35 Best Gifts for Dogs: Veterinarians Top Picks 2023

Dog with Christmas present

Last Updated on 6 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett

Dogs are a part of our family, and what better way to show your pup some love than with a thoughtful gift? If you’re looking for ideas, look no further! In this post, we will take a look at the best gifts for dogs.

From cozy dog beds to delicious treats, we’ve got you covered. So whether you’re looking for a birthday present, Christmas gift, or just something to make your pup happy, we’ve got the perfect suggestion!

From food and toys to accessories and travel gear, we’ve got something for every type of dog lover out there!

Our Favorite Gifts for your Furry Friend

This site only contains items I love and highly recommend.  It is reader supported and contains affiliate links, including some from Amazon.  Read more


Toys for Active Dogs

Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball Dog Toy

The Chuckit! Kick Fetch ball is one of German Shepherd, Griffin’s, favorite toys.  We have 5 of them!

Since he has not yet mastered fetch, I keep several in the yard so that while he chases one, I can kick another ball in the other direction.  This ensures he is running back and forth in the yard, getting plenty of exercise.  It also guarantees a tired dog.

These balls are very sturdy.  I leave them out in the rain, harsh southern sun and thunderstorms.  They hold up great even after hours of play. 

I don’t let him sit and chew on them as he would tear these up if given the opportunity.  These are meant to be kicked or thrown, not used as chew toys. They also have a cut out within the ball that allows your pooch to easily carry it.   

If you are looking for a great way to entertain your dog and get them moving, I highly recommend these.

These balls come in a large and small size. 

I recommend the large size for larger dogs such as German Shepherds or Labradors. 

There are 2 colors, the standard color is bright orange and navy blue.  There is also a neon green and white that glows in the dark.


Kong Jumbler Dog Toy

KONG Jumbler Ball
Buy on Amazon
03/11/2024 02:22 pm GMT

If you are looking for another great outdoor ball for your dog, the Kong Jumbler is a great option.  The inside is a tennis ball and a firm plastic outer covering typical of Kong toys, called Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR). The outer covering of this ball is firmer than that Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball so I recommend throwing or playing tug of war with this ball as opposed to kicking it.  This ball comes in 2 sizes and various colors.  The Large/XL is best for German Shepherds or Labradors.  The colors are shipped at random so it will be a surprise for you and your dog when it arrives!


Chase ‘n Chomp Squeaker Ball

If you prefer an indoor ball to play with your pet, consider the Chase ‘n Chomp Squeaker Ball.  I have 2 of these for my 80 lb German Shepherd and he has yet to destroy them.  They bounce well and provide hours of squeaky fun!  It comes in both a large and medium.  We have the large size which works well for medium and large dogs.  The medium size would be appropriate for smaller dogs.  Very durable and has not yet harmed our hardwood floors.  Also, the material is soft enough on your dogs teeth but still durable.

**Pro-tip: Many dog toys are too hard for your dogs teeth and run the risk of fracturing their teeth.  If you can indent the surface of your dogs toys (even temporarily) with your fingernail, then the material is appropriate for them to chew.

Interactive Dog Toys



West Paw Dog Toys

west paw logo dog


West Paw makes some of my favorite dog toys.  They are made of a material soft enough that will not hurt your dogs teeth but durable to stand up to aggressive chewers.  Their toys are made in Montana and they stand behind their products.  Here is their guarantee,  “If you are unhappy with the performance of a West Paw product, our Love It Guarantee entitles you to a one-time refund or replacement, per toy design.” To make it easier, they offer a form on their website to fill out for your refund or replacement.  We own 5 West Paw toys and counting.  It is one of my top toy recommendations to my clients when they bring home a new dog.  My favorite ones are listed below!


West Paw Toppl Toy

One of our favorite puzzle treat toys! The Toppl comes in small and large sizes. We recommend getting one of each size so you can connect them together for an extra challenge! They can be used independently or connected together. They contain a hollow center which can be filled with your dogs favorite treats or banana or peanut butter – the possibilities are endless!


West Paw Qwizl Toy

The West Paw Qwizl treat dispensing toy has a brillant design to help extend the life of treats placed inside.  It has openings on both sides as well as a “peek a boo” opening in the middle.  This allows you to be creative when putting treats in the Qwizl and gives your pup many options to get to his reward. Fun for both of you! As with all West Paw toys, it is top rack dishwasher safe!

West Paw Tux Toy

This is a Great Choice for Tough Chewers!  Have a dog that tears up chew toys in minutes!  Then this is the toy for them!  The Tux is the toughest treat toy that West Paw offers.  It is made to stand up to avid chewers.  The Tux has a hollow center to fill with treats, fruit or peanut butter to keep your pup  entertained.  Sweet and tough – just like your pup!

Lumoleaf Treat Dispensing Toy

LumoLeaf Dog Treat Ball
Buy on Amazon
03/11/2024 08:13 am GMT

Your dog will have a ball with this toy (pun intended).  This is another favorite toy in my house.  You can place treats or your dogs kibble on the inside and as they nose the ball around the treats fall out.  What sets this toy apart from other treat dispensing toys is that there is an adjustable sliding door on the inside of the ball.  This sliding door allows you to adjust the size of the kibble that comes out and how fast.  If the food is coming out too fast, I will close this door a few notches.  This way, my dog has to roll the ball more to release additional kibble.  This is different than other treat dispensing balls where you can’t control the flow of treats. It comes in both a 5″ and a 7″ version.  We have the 7″ which works well for large breed dogs.  My German Shepherd can pick it up and throw it when he gets tired of rolling it but it’s too large for him to carry it very far.  I would recommend the smaller size for smaller dogs.

Tug-A-Jug Meal Dispensing Toy

In the category of treat dispensing toys, the Tug-a-Jug is a great option.  I have had our Tug-a-Jug for many years.  This is great for some quiet time when my husband and I want to watch a movie.  You unscrew the bottom of this toy to fill it with treats or kibble.  Then your dog has to pull on the rope at a certain angle to pull out the treats.  It requires a bit more skill than a treat dispensing ball but will usually occupy your dog for more time.  Also, it’s one of the few interactive toys that your dog can play with on their bed or in their crate.  I have the medium/large size for my 80 lb German Shepherd.

Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Puzzles

If you haven’t introduced your dog to Nina’s dog puzzles yet, you are in for a fun night!  These are a wonderful way to keep your pup’s creative mind stimulated while keeping your entertained.  These come in several different levels (1-4) where level 1 is for beginners.  If your dog has not used one of these before, I recommend starting on level 1 for their first toy so they do not get frustrated.  Once they master level 1 toys, you can move up to the next level.  Each toy has compartments where you hide treats or kibble and they have to manipulate the toy to reach them.   My dog loves them and gets excited when I bring them out.  These do tend to require more supervision than some of the other toys on the list but make for great bonding with your furry friend!

Squishy Face Flirt Pole

Squishy Face Flirt Pole
Buy on Amazon
03/11/2024 02:05 pm GMT

Don’t let the know fool you, this is a great toy for dogs.  I found out about it from a respected dog trainer in my area.  If you think it looks like a big cat toy, you are right!  You can play to your dogs prey drive by slowly dragging it on the ground as if it is a squirrel and then before they grab it, whisk it away and start again.  There are many flirt pole options but the one by Squishy Face is very high quality and the most durable.  You can purchase it with or without a squeaker.  I usually recommend it to my new puppy owners and they love it.  Its a great way to help burn off excess energy.

Plush Dog Toys


Hugglehounds knotties image

Hugglehounds are paws down one of my favorite plush toy lines for dogs.  They are extremely well made, come in small and large sizes and their designs are adorable. 

I recommend their “knotties” collection to all of my dog parents and we have lots of them at home to stand behind this recommendation. The “knotties” come in a variety of different plush animals, it’s difficult to choose just one!

Why We Like Them:

  • Snuggly but tough, just like your dog
  • Most has conveniently located squeakers in their arms and stomach to keep your dog entertained
  • Textured fabric for a more enjoyable chewing experience (at least that’s what our Shepherd has reported)
  • The husband and wife team that started the company still run it and I have emailed with Julie, the owner, several times and she is delightful.  We all love supporting small businesses, especially when they make great products!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Octavie Octopus Knottie

If your furry friend loves the beach, they will love the Octopus Knottie! Octavie is great for larger dogs and has 8 arms for tugging fun! My dog loves to systematically chew off each leg and then play with the body and legs separately.  Even though Hugglehounds are tough, no toy is indestructible!  The great thing about Hugglehounds is that once your canine friend pulls off their legs, they now have 2 toys to play with! Or in the case of Octavie, 8 more toys!  The special thing about the Knottie toys is that the limbs are individually sewn so that if a leg comes off, the body is still intact with it’s own individual stitching.

Sly Fox Knottie

Let’s get Foxy!  He’s almost too cute to chew on…almost.  In true fox fashion, he has a magnificent tail, prominent muzzle and cunning eyes. You may just want to purchase one for yourself although I don’t recommend chewing on it.  As far as I know, these are not human grade chew toys.  Your dog will love to have a humane fox hunt at home.

Size does matter and our foxy friend comes in a small and large size so dogs of all sizes can enjoy this toy!

  • Small Toy measures approximately 9″ Tall x 5″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Large Toy measures approximately 15″ Tall x 9″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Each Small and Large Knottie™ contains 5 squeakers

Bitsy Bunny Knottie

Bunnies aren’t just for Easter, anymore!  This adorable bunny will hop into your dogs life and become one of their favorite toys. With floppy ears and a tuft of white fur on his head, your pup won’t know which is his favorite part of his new chew toy.

Size does matter and Bitsy Bunny comes in a small and large size so dogs of all sizes can enjoy this toy!

  • Small Toy measures approximately 9″ Tall x 5″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Large Toy measures approximately 15″ Tall x 9″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Each Small and Large Knottie™ contains 5 squeakers

Wild Things Llama Knottie

HuggleHounds Wild Things Llama Knottie
$16.99 ($16.99 / Count)
Buy on Amazon
03/10/2024 09:05 pm GMT

Take you and your pet on a trip to South America with this fun llama toy!  This llama Knottie has beautiful banana-shaped ears and wears a colorful scarf to keep him warm on those cold Andes nights.  You have to be tough to survive in a high-altitude environment! As with all Hugglehound Knotties, he is lined with Tuffut Technology for extra durability and all his colorful limbs are separately stitched so if loses one in an accident or your pet chews it off to save him in an avalanche, his fluffy abdomen is still secure for hours of entertainment!

Size does matter and this handsome llama comes in a small and large size so dogs of all sizes can enjoy this toy!

  • Small Toy measures approximately 9″ Tall x 5″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Large Toy measures approximately 15″ Tall x 9″ Wide x 3″ Deep
  • Each Small and Large Knottie™ contains 5 squeakers


Fluff & Tuff Toys

Fluff Tuff image

If you are looking for a combination of fluffy and durable then Fluff & Tuff Toys are a great choice.  The outside of these toys are extra thick with fluffy “fur” and they come in a several fun creatures to keep your dog entertained!  Our shepherd, Griffin, has had “Ruby Rainbow Trout” for over a year and she had held up great! He is getting “Walter Wabbit” as an early Christmas present. Shhh…don’t tell him!

Fluff & Tuff tries to help you pick the right toy for your dog by dividing the toys into “Play Styles” such as “Tug”, “Fetch”, and “Snuggle”.  Below are some of my favorites from each play style:

Play Style: Tug

Ruby Rainbow Trout

If your dog likes to play tug of war, they’ll be hooked on Ruby.  She is approximately 14″ long and full of fishy fun. 


Tico Sloth

Fluff & Tuff Sloth 15"
Buy on Amazon
03/11/2024 05:57 pm GMT

Your dog will love his new best friend.  Tico Sloth is 15” high with 4 extremities for tug of war.   


Play Style: Fetch


Beach Ball

It’s always a sunny day with this beach ball!  Great for those pups that love to play fetch but also machine washable.  Win, Win!



She’s a ball, she’s furry, she’s everything you want in a hedgehog. Her medium size is great for dogs of all sizes.  She’s may be 8” long but countless hours of fun! 

Play Style: Snuggle

Walter Wabbit

One of the cutest toys in the Fluff & Tuff line.  Great for snuggling or a game of Tug.  He’s 12″ long.  He has some adorable rabbit cousins in different sizes if you are looking to increase your fluffle (group of rabbits). 

Squeakerless Red Squirrel 

Not only is this squirrel adorable but he will be music to your ears.  All fun, no squeakers. Quiet for you, fun for your pup!  He is 12” long. 


Delicious Dog Treats

Rileys organic Sweet Potato Treats

Riley’s delicious Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits are made with limited ingredients that are rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. They use only the finest human-grade ingredients available. Sweet Potatoes provide an excellent source of beta-carotine, Vitamin A, B and C—plus your dog will love them!


Why We Like Them:

  • Low calorie, natural treats made with organic ingredients 
  • Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to most commercial dog treats
  • Sweet potatoes, cinnamon – everyone loves this combination!


Rileys Organic Pumpkin & Coconut Dog Treats

Riley's Organic Pumpkin & Coconut Dog Treats
$20.74 ($2.07 / oz)
Buy Now
03/11/2024 02:14 pm GMT

Wholesome and delicious dog treats that both you and your dog can feel good about eating!  These treats are made from organic, human grade ingredients and are low in calories. They are available in both small and large size bones. 


Why We Like Them:

Peanut butter and molasses – it’s like Fall in a bag!

Superfood, vegan ingredients 

All ingredients made in the USA 

Small bones are only 5 calories each

Large bones are 71 calories each 


Rileys Organic Peanut Butter & Molasses Treats

Perfect for cold days sitting by the fire with your furry friend.  Healthy treats that are delicious but still keep your dog lean.  Don’t tell them the small bones are only 5 calories each!   


Why We Like Them:

  • Only made with organic, healthy ingredients
  • Low calorie but 100% love
  • Smells so good, you may serve it with your morning yogurt


Fruitables Dog Treats

Great Variety of Flavors

One of my favorite dog treats for any dog.  Whether your pooch is watching their weight or just loves a good treat, Fruitables are sure to be their new favorite!  These are made with fruit and are low in calories.  If your dog has a food allergy, these can be a great way to give them treats while still adhering to their diet restrictions.  They come in a variety of different flavors.  I tend to stay away from the ones that contain meat such as bacon flavors and stick to those with only fruit ingredients such as pumpkin, apple and banana.  

Dr. Barrett veterinary blogs

Dr. Shannon Barrett brings an exceptional blend of academic excellence and professional expertise to the world of veterinary medicine. With a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences, where she graduated with honors, and dual Bachelor degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology, her depth of knowledge is extensive. A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Barrett's insights and contributions to pet health have been featured in leading publications such as Rover, MarketWatch, and Newsweek.

Share This Article

Related Articles

french bulldog sleeping

Do Healthy Dogs Snore? A Vet Explains Snoring

Last Updated on 3 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett Do healthy dogs snore? Yes, they do. However snoring can also be the sign of an underlying health issue. Snoring happens when air flows past the relaxed tissues in your dog’s nose, mouth, or throat, making them vibrate and create that familiar rumbling sound. It’s a common occurrence not just in humans but in our furry friends as well. This vibratory noise can stem from several

Read More »
shepherd dog, dog, domestic animal-4357790.jpg

German Shepherds, Everything Vets Want You to Know

Last Updated on 4 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett As a vet, I love German Shepherds and I myself am a proud Shepherd owner.   As a pet parent, it’s fascinating to know about their history and special characteristics unique to German Shepherds.   German Shepherds aren’t just ordinary dogs, they have a rich history that adds to their charm. Where were German Shepherds Originally Bred?  These intelligent dogs originated in Germany in 1899.  Initially, they helped

Read More »
dog, golden retriever, laptop-5866869.jpg

5 Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs: Vet’s Top Choices

Last Updated on 4 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett As a large dog owner and veterinarian, I have evaluated countless dog beds over the years. Here are my top choices: Top Picks for Large Dog Beds Choosing the right bed is essential for your large dog’s comfort and health. Large breeds require beds that provide ample space, support, and durability. Big Barker Orthopedic Bed The Big Barker Bed is our favorite. This company has reputation

Read More »
brown and white long coated dog

Dr. Fischer Baby Eye Wipes Review: Safe for Your Pets?

Last Updated on 4 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett Dr. Fischer Baby Eye Wipes are marketed for human babies. However their gentle ingredients rival those of pet-only eye wipes. Carefully formulated to be gentle on sensitive eyes, these wipes are free from preservatives and alcohol, ensuring a tear-free and non-irritating cleaning experience. They’re rinse-free for maximum convenience and have been endorsed by leading healthcare professionals. Whether you’re dealing with sticky residue from sleep, reactions to

Read More »
Dr. Barrett veterinary blogs

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Veterinarian with a Passion for Educating Pet Parents

Pets change our lives for the better and we are always trying to do the same for them. This site is a combination of tips and product recommendations to enhance the lives of our pets and the people owned by them.  Thanks for stopping by!

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Reader Favorites