Finding the right holiday present for the man in your life can be quite a challenge for some. Perhaps it’s a nice Craftsman tool set that he’s been eyeing. Maybe it’s a new Calloway golf club. Or, if he’s like me, a little red Corvette parked in the garage. (I’ve been waiting for that one for many years!) If your man is also a doggie daddy, let me make your shopping a little easier. Here are 10 of my favorites, which I couldn’t live without.
1. 180s Ear Warmers
These ear warmers fit behind a person’s head rather than over the top like traditional warmers. This design prevents them from interfering with your hat. They are lightweight and fold nicely to fit in your coat pocket.
Some models even have a built-in headset so you can listen to your tunes while you’re out walking your dog. If college football or basketball is your man’s thing — or if he likes to honor your alma mater — 30 college logos are available for order, including Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.
2. Personalized sketch of your dog
Suzie Treachler of the Sketch Shoppe can draw an incredibly lifelike sketch of your favorite furry friend, multiple dogs and pets, or your family with your dog. I had Suzie sketch a picture of my Schnauzers, Buzz and Woody, shortly after they had made their transition. The sketches captured the essences of the boys. I had each framed and placed in a location that honors my two beautiful boys.
3. Gel Pet Mat
These foldable gel mats from Hugs keep your dog cool by creating a temperature lower than your pet’s body. When your dog comes in contact with it, he’ll feel cooler.
You don’t need to put water in them, and you don’t have to refrigerate them.
The mat also provides comfort for dogs who have joint pain. They provide a perfect resting place for your dog after a long walk outside.
4. Custom images for your smartphone or tablet
Skinit lets you turn your favorite photos into a “skin” or cover that fits on the back of your favorite electronic device, whether it’s an iPhone, a Galaxy, a tablet such as an iPad, or an e-reader such as an Amazon Kindle. Your skin can be placed on the device or on a protective case.
What could be better than taking your favorite family photo, including your dogs, everywhere you go? It also helps you to identify your phone and not accidentally pick up another family member’s.
5. Tagg Tracker GPS device
Of course, you don’t ever plan to lose your dog or let him get out during a get-together of family or friends. But the unfortunate truth is that, with all of the holiday guests visiting, it’s possible to lose track of your dog.
This tracking device from Tagg will help you find him. It’s a dog-specific GPS device that attaches to most collars and lets you locate and track your dog using a computer or smartphone.
You might find that your canine friend was just hiding under a bed after swiping a bit of roast beef!
6. I-Go2 Dog carrier/stroller
This dog carrier has wheels and a telescopic handle, so it works as a backpack and can also attach to your car seat. It’s ideal for small to midsize dogs when traveling to a friend or relative’s house, cruising around town doing your holiday shopping, or strolling through the neighborhood to see all of the beautiful decor your neighbors have set up for the holidays.
7. Hands-Free Gate
Depending on who comes over — and what other pets might be present — you might have the need to separate your dog from guests or other animals. These gates are great to block your dog from getting into rooms and areas where they might get under your guests’ feet (or up in a cat’s face).
They’re made of metal, they secure to door frames with adjustable pressure mounts, and they open with the press of your foot.
Your dog will love the gate, too (OK maybe your dog will merely like it), because the gate still allows him to see all the action while staying safe. We keep these on all of our interior door frames year round and they can be easily relocated, if needed, to other parts of our house.
8. Dura-Ruff Folding Crate
This all-purpose folding crate is sturdy and secure. Its frame is metal, while its cover is nylon. It has mesh screen windows on four sides. This provides ventilation and also lets your dog see the surroundings.
The windows also have zip-up covers for dogs who prefer a more den-like surrounding. It’s padded, and a removable mat is washable.
It’s also lightweight, easy to fold, and can be stored out of sight when not in use. It’s ideal for holiday stays at the family’s house or a hotel room.
9. Design your own sweatshirt or hoodie
Café Press will walk you through the process of designing your sweatshirt or hoodie with your own photo on it. The process is easy to follow. There are many design templates. The sweatshirts and hoodies are soft and durable.
My wife, Kim, gave me two of the sweatshirts with images on them that looked exactly like my dogs. I get them out of the closet first thing when the cooler weather sets in.
10. Outward Hound backpacks
These backpacks are lightweight, durable, and easy to attach to your dog for long hikes or short walks in the park.
The saddlebags are removable and include a section for water bottles for you and your furry mate.