Holiday Gifts for Dogs

The holidays are here and it’s time to shop. The pet industry is brimming with practical, fun and techie gadgets for that special dog in your life. Here are some ideas for pet presents beyond the usual dog treats.

If you travel with your dog a lot, check out Overland Dog Gear’s variety of travel bags for pooches. They have sizes ranging from a purse-size bag for day trips to large rolling bags and duffels for long trips. The average size comes with zippered carriers for food and treats, extra space for toys and water and collapsible water and food dishes with their own placemat. They claim it meets airline carry on requirements.

Another travel-related gadget is a trailer hitch-mounted step. Jumping out of trucks and SUVs can be harmful on joints and is not recommended for growing puppies and giant breeds. The Twistep attaches to the trailer hitch mount and can be stowed by swinging it under the car body. The reviews I’ve seen (I don’t have one myself) are largely favorable, and the construction looks solid.

Whether your dog likes to roam, or just mosey around the house and yard, there several GPS trackers on the market to help you monitor your pet’s location and activity. The Whistle 3 is the highest rated among reviews I’ve found. Most offer real-time mapping, and some will alert you if your dog leaves a predefined area. Most require a monthly subscription for data transfer.

A more budget friendly option is a dog tag with a Qr code. When someone scans the code with a smart phone, they can see details about your dog, along with your contact information through a website you set up. Some, like the PawPrintsID will also alert you via text message and email with the GPS location of your pet and contact information for the person who found your pet (if the finder has a smartphone). Most tags allow you to store medical information and photos too. The Qr tags don’t require a monthly subscription.

If you’ve got an obsessive ball fetcher in the family, an automatic ball launcher will keep your pup busy while you’re glued to your mobile device. The ifetch uses smaller tennis balls and is great for small to medium sized dogs. For larger dogs, use the ifetch Too. You can adjust the launch distance to 10, 20 or 30 feet, so it’s useable indoors and outdoors.

The GoDogGo launcher shoots regular sized tennis balls, and while it claims to be adjustable for indoor use, it appears to shoot more vertically than the ifetch devices, so that may be an issue indoors if your dog likes to leap up to catch.

If you’re looking for something for your nervous pooch, the icalmdog® is a tiny speaker that uses SD cards loaded with specially developed music to soothe the stressed-out dog.  It also has a Bluetooth function, so you can stream music from another device.

And don’t forget to shop locally. Ellensburg Pet Center, the Whole Pet Shop (in Roslyn), Ranch and Home and Old Mill Country Store carry a great variety of toys, treats, beds and more for your doggie gift giving. Happy shopping!