers.

  1. Do: Nylabone and Kong Chews

Instead of going for rawhides, opt for safer chews for your animal. Nylabone and Kong are two brands that are designed to provide your dog with a safe chewing experience. These products cover small, medium, and large breeds and come in a great variety of colors and styles to keep your dog happy and entertained.

  1. Don’t: The “Sneaker” Chew Toy

This may seem like a no-brainer but still many dog owners fall for this trap. As you shop for your dog, you might notice some toys that cleverly look like shoes, a remote control, or even homework. While this may provide a cute photo opportunity, these kinds of toys are also encouraging a negative behavior for dogs. You wouldn’t want them to actually chew on your shoes or the remote, but giving them toys that resemble these objects can encourage them to do just that once they’ve chewed the look-a-like toy to death.

  1. Do: A New Fence

If you’re looking to go big this year and give something your dog won’t chew away within a month, then why not give him the gift of freedom? Dogs naturally belong outdoors, and if you’ve ever taken yours to a dog park, then you have witnessed the kind of sheer ecstasy that being outside can bring. So why not give him his own little place to run around? Many homeowners already have yards but are hesitant letting their dogs out without the proper fencing. Believe it or not, fencing your yard is a project you can tackle on your own, and according to HomeAdvisor, it only costs $1,646 to $3,935 to install.

Follow this list of dos and don’ts to find the right kind of gift for your loyal canine friend. Also, you should always keep in mind the breed and size of your dog as you shop for him. Remember that above all you want to keep your dog happy, healthy, and safe for this holiday season and many more to come.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Cindy Aldridge is passionate about dogs and pets and loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner.