Let’s face it, our dogs don’t take a day off — they’re our best friends 365 days out of the year, so it’s only natural that many of us want to spoil them during the holiday season. To help you decide on a gift for your special four-legged friend, we rounded up some ideas from members of Warrior Canine Connection’s pack that are creative, thoughtful, and yes, budget-conscious.
Toys, Toys and more Toys
WCC Service Dog Training Instructor Michele Tate, who works with WCC’s Asheville programs, loves the Starmark chew toys for several reasons.
“I really like this toy for pet parents because it has inserts you can buy that are super tasty, and it also works great with applesauce, peanut butter, yogurt, kibble or other treats as a fun frozen toy that can help enrich your dog both mentally and physically.”
WCC Program Director and Service Dog Training Instructor at the Palo Alto VA Alexis Baker, shared a few toys that are personal favorites of WCC’s Piccone, a service dog in training she previously worked with in Calif.
“Piccone loved to walk around and squeak this rubber chicken! It provided him with tons of entertainment, and he liked giving it to me to squeak and give back to him, and even squeaking it together!
Another favorite for many is Hugglehounds® pet toys. The organization is also a supporter of WCC, and featured two of WCC’s service dogs — Luke and Tommy II — in adorable, plush miniatures, which are for sale here.
WCC trainers recommend never leaving toys with unsupervised pets.
Special note: If purchasing gifts on Amazon, be sure to elect Warrior Canine Connection as your charity of choice on Amazon Smiles! The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price your eligible purchases to WCC. To-date, AmazonSmiles has helped raise more than $29,000 for WCC.
Trainer Michele Tate also recommends these Churro Cheese Dog Treats based on her experience with her own dogs.
“I love these because I have a dog who loves to chew and a dog who hates to chew, and they both enjoy these. They help clean up the farther back molars as well and they aren’t stinky and don’t leave any yucky residue or stains as they consume them.”
Alexis Baker enjoys giving her own dog duck necks and recommends them for medium or large dogs. She says, “These are great chews, and my dogs love to get these after a meal. The bones also help clean their teeth, while being soft enough to be less likely to damage their teeth, unlike marrow bones or antlers that have a high likelihood of damaging teeth.”
Another great idea includes a practical gift that is useful and will help keep your dog safe.
Alexis Baker shared one of her favorite safety items — a rechargable light up collar, which she says, “is great to help your dog be more visible at night!”
Gifts for Humans, too
Don’t forget to treat the humans in your life or perhaps yourself, too, with WCC’s annual holiday ornament. The 2022 edition features two options — a black or yellow Lab — with the WCC logo and they are available for purchase on the WCC website.
Another favorite is the WCC calendar, and 2023 is now available! Complete with adorable photos of WCC dogs; a new image will bring a smile to your face each month. Check out the 2023 WCC calendars here.
Happy holidays and happy shopping ahead!