Need some ideas for what to put in your dog’s stocking?
When you’re helping Santa stuff the stockings this holiday season, don’t forget the four-legged members of the household.
Almost every dog in the world likes tennis balls, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and even scents. For an affordable but extra-special treat, it can be fun to fill your dog’s stocking to the brim with balls—just be sure to keep the video camera handy on Christmas morning! Pro tip: if you’ve got a big dog, consider checking out your local tennis court or club—some tennis players discard balls when they lose their bounce and are happy to donate them to an appreciative retriever.
This isn’t necessarily something your pup will recognize as a playful gift, but they’re awfully useful. If your dog’s ID tags are looking scuffed-up or worn, use the holidays as an excuse to upgrade. If you want something high-tech, look for one of the new tags embedded with QR (quick response) codes, which can let friendly strangers get information quickly through their cell phones. If your tastes run more toward the homemade, browse Etsy for a charming, made-to-order option.
A Light-Up Collar
During the darker winter months, dogs can be hard to see. Luckily, there are lots of options for keeping them visible: light-up LED collars, clip-on lights, and reflective vests. Starting at less than $5 at your local pet store or online, they’re practical, safe, and fun.
A Homemade Toy
No matter how much fun it is to browse the aisles at your local pet supply shop, most dogs are just as happy with homemade toys as with expensive store-bought options. If you’re feeling creative or are on a budget, check out these options for make-it-yourself playthings.
Healthy Dog Treats
Most pet owners are happy to give their pooches some extra edible goodness during the holidays because it’s fun to share the festivities with the whole family. But some dog treats are made with less-than-stellar ingredients, which can lead to tummy trouble or even gastrointestinal distress. For healthy, thoughtfully made treats, check out The Honest Kitchen’s Nuzzles in duck & cherry flavor.
Charlotte Austin is a Seattle-based writer and mountain guide. She has climbed, explored, and led expeditions in North and South America, Nepal, Europe, Alaska, and Patagonia. Her writing has been featured in Women's Adventure, Alpinist, Stay Wild, and other national and international publications. When she's not guiding in the Himalayas, she's exploring her hometown (Seattle, Washington), trying new recipes, and hanging out with Huckleberry, her giant black Great Dane-Lab mix. Read more about their adventures at www.charlotteaustin.com.