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Choosing Fido’s Holiday Gifts
December 16, 2023

Season’s Greetings! With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to spread the cheer to our furry friends. Don’t forget to pick up a few things for Fido! Man’s Best Friend deserves to be spoiled a bit, for all of the love, laughter, tail wags, and affection he provides. A local  Fayetteville, NC vet offers some suggestions in this article

What Does Fido Actually Want?

We all know that Man’s Best Friend is very fond of toys and treats. In fact, if your furry buddy could actually write out a Christmas list, it would probably look something like this:

  • Bacon
  • Toys
  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Tennis Balls
  • Bacon
  • More Car Rides
  • Mud Puddles
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Toys

Fortunately for us, there are plenty of other options. 

Got a yard? Your pet may enjoy a doghouse to look adorable in. Subscription boxes—or pupscription boxes—are another great bet. Fido will get his own box of goodies in the mail every month. Watching him open it is bound to be adorable, and may be just as fun for you as it is for him.

If your furry best buddy is on the anxious side, he may enjoy calming products, such as a weighted shirt, or pheromone treats. Then there are high-tech options, like smart toys, automated feeders, and the like. Another thing we suspect some of our patients will be trying out soon? Programmable paw pads. These let dogs ‘speak’ certain words by pressing on specific pads. Some pups are remarkably adept at this! (Then again, they may also just have figured out that it’s a new way to beg for treats.)


Making sure that your pup can sleep comfortably is very important. A thin pad won’t protect Fido’s bones and joints from chilly floors, and won’t offer much support as he’s dreaming of bacon and squirrels. Orthopedic beds are the standard these days, especially for larger pups and senior dogs. That said, dogs do have their own preferences when it comes to beds.

Does Fido like to stamp down his bedding before he gets comfy? He may like a beanbag bed, which will let him arrange his sleeping spot exactly the way he likes it. If your furry friend tends to stretch out, he may just want a plain bed, as raised edges may cramp his stretch-all-the-way-out style. Pooches with thin fur may appreciate a heated or thermal bed, whereas small dogs and nervous pups often like the added feeling of security that beds with raised edges provide.

Stocking Stuffers For Dogs

This probably goes without saying, but chews and treats are always good stocking stuffers. You can also add some small grooming supplies. Fido may not be too excited about paw balm, but he will appreciate the benefits of having smooth paw pads instead of rough, cracked skin. Dental products and brushes also fall into that category. (Bacon-flavored bubbles will also get that tail going.) Ask your Fayetteville, NC vet for recommendations!

Gifts For Active Dogs

Is your canine companion a bouncing ball of fur? Look for toys and gifts that will keep him entertained. Automatic ball launchers are a great choice for pooches who love to chase tennis balls. Just pick something that’s the right size for your pet. Large breeds can choke on balls meant for smaller pups!

Does Fido have a tendency to race off after every squirrel he sees? Do you have a four-legged escape artist on your hands? Consider getting GPS-enabled tags, to help you keep track of your furry runaway.

Gear For Fido

We’ve come a long way since the basic leash and collar. These days, most of our canine pals prefer harnesses, which are more comfortable and also don’t restrict Fido’s breathing. If you often walk your pet at night, take advantage of holiday sales and pick up a leash with a built-in flashlight. If you and your pooch enjoy hiking, look for a harness that will allow your canine pal to carry some of his own things. Another great gift for the doggo that’s always on the go? A water bottle with an attached dispenser.

What Are Suitable Gifts For Puppies?

Our canine friends never stop being charming, but they really are ridiculously cute as puppies. During that adorable toddler stage, little Fido is pretty much a chewing machine. Look for sturdy toys that will hold up to all that gnawing. Kong toys are a great option for these, but they aren’t the only choice out there. 

How Do I Choose Safe Dog Gifts?

No matter what you’re buying for Fido, you’ll want to put safety first. Avoid getting anything with small parts or sharp edges: these are serious choking hazards! We would also advise checking the label before buying anything. Try to stick with items made in North America: products from overseas are not subject to the same quality standards, and may not be as safe. In fact, studies have found several unsafe substances, including PVC, BPA, chromium, bromine, and phthalates, in dog toys. 

Choosing Gifts For Your Dog

When picking out gifts for Fido, consider his size, age, and breed. A stocking full of tennis balls may be a great option for a Golden Retriever, but won’t get much use from a Pomeranian. Your pup’s tastes will also change over time. Puppies need lots of chew toys, as well as toys that keep them active and entertained. A senior, however, may prefer something that’s soft on his mouth, or perhaps something that lights up.

Your dog’s personality also factors in. Some toys are fine for some pups, but unsafe for others. For instance, stuffed animals are very popular with our four-legged friends. Many dogs play with them without issue. Others? Not so much. Some dogs are determined to remove and try to eat the squeaker. That is definitely not safe! 

We’d also advise being careful with rawhide. Pups that are strong chewers can break off pieces, and may even ingest them. That’s not only a serious choking risk, there’s also a chance of serious gastrointestinal injuries or blockages if the piece is swallowed. Ask your vet for more information.

Holiday Gifts For Dog Lovers

Don’t forget about Fido’s buddies! If your friends and family have pets of their own, then sending a small gift to their pups can be a sweet gesture. Homemade dog treats are a good option for this. There are some great recipes online! You can also offer store-bought snacks, of course. Gift cards to pet stores are also a safe bet. If your loved one has a heart for charities, consider donating to an animal rescue in their name.

Fido’s Number One Request: Time With You

At the end of the day, all your furry friend really wants is to hang out with you! Dogs get very, very attached to their humans. Don’t forget that the holiday season can be stressful for pets. All the commotion, decorations, events, travel, and schedule changes can be quite a lot for Man’s Best Friend to cope with. Be sure to carve out some quiet quality time with your furry best friend. Remember to snap some cute photos of your pooch playing with his new things!All of us here at Cross Creek Animal Hospital, your local Fayetteville, NC pet hospital wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. Please feel free to contact us for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs.