Entertaining the kids over the Christmas/New Year holidays can be stressful enough. But you won’t have to worry about keeping Fido happy with these great Christmas gift ideas for dogs!
We’ve asked a range of dog loving experts for their ideas to keep dogs entertained and happy. Some of these Christmas gift ideas for dogs you can make at home for free and others are toys you can buy. There is something for every dog breed. Don’t forget your moggie, we have great Christmas gift ideas for indoor cats too!
Christmas gift ideas for dogs
1. Homemade snuffle box
Check out this short video by Sydney based positive dog trainer, Louise Newman at Let’s Go Fido on how to make your very own snuffle box in a few easy steps. Not only do you entertain your dog while he hunts for treats in the box, you also recycle your rubbish. And this fun game costs nothing!
2. Wading pool
Some dogs adore water so why not encourage it. Shallow moulded plastic children’s pools (clam shells) can be purchased quite cheaply.
Ensure that the dog can easily get out and that it is just paddling depth, then drop some toys or treats, even vegetables such as carrot pieces or whole apples which will float and encourage him to play.
An alternative would be to drop the same floating goodies or toys in his water bucket.
3. Food toys
Replace feeding your dog from a bowl with a toy that is stuffed with food. There are many food puzzles out there to choose from. The food toy expels food when it is pushed around by the dog. This is mental stimulation for your dog and it takes much longer to consume his breakfast.
An idea for a hot day is to put your dog’s favourite food in a food puzzle toy, freeze it for a couple of days, then give it to your dog to lick until it melts away.
Nigel Allsopp, President and Director of Australian War Animals Memorial Organisation
More about KONG food toys for dogs.
4. Nose work game ‘Go find it’
‘My dog, Cruz and I have been doing K9 Nose Work since he was six months old. He also LOVES roast chicken and will pretty much do anything for it! I combine his two loves to play ‘find it’ games at home.
I ask him to sit in a room or walk around the house while I place pieces of roast chicken in various hiding spots, such as bookshelves, inside shoes, on door handles, under the kids’ toys, on the floor, and then I ask him to ‘find it’ and off he goes on a sniffing adventure!’
Pet Journo, Caroline Zambrano
5. Frisbee or rubber ball
A new Frisbee or rubber ball for your dog is a great way for both you and your best friend to spend time together and get exercise at the same time.
If you’re out in the sunshine why not put a new pair of Doggles (sunglasses for dogs) on your best friend?
Dr David Neck, Australian Veterinary Association.
6. Snuffler mat
Snufflers are fantastic for dogs who are left on their own for a while.
Simply sprinkle food in the snuffler, hide it well and the dog will search for it. A snuffler can be taken on day excursions or holidays to keep your dog relaxed and occupied.
Lara Kirschner from online shop, Fur Legged Family
7. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Stomp Launcher
One stomp is all it takes to launch any standard tennis ball up to 100 feet! An ideal toy for the serious tennis ball chasers. You just stomp on it and… Poof! It will assist in preventing sore shoulders from all that continuous ball throwing using your arm.
Jason Alvanos, Melbourne based positive dog trainer at DreamDogz.
8. Aussie Dog ‘Home Alone’
Bored or frustrated dogs can quickly become destructive dogs. Here’s a game that will help entertain your dog when he is at home alone. The Aussie Dog Home Alone is designed to stimulate your best friends five natural senses of taste, smell, sound, sight and touch.
Dry food can be placed in the ball which is then randomly dispensed whilst the internal rattle provides extra stimulation. The Home Alone size is based on your dog’s weight – the Medium Home Alone is for dogs that are 10 – 30kg.