12.08.2011

Shopping for The Dog (or People With Dogs)

It's that time of year again! Whether you shop from the comfort of your own home, or you're masochistic enough to go trudging behind a slow herd of angst filled teenagers at the mall, here some out of the box things for dogs, and their people, this holiday season.



You can't pay me enough.
For The Dog You Love; The Owner You Might Not Love So Much:


I used to work in a coffee shop. Every Thursday, around 8pm, a woman came in with a child who was about 4 years old. I thought for the longest time that this was her own son. She would usually buy him a steamed milk with raspberry syrup in it (it really is a good drink for a cold night). They would play a game of checkers, and leave.

One evening, she got him a large hot chocolate with a shot of espresso in it. I must have had a "WTF" thought bubble over my head - because she explained that this was her sisters kid, and they had a fight earlier that day, and this was the most creative way she could get back at her. She thanked me, left me a $5.00 tip, and went to play checkers with her nephew.

This toy is EXACTLY THAT. The dog will love it. The humans will hate it after a few trials. All will be right with the world.




For The Dog Who Is Too Smart For Their Own Good; People Who Love To Make Things Difficult For Their Dogs Because It's Fun To Watch.

Many trainers, like myself, like to recommend food dispensing toys or stuffable toys to keep high energy & smart dogs busy for longer periods of time. Additionally, if you have a dog that gulps down their food faster than a Mercedes can hit 60mph, then you might also want to investigate these options.


  Aikiou Dog Feeder: This feeder has 14 compartments. The middle circle spins, exposing one compartment at a time. The 4 "toes" are 2 compartments each, and the dog has to push the sliding mechanism to expose more food.
Aikiou


Kong Wobbler:  This is the dog version of the Punch Me Clown.  You unscrew the bottom of the toy, put kibble or treats inside, screw the bottom back on, and leave it on the floor. The dog has to push the toy with his nose, dispensing a kibble. We have a version of this at home and we use it all the time.
Kong Wobbler

Other Options:  SitStay.com has a great list on their website of other toys, including the Linkables that I've mentioned once or twice. Riverdog in Union Square also has a variety of affordable puzzle toys for dogs, so shop local if you can!


For Dogs Who Love To Hike; People Who Love Bags

Yesterday, I inquired about a bag, and several of you emailed me back or posted in the comments bags that work for you. There were three that stick out -

One is the Osprey, found at REI. It has lots of exterior pockets for soggy tennis balls, and easy access to treats/poop bags, and can hold a collapsible water bowl, water, a long line, and plenty of room for a light coat if you need an extra layer/don't want to wear around an extra layer. It looks small, lightweight, and really functional.
Osprey Talon 11


My dog walking friend, Jordan, recommended the Timbuk2 Messenger Bag (Medium).  Here is her review:


Just wanted to add that I've used my Timbuktu messenger bag with quite a bit of success on walks.  I have the medium size I think--bought it several years ago for a different job.  I'll often put an umbrella or extra shirt in the main pocket, and then use the smaller pockets for whatever else I need.  The inside is lined with a waterproof material, which is great.  There are also several spots where you can easily clip keys.  It has two snaps/buckles where the flap folds over the rest of the bag.  I've slid a Chuck It into this part before and never had a problem with it falling out.  I like that you can adjust the straps so that the bag rests anywhere you'd like on your side or back.  The fabric is really durable, and you can custom design on their website.  I adore Etsy too, but I do appreciate how well made the Timbuktu bags are.
I think that says it all, from someone who works outside with dogs all day long. 




Lastly, I found this gem, which is exactly what I was looking for as someone who just wants a small, compact bag to sling over the shoulder, have easy access to a chuck it, and have poop bags readily accessible on the chest on the strap (there is a hidden nook for plastic poop bags so my leash doesn't have to wear anything bulky anymore). I also hate loosing my keys, so the small key pocket looks like it is really handy, too. I think I'm going to purchase this bag, and I'll give a full review later.


The Urban Dog Walker Sling Pack





For: The Dog for Whom No Toy Goes Un-shredded; The Human Who Hates Cleaning Up The Fluff From Shredded Toys


The Pogo Plush from Premier is a god-send for anyone who has a "shredder". This is a toy within-a toy. BRILLIANT! And, the best part is when your dog DOES shred this toy, there is no stuffing anywhere that you have to clean up.



Essentially,  it's 2 toys in one, and the first one is MADE to be destroyed. How clever!

For The Fashionista; Dog Without A Collar
Found on Etsy: Seller "Davir"

If you love (or know someone who loves) stylish accessories for their pet, look locally, or through Etsy. Sure, the big companies have some great collars and leashes, but I'm a fan of browsing Etsy, or shopping local to find just a little something for my pets, when I can. Some of my favorites include Davir on Etsy, Beez Louise (I usually purchase at Durty Harry's in Charlestown), and Dublin Dog (they offer a collar that is "no stink" - waterproof for dogs who swim all summer, comfortable, and easy to clean. AMAZING product, and functional!)



For: The Breed Enthusiast; The Silly; The Bumper; The Walls.


I've known about Obey the Purebred for awhile, but I keep forgetting to mention them here.

 They have tons of different breeds, and it looks like they have expanded to cats as well



So, what do you think? What are some other items that are your gift list, or that you are gifting to others this year? Leave a message in the comments with your favorite gift for dogs, or dog people.