Holiday shopping is hard enough but factor in allergies and chewing levels you’ll realize that a dog is the hardest one on the list to shop for! Then on top of that, you might be shopping for a dog that isn’t yours and that just makes your hard job 10 times harder! Sometimes we get caught up in what our own dogs may or may not like when shopping for other dogs that aren’t ours. To help you shop I’ve created this guide to follow and a printable that you can take shopping with you!
Find out what is off limits
- For a solid year I did not allow squeaky toys in the house, have you ever heard these things? I did not want to have to ever have to listen to them!
- Just ask the pup’s parents if there is anything they do or don’t want their dogs to have. Their answers might help you narrow down what to get them!
- Everybody is different about what they do and don’t want their dogs playing with. Respect what they say because it’s not fair to trick the pup into thinking they get a cool gift only for their parents to take it away
- Make sure the dog you’re shopping for doesn’t have any allergies!
- Some common allergies in dogs are
- Grains-look for grain free treats
- Soy- look for soy free treats
- Different proteins- Sahara likely has a lamb allergy, so I would choose a different protein like chicken, turkey, or beef. You would do the same thing, choose a treat or chew opposite of the allergen.
- If they do have allergies make sure not to get any treats or chews that contain that allergen.
- When in doubt, ask the parent of the dog with allergies what their favorite treat is! This can be a big help because they might be able to tell you a general idea like chicken jerky and you can choose from different brands or they might tell you a specific brand that is okay and you can choose from different products.
- If they have lots of allergies choose the safe route and get a toy or accessory instead!
Find out what kind of chewer they are
- Are they gentle and treat everything like its fragile?
- Yes- perfect you have more options for choosing toys, plush toys and stuffed toys are okay to give them!
- No- see below
- Do they chew through everything?
- Yes- stay away from plush and stuffed toys!! Even if they say they are for heavy or power chewers. I have a power chewer and no stuffed toy has ever lasted despite what the packaging says.
- These are the types of dogs you have to thoroughly read reviews before shopping for! See what other people say about their power chewer and how the toy held up.
- Sometimes chews are better than toys for heavy chewers because they can’t mess them up they are just a treat that takes longer to eat!
- Choose toys that are size appropriate.
- Choosing toys that are too small is a choking hazard!
- Small dogs get small toys and big dogs get big toys!
- This goes for all toys most especially balls.
- Another general rule of thumb is if it’s a toy made to be stuffed with treats there need to be two holes in the toy, again as a safety precaution.
- If there is only one hole the dog can get their tongue stuck inside it and won’t be able to get it back out due to the suction, think about drinking a Capri Sun and getting to the end and the straw sticks to your tongue or lip.
- Collars and bandanas are always fun but you need a neck measurement. You can either ask their parents what the measurement of the dog’s neck is or you can be super sneaky and measure it when their parents aren’t around for maximum surprise effect! Be sure to order in the middle of the size range where ever you are shopping so there is room to tighten or loosen it up if need be.
- Tags are super easy to shop for because all you need is the dog’s name and a contact phone number for their parent, which you likely already know!
- Leashes are probably the easiest thing to shop for because you don’t really need a size. You can choose from different lengths of leashes and different materials, everything from rope to fabric. The options are endless!
Pin or print this shopping list to make your holiday shopping a breeze!
Need ideas for the perfect gift? Here’s my Ultimate List of the Perfect Dog Gifts!
What do you look for when shopping for a dog that wasn’t yours? Did you find it easy or hard? What did you get them? Tell me in the comments!