I've participated almost every year that I've worked in an office that had a Secret Santa gift exchange. I know, I notoriously don't do Christmassy things, but I genuinely enjoy coming up with a great gift for someone. Last year, my musically inclined recipient requested "anything made of wood" for some strange reason, and I was so proud when he opened the thumb piano I'd bought him.
Anyway, almost every year, I've asked for something for my dogs. I never get specific -- I literally write "something for my dogs" -- because I assume some people enjoy hunting for the perfect gift (with just a teensy bit of guidance) as much as I do. Plus, I think it's a fun, low-pressure undertaking to shop for a creature that will pretty much love whatever you give them.
If you're shopping for someone who has a dog and you don't enjoy the thrill of the gift chase like I do, allow me to narrow down the overwhelming number of options. The following items, at a range of prices, will be appreciated by both humans and their canine companions.
Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Stunt Runner Dog Leash
I don't care that this contraption was "made especially for runners" -- any dog owner can appreciate it.
A hands-free leash that attaches to an adjustable belt is the perfect solution to my daily problem: Rufus choosing to poop after I've gotten my coffee on the way to the park, forcing me to put my coffee on the sidewalk while I reuse the plastic bag from my last trip to CVS. With this doohickey, I could pick up Rufus's poop while still holding my coffee! (Why did I think that would sound like an appealing solution?)
Also, I originally misread "Glo Stunt Dog" as "Go Slunt Dog," which made me like it more.
MALIN+GOETZ Dog Owner Gift Box
Perfect for anyone who loves beauty products as much as they love their dogs, this generous gift contains "grooming" products for both people and dogs.
MALIN+GOETZ includes some of their most popular body and hair products, like a full-size Eucalyptus Body Wash, Peppermint Shampoo, and Peppermint Bar Soap, and travel-size Cilantro Hair Conditioner and Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer. The centerpiece, though, is one of their latest products: a full-size Dog Shampoo, which is super-hydrating and gentle enough for sensitive-skinned doggies.
And luckily, if the $112 set isn't in your price range, you can get the shampoo alone for $28.
The Laundress Pet & Lint Brush
If you got your friend one of those $2 lint rollers made up of sticky, disposable sheets and claimed it was somehow a gift, they'd probably thank you out of sheer civility and ingrained commitment to the social contract. But if you got them this -- the fanciest lint brush in all the land -- the look on their face when they thank you would be one of sincere gratitude and also possibly surprise that such a thing exists. A hand-crafted lint brush? Who knew?!
Kiehl's Spray-N-Play Cleansing Spritz
If you're anything like my younger dog, Rufus, you have the intellect of an 18-month-old child and are afraid of the shower stall. That's why I'm hoping someone sends this Kiehl's spray my way.
It lets people freshen up their dogs when a full bath isn't in the cards -- no need for rinsing -- and it can even be used to spot-treat a dog's fur. That may sound ridiculous, treating a dog's coat like a couch or something, but you would not believe how many times I've found a patch of two-day-old ketchup in a random section of Rufus's fur.
Hillhouse Naturals Good Dog Soy Blend Candle
This is a super-nice way to tell your friend that their house smells way too much like dog without actually telling them. In addition to letting your human pal enjoy 50 hours worth of a relaxing amber, vanilla and lavender scent, the candle acts as an odor neutralizer every time it's burned.
If it's the gift recipient who has the intellect of an 18-month-old child, please remind them not to burn this candle and then leave their dog home alone. That would be the worst.
Halo Hooded Snuggler Pet Bed
I love the overall look of this dog bed -- the color and the shape are chic and simple, without looking like one of those dog beds that appear to be a glorified egg crate. It would definitely look great within a lot of different decor styles, including no definitive style.
Plus, the cocoon style is something my older, smaller dog, Max, would eagerly get comfortable in and leave only to eat and "go to the bathroom."
Boots & Barkley Trapper Hat
That pet bed may be limited as a gift for those with small dogs, but this friggin' adorable hat comes in sizes that fit dogs all the way up to 90 pounds. So, no matter what kind of dog your gift recipient has, they can put this on its cute, furry head and move its little bottom lip while reciting lines from "Fargo" and just laaaaaaugh and laaaaaaugh...
Pet Gear Easy Step
I can personally recommend these sturdy steps. I keep them at the foot of my bed, so Max -- who's almost 15 and doesn't have much of a spring in his step anymore -- can get on and off whenever he wants. In fact, whenever I pick him up to put him on the bed, he makes a grumpy sound that I interpret as "I'm still independent, you nitwit!" (He's the dog equivalent of being in his 90s, so he'd definitely say "nitwit.")
It's truly a thoughtful gift for someone with a small or senior dog, as long as you know the dog is allowed on the recipient's furniture. (If your friend is the unironic-plastic-on-the-couch type, maybe the lint brush is the way to go.)
Are you shopping for any dog owners this holiday season? What would you dog owners out there like to receive?