Puppy’s First Christmas: The Gift Guide

You need no excuse to shower your puppy with gifts, but those jingle bells a-ringin’ mean it’s time to spoil him with some extra-special presents. Santa has some great gift ideas this holiday season. Your biggest challenge will be keeping your pup from ripping open the wrapping paper before Christmas morning.

Puppy Play
It’s possible to keep your dog entertained for hours with the right toys. “Keep puppy busy by letting him play with an assortment of toys, including those that satisfy a puppy’s natural need to chew,” says Toni Eberhardt of PetSmart Corp. She recommends interactive throw-toys to strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. Buy a few to put under the tree and some to place in his stocking. Other fun toys:

  KONG Snowman Tugger Knots are always a puppy-pleaser. Available at PetSmart, $9.99 – $12.99.
Nylabone Puppy Chews in different sizes and colors are made for sharp little puppy teeth. Available at PetSmart, $2.99 – $14.99.
  Busy Buddy Bones come in a variety of sizes to fit all sizes of puppy mouths. The bristles, nubs and Gnawhide rawhide rings are irresistible. The Bouncy Bone is a gift that keeps on giving, because the toy unscrews for refilling with more treats. Available at Drs. Foster and Smith, $3.99 – $18.99.
KONG Wubba Tug ’N’ Tosses are soft and squeaky and provide hours of toss-and-play fun. Available at PetSmart, $3.97 – $6.97.

Holiday Fashionistas
Wearing holiday-themed clothes makes the season even more special, so why not dress up puppy for photo ops? He’ll look his Christmas cutest in warm and whimsical outfits. “They are so adorable and have the added benefit of helping reduce hair and dander on your furniture or beds” says Jodi Liddle of Drs. Foster and Smith. Other fashion favorites:
Cozy Thermal Jammies make sleepy time more snuggly. Available at Drs. Foster and Smith, $9.99 – 15.99.
The Reindeer Costume is among Liddle’s personal favorites. Available at Drs. Foster and Smith, $17.99.

Puppy Einsteins
Puppies need intellectual stimulation as much as they do physical exercise to develop into happy and healthy members of the family. “Intelligence toys and food dispensers help keep puppy’s mind sharp and busy,” says Darcie Krueger of SitStay.

The Yuppy Puppy Treat Machine is a terrific brain game. Available at SitStay.com, $37.95.
The KONG Wobbler and Buster Cube hard-food and treat dispensers make puppy work for his treats. Available at SitStay.com, $12.80 – $18.80.
The Orbee Tennis Ball and the Bounce ’N’ Play Ball can take a lot of physical abuse and provide hours of dynamic playtime. Available at SitStay.com, $9.00 – $17.60.


Nestled Snug in Their Beds

Of course your puppy loves napping in your lap, but he deserves to snooze in his own lap of luxury.

The Martha Stewart Bone Quilt Skyland Dog Bed “gives puppy his own place to feel safe and call his own,” says Eberhardt. Available at PetSmart, $49.99.
The Traditional Slumber Nest with orthopedic padding in puppy sizes is a favorite at Drs. Foster and Smith, $39.99 – $69.00.
Holiday Snuggler Toys are the perfect silky and plush puppy bedtime companions. Available at Drs. Foster and Smith, $8.99.
by Susan Hoffman