Humans and dogs have a long shared history. National Geographic recently reported on a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, dating human-puppy bonding to at least 14,000 years ago. Other researchers speculate that the relationship could extend much further back, possibly even twice as long, to 30,000 years ago (or thereabouts).
Whenever canine domestication (and affection) first occurred, it was clearly a long time ago. Here at Little Birdie Me, we are unabashed dog lovers and, if we extrapolate from scientific studies - or, just take a look at Instagram - it’s clear that many of you are too. For that reason, we thought we’d take a look at gifts that are eminently appropriate for dog lovers. We hope you find them helpful!
NEW DOG LEASH - Your gift recipient likely already has a leash for their dog, but how about giving them an upgrade, or another option? Depending on what they already have, there are several ways to do this. The first option would be to go with something stylish and chic, like a rope leash in ivory, a solid color, or ombré from RecnepsDesign. The second option we’d proffer is a useful one. For the dog lover who also loves to go running, a hands-free leash like Tuff Mutt’s dual handle model might be worth considering, potentially making your recipient’s morning run with their dog easier and even more companionable. Last but not least, we would highlight a third option: a retractable leash. Manfred Bogdahn invented retractable leashes in Germany in 1972 while out walking his dog, Purzel. Today, his company, Flexi, continues to focus solely on that one product and if your gift recipient does not already have one for their dog, we think a Classic Cord Leash might well make an excellent gift.
MONTHLY CLUB GIFT BOX - Like Maria in The Sound of Music, does your recipient thrill at the sight of “brown paper packages tied up with strings?” If so, a monthly gift subscription may well be the way to go. Although, we can’t exactly promise brown paper and string, you may wish to explore one or more of the following providers of gift parcels: PawPack, Surprise My Pet, or Rescue Box. Two more options to check out are BarkBox and Pet Gift Box, both managed by TheGiftBox - or, more economically (from the same umbrella organization), PetBox.
GROOMING SESH - A thorough washing, clipped nails, trimmed hair - most dog owners know how to take care of these things themselves, but it can be a bit like having a friend give you a haircut as opposed to a professional barber. The former may be perfectly serviceable, but the latter yields the same end result with a bit more finesse. The dog equivalent is bringing your canine friend to a groomer. We recommend doing a little Googling to find a top notch groomer near your gift recipient’s home and checking out their gift certificate options. Or, if your loved one (and their dog) already patronizes a particular groomer, your work may well be half done for you already - just give them a ring to find out what gift options they offer!
PET PORTRAIT - For many dog owners, their four-legged friend is a member of the family. In that spirit, a family portrait may well be your best bet gift-wise. Options abound - be it a local photographer that specializes in pet portraits (with the dog owner, or not), a watercolor painting by the likes of Etsy artists FineArtbyElisa or Kribro - an oil painting by KLStudio15 - or, a custom pet ornament by Bethany Strothers.
SEAT COVER - If your recipient can’t go anywhere without their dog and they do a lot of driving, they may well appreciate a seat cover, making car cleaning a whole lot easier, while at the same time (in most cases) making their dog’s journey that bit more comfortable. A front seat option to explore might be Mud River’s Shotgun single seat cover for coverage right into the foot well, or 4knines’ front seat cover for a sleeker (and waterproof) look. For comprehensive coverage in the backseat, we like the looks of the backseat Orvis’ Field Collection hammock seat protector, or 4knines’ hammock cover.
DNA TEST – If your prospective gift recipient adopted their dog from a shelter, they may well find a doggy DNA test provides some interesting and/or helpful insight into their canine friend’s genetic history. And, even if a dog’s breed is known, a test may well prove helpful health-wise. If you’re interested in exploring the various dog DNA test options, places you may wish to check out include Embark and/or UC Davis’ Veterinary Genetics Lab which offers a wide range of tests, including many that are breed specific.
DOG LIFE JACKET - We’re guessing most folks have heard of the doggy paddle. Dogs are famously good swimmers but so are humans and there are many situations in which we wear life jackets. In those instances, it doesn’t hurt to think whether or not our canine friends might also be well served by a little extra help flotation-wise. If your gift recipient might be inclined to take their dog boating, rafting or into any other aquatic situation where their own ability to rescue their dog might be impaired should an accident happen, a jacket like Outward Hound’s dog life jacket may well make for a great gift.
LIGHT COLLAR - Continuing on the theme of dog safety, if your recipient is in a position to let their dog run free after the sun sets, they may find a dog light collar comes in eminently handy when keeping an eye on their pet pooch. Check out Nite Ize NiteHowl LED light collars - they can be cut to size, are weather resistant and accommodate replaceable batteries - moreover, they’re not terribly expensive, for an all-round win.
TICK KEY - Does your recipient regularly take their dog for walks in spots with tall grasses? Or, in nature preserves? If so, then ticks are likely something they regularly have to deal with. As many folks don’t know about tick keys, we venture to suggest that a set may well make for a great gift. They have the benefit of being extraordinarily handy while, at the same time, being eminently affordable. Attach one to your dog’s leash, tuck one in with your camping kit, and/or leave one by the backdoor - it’s great to have several.
AQUAPAW PET BATHING TOOL + SOGGY DOGGY TOWEL - Does your gift recipient have difficulty when it comes to bathing their dog? Or, even if they don’t, but you fancy upping the ease with which they do so, you may may wish to check out the Aquapaw bathing scrubber. It allows dog owners to effectively wash and pet their dog at the same time, while easily controlling water flow. To amp up your gift further, consider pairing the Aquapaw with a Soggy Doggy microfiber drying towel and/or a bottle of Pura Naturals shampoo.
TURDLEBAG - Speaking of keeping things clean, many dog owners can relate to that sinking feeling of taking your dog out for a walk and realizing you’ve forgotten to bring along the necessary to clean up their business. A Turdlebag makes this a non-issue. Essentially a snazzy poop bag carrier and dispenser, it can attach to a leash, a backpack (camping, anyone?), or a bag. There’s even a little pocket for one’s keys, credit card, etc., making it very walk-friendly.
GRAB & GO DOG DINETTE - This is another idea for the dog owner on the go - the Grab and Go Dog Dinette by Michelle Glasser is a leash and food carrier, all in one. Pack a meal or snacks for your pup, top up the canteen section with some water and hit the trail. Alternately, use the snack compartment to store your personal bits and bobs (e.g. keys, credit card, etc.) if you are just going for a short walk.
DOG BOWL WATER BOTTLE - We’re always hearing how we should be drinking more water - how staying hydrated is so important to our health. If it’s true for us, presumably the same goes for our four-legged friends too, perhaps even more so! If your friend or loved one takes their dog to the beach, on hiking trails, or is in the car for lengthy periods of time, a water bottle that has the power to double as a dog bowl is likely to be an über handy gift. Bonus gift idea: pair the dog bottle with a human-friendly water bottle, like those by Futurepace Tech (we have several and thing they’re pretty fab!).
STYLISH EATING STATION - Looking for something a bit special? Perhaps something that makes a design statement? If so, you may wish to check out HighlandDesignCo’s Etsy shop. Based in Norman, Oklahoma, owner Tina Marie’s company offers, “custom woodworking, home goods and personalized gifts.” For the purposes of this blog post, it was their wide selection of dog bowl stands that jumped out at us. Because products are made to order, allow plenty of time when ordering (production time can be anywhere from 1-4 weeks). Side note: they also make an adorable little dog toy box if you decide an eating station isn’t quite right for your recipient and their dog.
DOG TRAVEL KIT - Last but not least, a shout out for Orvis’ dog travel kit. Rather than a random assembly of Tupperware containers and/or plastic bags, this kit allows any dog owner to travel with ease and style, packing dry food and including two smaller vessels to serve both water and food to their dog. If your recipient likes taking weekend road trips, or if they can take their dog to the office (and occasionally sometimes find themselves working late), this may well be a perfect gift!
Whew! Well, we hope that one or more of those gift ideas fits the bill when it comes to the dog lover in your life. A final note: even if you choose a dog-friendly gift that will be opened by a human friend or family member, we suspect one or more of you might go the extra mile and tuck in a little doggy treat - a bone or two perhaps, or chew toy - to be opened by the lucky dog recipient themselves. If so, you may wish to check out Pet Party Printz to order some pet-friendly wrapping paper. Happy gifting, all!
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