Style | Style http://www.dogster.com/dog-style Style en-us Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:00 -0800 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:00 -0800 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Orion <![CDATA[11 Great Dog Calendars for 2015]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/2015-dog-calendars-rescue-dogs-adoption We are rapidly coming to the end of 2014. I know this because of the three calendars surrounding my desk, every single one of them dog-themed! I bet you have at least one calendar that you or someone on your holiday shopping list needs to replace for the new year. That makes this the perfect time to share my favorite dog-themed calendars for 2015.

1. McCartney's Dogs

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Soda Jerk (Photo courtesy of Mike McCartney)

Canine artist Mike McCartney has been creating calendars since 2002, and he tells us that each one takes about 20 weeks, with him working eight to 12 hours a day, seven days a week to put it together. He shared the above image with us, which can be found in his 2015 calendar. Look at the detail. No wonder it takes so long!

2. Pawprints on Your Soul

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BZTAT Calendar Art (Photo courtesy of BZTAT Studios)

This calendar features works by contemporary artist BZTAT. Each beautifully unique portrait is digitally manipulated by using a variety of mobile-app filters.

3. The Amazing Dog Show

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Calendar cover (Photo courtesy of Calendars.com)

Featuring fantastical images by photographer Lisa Jane, this calendar takes you inside the wonderful world of an all-dog three-ring circus. The strongman -- I mean strongpup -- acrobats, clowns, and ringmaster all make an appearance.

4. Harlow and Indiana

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Calendar cover photo (Photo courtesy of the Harlow and Sage Facebook page)

This adorably expressive duo has won the hearts of followers on Facebook and Instagram. Now they have a calendar, too. For their most dedicated fans, there is even an appearance by Sage, who has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, and their newest addition to the pack, Reese Lightening.

5. Monika Melnychuk

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January's artwork (Photo courtesy of Monika Melnychuk's Facebook page)

Illustrator Monika Melnychuk brings out the personality of our favorite breeds. At her Etsy shop, she lists one of her hobbies as "dog herding," and her love of animals shows in her work.

6. Bick's Pits

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Bick's Pits (Photo courtesy of Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation Facebook page)

Earlier this month, we highlighted Dogster Heroes the Boston Bruins and the team's 2015 calendar to raise money for shelter dogs. They aren't the only hockey players looking out for pups. Chicago Blackhawk Bryan Bickell and his wife, Amanda, run a foundation that helps increase awareness about the positive nature of Pit Bulls, including the work they do with the foundation to help abused children. Bick's Pits 2015 Calendar pairs up his teammates with adoptable Pit Bulls to support the foundation's efforts.

7. Flower Power

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Cali (Photo courtesy of Sophie Gamand Photography's Facebook page)

When photographer Sophie Gamand put flowered headbands on Pit Bulls looking for their forever homes and posted her pictures on social media, we all melted. Gamand's series of photos were meant to present these dogs in a different light and to fight the prejudices that the breed often endures. A collection of these beautiful photographs can be found in a calendar that raises money to benefit the three rescue groups whose dogs are featured in the series: Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Second Chance Rescue, and Animal Haven.

8. Who Rescued Whom?

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2015 calendar (Photo courtesy of bwar.org)

"Who rescued whom?" It's a question asked by anyone who has given a forever home to a rescue animal. This calendar features the touching stories and pictures of 12 former shelter dogs and their humans. Proceeds benefit the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

9. Tiny Dog

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The Tiny Calendar (Photo courtesy of Teresa Berg Photography Facebook page)

The dogs in this tiny calendar, 5x10 inches, would make even the Grinch's heart grow bigger! Teresa Berg, a Dallas-based artist, designs this stocking-stuffer-size calendar each year to support local animal rescues.

10. A Dog's Life

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A Dog's Life (Photo courtesy of Papryus)

Illustrator Gemma Correll highlights the parts of our dog's personality that make us giggle, moan, and then giggle again. From the ongoing cycle of eating, throwing up, and eating again, to those accidents on the rug that your pup sees as "just a misunderstanding," Correll shows us the funnier side of pup antics that sometimes make us crazy.

11. I Could Chew on This

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Calendar cover (courtesy of Amazon.com)

Author Francesco Marciuliano's book of the same name inspired this humorous calendar. Inside, you will find portraits of mischievous pups along with poems that, in their own words, help you to better understand their behavior or, better yet, misbehavior.

Let us know what your favorite dog calendar is and why in the comments!

Read more gift guides on Dogster:

About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of "always be closing" to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy's new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/2015-dog-calendars-rescue-dogs-adoption
<![CDATA[14 Super-Deluxe Holiday Gifts for Dogs and Their Owners]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/luxury-gifts-dogs-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping They say money can't buy you love, and while that's certainly true in the case of your dog -- who, let's be real, just wants you to give her kisses, treats, long walks, and lots and lots of scratches -- that doesn't mean you don't want to pamper your pup once in a while. And what better excuse than the holidays to go all out with a totally indulgent gift she'll either love forever... or totally ignore. (Oh, dogs.)

We found 14 luxurious gifts (and one or two for the dog lovers in your life) that range from practical to indulgent to completely over the top. And if these don't fit into your budget, no worries: Your dog is bound to love that old tennis ball you found under the couch just as much as she would any of these things. Well, except maybe the diamond collar.

1. Luxe Upholstered Dog Bed from Restoration Hardware

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Whether it's an industrial-style bed with swiveling casters or a bed fit for a king (Louis XVI, to be exact), Restoration Hardware's pet beds will make pups (and owners) feel very pampered indeed.

$379 to $649 at Restoration Hardware

2. PetziConnect from Petzilla

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Now you never have to be apart from your pup again. Well ... kinda. PetziConnect is a magical device that allows owners to remotely "see" (video), "speak to" (audio), "snap" (take pictures and videos of), and, wait for it ... "treat" (dispense treats). Yup, you can tell Spot to "sit" and then give him a treat for doing it, all from the comfort of your cubicle 25 miles away. All you need is Wi-Fi in your house and a smart device. The future is here. It's not available until January 2015, but this one is so cool that we're sure whoever you gift it to will be more than happy to wait.

$169 at Petzilla (in January)

3. Diamond Scotty Dog Pendant from Tiny Treasures  

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If you know a Scotty lover (or fine, probably ANY dog lover), this 18K white-gold and diamond Scotty Dog pendant made by Venetian jewelry designer Roberto Coin will make the perfect gift for her. You also can choose from an owl, frog, or butterfly, so there's likely something for all the animal lovers in your life. Or at least the ones you love a lot -- A LOT a lot.

$1,160 at Roberto Coin

4. Bulldog Cuff Links from Tateossian

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And for the dude dog lover in your life -- Bulldog cuff links crafted from precisely textured metal and fiberglass with faceted Swarovski crystal eyes, of course. These might actually make him look forward to putting on a suit. Maybe.

$185 at Neiman Marcus

5. My Pet Speaker from Pet Acoustics

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Sure, YOU love to bounce around the bedroom to Taylor Swift, but did you ever think about the fact that your dog hears frequencies that are way out of our range and therefore might actually experience pain when listening to your music? My Pet Speaker is designed to eliminate those unsettling frequencies. Though, unfortunately, there is nothing it can do about your singing.

$249 at Trixie + Peanut

6. Cashmere Pet Pillow from the Elegant Hare

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Is it a little indulgent? Sure. But just think about how much you love the feel of a great cashmere sweater. Are you really going to keep that amazingness from your dog? Plus, this particular pillow is argyle on one side and light blue on the other, so it's like two pillows for the price of, well ... a lot more than that. Still: cashmere!

$199 at Elegant Hare

7. Maggie Ottoman from Soft Surroundings

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It's a dog house. It's an ottoman. It's an end table. It's a dog house that's an ottoman that's an end table? Now your tired dogs and your tired dog can all take a load off in the same place. Chic.

$199 to $299 at Soft Surroundings

8. Custom Pet Painting from Design by Matea

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Just send in your favorite photo, and this artist will turn it into a 30-by-30-inch piece of original art using fun patterns and colors. You know you want to!

$1,500 at Design by Matea on Etsy

9. Large Dog Blueprints from Uncommon Goods

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Created in the style of mid-century blueprints (designed by architect "I. M. Paws"), this detailed illustration of your chosen breed is accompanied by "design specs" and documentation about breed origins and temperament, comes framed at 24-by-33 inches, and it has a definite sophisticated vibe.

$265 at Uncommon Goods

10. Dog Carrier from Louis Vuitton

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Sure, $2,690 is an inordinate amount to spend on a pet carrier. Unless you have to carry your dog every single day? Maybe? The good news: The carrier comes in LV's monogrammed canvas, so at least everyone will know you spent a ton of money on it. Oh, and it's resistant to water and scratches and has a washable lining, all good things since your pooch will have no idea he's in one of the most expensive dog carriers known to man.

$2,690 at Louis Vuitton

11. Outdoor Dog Chaise Lounger from Sharper Image

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Sure, it's chilly outside now (in most parts of the country), but the warm weather will be here soon enough and doesn't Miss Muffinhead deserve a comfy spot in the shade while lounging next to you poolside? Now fetch her a glass of water. Please.

$299.99 at Sharper Image

12. Burley Tail Wagon Pet Stroller/Bike Trailer

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Sure your dog loves to run around, but probably he also really likes to be carried. Now you can take him everywhere you go -- even on those long walks and bike rides -- because this pet stroller converts into a bike trailer. It even has a weatherproof cover to protect against rain and snow. No more excuses about how you can't go on a long hike because Buster will be too tired. #sorry

$399 at REI

13. Dog Leash from Gucci

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This 47-inch leash comes in Gucci's signature green/red/green pattern with black leather trim, and while Tiger won't have a clue he's on the end of such a fancy leash, all the dog moms at the park are sure to notice. Hopefully?

$530 from Gucci

14. Diamond Dog Collar from La Jeune Tulipe 

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This La Jeune Tulipe dog collar features a 1.52-carat marquise-cut diamond along with an intricate arrangement of a bunch of other diamonds because, like the saying goes, "Diamonds are a dog's best friend." Or something like that.

$150,000 at the Posh Puppy Boutique

Share your gift suggestions! 

Found any great gifts for dogs and their owners? Share the bounty in the comments!

Read more holiday gift guides on Dogster:

About the Author: Daisy Barringer grew up in San Francisco and didn't let the fact that she's a city girl keep her from getting her dream dog: a Saint Bernard. She and Monkey love to romp in the snow in Tahoe, visit dog-friendly bars, watch 49ers football, and drool. Yup, both of 'em.

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Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/luxury-gifts-dogs-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping
<![CDATA[10 Eco-Friendly Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers and Their Dogs]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/eco-friendly-holiday-gifts-dog-lovers-dogs-christmas-hanukkah If you're looking for eco-friendly holiday gift ideas for the dog lovers and dogs in your life, check out these 10 recommendations.

1. Quencher Travel Bowl from Ruffwear

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For a dog on the go, the Quencher collapsible travel bowl is the perfect eco-friendly companion. Made with recycled polyester, it's also convenient and practical. The travel bowl is waterproof, lightweight, and machine washable, and it folds into a compact size that fits easily into a pocket or a pack. Available in three different sizes, it's the ideal gift for a dog who hikes with his human.

$14.95 at Ruffwear

2. Orbee-Tuff Lil' Bulb with Treat Spot
 from Planet Dog

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Any pup's eyes would light up like a holiday tree upon unwrapping these Orbee-Tuff Lil' Bulbs. Although they look like vintage Christmas lights, these non-toxic, eco-friendly, and recyclable toys are tough and durable. Slip a special holiday snack into the treat spot, and this gift keep a pup busy during the holiday dinner.

$9.95 at Planet Dog

3. Bungee Bone from the Good Dog Company

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Engage the recipient in a friendly game of tug-of-war with the Bungee Bone. This durable dog toy is made with hemp and organic cotton fabric, and filled with 100-percent naturally grown, unprocessed hemp fiber. It's also machine washable, so simply toss it in the wash when it gets dirty.

$18.99 at the Good Dog Company

4. Hemp Star Dog Lead from Muttropolis

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Move over VY Canis Majoris because there's a new star in the sky. While it might not be a red hypergiant star, the Hemp Star Dog Lead will boldly go wherever its wearer wants to walk. The eco-friendly leash features triple-layer, 100-percent hemp-canvas construction with contoured, quick-release hardware. Available in two lengths (four feet and six feet) and three color combinations, you're sure to find the right fit to give.

$29 to $35 at Muttropolis

5. Big Sky Reindeer from West Paw Design

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The Big Sky Reindeer is handcrafted in the USA from excess fabric. This dog toy is soft and fuzzy on the outside, and it features a sewn-in squeaker and recycled-fiber fill on the inside. It's the perfect stocking stuffer for a furry best friend, but this cheery red reindeer is only available while supplies last as it's part of West Paw Design's seasonal collection, so get it ASAP.

$19.95 from West Paw Design

6. Safari Rectangle Dog Bed from Harry Barker

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A dog would feel like a pampered pooch on Harry Barker's Safari Rectangle Hemp Dog Bed. With its decadent print and expansive surface, this dog bed is like a king-size human bed at a four-star hotel. The stylish luxury also doesn't sacrifice practicality or eco-friendliness. The bed's stuffing is made from recycled plastic bottles, and the hemp cover is preshrunk and machine washable.

$150 and up at Harry Barker

7. Winter Wonderland Organic Gift Box from Paw Street Bakery

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The holidays are always filled with tasty treats, and there's no reason why Fido should miss out on the fun. Paw Street Bakery offers a delightful Winter Wonderland sampler gift box filled with organic, carob-dipped dog treats, such as Peanut Butter Pup Cups, Star Shaped Big Dippers, and Peanut Butter Pup Cup Barkscotti. Each treat is baked using human grade ingredients and sprinkled with love.

$11.99 and up from Paw Street Bakery

8. ecoFLEX Rustic Lodge at Home Depot

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This outdoor dog house will shelter a furry pal from both hot and cold weather. The ThermoCore Super Insulated Dog House is made with ecoFLEX, a composite blend of post-consumer recycled polymers and wood fibers. It's resistant to pests, rot, weather, and moisture. 

$169 and up at Home Depot

9. Quinzee Insulated Dog Jacket from Ruffwear

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The sleek and stylish Quinzee insulated dog jacket is the doggy version of the puffy coat. It has a 40-percent recycled-polyester shell along with 50-percent recycled-synthetic insulation to provide extra protection from cold weather. The jacket also features side-release buckles for easy on and off as well as reflective trim for staying safe on nighttime walks. Tuck one of these under the holiday tree and the dog who gets it will be extra excited to head outside.

$84.85 at Ruffwear

10. Recycled rubber "Fetch" placemat at Ore Originals

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Made in the USA from recycled rubber, this placemat is a whimsical yet practical gift for the dog lover in your life. It comes in two sizes for both small and big dogs alike, and its non-slip surface holds bowls in place while protecting your floor from spills.

$19 at Ore Originals

Share your gift suggestions! 

Found any great gifts for dogs and their owners? Share the bounty in the comments!

Read more holiday gift guides on Dogster:

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will.  Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.

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Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/eco-friendly-holiday-gifts-dog-lovers-dogs-christmas-hanukkah
<![CDATA[11 Games and Gadget Gifts for Techie Dog Lovers ]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-games-gadgets-holiday-gifts-christmas-hanukkah The holiday season is in full swing, and these days that means there are new tech toys and games for you and your favorite pups to check out. Whether dog-themed downloadable apps for fun and research or new electronic devices to help improve the quality of play sessions, here are 11 digital diversions -- both long-loved favorites and new-to-the-market items -- to give as gifts or keep for yourself.

1. Dog TV

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Do you dream of a cable TV station created especially for canine viewers? Well, Dog TV is just that, offering what is billed as "thought-provoking content" for the modern dog. This would make an excellent gift for yourself and the pups in your home.

$6.99 and up at DogTV.com; the channel also airs on DIRECTV

2. PAW Patrol Rescue Run

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Run and jump along with the Paw Patrol team of super pups in this cartoonish game based on the Nickelodeon franchise.

$3.99 at iTunes and Google Play

3. Kinectimals Unleashed

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Take control of one of 85 four-legged furries and explore the canine isle of Villeria in this expansive sandbox game.

Free (with in-app purchases) at iTunes and Windows

4. PetCube Camera

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The PetCube Camera box offers a fresh twist on the world of Wi-Fi-enabled dog cameras by allowing you to engage in exercise sessions with your pet. Wondering how it works? Simple, you download the app on your phone and control a laser pointer that your dog can chase! 

$199 at PetCube

5. Pet Vet Doctor - DOGS Rescue

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Fulfill your secret desire to become a master of the veterinarian sciences in this canine-centric medical simulation game.

Free (with in-app purchases) at the App Store and Google Play

6. PetziConnect Treat Cam

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Thanks to the wonders of Wi-Fi, the PetziConnect Treat Cam lets you stay in touch with your beloved dog even while you're away at work. Through the built-in HD camera, you can take a peek at your pooch, record video, and even facilitate a quick treat session!

$169.99 and up at PetziConnect's IdieGogo page

7. Sunburn!

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This tricky new game co-stars a space cadet pup!

$2.99 at iTunes

8. Foobler

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The Foobler smart toy uses a mechanical alarm to time play sessions and treat at reward intervals.

$39.99 at Cynjo 

9. Weather Puppy

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Add Weather Puppy to your morning tech routine and enjoy daily weather dispatches presented by puppies.

Free (with in-app purchases) at the iTunes

10. iFetch

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Let iFetch help out when it comes to playtime with your dog, as this electronic toy flings out small balls for your pup to chase all day long. We tested it at Dogster!

$99.95 at iFetch

11. Bread Puppies

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A spin-off of the popular Bread Kittens game, Bread Puppies is a beguilingly bizarre collect-'em-all title set in the off-kilter world of Woofshire.

Free (with in-app purchases) at iTunes

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great gifts for dogs and their owners? Share the bounty in the comments!

Read more holiday gift guides on Dogster:

About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world's foremost expert on rappers' cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it's not quite what you think it is.

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Tue, 16 Dec 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/dog-games-gadgets-holiday-gifts-christmas-hanukkah
<![CDATA[8 Hanukkah Gifts for Dogs and Dog Lovers]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/hanukkah-gifts-presents-holiday-shopping Does your dog prefer latkes to Liv-a Snaps? Do your dog-loving friends have a Festival of Lights instead of Christmas lights? Hanukkah is right around the corner, and toys, clothes, and treats for dogs themed to the holiday are readily available, as are related gifts for the humans in their lives.

Here are eight gift ideas -- for the eight nights of Hanukkah, of course -- that dogs and their owners are sure to enjoy.

1. Multipet's Singing Dreidel Plush Toy 

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It's dry, and it's ready. Instead of a traditional chew-toy squeak, this fuzzy singing dreidel plays the classic "I Have a Little Dreidel" when you squeeze it, adding an extra layer of fun for your dog. Its 6 1/2-inch size is perfect for small and large breeds alike, as it's easy to carry from room to room and floor to couch, as demonstrated in this short clip of our dog, Rocky, who never met a toy he didn't like.

$10.99 at Amazon (also available at your local pet-supply store)

2. Spoiled for Eight Days T-shirt from Pampered Puppy

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Let's face it, our dogs are spoiled rotten pretty much every day, and rightly so! They're awesome! But for Hanukkah, you can let your dog show off his pampered life with this fun shirt from Pampered Puppy. It comes in eight different colors and seven different sizes to fit boys and girls of all breeds.

$22.99 at Pampered Puppy

3. Jonathan Adler-designed Dog Menorah from the Jewish Museum

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Designed by Jonathan Adler, the lead judge on Bravo's Top Design program, this 5-inch-by-15-inch menorah is shaped like a Dachshund and incorporates Adler's signature all-white ceramic-relief pattern. Looking for a less-pricey option? Menorah.com offers several dog-themed menorahs, including one with nine miniature pups as candleholders.

$128 at The Jewish Museum and $45 at Menorah.com

4. Copa Judaica Chewish Treat Hanukkah Menorah Squeaker 

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Funny, it looks chewish! Rocky’s back to show us how much he loves playing with his new menorah, a squeaky toy in the shape of Hanukkah's iconic symbol of the Festival of Lights. Rocky loves chewing on the base, as well as playing with each fuzzy candle individually. Like the dreidel, the menorah is easy for pups large and small to maneuver and carry.

$12.79 at Amazon (also available at your local pet-supply store)

5. Star of David GoldenDoodle Coffee Mugs from Zazzle

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What could be more fun than a dog wearing a yarmulke inside the Star of David? Perhaps your own dog wearing a yarmulke inside the Star of David? This playful design comes in 100-plus different breeds, and you also can place your own dog in the design by contacting FrankzPawPrintz for a custom job. 

$23.95 at Zazzle

6. Happy Hanukkah coat from Pampered Puppy

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Sometimes Hanukkah starts early, like it did in 2013. Other years, it's closer to Christmas on the calendar. Either way, it's going to be chilly outside, so why not keep your pup warm on those late-season walks in a Hanukkah-themed coat. This blue velour coat with detailed stitching comes in eight different sizes and will keep him toasty warm as he display his Jewish pride at holiday time.

$37.99 at Pampered Puppy

7. How to Raise a Jewish Dog

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Sure, you can dress him in a yarmulke and a tallis, and feed him Kosher treats. But to truly convert your canine to Judaism is no laughing matter. Or is it? In the brilliant parody book, How to Raise a Jewish Dog, the self-proclaimed "rabbis" of the Boca Raton Theological Seminary reveal their training methodology -- heavy on passive-aggressiveness and smothering indulgence -- for raising your Jewish dog.

Written by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, co-authors of the bestselling Yiddish with Dick and Jane and Yiddish with George and Laura, this essential "guide" is sure to have you howling with laughter.

$11.16 for paperback and $8 for Kindle at Amazon 

8. Hanukkah Treats from DogParkPublishing

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These delicious Hanukkah treats are made with a crunchy peanut-butter dough and covered with peanut butter, yogurt, or carob frosting. The seven-piece selection includes a large Shalom bone, a Happy Hanukkah bar, a winter mitten, a cannoli, and three Jewish stars. The treats are placed in a clear gift box and tied with a bow. The assortments come in mini and large versions.

$4.95 for mini and $7.95 for large at DogParkPublishing

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great Hanukkah gifts for dogs and their owners? Share the bounty in the comments!

Read more holiday gift guides on Dogster:

About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescue pup, Rocky, an Italian Greyhuahua/Jack Russell mix from a foster home in Tennessee, hence the name Rocky (as in Rocky Top).

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Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/hanukkah-gifts-presents-holiday-shopping
<![CDATA[Monkey the Saint Bernard Gets His Very Own HollyWOOF A-List Gift Bag]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/monkey-saint-bernard-dogster-reviews-pet-products-hollywoof Though Monkey is definitely a celebrity in our neighborhood -- he can't go more than 10 feet without getting stopped, and I'm fairly certain almost every resident has a selfie with him -- he's far from a real celebrity, which is why he was very excited to receive the HollyWOOF A-List Gift Bag. What's that? Oh, no big deal, just the annual pooch-motif gift bag that marketing company Distinctive Assets hand delivers to 25 high-profile celebrity dog owners. You know, like Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Kristen Bell, and ... Daisy Barringer?

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Monkey sporting his Systerli bandana.

Okay, to be fair, the bag Monkey was given didn't have everything those famous people got, although, golly, we sure would have loved the $5,000 Krystal Klear under-sink water-filtration system. Maybe next year?

Monkey did get a bunch of other fun stuff the celebs received, though, and he was excited to try 'em all out and see how the other half woofs, especially since, even though the HollyWOOF gift bags aren't available to regular Joes like you and me, anyone can buy the stuff that comes inside of it.

First item out of the bag was the Systerli bandana Monkey wears in the photo above.

Systerli's dog clothing and accessories are all handmade and limited edition. After all, how embarrassing would it be if your dog showed up to the park wearing the same poncho as Spike, the English Bulldog? I mean, can dogs ever recover from that kind of mortification? It would be worse than when Kelly and Brenda wore the same dress to prom!

Jokes aside, Systerli's stuff is all super cool. Monkey was given a $35 plaid bandana, which I was excited about because I thought perhaps it could double as a drool rag. Unfortunately, even the large was too small for my giant dog (I used a diaper pin to fasten it around his neck), and since it's hand-wash only, the bandana is definitely more of a fashion-over-function accessory. So, maybe not great for Monkey, but it would be a fun gift to give a smaller dog. Also: Seriously, how cute is this jacket from the company?

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The Rosie jacket by Systerli ($89).

Another item in the bag was Epic Pet Health's Clean Teeth. Not gonna lie: Getting a spray that's supposed to reduce tartar and bad breath in this allegedly super-swanky bag was a bit like getting an apple on Halloween, BUT... dental hygiene is of the utmost importance in humans AND dogs, so I was willing to give it a go.

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Epic Pet Health's Clean Teeth ($19.99 to $35.99).

The spray is super easy to use, mostly because you just spray it on your dog's food or water. That being said, I still couldn't manage to do it every day. Probably not a huge shock, since as my dentist would loooove to tell you, I struggle with consistent flossing. (What? It's so boring!)

Truthfully, it's hard to know if it worked, since I love Monkey's breath no matter what. Seriously, that moment when he gets really close to my face in the morning and breathes directly into my nose is one of my favorites of the day. But Monkey did just go to the vet, who said his teeth looked great, so I'm gonna say there's something to this Clean Teeth spray. It's $19.99 bucks for an ounce, but it lasts a lot longer than you'd think. (Especially if you forget to use it every day!)

Luckily for Monkey, it wasn't all clothing and dental products.

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Looks like a bag of dog treats, doesn't it?

The good news? I only gave him a few of the treats in that photo before I realized they were meant for humans. I mean, I'm fairly intelligent, and if I thought Boxtera was a monthly snack subscription for dogs, I'm pretty sure Monkey isn't the only pup who got a taste of this people food. Oops!

By far the best part of the gift bag (for Monkey anyway; I personally love a good snack) was the Tuggo Dog Toy

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Tuggo Dog Toy ($27.99).

Tuggo's a hard, hollow plastic ball with a rope going through the middle so that it can be pulled from either side. The trick, however, is filling it with water, so that it adds more resistance and makes a sloshing sound that Monkey seems to looooove. One of the biggest issues Monkey and I have is that he gets bored when I leave him alone, and the Tuggo actually seems to entertain him when he's by himself because he can play with it alone. And unlike stuffies and toys that squeak, this actually requires him to be active and engaged.

The downside is that it's not necessarily an ideal apartment toy, but for around $30, it's a good investment, since, again, it keeps your dog entertained. It would be an especially amazing buy for people with more than one dog, since two dogs can tug on it at once. (Check out adorable videos of dogs doing just that.)

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Bottom line

Ultimately, though Monkey enjoyed living like an A-Lister for a few days, being a neighborhood celebrity is plenty for him. After all, money can't buy the things he loves most: lots of attention, hugs, and, of course, belly scratches.

Read more Dogster reviews:

About the Author: Daisy Barringer grew up in San Francisco and didn't let the fact that she's a city girl keep her from getting her dream dog: a Saint Bernard. She and Monkey love to romp in the snow in Tahoe, visit dog-friendly bars, watch 49ers football, and drool. Yup, both of 'em.

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Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/monkey-saint-bernard-dogster-reviews-pet-products-hollywoof
<![CDATA[10 Holiday Gifts for Dogs and Dog Lovers That Cost $25 or Less ]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/gifts-under-25-dollars-stocking-stuffers-christmas-hanukkah-shopping Are you looking for the perfect gift for a dog or dog lover, but you're on a budget? Don't fret. I've found some creative and affordable gift options, each one costing $25 or less.

1. App gift card

There are a few types of apps that every dog owner should have on their phone: first aid, vet locator, etc. Then there are apps just for fun! Either type can be purchased using an iTunes (for Apple product users) or an Amazon Appstore (for those who use Android devices) gift card. Along with the gift card, include a list of suggested apps.

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An app gift card makes an excellent holiday present. (A Chihuahua takes a selfie by Shutterstock.)

Here are a few I recommend:

$25 or less online at iTunes and Amazon Appstore or at any brick-and-mortar store that sells gift cards

2. Dog subscription box

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Your doggie friend would love to get goodies in the mail. (Photo courtesy of Pet Gift Box.)

There are a number of subscription boxes out there that deliver pet products each month, and at least two offer one-month gifting options that cost less than $25: Pet Gift Box and PetBox. This special treat will be a hit with the recipients and their humans.

$9.95 to $19.95 at PetBox and $24.99 at Pet Gift Box

3. Personalized dog necklace from Else Jewelry

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Personalize a dog necklace for a dog lover in your life. (Photo courtesy of Else Jewelry.)

Etsy seller Else Jewelry makes adorable custom puppy necklaces. Order one with the owner or pet's initial stamped on the cute dog charm.

$24.99 at Else Jewelry

4. Fun dog tag from Dog Tag Art

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Dogs need accessories, too. (Photo courtesy of Dog Art Tags.)

What about jewelry for your dog? Dog Tag Art has you covered. You can get pre-made or custom designs, all of which come on a recycled-steel dog tag with a polymer coating. Art tends to lean toward the fun and sassy, and the back of the tag allows you to include up to four lines of contact information.

$12.99 at Dog Tag Art

5. Fleece throw from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores 

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Give a cozy throw. (Photo courtesy of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.)

A no-sew fleece throw is a perfect gift for both dog and owner. My pup adores the fleece throw he received from his grandma last year and happily cuddles up in it when he goes to bed. There are a number of different pattern options including dog prints like the one above.

$9.99 at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

6. Homemade drinking glasses 

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I made these glasses! (Photos by Wendy Newell.)

Homemade presents are affordable and heartfelt. I've made dog-silhouette glasses to give as gifts, and the recipients loved them. Head to your local dollar store and find a set of glassware you like. Search online for silhouettes of the dog breeds the gift recipients have, and then print them out in the size you want for the glass. Tape the printout to the inside of the glass, and then use a glass paint pen to outline and then fill in the silhouette. Follow the instructions on the paint pen to set the design. You will be proud of your one-of-a-kind gift.

$25 or less, depending on the pens and glasses you choose

7. Beer that helps animals from Weyerbacher Brewing Company

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Last Chance IPA and products. (Photo courtesy of Weyerbacher Brewing Company.)

Dogs shouldn't drink beer, but their humans should if they enjoy the adult beverage! If there's a dog-loving beer drinker on your holiday shopping list, give a six-pack of a beer that helps animal rescue groups. Weyerbacher Brewing Company donates a portion of the proceeds from its Last Chance IPA to local animal-rescue groups. It has donated more than $67,000 to 20-plus groups. As an East Coast craft brewery, finding a six-pack on your own locally may take some work, but you can go online to find local stores that carry the beer. The Last Chance IPA website also sells dog-centric items, including a dog collar with a built-in bottle opener.

$12 for a six-pack of Last Chance IPA at local stores 

8. Extra-special dog treats

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(A dog chews an antler by Shutterstock.)

When I want to give my pup something special, I head to the all-natural chews isle at my local pet store. As a dog sitter, I can tell you there are two choices that almost all pups go crazy for:

  • Pizzle or bully sticks -- An all-natural, protein-packed alternative to rawhide. It takes a normal dog time to get through a good-size pizzle stick. It takes my pup about five minutes. Pizzle sticks can be high in calories, so it's a "special" treat for my pups.
  • Antlers -- If you're a little sensitive about giving your dog "that" part of a bull (I had a co-worker who refused to let his pup eat them once he learned what body part they were made of), then you can opt for an item on the other end of an animal: the antlers. Antlers you purchase in pet stores are naturally shed from deer, elk, and moose. If your pup has never tried an antler before, I suggest getting one that is split. It's easier to get the yummy goodness out of those. If your dog isn't interested at first, slap some peanut butter on one end. Once he figures it out, he will be busy for hours!

These treats are also great choices if you want the fun of watching a dog tear into holiday wrapping paper to get to the tasty treat inside! As with any dog chew, make sure the pet will be supervised while they work on them. 

$25 or less, depending on the treats and where you shop

9. Doggie calling cards

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If my dog Riggins had a calling card, it would look like this! (Photo courtesy of Vistaprint.)

Do you know a super-social dog? One that hits the parks and is the belle of the ball? Then she needs a doggie calling card. They're like the calling cards of centuries past but better -- because they're for pups! The card can have the dog's name and contact information, including any social media sites. A pup, or the pup's human, can hand out cards to those she gets along with well to schedule future play dates and other fun dog activities. 

You can purchase business-style cards a number of places, but Vistaprint is a great online source and has a ton of dog-themed designs available.

Prices vary depending on quantity and where you shop, but getting a pack for less than $25 is easily doable

10. Dog-themed gift sets from Dog Is Good

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Dog Is Good has a variety of dog-themed items, including these clever coasters. (Photo courtesy of Dog Is Good.)

Dog Is Good's company mission is "Deliver Dogvergnugen (the joy you feel in the presence of Dog)." Beyond delivering joy, the company does work with dozens of charities and is aligned with specific "charity partners." All of its items are great and can be mixed and matched to build your own gift set around clever sayings with matching illustrations, such as:

  • "It's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone."
  • "What happens at the dog park ... stays at the dog park."
  • "I like big mutts and I cannot lie."

$3.50 to $12 for a variety of items at Dog Is Good

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great gifts for dogs and their owners that cost less than $25? Share the bounty in the comments!

Read more holiday gift guides on Dogster:

About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of "always be closing" to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy's new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/gifts-under-25-dollars-stocking-stuffers-christmas-hanukkah-shopping
<![CDATA[10 Holiday Gifts for Dogs and Owners Who Love the Outdoors]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/holiday-gifts-active-outdoors-dog-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping Is there an active dog on your holiday shopping list? Or an outdoors-loving dog owner? We've found 10 must-haves for adventurous pups and their people.

1. Activity-specific vest from Ruffwear

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A dog enjoying an adventure in one of Ruffwear's cold-weather coats. (Photo courtesy of Ruffwear.)

Depending on a pup's favorite activity, he needs the right vest to keep him safe.

  • Cooling vest -- My dog is black, we live in a hot climate, and we hike often. A cooling vest is a big help. There are a number of different kinds available, but the one we like the most is the Swamp Cooler from Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear. Ruffwear is a great brand for active pups.
  • High-visibility vest -- When I used to run with my pup, I would put him in a high-visibility vest. It would help drivers see both of us on dark streets. These vests are also good to have for hiking, especially if the dog is off-leash. 
  • Life vest  -- Just like humans, dogs who enjoy water sports should wear a well-fitting life vest.
  • Cold weather coat -- Depending on a pup's breed and the climate he lives in, a coat may be necessary to keep him comfortable while out on adventures. 

$40 to $80 at Ruffwear

2. Canteen and travel dog bowl from Kurgo

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Two pups enjoy a water break. (Photo courtesy of Kurgo.)

Kurgo is another great brand for active dogs, and it has a number of travel dog bowl options. My favorite is the Zippy Bowl. It's easy to collapse and tuck into a pup or human backpack. Add a carabiner to the zipper pull, and it can be attached to the back of a pack for easy and quick access. Pair a bowl with a canteen or stainless steel water bottle, and you have a great gift for an active pup!

$10 to $20 for travel bowls and $20 to $35 for canteens and water bottles at Kurgo

3. Dog car restraint from Sleepypod

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Sleepypod travel products. (Photo courtesy of Sleepypod.)

If a pup is going to be traveling in a car, a dog car restraint is a must. Sleepypod is a wonderful brand that does extensive stress and crash testing on its products. The Clickit Sport is the only dog car-restraint harness certified by the Center for Pet Safety. For smaller pups, the Sleepypod Air is a carrier that can be used both in the car and on airplanes, as it fits under the seat.

$65 for Clickit Sport and $160 for Sleepypod Air at Sleepypod

4. Outward Hound dog backpack from Kyjen

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Everyone carries their own! (Photo courtesy of Outward Hound.)

Why should the human do all the carrying? Let the pup be responsible for his supply of water, food, poop bags, and gear. Outward Hound packs can be found in many pet stores as well as online.

$35 to $55 at Kyjen

5. Walking harness or halter from Sporn

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Buddy the Beagle loves wearing his Sporn halter on the beach in Massachusetts! (Photo courtesy of Sporn.)

Not all trails allow dogs to be off-leash. For when you and your dog are out on an adventure and your pup needs to stay under leash control, a walking harness is extremely helpful. Sporn's Mesh Non-Pull Harness and Halter are lightweight, easy to put on, and help control pulling from overeager pups.

$10 to $25 at Sporn

6. Dog hiking guides from Mountaineers Books

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Young woman traveling with her dog by Shutterstock.

Hiking with your dog is a blast, but finding trail options where dogs are allowed sometimes limits your options. Dog hiking guides highlight hikes both in your area and in areas you may be visiting. Mountaineers Books has an entire series to check out. 

$10 to $17 at Mountaineers Books

7. Clean dog kit

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Dirty Spaniel wallowing in a mud hole by Shutterstock.

As someone who just took a pack of dogs out hiking in the rain, I can tell you that an active dog is a dirty dog! You can put together a "clean dog kit" to give as a gift -- include grooming wipes, shampoo, conditioner, spray deodorizer, and towels.

Cost depends on brands included and where you shop

8. Wearable safety lights from Keep Doggie Safe

If dogs are out and about at night, a safety light attached to the collar will make them easier to spot. When camping with my black dog, sometimes all you can see of him is a red light through the darkness. There are many different light options out there. Keep Doggie Safe is a great place to start your search. They have a number of lights available depending on the dog's size. 

$5 to $25 at Keep Doggie Safe

9. Traffic and training leads 

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German Shephered by Shutterstock.

While out on a walk or hike, it helps to have leashes that match the occasion. Traffic leashes are short, often just a loop that allows you to easily keep your dog close while in crowded places or on busy streets. Recall training leads are the exact opposite! They are long 10- to 50-foot leashes that can be used to help train a dog in recall or to help transition to off-leash walks.

$5 to $25 at Amazon 

10. First aid kit

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Puppy with first aid kit by Shutterstock.

If a dog is going to be out and about on adventures, then a first aid kit is a great gift to give the owner. You can create your own or purchase a pre-made one. The Humane Society has a complete list of what should be in a pet first aid kit.

$20 to $100 for pre-made kits on Amazon 

Happy gifting! 

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great gifts for active, outdoors-loving dogs and their owners that you want to tell others about? Share the bounty in the comments! 

Read more gift guides on Dogster:

About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of "always be closing" to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy's new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gifts-active-outdoors-dog-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping
<![CDATA[10 Thoughtful Holiday Gifts for New Dog Owners]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/holiday-gifts-new-dog-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping If someone on your holiday shopping list recently became a new dog owner, you have an excellent gift-giving opportunity. With the expense of welcoming a dog into the family, your loved one probably has been purchasing only the necessities and not the nice-to-haves.

Here are 10 gift ideas for a new dog owner. Some are just for fun, while others are practical and make life with a dog way easier.

1. Fur-Zoff from Fur-Zoff.net

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New dog owners learn quickly that they are in a war against wayward fur on clothes. Sticky paper rollers are a good start, but the paper never peels off where you want it to and the disposable rollers are hardly eco-friendly. Enter the Fur-Zoff, a weird pumice-looking thing that is actually made from recyclable materials and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It also fits neatly in a stocking!

$12.99 at furzoff.net

2. Roomba from iRobot

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The price tag is huge, but so are the benefits. When a dog sheds faster than his human can sweep, a Roomba gives them both the gift of quality time. After unwrapping a Roomba, your loved one will be able to spend less time cleaning their floors and more time bonding with their new pooch.

$399.99 at iRobot 

3. Monogrammed towels from Bed, Bath & Beyond

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Even if your loved one is fully stocked on towels, if she just brought home a dog she's going to be low on human-grade terrycloth soon. Something strange happens when a dog enters a household -- it's like a magnetism, of sorts. One by one, each and every towel in the house is downgraded from human towel to dog towel, until one day, the pup-loving human turns off the shower to find themselves with no way to get dry. When gifting towels to a new dog owner, it's nice to have those bath sheets monogrammed with the human's initials. The stitched-in lettering serves as a reminder that these towels are to be used by people only. After all, the dog already has all the other towels.

$19.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

4. Classic Kong from PetSmart

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At first glance, this classic toy may seem like more of a gift for the dog than the dog owner -- until you consider all the shoes that it will save. A Kong is the gift that keeps on giving, and the human will be touched that you thought of his pup. This toy will occupy a new dog in just the right way, especially when it's filled with treats. A Kong is something dog families can't have too many of, so you don't need to worry about duplication.

$6.99 to $24.99 at PetSmart

5. Travel bowl on a clip from Dexas

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Every dog owner needs a travel bowl, but it's not always an item dog owners think to buy in the early days. Gifting a good, easy-to-pack travel bowl means your dog-loving loved one won't have to improvise by letting her new pup lap water out of her cupped hands when away from home. This stocking stuffer preserves the dignity of both human and dog -- and it can be clipped to a leash or a belt loop!

$7.99 at Dexas

6. Puppy Paw Mug from ModCloth

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Let your loved one toast his new dog with this Pawsitively Bemused coffee mug from ModCloth. I'm not really sure what's so bemusing about this mug -- I think Pawsitively Awesome would be a more appropriate name for it. Any new dog lover would be pleased to sip his morning coffee from a mug that shows the world he has truly become a dog person.

$19.99 at ModCloth

7. Greenbone Bio Dispenser from Target

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This bone-shaped bio-waste bag dispenser is the perfect gift for a new dog owner concerned about filling the landfill with poops sealed in plastic bags. The dispenser and bags are made from corn, a more sustainable and renewable material than plastic. It clips on a leash or belt, so your dog lover won't have to stuff her pockets with bags before leaving the house.

$5.99 at Target

8. Kirkland Signature Dog Bed from Costco

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You might not expect much from a dog bed you can purchase at Costco, but these beds have proven to be popular both with the pups that sleep on them and the owners who wash the covers. By purchasing a doggy bed the new pooch will surely love, you also are gifting your loved one with a good night's sleep, as she won't have to share her own bed with the new furry family member.

$42.99 to 44.99 at Costco

9. Kurgo Wander Hammock from PetSmart

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This back-seat protector is the perfect gift for the person who loves his new dog, but also loves his car. The Kurgo Wander Hammock keeps the car clean while keeping the dog in the back seat. The hammock style creates a cozy space for the doggie to ride in style.

$44.99 at PetSmart

10. DOOG Walkie Bag from DOOG USA

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Walking a dog requires supplies, and sometimes pockets just don't have enough room for baggies, treats, and everything else a human/dog duo needs to hit the streets. That's what makes this DOOG Walkie Bag the perfect gift for a new dog owner, one who wants to strut her mutt in style. This messenger-style bag has room for a water bottle, and it has a special compartment for those necessary poop pick-up bags. You can even stash your keys and cards in the lightweight and comfy tote.

$39.99 at DOOG USA

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great gifts for new dog owners that you want to tell others about? Share the bounty in the comments! 

Read more holiday gift guides:

About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat Specter and and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.

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Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gifts-new-dog-owners-christmas-hanukkah-shopping
<![CDATA[10 Unique Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers on Etsy]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/unique-holiday-gifts-dog-lover-christmas-hanukkah-shopping The best holiday gifts are those that won't be forgotten, presents that the receivers would never buy for themselves but will cherish upon unwrapping.

Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to track down a gift that is really, truly meant for a particular person. For those times when the mall just won't do, Etsy holds open the door to a world of distinctive gifts for the dog lovers in your life. Check out 10 of the coolest items I've found while shopping for others (and myself) through the online marketplace.

1. Leather poop-bag dispenser from Dogzy

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A poop-bag holder is such a conventional item that it almost doesn't belong in an Etsy gift guide, but this simple and stylish accessory really won me over. It may be the least unusual gift on this list, but it's also the most useful. Without some kind of bag-dispensing system, dog owners end up walking around with numerous plastic bags stuffed into their coat pockets. Not only does this create an unflattering lumpy look around the midsection, it also means you can't keep anything else (like treats) in your pockets. Since dogs like us to carry treats, I assume they're also in favor of this product.

$12.99 at Dogzy

2. Breed-specific cookie cutters from the Fussy Pup

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When I first stumbled into the Fussy Pup shop on Etsy and spotted cookie cutters shaped like various breeds, I was hoping to find a Frenchie-shaped tool. Neither of my own dogs are Frenchies, but I do have a friend who bakes hypoallergenic dog treats for her itchy little Frenchton, and this cookie shape would be adorable whether she were making cookies for pups or people. Breeds of all shapes and sizes are represented at this store, so doggy bakers can be sure their cookies will come out looking cute, even if their kitchen smells like hot dog food. 

$12.50 at the Fussy Pup

3. Giant dog-head purse from BENWINEWIN

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The shop behind these incredible purses is based in Hong Kong, with an international shipping expectation of eight to 14 business days, so getting it in time for the big day might be a bit of a Christmas miracle, but I think a wait would be worth it. Imagine seeing your Chihuahua-loving loved one getting onto a plane with that as her carry-on. Imagine her walking down the street with this giant adorable face slung over her shoulder, her real Chi strutting along the sidewalk in the shadow of this epic bag. If Chihuahuas aren't your bag, don't worry: This store has printed plenty of other breeds (and cats) onto oversized purses. Maybe there's a giant pet-head purse for everyone on your list.

$39.90 at BENWINEWIN

4. Framed Yellow Dog Coffee print from DexMex

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Perhaps I'm partial to this item because it reminds me of two of the great loves in my life: coffee and my wonderful yellow Lab mix, GhostBuster. This print is perfect for coffee-loving, Lab-loving types like myself, and the dog's name is customizable. If the person you're shopping for prefers their dogs to be brown and their beverages to be beer, well, this seller has a print for that too. 

$38 at DexMex

5. Jack Russell earrings from Kriss Art Creation

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If the last gift reminded me of my Lab, these French earrings are practically the spitting image of my Jack Russell mix, Marshmallow. Again, we're dealing with international shipping on this one, so it's a bit risky, but since when is French jewelry not worth a little risk? If you've got a Jack lover in your life, these earrings will go with anything in her (quite possibly hair-covered) wardrobe. 

$36 at Kriss Art Creation

6. Hand-painted dog portrait on wineglass from Handpainted by Cyndie

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Perfect for a holiday-morning toast, this custom-painted pup-portrait wine glass is a great gift for any dog lover who also loves fermented grapes. I doubt it's dishwasher safe, but the glass sure would look great on a shelf, and it's a cool way to capture and display a canine companion's likeness. 

$59.99 at Handpainted by Cyndie

7. Greyhound ring from RingRingRing

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Imagine this silver Greyhound ring doing laps around the finger of your loved one. This handsome piece of jewelry will no doubt be adored by any Greyhound lover who gets it as a gift. Made in the USA, this custom item takes one to four days to make, but that means you can pick the right ring size. 

$59.90 at RingRingRing

8. Wire dog sculpture from Wire Art Ink

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The Etsy artist behind Wire Art Ink has the knack for creating unique wire sculptures of pets. These works of art bend reality while still being recognizable as representations of a beloved pet. There are plenty of breeds to choose from in this store, and for just five bucks more you can order a custom wire pet portrait based on a photo. 

$30 at Wire Art Ink

9. Vintage 1990s Golden Retriever pullover from GothWave

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The perfect gift for someone who believes that everything uncool becomes cool again and that Golden Retrievers never go out of style. This vintage piece may be 20 years old, but that playful pup gives this outfit a youthful vibe. 

$16.00 GothWave

10. Winter wonderland Pug clock from EvaDesignsArt

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No house is complete without a Pug clock, so this timepiece featuring two confused Pugs chillin' in a winter landscape is the perfect addition to any decor. Why would anyone want to tell time without looking at a painting of Pugs? If this clock doesn't say "Happy Holidays," then I don’t know what does. Order one for the Pug lover on your shopping list. 

$22.00 at EvaDesignsArt

Share your gift suggestions!

Found any great dog-themed items on Etsy that you want to tell others about? Share the bounty in the comments! 

Read more holiday gift guides:

About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat Specter and and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.

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Mon, 08 Dec 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/unique-holiday-gifts-dog-lover-christmas-hanukkah-shopping
<![CDATA[Win a Gorgeous Balloon Dog Pendant From Lisa Galibardy]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/win-dog-pendant-jewelry-balloon-animals-lisa-galibardy-freebies-giveaways Singers from the U.K. and U.S. alike love Lisa Galibardy's jewelry. Rita Ora, Kelly Rowland, and Jessie J. have all been spotted wearing her statement pieces. And now, you have the chance to join their stylish ranks with this week's Friday Freebie, as the London jewelry designer has generously offered to give away two of her new Balloon Dog pendants -- jewelry that's designed to resemble a balloon animal.

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Cast in solid brass and hand-finished in jet black and white enamel paint with a clear glaze, the pendant hangs from a 13-inch silver chain and perfectly captures the rare Balloon Dog breed.

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We'll pick two winners. If you don't get chosen, Galibardy still wants you to wear her jewelry, and she'll give our readers a 20 percent discount when they enter DOGSTER20 during checkout. There are other dog-centric pieces, including adorable breed rings, but you can't go wrong with anything from the Galibardy online boutique, which features alternative accessories at insanely affordable prices considering who her customers include.

How to Enter

  1. Create a Disqus account, if you haven't already, and include a valid email. It takes just a minute and allows you to better participate in Dogster's community of people who are passionate about dogs. If you already have a Disqus account, check it to ensure the account includes a valid email.
  2. Comment below using your Disqus account, telling us about the vocal stylings of your dog. Bonus points for photos and following directions! Our favorite comment wins. You must be a U.S. resident to score this prize.
  3. Check your email for a "You've Won!" message from us after noon PST on Thursday, Sept. 25. We'll give the winner two days to respond before moving on to our next favorite.

Good luck!

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

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Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/win-dog-pendant-jewelry-balloon-animals-lisa-galibardy-freebies-giveaways
<![CDATA[Love Animal Motifs? Here Are 8 Dog-Centric Pieces in Stores]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/fashion-dog-motifs-blouse-dress-scarf-sweatshirt-corgi-dachshund-scottie-modcloth-anthropologie I adore animal motifs. Dogs. Cats. Owls. Even squirrels if adorning a fabulous coat, such as this one in Dolce & Gabbana's fall 2014 collection.

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Moving on to what I can afford: In honor of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I put together a list of my eight favorite dog-motif pieces currently in stores. That's right: Unlike the clothes being shown through Thursday in NYC, these can be bought and worn right now.

1. Boston Terriers by Anthropologie

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More than a few friends have sent me a link to this blouse, as they know my love of the Boston Terrier breed regularly works its way into outfits. $78. (Note: I see BTs, but others spy Frenchies. You decide.)

2. Scotties by Modcloth

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Plaid, houndstooth and solid Scotties adorn this adorable dress, with heart and paw shapes completing the bold print. Pair with a black cardigan and wear well into fall. $67.99.

3. Dachshunds by Anika Dali

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This lightweight scarf/shawl makes the perfect transitional accessory. It comes in purple or almost-red Dachshunds on an ivory background. $22.95.

4. French Bulldogs by Modcloth

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Another find on Modcloth (and expect a few more, as the online retailer understands the appeal of dog motifs), this one allows you to subtly incorporate Frenchies into a work outfit. $34.99.

5. Spot the Dog by Orla Kiely

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I like when designers use an animal motif as part of a larger pattern, offering a surprise to those who look closely. This dress comes in amethyst (above) and blueberry (top). $398. (Note: Not in my price range, but go for it if in yours!)

6. Puppy Love by Modcloth

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Another transitional blouse, this one features a generic large-breed dog in camel against a navy background. $39.99.

7. Italian Greyhound by Nicola and the Newfoundlander

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Layer this comfy sweatshirt screen printed with an Italian Greyhound over anything you like. The eco-friendly artist uses other breeds as well in her work, including BTs, Puggles, Labrador Retrievers, Pit Bulls and dozens more. $36.

8. Corgis by Modcloth

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Another bold print, this one features Corgis among other fluffballs. Lovers of the short-legged breed have left glowing reviews of the dress online. $54.99.

Happy shopping!

Check out more cuteness on Dogster:

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Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/fashion-dog-motifs-blouse-dress-scarf-sweatshirt-corgi-dachshund-scottie-modcloth-anthropologie
<![CDATA[Dogster Reviews: Reflective Safety Gear from Spot the Dog]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/spot-the-dog-reflective-clothes-collars-mudd-and-wyeth-safety-gear-review As summer approaches, many of us will be enjoying outdoor activities while the weather is warm. On especially hot days, warm evenings are a particular delight. If you plan on taking your dog along on your twilight adventures, you should consider taking steps to keep your pup safe in low-light conditions. Whether you’re jogging in your subdivision, playing off-leash in a city park, or hiking around your rural property, it is a good idea to make your dog visible to motorists and other humans.

Mudd+Wyeth offers a line of reflective dog apparel called Spot the Dog! which includes brightly colored clothing with light-reflective details to keep dogs visible day or night. These items are made of nylon material and are hand wash, line dry.

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From left: Reflective Protective Collar, Reflective Protective Vest, and Reversible Bandana

Ace and I reviewed three items from the Spot the Dog! line: the Reflective Protective Collar ($15.20), the Reflective Protective Vest ($35.95), and the Reversible Bandana ($19.95). Mudd+Wyeth bundles similar items into a combo pack for $66.85, which includes a free insulated bag (note that the bandana in this combo pack is not reversible but otherwise is similar to the one reviewed in this article). 

Overall, I found Spot the Dog! items were consistent with the dimensions in the sizing chart. Each item is made from the same fluorescent orange nylon material and reflective silver piping with reflective strips or polka dots. The reflective quality on these garments is very good, and the orange material -- the color of which is similar to a construction worker’s or hunter’s vest -- is bright enough to increase your dog’s visibility during the day.

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The Reflective Protective Collar (Ace wore size small and has a 12.5-inch neck circumference) is about 2.25 inches wide and closes with a strip of Velcro. Note that the collar has no D-ring or other hardware, so it is not intended to hold dog tags or to latch to a leash. Rather, the Reflective Protective Collar should go alongside your dog’s regular collar, or for small dogs like Ace it could go on top of her regular collar.

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The Reflective Protective Collar is made to complement a regular collar, like on this Dalmatian

I think this collar is a good option for dogs like Ace who don’t like to wear clothing but who need an easy way to increase their visibility.

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Like the collar, the Reflective Protective Vest (Ace is wearing size small in the photos, but XS would fit her better) is a simple garment that closes around the dog’s neck and belly with Velcro. The belly strap is quite wide, which I imagine increases the comfort of the vest and its durability as the dog runs through grass or tussles with her friends.

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This was my favorite item in the trio because of its solid fit and full coverage. It would be water repellent in the rain, which is a nice bonus feature for active dogs. The vest is surprisingly lightweight, making it appropriate for even the smallest dogs.

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The Reversible Bandana (Ace wore size XS-S) is the newest edition to the Spot the Dog! line. One side of the bandana is orange like other Spot the Dog! products, and the other side is fluorescent yellow. Both sides sport reflective polka dots, and the bandana closes with Velcro.

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Orange on one side...

I found the Reversible Bandana to be cute and unique, branching out from the strictly utilitarian styling of the other pieces in this line. Unfortunately, the bandana is stiffer than its counterparts, causing it to fit Ace awkwardly. At first, I wondered whether the stiffness was due to the two layers of fabric, but the vest is also made from two layers and it is not nearly as stiff as the bandana. I don’t think the stiffness of the bandana will be an issue for medium to large dogs, but small dogs might find it restrictive.

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... yellow on the other

The quality of the stitching on our sample Spot the Dog! garments was inconsistent. For example, in some places the stitched lines are not straight, and in other places the stitches on the piping material, which should be sandwiched between the florescent material, were visible. Because the fabric is fluorescent nylon, errors in stitching stand out more than on a fuzzy or dark-colored fabric. I point this out because, given the cost of these items, I would expect more attention to be paid to details like stitching. 

Dogster Scorecard for Spot the Dog! Reflective Gear by Mudd+Wyeth

  • Quality: The collar, vest, and bandana are made from durable nylon to last through many outdoor adventures.
  • Style: Simple and utilitarian, these items are appropriate for a variety of dogs and activities.
  • Function: These garments are brightly colored with plenty of reflective details to make your dog visible.
  • Creativity: I especially like the design of the Reversible Bandana, with its cute, unique, yet functional design.
  • Value: These items appear functional and durable, but given the price I would like to see cleaner stitching.

Bottom line

Spot the Dog! Reflective Gear is a simple way to make your dog more visible while being active during the day or in low-light conditions.

Dogster readers, what products do you use to keep your dogs safe during outdoor activities? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Read more reviews from Ace's Mama here!

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster. 

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 02:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/spot-the-dog-reflective-clothes-collars-mudd-and-wyeth-safety-gear-review
<![CDATA[7 Weirdly Wonderful Dog-Themed Finds on Etsy]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/etsy-dog-theme-finds-dogs-weird-wonderful-poop-soap-toilet-seat-purse-poster-tights It's been about a year since April Winchell closed down her famous blog, Regretsy. Whether you loved the site or hated it, Regretsy always shone a spotlight on some of the most unique and extraordinary handcrafts found on Etsy.

While it’s easy to find beautiful dog beds and gorgeous puppy collars on Etsy, we thought it would be fun to do some digging for some of the more unique items. Our efforts were rewarded with weirdly wonderful finds of the canine kind. Here are seven of our favorites:

1. Custom Dog Portrait on Toilet Seat

Ever have a great idea come to you while sitting on the loo? With your very own custom dog portrait painted on a wooden toilet seat, you’ll be popping out ideas like ... um ... use your imagination to finish the sentence.

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Keep the inspiration and creativity flowing with this unique way to decorate your toilet. All you need to do is send in a photo of your dog to get your very own custom pet portrait ready to greet you each time you go to the bathroom.

2. Handmade Dog Poo Soap

If you invite guests over and your pet portrait toilet seat doesn’t get your guests talking, then you might want to add this bathroom accent to set tongues wagging.

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This handmade dog poo soap is made from an organic soap base with organic natural perfume and organic dye. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like what it looks like! 



3. Merpug Limited Edition Poster

If you love mermaids and you love Pugs, then you’ll love this cheeky limited edition merpug (mermaid/Pug) print. Simply look into this little Pug’s soulful eyes and you’ll be mesmerized to get your own illustrated print. You’ll have to act quickly because there are only 40 available.

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Each print is numbered and signed on the back. Maybe you’ll even hang it in your bathroom.

4. Dog Wraparound Skirt

Turn heads with this daring and unique wraparound skirt. You’ll be the envy of the catwalk when you sashay down the runway wearing this bold dog print. The skirt is handmade from a combination of fine fabrics including classic tweed and cotton jacquard. Make a one-of-a-kind statement with this hand-numbered limited-edition skirt.

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5. Dog Tattoo Tights

If you’re going to be showing off your style as a dog lover, Etsy has the perfect accessory for you to complete the look. You’ll definitely be turning heads when you’re out walking the dog if you wear these dog tattoo tights.

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The bright mustard color will catch the eye, but the real showstopper is the dog face printed on each of the legs. The tights are seamless and made from a soft and comfortable microfiber. One size fits all, from S to XXL.


6. Golden Retriever Dog Purse

Speaking of accessories, here’s the final touch for your dog-inspired ensemble. This Golden Retriever dog purse gives new meaning to the phrase “doggy bag.” The purse is also eco-friendly. It’s made from up-cycled feed sacks, which have been transformed into a shoulder bag.

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Feed sacks also have the added benefit of being extremely durable and waterproof. The purse easily wipes clean with a damp cloth, making this sack a practical and handy tote for all of your day-to-day needs.

7. Dog Underwear

If you don’t feel the need to make a bold fashion statement to proclaim your love of dogs, Etsy’s got something for you to wear under your clothes. These dog briefs fit the bill for yourself or your favorite guy. Featuring a dog’s face printed on the front, these shorts give new meaning to the phrase “hot dog”!

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Now, if they only came in boxers ...

What sorts of weird dog things have you found on Etsy? Let us know in the comments!

Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will.  Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.

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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/etsy-dog-theme-finds-dogs-weird-wonderful-poop-soap-toilet-seat-purse-poster-tights
<![CDATA[Our Top 7 Finds from the 2014 Chicagoland Pet Expo]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/chicagoland-pet-expo-2014-picks

I took a day off from work to drop into the Chicagoland Pet Expo at the Arlington Racetrack before the weekend crowds hit. And I have to say it is bark-a-rama in there—very dog focused with a smattering of cat, horse, snake and bird-related stalls. I saw several entrants in the Saint Patrick’s day contest go by and took in a educational show about parrots. Here are a few of my favorite finds from this year’s show.

1) Best Toy: The NeedleNoz Toy

Okay, I am biased. I adopted my pup, Vera, from Greyhounds Only.  Bur this dog toy is generously sized, fleecy, has three squeakers and is greyhound approved.  As demonstrated by this picture of me trying to show how the toy resembles Vera, and Vera trying to take it away from me.

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I also saw quite a few humane groups selling rope toys made by braiding strips of fleece blankets in inventive way. And all kinds of variations on the usual toy designs in exciting colors and textures.

2) Best Crafty Marketing: The Happy Meal

Annie’s Pooch Pops had a range of treats including three types of cunningly packaged “happy meals” complete with a burger or hotdog, fries and a desert all made in the form of a dog treat. It may look like junk food, but it made with all natural ingredients.

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Although my dogs personal favorites seem to be the peanut butter squirrels from Lovin Tails of Berwyn IL.

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12

3) Best Free Giveaway

The Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center gave me one of these cute bone-shaped pill boxes to help me remember to give Avon his Pepcid and everyone their glucosamine… and whatever else they might need at any given time.

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This stall was staffed by people who looked happy, engaged the public, and promoted their veterinary center in a way that was not pushy.  By contrast I have to say that many of the stalls for veterinary services and associations were sparsely decorated and staffed by people who looked awkward and already bored with being there despite being only a few hours into a two and a half day long expo. Some essentially ignored me even as I edged around them to look at their brochures.

4) Best New Product: PupLight

“NekLight” is going after the dog market with a bright collar mounted light that helps your dog find his way, and if necessary will help you find your dog. I liked the idea but the stall was unstaffed both times that I went past it--so I was unable to purchase one. No matter how good your product is, it cannot literally sell itself

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 Also of note was an artificial grass turf designed for dogs from Perfect Turf, and the beautiful pet photography of Kramer Photography.

 5) Best Overall Purchase: A & S Goody Bag

A & S offered a $10 goody bag that turned out to contain twenty different items, and multiples of many of them.  A generous amounts of samples and full size items including treats, food and supplements as well as shampoo, measuring cup and all sorts of things. Definitely value for money and kudos to the companies that donated towards it. My only tip would be to not buy an item like this early in your visit unless you are afraid they will run out--it is heavy!

 

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6) Notable Canines (from left to right):

At the stall for Hope Pets Rescue, Inc I met Francesca (that’s the puppy) and siblings who were taking turns in the public and private areas of the booth to make sure they didn’t get too tired from the constant adoration of passers by. In fact most of the dogs on display seemed well chosen and well managed to avoid them becoming stressed. Although I did see a few who looked well under eight weeks of age, which struck me as perhaps unwise?

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Also of note were two stalls side-by-side were showcasing the “Mi-Ki” a promoting a new toy breed developed by a breeder in Milwaukee. And Houndsong Rescue had an adorable inmate  (convicted of "stealing hearts") trying to raise bail via donations. Who could resist?

There were breed groups and rescues with adorable ambassadogs including bulldogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and many more.

7) Good Cause: Canine and Human Cancer Research and Prevention

2 Million Dogs was there to raise awareness of canine cancer and links between canine and human cancer.  If you could guess two symptoms of canine cancer you got a snazzy “puppy up” bandanna.

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There were so many great rescues there that it would be impossible to pick just one to highlight. But it is great to see so many people doing such good work, and I put money in quite a few collection jars.  And  many had some versions of a raffle where  you pay a dollar to get a small novelty gift. One was As Good as Gold (Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois) where you picked out a circling rubber duckies to determine your prize.

If you also had a chance to checkout the Chicagoland Pet Expo please let me know what your highlights were!

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Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/chicagoland-pet-expo-2014-picks
<![CDATA[ Menswear Dog: The Official Dogster Interview]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/menswear-dog-pictures-photos-fashion-shiba-inu-interview-david-fung A suave fresh face emerged in the fashion blog world last year when Bodhi, a four-year-old Shiba Inu residing in New York City, hit the scene dressed up in all manner of outfits. Neckties, thick-rimmed glasses, beach shirts paired with a panama hat -- Bodhi sported them all under the moniker of Menswear Dog.

Tagging his Tumblr as "a dog's guide to being a man," Bodhi quickly became a foppish phenomenon. Now his fashion forward social media fame has offered him a platform to begin developing an upcoming line of clothing for dogs.

Ahead of Bodhi's impending canine garment renaissance, I spoke to David Fung, half of the husband-and-wife team who help run Bodhi's social media empire, to get the facts on this debonair dog.

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All Menswear Dog pictures via Instagram

Dogster: How did Menswear Dog come to be?

David Fung: The idea for Menswear Dog came about when my wife and I randomly decided to see what our dog looked like in people clothes. We snapped a photo and shared it with our friends but were completely surprised by the reaction. Then we started spitballing and came up with this art project for a real fashion blog that just happens to star a dog. It caught on and we've been playing dress-up ever since.

What was Bodhi's very first outfit?

It was a shawl collar cardigan over an Oxford shirt and tie. Very collegiate professor.

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Bodhi enjoying a stroll with David and Yena.

Have there been any outfits you've never been able to get Bodhi to model?

Well, he can't wear pants or shoes, so that gets difficult to try and work into looks. Sometimes we have to find creative ways to showcase an entire outfit. Putting hats on him is also always a funny process.

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Layering is key in winter months.

How does Bodhi recommend staying warm yet stylish during the heavy snow we've been having recently?

There's all sorts of ways to stay warm and stylish. Layering is important: Henleys, undershirts, shirts under sweaters. And there are a ton of stylish and functional winter coats out there. I'd recommend investing in a nice winter parka. You can dress it up over a suit or dress it down with jeans and it'll still look great. There's nothing wrong with a winter coat that actually looks like it can weather a storm.

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A chunky-knit sweater can combine form with function.

How does living in New York City affect Bodhi's style choices?

New York City is basically a living, breathing catwalk. You get to see some of the most unique and stylish people walking around, so it's very inspiring to see.

Where are Bodhi's favorite places to shop in NYC?

We're huge fans of classic heritage menswear. We just stopped into the Todd Snyder x Champion store and it's amazing. It's modeled like an old-school city gym with industrial fixtures, lockers, the whole nine. Incredible stuff. The recently redesigned Club Monaco flagship store in Flatiron is also a sight to behold.

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What sort of reaction does Bodhi get when people see him dressed up while out in public?

It's always such a fun experience when we take him out. He definitely steals the show; lots of awws and people asking for selfies with him. He loves mugging for the camera though.

Are any breeds of dog harder to dress up than others?

The fluffier the dog, the harder it is to put clothes on them. It just looks weird when we've tried. So much neckbeard.

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Who's Bodhi's ultimate fashion icon?

Of all time? Probably Steve McQueen. Modern day: Ryan Gosling can do no wrong.

What trends is Bodhi looking forward to in 2014?

I think it's exciting to see what designers are doing with the printed shirt. It's cool to see all of these patterns and designs inspired by old-school textiles. Gitman Bros Vintage does some of the best and they keep it fresh every year.

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How's his own canine fashion line coming along?

Fantastic! We're trying to crowd-source our line now so we can start making menswear for dogs. We'd love to be able to get it off the ground and hopefully expand to a full collection with new looks and accessories.

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Sunglasses are always acceptable lounge-wear.

Finally, is Bodhi looking to meet a foppish female companion? Or does he prefer the bachelor lifestyle?

Bodhi does all of this for the ladies, so he's always on the lookout!

Check out more of Menswear Dog here.

Read more about Menswear Dog and dogs in clothes:

Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:

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Wed, 19 Feb 2014 02:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/menswear-dog-pictures-photos-fashion-shiba-inu-interview-david-fung
<![CDATA[Our New Favorite: Dog Apparel and Accessories from Fab Dog ]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/fab-dog-accessories-apparel Ace and I were walking back from another romp at the dog park when a window display in our local boutique pet store stopped us in our tracks. It was a chilly day, and an array of beautiful dog sweaters beckoned to us. They looked warm, cozy, and fashionable, more like clothing for children than for spoiled dogs. That’s when I learned about Fab Dog, which offers a line of apparel, collars and leashes, and other accessories for dogs and cats. In the service of introducing Dogster readers to quality dog products, I emailed the company to request some sample products to try out on Ace (yes, I do love my job!). 

When I was perusing Fab Dog’s website, I noticed that they offer dog apparel in an unusual palette -- colors that a human would actually wear. Have you noticed most dog clothing comes in primary colors? Fab Dog’s selection included muted earth tones and neutrals in addition to more classic colors. I appreciate this variety and find it to be unique amongst products I’ve seen.

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With visions of those window display sweaters dancing in my head, I started with the Owl Turtleneck ($45 to $47). A cheerful pumpkin orange, this turtleneck sweater features a wide-eyed brown and white owl with yellow accents. Ace wore a size 14, and it accommodated her wide bully chest quite well. The sweater is made from quality materials, so like a human sweater it could stretch a bit to accommodate her mighty chest. The sweater was beautifully made of 100 percent acrylic, and is machine washable. There is a buttonhole at the neck to accommodate a leash.

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For chillier days, the Reversible Moose Ski Vest ($48) seems like it would keep your pup nice and toasty. Like the sweater, the quality construction and materials of the vest were indistinguishable from human clothing (besides, you know, that it’s tiny and shaped for a dog). The vest closes with Velcro around the midsection and neck.

Ace wore a size 14, and I found that the vest fit her pretty well, though not as well as the form-fitting knit sweater.As I’ve said before, because Ace’s chest is so wide compared to her length, clothes tend to fit her weird, so the vest will probably fit other breeds well. I chose the moose vest because I love the color scheme of olive and burgundy -– so unusual for dog clothing! It also includes a small moose head logo on the bottom of the jacket, which is adorable. This vest is machine washable. I’d love to see what the Reversible Squirrel Ski Vest looks like in person.

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Ace also tried the Yellow Argyle Raincoat ($32) in size medium. This garment closes with Velcro across the midsection and neck, and can fold into the external pocket for easy transport on those cloudy days that might turn rainy later. The detailing on the raincoat is pretty amazing. It is lined with mesh fabric, sort of like basketball shorts, which is nice and soft. The hood features toggle closures like a human raincoat might use. I love the argyle tag accents.

The raincoat fit Ace pretty well and is hand washable, but I was distracted by how nicely it is made! I kind of want one for myself.

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Fab Dog has a large selection of collars and coordinating leashes. They are made from 100-percent recycled plastic bottles and are machine washable. Ace tried the Polka Dot Collar ($20) and Lead ($24) in green. She wore a size small collar, and 5/8-inch-wide by 5-foot-long leash. These products are fantastic. The material is sturdy yet smooth, and the colors are vivid. The clasp on the leash is appropriately sized for a smaller dog. The leash has other useful features like a looped handle and a small metal loop near the handle to hold your poo bag dispenser.

The Fab Dog products Ace and I reviewed were all pretty fabulous. Interesting colors, human-grade materials, solid construction, and unique details characterized these Fab Dog products. I myself would wear them without hesitation if I could find a way to squeeze in!

Dogster Scorecard for Fab Dog apparel and accessories

  • Quality: The quality construction and materials of these products were indistinguishable from human clothing.
  • Style: Wearing Fab Dog, your dog will face her adoring public fabulously dressed.
  • Function: I found the fit of these products to be consistent with sizing measurements. They were easy to put on and seem like they will hold up over time and washings.
  • Creativity: Turtlenecks, earth tones, and interesting accents make Fab Dog a unique brand.
  • Value: Given the quality and unique styling of these products, I believe they are appropriately priced.

Bottom line

If you are the jealous type, don’t buy your dog anything from Fab Dog –- she will probably be dressed way better than you are.

Dogster readers, have you found a brand of clothing that meets your high expectations for quality and style? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster. 

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Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/fab-dog-accessories-apparel
<![CDATA[Girl Dog Names: A Wealth of Cute and Unique Choices]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/girl-dog-names Are you welcoming a new female dog into your life? Are you looking for cute girl dog names to choose from? Perhaps you'd like to have your imagination stoked by thumbing through some unique female dog names! Whether you're about to bring home a new puppy, or adopting a grown dog who needs a fresh start, when it comes to naming the newest member of your family, there is a universe of choices out there.

We're here to give you a number of exciting options that you might not have considered. 

Awesome dog names are everywhere to be found. Think through your favorite books, pop stars, movies, or television shows and write out a list of the ones that stand out to you. Some folks will name their dogs as soon they encounter them. Going on instinct often yields good girl dog names that stick in our minds and in our hearts forever. For those of you who struggle to find just the right name before settling on one, let me reassure you, the right name can come from the most unlikely sources.

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There are enough unique girl dog names to go around! Labrador retriever puppies and mom (one week old) by Shutterstock.

Awesome dog names I have known

My own history with girl dog names has been a bit haphazard. I've had two of the most wonderful female dogs in my life. One was named after a cartoon, the other after a llama, and both names worked out marvelously. I got my first dog in elementary school and named her Violet. The name came from a character in a cartoon I watched as a child, called Pound Puppies, based on a stuffed-animal line that was all the rage in my youth.

Who knows how many popular dog names are drawn from our childhood experiences? When I saw the dog for the first time, the name just seemed to fit! Violet the dog far outlived Violet the cartoon character, and she was a huge part of my life until she passed away when I was in college.

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Violet was the friend of my childhood. Photo by Melvin Pena.

My family named the dog I have now. If you think about cool dog names, "Tina" probably isn't the first one that pops to mind, but I assure you, Tina is one of the coolest dogs I've ever had the joy of knowing. Cute puppy names can grow on you over time, as your dog begins to inhabit the name, until you can't think of her as possibly having any other.

So where did "Tina" come from? My parents are huge fans of Napoleon Dynamite and loved the pet llama in the movie, whose name was Tina. They thought it was a good name, and it stuck.

So my girl dog names have both been drawn from cartoons and movies. When it comes to sources for cute puppy names, I've been lucky that two relatively unlikely characters provided inspiration at key moments. Sometimes people will choose names based on what they mean; I've found that the meaning of names comes from the feelings you develop for a dog over the course of your lives and adventures together.

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This is my dog, Tina. She's the best! Photo by Melvin Pena.

Cute girl dog names

That’s enough about my dog names. You want cute girl dog names for your new dogs! I have loads of them for you! Try saying some of these aloud and see whether they appeal to you as possible names for your new companion:

Ace, Ada, Abbey, Adele, Alexis, Alice, Bella, Bunny, Buttercup, Charley, Clara, Dorothy, Dottie, Emma, Gracie, Hanna, Heather, Juliet, Kibbles, Kiki, Laurel, Libby, Lucie, Maddie, Martha, Molly, Olivia, Penny, Peri, Polly, River, Rose, Sarah Jane, Sally, Sam, Sandy, Sophia, Trixie, Sybil, Victoria, and Zoe.

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These two Border Collies are going to need some creative dog names. Two 5 weeks old border collie puppies in a old wooden barrel by Shutterstock.

Unique female dog names

Maybe you’re looking for something more interesting, something with a pleasing cadence. A selection of unique girl dog names to ponder might help you decide. Well, I’ve got plenty of those as well! You are certain to find one among these wonderful and unusual dog names that will work for your new pet. At the very least, they will offer you a host of fresh ideas:

Adeola, Anji, Athena, Beulah, Cass, Daria, Dodo, Effie, Elinor, Elora, Eloise, Evelina, Flip, Galadriel, Hetty, Idris, Inara, Izzy, Lakshmi, Lara, Leela, Merivel, Naomi, Nubbles, Nyssa, Reinette, Rochelle, Romana, Romola, Rosamund, Ryoko, Scully, Suranne, Tegan, Topper, Washu, and Zelda.

Not a dull one in the lot!

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What is your name, then, Corgi friend? A beautiful Welsh Corgi by Shutterstock.

Share your favorites!

What do you think? Do you have more ideas? What's the strangest dog name you know? We want to hear the stories of your favorite girl dog names! Where did they come from? Did you name your dog after a musician, a character in a book, or someone in a TV show or movie? Do girl dog names just come to you in a moment of inspiration or do you plan ahead and make lists? Share the names of your dogs, or names you’re considering, in the comments!

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

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Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/girl-dog-names
<![CDATA[10 Stocking Stuffers for Dogs and Their People]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/stocking-stuffers-dogs-people Stocking stuffers may be small and inexpensive, but like my dog Ace, they are mighty, cute, whimsical, and often a delightful surprise. Stocking stuffers go a long way in spreading good cheer to anyone on your list, either by themselves, in combination, or as an accent to a larger gift. Finding the perfect stocking stuffer can be challenging, but luckily you’ve come to Dogster, where we’ve scoured the bounty of the Internet to bring you the top 10 greatest stocking stuffers for dogs and their people.

1. Temporary Dog Tattoos by Tattly ($5)

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Give the gift of regret-free fashion and fun with these artistically driven, non-toxic temporary tattoos. Artist Ann Boyajian’s German Shepherd, Poodle, and Pug tats will put a smile on your dog-loving friends. Packaged in sets of two, the price includes shipping.

2. Orbee-Tuff Coal Chew Toy by Planet Dog ($9.95)

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Know a dog who has been bad but adorable this year? Put a chewy lump of coal in her stocking! This chew toy was rated five out of five chompers, meaning it’s built to accommodate the biggest chewers on your shopping list. Non-toxic and made in the U.S.A.

3. Musher’s Secret Wax Paw Protection ($8.57 for 2.1 ounces via Amazon)

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This wax balm builds a barrier between a dog’s paws and the environment. It is free of petroleum and contains vitamin E to soften paws as it protects them. Good for salted, snow-covered pavement, Musher’s is also great for hot surfaces like sand and asphalt.

4. Dog Felt Keychain by Crate & Barrel ($9.95)

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This keychain is simple, iconic, and a cheerful holiday red. It would stand guard over a set of keys or could accent a backpack’s zipper pull. Made in the U.S.A. of merino wool.

5. All Natural Licorice Scotties by Gibmals ($4.29 for an 11.5 ounce bag)

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Candy is always a welcome gift, especially when it’s free of the eight most common allergens and gluten. These licorice candies are the real deal, made with licorice root and anise for the ultimate licorice candy flavor. They’re also shaped like Scottie dogs!

6. iClick Clicker by Karen Pryor ($1.85)

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A clicker makes a great stocking stuffer because it’s small, inexpensive, and encourages the creation of good habits and mental stimulation. I like this particular clicker because it is easy to use, not too loud, and comes in fun colors. Grab a package of five for $8.25 and check a few dog lovers off your list.

7. Pawdicure Polish Pen by Warren London ($8.95 via wag.com)

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If the idea of painting a dog’s nails frightens you, Warren London will put those fears to rest. Their dog nail polish is easy to apply, non-toxic, quick drying, and removable with non-acetone nail polish remover. Festive!

8. Love Your Breed Luggage Tags by foufou ($9.99)

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These sturdy PVC tags come in a variety of different breeds, all adorable and ready to attach to luggage, a backpack, a dog carrier, or anything that needs to carry your name and a little extra cuteness.

9. Dog-Themed Magnets by Three Dog Bakery ($4.99 each)

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These sassy, colorful magnets measure 2.5 x 3.25 inches.

10. Homemade Dog Treats (almost free)

Nothing will please your favorite dog more than a stocking full of treats. Make them yourself for an added personal touch, and to avoid any doggie allergens or intolerances. In my experience, many dog treat recipes are easier than boiling water. You can find plenty of recipes free online. Ace’s favorite comes from 3mbakery, banana oat cookies. We make them with gluten free oats, and the humans enjoy them as much as Ace does (seriously, these things are addictive, especially for breakfast)!

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Top image: Christmas Dog - Miniature Dachshund with Head Inside Stocking by Shutterstock

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Thu, 19 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/stocking-stuffers-dogs-people
<![CDATA[10 Gifts for Pets and People Under $25]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-gifts-under-25 Whether you’ve got shopping list full of dog people (trainer, walker, groomer, that dog mom from the dog park), or you’re shopping for dogs and their humans on a budget (really, aren’t we all?), finding unique dog-related gifts at affordable prices can be tricky. Here’s a list of 10 fabulously doggy gifts under $25 for the dog or dog lover you want to recognize during the holidays.

1. Flex Fleece Dog Zip Hoodie by American Apparel ($20 to $24)

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Keep your favorite pup snuggly warm in a stylish, American-made hoodie. American Apparel reimagined their iconic hoodie for dogs up to 80 pounds. These cotton-polyester zippered hoodies come in a variety of bright bold colors.

2. Dog Shaming (2013) by Pascale Lemire ($15)

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Dog lovers with a sense of humor will be entertained by this recently released book, which is based on images from the popular website dogshaming.com. Dog owners photograph their dogs wearing signs that tell of the dogs’ most shameful acts (eating, destroying, or humping, mostly).

3. My Pet Likes Treats Pet Jar by Oré Pet ($18)

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See dog run ... towards this whimsical treat jar. It is dishwasher-safe and holds five cups of delicious doggy snacks.

4. Work Out Dog Vegan Leather Wallet by Lavishly ($16)

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Someone on your shopping list would like a freakishly adorable dog-themed wallet that’s biodegradable and animal-friendly, right? This wallet includes a coin purse, clear identification slot, and space for six cards. Lavishly offers other dog-themed wallets, so check out their website for different colors and designs.

5. Personalized Photo Ornaments by Walgreens (most are $19.99)

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Some companies might not be able to ship personalized photo gifts in time for Christmas. However, Walgreens can overnight an ornament to you as late as 12/19! They have several options for turning a digital photo into a unique holiday keepsake.

6. Bone-Shaped Biscuit Cutters by Martha Stewart Pets ($8.99 via PetSmart)

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Holiday baking for human or canine companions is more fun with cookie cutters. This set of three stainless steel cutters includes a small (3-inch), medium (4-inch), and large (5-inch) bone. Plus, they’re from Martha Stewart, so you know they’re good!

7. Women's Boston Terrier Footie Pajamas by Nick & Nora ($24.99 via Target)

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I own these, and they are as wonderful as your memories of the footie pajamas of your childhood. They are made of fleece with a zipper down the front. The best parts are the Boston-head footies, with their button eyes and colorful little faces. 

8. Inside of a Dog (2009) by Alexandra Horowitz ($16)

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This book completely blew my mind. The author is a cognitive scientist and presents the existing research on what we know about dogs’ inner world, including sensation, perception, and emotions. Her enthralling storytelling style makes this a rich and engaging read for any dog lover.

9. Buddy Dog Photo Display by Umbra ($8)

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This sleek, chrome-plated dog is a unique way to display a photo. It is part of a line of family-themed photo displays, including mom ($10), dad ($10), girl ($8), and boy ($8).

10. Donation to Your Favorite Dog-Related Charity

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For the dog or human who has everything, why not make a donation in his or her name? My favorite charity is Pets are Wonderful Support (PAWS), which helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities keep their pets by providing a pet food bank, veterinary care, and in-home services. Many charities, including PAWS, also accept donations of food or used pet supplies.

Read more Dogster Gift Guides:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Top image: Christmas Dog by shutterstock.com

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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 12:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-gifts-under-25