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Best gifts for dogs

These low-cost, high-impact gifts are among the best gifts for dogs this holiday season from Greg Knows Dogs.

Confession time: I’m not a great shopper—at least when it comes to my human family members. But when it comes to my dog Maksim, I am happy to shop long and hard to give him the gift of wellness all year. While there are many expensive toys and gadgets available, some of the most appreciated gifts don’t require a big budget. 

Here are some low-cost, high-reward gift ideas to keep your pup happy and healthy at the holidays and throughout the year:

Dental care essentials

How often do you brush your dog’s teeth? Does your dog have stinky breath? Consider what dogs put in their mouth in a typical day. Yuck! 

Regular dental care is essential for your dog’s overall health. Good news: Greenies make great stocking stuffers—and keep your dog’s breath fresh and remove plaque.

Cozy dog beds

Did you know the average dog sleeps 12–14 hours a day? With that kind of snoozing, a comfortable bed makes a thoughtful gift. A dog bed provides support and a designated space for your pup to relax, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Dog beds come in all shapes, sizes and levels of firmness, not to mention price points. You can even create a DIY dog bed from old pillows and blankets. For instance, my wife made Maksim’s bed from our old, beat-up pillows and “egg crate”-style foam covered in fabric.

Interactive tech

From automatic feeders to GPS trackers, tech has become integral to how we care for our dogs. Away at work all day and missing your pup? You can purchase a pet camera with audio so you can see, talk and interact with your dog, no matter where you are. Does your dog tend to roam? In addition to an identification tag and microchip, consider investing in a pet tracker that uses cellular, GPS or radio frequency technology to quickly find them if they stray from home.

Heating or Cooling Pads

Whether you live in a climate with extreme temperatures or have an aging dog with the typical aches and pains, a heating or cooling pad can be great to keep your dog comfortable. In Virginia, where temperatures can soar in the summer, it’s especially important to be mindful about preventing any overheating. 

Variety of toys

Dogs are naturally playful, and having a variety of toys will help keep them active and entertained. Just like humans and our playthings, dogs can never have enough toys. From chewable bones to Frisbees, from tennis balls to plush squeak toys, it’s best to have a variety of toys to keep your dog active and entertained. Provide an assortment of chew toys, plush toys, squeaky toys, and balls to keep your dog engaged and prevent boredom.


All of that said, the best present you can get your dog can’t be bought in a store or purchased online. Your time and attention cost you nothing—but mean the world to your dog.  Schedule extra walks or playtime sessions to bond with your furry friend during the busy holiday season, and remember to prioritize quality time and familiar routines to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Greg Knows Dogs provides in-home dog training in Virginia’s Bayview, Chelsea, Ghent, Larchmont and Ocean View neighborhoods.