Our Favorite Dog Products for 2023!
The most appreciative family member to shop for this holiday season is…your dog! They love anything you give them, their joy at receiving is unparalleled, and they never want to return your gifts. Buying for them is a lot easier than buying for the in-laws! To make sure they get a gift worthy of the love they give you every day, we have rounded up some of our favorite pet toys and comfort items sure to cause tail wagging and wet kisses! It is the season of Comfort and Joy, after all.
Toys! In the spirit of joy, we have compiled a list of toys to cause doggie delight and hours of fun as well as mental stimulation.
First up is a new doggie favorite, and one that won’t break the bank but will give endless enjoyment and promote exercise. We give you…The Bacon Ball! A bacon-scented ball in bright colors that squeaks and is rugged enough to last, this ball is a fan favorite in dog parks and beaches this year. The bacon scent has been known to cause ball envy and causes dogs who don’t normally like to play fetch to run for this prized toy. It also comes in a bacon scented frisbee.
For dogs that aren’t ball-obsessed but love a stuffy to carry around and will stand up to being de-stuffed, we love the goDog Chicken. It is durable and something about the long legs, the squeaker, and the crinkly texture make this the toy they will search for in the toybox and will cuddle up to in their bed. It also makes for a great game of tug of war!
Mental stimulation is key to keeping dogs happy and healthy, and to combat boredom. These types of toys are great for rainy days, for older dogs to keep their brain active, and because most dogs love the challenge.
Snuffle Balls and mats. The snuffle ball is a staff and pup favorite because it adds a little more challenge than the mat but with the same irresistible treat-finding game. Treats are hidden in the soft folds of the mat or ball, and your dog needs to sniff or snuffle until they find the hidden treats. Using their nose and honing in on the treats is a great mental exercise and so much fun for dogs of all ages.
Puzzle Toys. These toys are also based on the premise of finding treats, but with puzzle toys, your dog needs to locate the treat by smell and push or pull a door to get to the treat. Dogs are meant to hunt for their food, so these games tap into their instincts and also provide a fun challenge. Plus, all the thinking tires them out! One that we like in particular is the Outward Hound collection of puzzle toys.
The Pet Qwerks Babble Ball is almost as much fun for you as it is for your dog! It makes a series of sounds when it detects the vibrations of your pet (or you) walking by and will sing, bark, or growl, depending on your choice. It also lights up, making it easy for deaf dogs to locate. The sounds make it fun for dogs losing their sight to get in on the game. It is the only battery-powered toy we recommend but is a lot of fun for our senior canines and for dogs who love some novelty and surprise. Not meant to be thrown, this is a rolling floor toy.
A game of fetch never goes out of style, and the classic Chuckit with launcher is a perennial favorite. The ChuckIt balls are durable, they float, and are all-around fun, while the launcher saves your arm and allows for long throws for maximum exercise. You just can’t go wrong with this toy, and the floating aspect is great for older dogs who prefer swimming to running.
A ball within a ball? Why yes, and the rocking, rolling, floating Kong Jumbler Ball is a durable rubber ball with a tennis ball inside. It also has handles, so more than one dog can enjoy a game of tug of war, or chase and be endlessly intrigued by the tennis ball. This toy has been known to cause doggie theft at the park as it is a high-value and fun toy. They appreciate the handle for easy carrying and inviting a game, while you will like the handle for ease of throwing.
Comfort is as important as joy, and we would argue that you can’t have joy without being comfortable enough to play. Most dogs over the age of 7 — younger for large breeds — have age-related discomfort. Products for comfort and joint or stress release may not seem as much fun as a stuffed chicken or a bacon ball, but your dog will appreciate the relief and the ability to play without discomfort. We have chosen the best of the best to help your dog feel great this holiday season and every day.
First up, ElleVet Sciences CBD products for pets. This is hands down the best pet CBD product available and is the only pet CBD product backed by clinical trials at Cornell. Dogs respond dramatically in a matter of two to three days and for our older pups who have a hard time with stairs or getting in the car or are just slowing down, this is the best gift you can give. Stressed dogs or rescue dogs who need stress relief do fantastically well and there are products to cover both daily stress and occasional stress. We love the peanut butter soft chews and the emergency high-stress product called Calm and Comfort for specific uses such as thunderstorms or grooming.
Orthopedic Dog Beds. Our older dog may curl up on any soft surface without complaint, but an orthopedic dog bed can give fantastic support to old joints and alleviate pressure. Good sleep is important for everyone, including our pups, so a bed that will last and will keep them comfy is a great investment in their well-being. Our favorite orthopedic dog bed is the classic Orvis Memory Foam Dog Bed
For nervous or smaller dogs who like a bed they can use as a secure haven, the Deep Dish Cuddler with orthocomfort is a great combination of cuddly and stress reducing in one bed.
Dogs love massages as much as we do, and any age dog from puppy to super-senior can enjoy bonding time and a massage from you. A product we like that is a tried-and-true dog massage aid is the PetWell All Over Massage Roller. It is not battery-powered, just a handheld roller massage that dogs love and senior dogs will appreciate!
Gua Sha is a technique for helping with lymph drainage, circulation, and pain relief. It is often practiced by veterinarians trained in holistic care and can be extremely effective and enjoyable for your older dog. The Balanced Pet Vet carries both a Gua Sha tool and has an online course on how to use the tool (Paw Sha) for the best results! Dr. Tori is great at showing and explaining how to use this technique and tool.
Puppies and older dogs alike love snuggling up with a warming pad in their dog bed. It is relaxing and soothing and for puppies, reminding them of warm puppy piles with their littermates. For older dogs, it is a welcome relief for their sore joints. The Toozy Pet Heating Pad is a great choice with a timer and adjustable heat levels to keep your pup cozy and comfortable.
For puppies and for nervous dogs of any age, the Snuggle Puppy is a soft stuffed dog with a compartment for long-lasting and replaceable heat packs as well as an optional pulsing heartbeat to soothe any dog.
And finally, a product for keeping your dog cozy and comfortable on chilly days and nights, especially for old bones and dogs with short coats and minimal body fat. Our favorite jackets to help make cold days fun are the Flannel Sherpa Dog Vest from L.L.Bean, which is soft and reversible and the Bean’s Insulated dog jacket which is basically a puffer for your dog.
Canada Pooch makes puffers with built-in harnesses for convenience that are waterproof, and the company has jackets in all levels of warmth, so we like the variety and the quality.
We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for making your dog’s holiday full of fun and full of comfort. They deserve the best and are always good boys and good girls. These suggestions and gift ideas are strictly for pets to enjoy and benefit from, so if you are looking for ideas on what to give the pet lovers on your list, check out our Guide to Gift Giving for Pet Lovers!