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72 Unique Dog Gifts for Any Occasion

Our team independently researches and recommends the best pet products for you and your furry friends. Note: This post may contain affiliate links.

Most Unique Dog Stocking Stuffer

Most Unique Dog Apparel

Most Unique Dog Technology

Most Unique Dog Home Gift

Who doesn't love surprising their dog with a present on their birthday or at Christmas? No one wants to be boring or predictable, though. Good thing we have 72 unique dog gifts to choose from!

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Our dogs mean the world to us. This means we celebrate their birthdays, their Gotcha Days, and every holiday in between. We bake them special treats and spend hours perusing the aisles of our favorite pet stores for dog gifts. Christmas and birthdays (and those important Gotcha Days) warrant more than a casual squeaky toy or training treat, though. We want to find unique dog gifts to show them exactly how much they mean to us. In that spirit, we’ve scoured the internet for 72 of the most unique dog gifts we could find.

No matter the occasion, you’re sure to find the perfect present for your four-legged friend. From large to small, we have gifts to suit every hound. So toss that frisbee back in the bin (for now). Let’s explore presents that are a little more unique!

Stocking Stuffers

Our cats and dog have their own stockings that we set out during the holidays. (You know you do the same) Our pets may or may not understand the tradition of stockings, but they absolutely deserve (and appreciate) a treat or two from Santa. If you want a unique dog gift to slip onto the mantle (or wherever you may hang your stockings), we have some perfect options.

Of course, your dog needs a stocking to tuck goodies inside. This adorable version comes complete with an appliqued puppy and the ability to add your dog’s name for that personal touch. You can even choose the font and the design if you’d rather skip the cute dog pattern.

Downside? For the cost, it isn’t the most lavish stocking. However, as long as you’re okay with the stocking being decorative, you’re good to go.

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If you want a unique dog gift, DIBSIES has the answer. You still get your dog’s name personalized on this dog bone-shaped stocking, with appliqued paw prints. Santa will have no problem identifying who THIS stocking belongs to!

The downside? There’s a maximum character length of nine. So, hopefully, you have a nickname for your dog if they have a longer name.

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During the winter, the air dries out. This causes problems for us, but it also presents issues for our canine friends. One unique dog gift you can tuck into a stocking is Nozzle Nectar. All-natural organic ingredients soothe your dog’s dry, cracked snout. A single two-ounce tin is enough to last for a month of regular use, getting you through the long winter months.

So what are the downsides? As with most nose creams, you have to watch for the possibility of your dog licking the Nectar off. You may see some GI upset if they do. You may also have to work the balm for some time to soften it up before you can apply it.

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While you may question the presence of a tennis ball as a unique dog gift, ChuckIt! adds a special twist. Rather than a felted ball that’ll quickly become soggy with slobber, their rubber fetching balls resist saturation. The size is slightly smaller than an average tennis ball, making it easier for smaller breeds to participate in the game. And if you combine the balls with a tennis ball launcher, you’re guaranteed hours of endless fun.

Downsides? That rubber exterior can get slippery after a few retrievals. And these particular tennis balls won’t hold up to chewers.

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No one wants to exclude chewers from their unique dog gift list. However, bones aren’t a great gift choice for our canine companions. Benebone offers the perfect compromise. The sturdy nylon allows for hours of safe chewing (no splintering!), with genuine bacon flavoring used to entice your dog. The wishbone shape makes it easy for your dog to grip and hold the chew toy in place, too.

The downsides? If you have an aggressive chewer, they can still break pieces off the wishbone. NEVER leave your dog unsupervised with a chew toy! Also, the nylon may be TOO hard for some dog’s teeth, resulting in fractures. Again, supervision’s the key.

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Why not combine a unique dog gift with practicality? Greenies offers the perfect balance between a dog treat and dental health. Available in sizes to suit every dog, the unique shape of these dog chews scrapes away unwanted tartar from your dog’s teeth. This helps keep your dog’s breath fresh while protecting the development of unwanted dental disease. You can even find fun seasonal flavors, such as blueberry, pumpkin spice, and gingerbread. You can change up the gift to suit the current holiday. Best of all, Greenies has the VOHC seal of approval! Our dog adores her Greenies. If we happen to forget that 11:00 AM has rolled around, she whines to remind us it’s Greenie time.

So what’s the downside? Most of the Greenies contain wheat, so if your dog has that particular sensitivity, you’ll want to skip them. (They have a grain-free option, but it’s one flavor)

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Up Dog created a unique dog gift to challenge canine brains at treat time. This nifty little puzzle toy – which fits perfectly into a stocking – requires your dog to bat, chase, and kick the ball around to get their treats. The mental stimulation distracts bored canines, preventing them from destructive behaviors. Or you can use it to provide your pup with a fun game for the afternoon.

Downsides? You need to consider the size of the treat carefully – small or tiny treats fall out. There’s also some question on the durability. And, unhappily, this isn’t great for large dogs – the openings can end up caught on their jaws.

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What makes a better stocking stuffer than something fun, safe, and unique to chew on? Marrow bones appeal to dogs, but most marrow bones end up too hard for dog teeth. (Plus, fresh marrow bones are kind of gross to tuck into a stocking) Heartland offers a clean, safe alternative: elk antlers. Elk shed their antlers naturally, and people collect them from the forests. They don’t need any special processing, so your dog won’t get exposed to chemicals, fillers, or additives. You can even choose from different sizes, finding the perfect fit for your pooch.

The downsides? Antlers have the possibility of shattering OR causing your dog to break a tooth. NEVER leave your dog unsupervised with a chew! Also, remember that marrow has a high-fat content, so you can see GI upset.

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Your dog’s been ESPECIALLY good this year. Nocciola understands, which is why they created this bundle of twelve squeaky toys. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the canine who needs a fresh toy for every month of the year. You can surprise them with a new little friend to play with a little at a time or go for the big splurge all at once. And the entire bundle stays nice and secure in a handy carry case.

So what are the downsides? Obviously, these little toys are geared toward the smaller breeds. And they’re NOT meant for chewers. Also, some people found their orders lacked working squeakers. So if your dog HAS to have a squeaker, you may need to hide the defects.

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Unique Dog Gifts: Toys

Who doesn’t love getting a new toy as a gift? Our dogs are no exception. Whether you’re talking Christmas morning, a birthday celebration, or a rainy Wednesday afternoon, toys brighten up the mood. You don’t want to stick to standard old dog toys, though. Of course not. Good thing we have some of the most unique dog toys out there to brighten up those gift choices!

No matter the year, Gumby never goes out of favor. And our dogs continue to love the old Claymation favorite. Multipet understands that timeless fascination, and they’ve captured our old favorite character in a fuzzy dog toy. With a dog-approved squeaker inside, you’re sure to win brownie points (or gingerbread points) with this unique dog gift.

Downside? While adorable, Gumby is NOT suited for chewers. As with most stuffed toys, he’ll come apart with little trouble, and you’ll find yourself reaching for the vacuum (and, hopefully, not the vet’s phone number for a foreign body).

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OxGord knows how much your dog loves playing fetch – and how much your arm HATES those endless hours throwing the tennis ball. The BazooK-9 takes the pressure off your shoulder. You can vary the distance the squeaky tennis balls travel with the ability to adjust the draw on the cannon, keeping your dog on their toes. And with storage for two spare tennis balls, you can keep the game going as long as your dog wishes (make sure you don’t overdo it!).

The downsides? You’re only going to get a distance of around 20 feet – maximum. Also, this isn’t the most durable tennis ball launcher out there.

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You picked up the ChuckIt! Ultra Balls, and now you want a launcher designed to toss them. The Classic Launcher is the ideal accessory. The Ultra Balls (or any of the ChuckIt! line of tennis balls) fit perfectly into the Launcher, allowing you to hurl the ball across the yard or park. The lightweight plastic won’t strain your shoulder, and it puts plenty of space between you and that possibly slippery tennis ball.

So what are the downsides? The included ball disintegrates pretty quickly, and it won’t hold up against chewers. Also, if you’re rough on the Launcher, it may snap in half – take it easy.

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ZippyPaws created a unique dog gift for the canine with everything – four toys in one! Not only does your pup get three squeaky chipmunks (or squirrels or bunnies or monkeys) to chase, but the log itself makes a great toy! At least, our dog has more fun tossing the log around than she does the chipmunks. It’s the perfect gift for dogs that enjoy a soft puzzle toy.

Downsides? Those chipmunks ARE on the small side, and they won’t hold up to chewers. Neither will the log, for that matter. Maybe keep this for the less destructive canines on your gift list.

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Of course, who doesn’t crave holiday-specific dog toys? Good thing ZippyPaws came up with a Reindeer Pen to give your dog that Christmas spirit! You get the same unique dog gift, the same squeaky toys for your dog to seek out, but with a little holiday flare.

The downsides? Again, neither the reindeer nor the “pen” will hold up to chewers.

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You don’t want to leave out the chewers on your unique dog gift list, though. Mammoth thought of that. With one of the most durable rope chews on the market, your dog can play tug-of-war to their heart’s content. You can find various lengths to accommodate pups of every size. Even through months of use, owners reported no more than a bit of fraying. It’s the perfect chew toy!

So what’s the downside? Unhappily, you don’t get to specify the color in your order. It’s random. If that’s a big deal to you, you may have to find them in a store.

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If you want a REALLY unique dog gift, you can’t go wrong with KONG’s tugger series. These toys combine a stuffed squeaky toy with a rope toy for tug-of-war, available in either a moose, monkey, or frog. It’s the best of both worlds! You’ll find two sizes available, catering to most dogs. And with that KONG label, you know it’ll hold up through hours of enthusiastic play.

Downsides? While the ropes hang in there without a problem, the squeakers aren’t quite so durable. Also, the stuffing part won’t hold up as well as the rope, so maybe reserve this for the non-aggressive chewers on your gift list.

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You’d love to surprise your dog with a squeaky toy for their birthday or Christmas, but you HATE spending the rest of the day vacuuming up eviscerated stuffing. ZippyPaws (yes, they make quite a few appearances on this list) came to the rescue with their Skinny Peltz toys. Each comes equipped with THREE squeakers – just in case – and NO stuffing to speak of. You can choose from two sizes to appeal to your playful pooch, letting them wrestle to their heart’s content.

The downside? While you won’t battle stuffing explosions, these toys aren’t the best for chewers. Make sure you supervise your dog closely.

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The holiday season means a run to your favorite coffee shop for seasonal drinks. Why not let your dog in on the fun? Haute Diggity Dog provides a fun way for your pooch to get in on the craze. These soft squeaky toys share all of the seasonal colors and decor – in every flavor you love. You can sit in a cozy corner together while you tackle the Christmas cards. It even comes in the traditional three sizes (don’t worry – they’re just Small, Medium, and Large!). You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unique dog gift.

So what are the downsides? The sizing runs smaller than people expected, so consider going larger than you normally would for your dog. And, again, not a great choice for chewers.

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Maybe you have a dog that ADORES squeakers. You, on the other hand, wish the squeaker had never been invented. Not to worry – we have just the unique dog gift for that problem! Hear Doggy provides a line of squeaky dog toys ONLY dogs can hear! The ultrasonic pitch exceeds our hearing range, but your dog will delight in the sound. There’s also no stuffing to worry about. How can you beat that?

Downsides? Unhappily, since you can’t hear the squeaker, you also won’t know when it breaks. (Though you may get a clue when your dog loses interest) Of course, this toy also won’t last long with chewers.

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Unique Dog Gifts: Apparel

Special occasions demand that you look your absolute best. Good thing canine apparel is a booming industry. You can find everything from costumes to accessories to complete outfits. Maybe you’re looking to surprise a precious dog in your life with a fresh look.  Or perhaps you want to make sure everyone’s camera-ready on Christmas morning. No matter the reason, we have unique dog gifts to make sure everyone looks radiant for the camera.

If you love dressing up your dog for the holidays, or even just the seasons, make sure you share your photos with us on our Instagram feed. We’d love to partake in the cuteness!

Christmas card photos, pictures with Santa, or simply walking around town in the falling snow; your dog needs the perfect holiday touch. Blueberry Pet provides just the look with this beautiful reindeer sweater. Available in eight different lengths, every dog has a chance to join in with the winter spirit. A leash hole behind the turtleneck makes it easy for you to slide it on over a harness or collar. And, best of all, it’s completely washable!

Downsides? You need to measure CAREFULLY. People have found sizing runs small most of the time, but it CAN run large. Also, it’s a tight fit on deep-chested dogs.

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Of course, what’s Christmas without an ugly Christmas sweater? DOGGYZSTYLE provides an “adorable” version for your dog to join in on the craze. Whether you use this unique dog gift for holiday parties or just to keep your pooch warm through the winter holidays, you’re sure to get a chuckle from everyone. Available in six sizes and ranging through eight different styles, you’ll find one to suit your four-legged friend.

The downsides? There’s no handy leash hole on this particular sweater. That makes walks a little tricky (though picture time works fine). Also, you need to handwash this sweater.

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Outward Hound knows that not every dog appreciates wearing clothing. However, most dogs don’t mind having a bandana tucked on; it’s similar to a collar. That makes this Santa Hat the perfect accessory during the holidays. There’s a simple Velcro closure, and the soft fabric won’t irritate your dog’s skin. Available in three different sizes, you can find a fit for just about every hound in the house.

So what are the downsides? Keep in mind, this is intended as an occasional accessory, so it won’t hold up through a lot of usage. Also, the sizing runs small.

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If you want a unique dog gift that isn’t locked into a specific season, you can’t go wrong with KOOLTAIL’s dog hoodie. The soft plaid pattern works equally well during fall, holidays, and long winter. A handy leash hole lets you take your dog out on walks in the brisk air without a problem. The hoodie comes in six different sizes, and you can toss it into the wash whenever it’s needed.

Downsides? Sizing tends to run to the small side. You need to make sure you measure carefully. Also, the fabric’s on the thin side. It’ll do fine for a nippy day, but add extra layers if the temperatures really drop.

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Do you want an elegant, unique dog gift? Try visiting Crew Lala for their collection of dog bow ties. You’ll find every pattern imaginable in seven different collar sizes (or you can order a custom size!). The bow tie’s removable when you’re in a less fancy mood (or your dog decides they dislike it). The buckles come in four different finishes, and you can add custom engraving if you choose one of the black finishes. How about a touch of embroidery in delicate script? Not a problem – they’re happy to customize your dog’s collar. Want to complete the package? Why not add a coordinating leash? Your dog will look regal wherever they go.

The downsides? These bow ties don’t come cheap. And every extra touch increases the price tag. Every order’s made by hand, too, so you’ll have a bit of a wait on shipping. Measure your dog CAREFULLY as you’ll need to pay for returns.

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Whether your dog’s preparing to hit the ski slopes, heading to the beach, or sitting back for a long car trip, you want to protect their eyes from sun glare. QUMY provides the best quality dog goggles on the market. The UV-protective lenses keep your dog’s eyes safe from the most intense eye glare. They’re also shatterproof, holding up to normal doggie behavior. The comfortable elastic band keeps them in place, no matter how your dog moves on their adventures. Your dog will look fantastic in this unique dog gift.

So what are the downsides? Your dog needs to weigh at least 15 pounds for the goggles to fit appropriately, leaving out tiny breeds. Also, if you have a brachycephalic breed with prominent eyes, this particular design may hit their eye, causing problems. 

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If you have certain breeds, finding apparel that fits can get tricky. Standard dog clothing isn’t meant to fit certain dogs’ shapes. For instance, when you have a long, lanky dog, what can you do? Why invest in one of these beautiful Whippet Winter Dog Coats, manufactured by VoyagersK9Apparel. Take down your dog’s measurements to figure out which of the four sizes you need, choose one of the four gorgeous colors, and your longboi will look stunning all winter. The polar fleece will also keep your pup toasty warm. The hood pushes down into a comfy turtle neck, and everything secures with Velcro. You even get that handy leash opening!

Downsides? Hand-made beauty comes at a handy price. And if your dog exceeds the standard sizing, you’ll need to upgrade to a custom piece.

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Who doesn’t appreciate looking beautiful on a birthday or Gotcha Day celebration? Sanwood provides ta unique dog gift for festive occasions. The giant daisy complements any dog, with a ruffly tutu to add that special touch. Available in five sizes, you can let your dog pose for pictures or romp around in the spring air.

The downsides? Sizing runs small. The XXL won’t fit larger than your average English bulldog. And the gauze may irritate your dog’s skin if worn too long, so snap your photos and then let your dog shed the dress.

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I bet you didn’t know ZippyPaws made apparel, too. Their festive Holiday Scarf makes a simple yet adorable accessory for your dog. The folded end tucks neatly into the opposite side, securing with the pom-pom. Your dog probably won’t even notice the addition over their collar! It doesn’t tighten down, and you won’t have to undo your work to remove it. Best of all, the stripes work all winter!

So what are the downsides? You only have two sizes to choose from, which may or may not work for your dog (no tripping allowed).  And, unhappily, they run small. Also, watch out for the pom-pom – you don’t want a holiday trip to the vet for a foreign body.

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When you think “unique dog gift,” don’t you think unicorn? Of course you do. HelloStubbyLou offers the perfect way for you to tell your dog how unique and special you think they are. This Unicorn Headband works for every occasion: holidays, birthdays, Gotcha Day celebrations, or Tuesdays. Your dog will look precious and perfect. Available in six different measurements, the accessory works for every pooch.

Downsides? You want to make sure your unique little unicorn doesn’t try to chew on their horn. Also, you have to hand-wash the headband, so take care with those special unicorn celebrations.

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When it comes to the holidays, sometimes you want to go all-out for pictures. NACOCO provides the perfect pet costume for the task. Your dog will look just like Santa Claus in this front-leg two-piece costume. (Or get the green version and make your dog an elf for your resident Santa!) With six sizes to choose from, every hound should have a chance to get in on the fun with this unique dog gift.

The downsides? Sizing runs small for this costume. And, as with any pet costume, you want to make sure you observe careful health precautions.

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Unique Dog Gifts: Technology

Technological advances make our lives easier. The same goes for our pets. With new technology hitting the pet industry each year, you have the chance to find unique dog gifts to surprise your pooch. Whether that looks like an exciting toy, a better way to offer food and water, or a way to supervise your dog’s activity levels, we’ve provided the best technological options out there.

Any time you leave your dog, you start wondering what they’re up to. Furbo is just the unique dog gift to let you know. Their camera allows you to check in on things at any time – to make sure everything’s okay. You’ll get a wide-view, and the camera works equally well during the day and night. Have a barker? You’ll get alerts each time your dog chats with that squirrel outside. You can even talk with your pup, reassuring them you’re on your way home. Want more interaction? The Furbo holds up to 30 standard-sized treats, and you can prompt it to toss them out for good behavior.

Downsides? You’re subject to connectivity issues, as the Furbo relies on Wi-Fi. That means the app only works as well as your signal. After the first month, Furbo prompts you to switch to their premium plan to keep all of the functions.

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“Music soothes the savage beast.” Your dog may not have a savage streak, but they might experience anxiety. Music calms stressful situations – everything from you going to work to long car trips during the holidays. PetTunes provides a unique dog gift in the form of a Bluetooth speaker pre-loaded with dog-approved soothing music on a 1GB MICRO SD card. Your nervous pup can get up to TEN HOURS of relaxing tunes to ease their nerves. And it’s small enough to tuck out of the way.

The downsides? The charge doesn’t always hold, so you may need to keep it near an outlet. Also, it ISN’T guaranteed to work. Some dogs have more intense anxiety than others.

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When your dog ventures out during the twilight hours (or even after dark), you worry about their visibility. Illumiseen understands your concerns, which is why they developed their LED Dog Collar. This buckle collar comes in six sizes, allowing you to protect any of the dogs on your gift list. With a click of a button, you can switch the glow from steady to a slow flash and then up to a rapid flash. The rechargeable battery ensures your dog will remain easy to spot, no matter how many trips you make around the block. Our dog has one, and when she darts behind the garage (where the porch lights don’t reach), it makes it a cinch for us to find her.

So what are the downsides? The collars are NOT waterproof. If they get wet, they’ll short out. Now, Illumiseen DOES offer a lifetime warranty, so you can get replacements, but it’s a pain. The wiring also isn’t the best, so be gentle with the cords.

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Do you worry about your dog escaping from your yard? Invisible fences work for situations where you have large properties or can’t build a physical fence. SportDOG offers an in-ground invisible fence that’ll cover up to 2.5 acres. You even get a bonus of lightning protection (a must when you’re dealing with electricity!). The waterproof collar has seven levels of correction, and the system tells you when your dog’s testing that boundary line. It’s a unique dog gift for those with special circumstances.

Downsides? The system’s on the expensive side. Also, the boundary wobble (the difference between the wire and when the collar corrects your dog) is up to eight feet, which is pretty high.

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Okay, so vacuums may be more of a gift for a dog owner than a dog. Your dog will still appreciate not having to watch clumps of his hair roll through the house. Bissell provides the perfect clean-up tool for small spaces with their Corded Hand-Held Vacuum. The entire vacuum only weighs FOUR POUNDS, and it’s easy to get into those corners and crevices. The rubber tip lifts away staticky pet hair from every surface.

The downsides? This vacuum works fantastic on pet hair, but the rubber tip prevents it from picking up regular dirt. It also requires a cord, so you’ll have to keep track of an electrical outlet.

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If you want to tackle the entire house, Bissell’s 1650A Pet Hair Eraser is up to the task. The tangle-free brush roll prevents those pesky knots of hair ordinary vacuums fail to prevent. The swivel base lets you maneuver around corners and furniture with ease. The dirt cup empties without spilling a single dust bunny.

So what are the downsides? If you have hardwood floors, consider a different vacuum. This model is designed more for carpet. Also, if you notice ANY clumps or clogs, clean them immediately. Ignoring them will cause the pieces to break down – and most of them aren’t warrantied.

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Do you HATE fighting tumbleweeds of dog hair all the time? If you own certain Dyson vacuum cleaners, the Dyson Groom is a unique dog gift that helps cut down on that endless battle. The slicker brushes remove excess hair from medium- and long-haired dogs, while the vacuum sucks the fluff into the dust cup. It never has a chance to reach the floor or furniture! The hose also traps the released allergens and dead skin cells, improving the air quality in your house.

Downsides? You WILL need a Dyson to use this tool; it won’t connect to other vacuums. And it doesn’t work on all Dysons, so check your model number carefully. The bristles are wire, so they can scrape your dog’s skin if their hair’s too short.

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Did you get all of your steps in today? Close all of your rings? What about your dog? No way to know, right? With FitBark, you can find out! This little addition attaches to your dog’s collar, allowing you to track the same things you monitor with your activity tracker: exercise, sleep, calories burned, even the amount of time spent scratching. (Okay, maybe you don’t track THAT) There’s also a handy GPS tracker built-in, just in case your dog wanders out of the yard. You can share the data with your vet, allowing them to see how your dog’s doing from visit to visit.

The downsides? You WILL need to pay a subscription fee to enjoy the complete benefits. However, for all of these options, isn’t it worth it?

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Everyone loves automatic water bowls. Torus took that need one step further and made a portable version – a unique dog gift for travelers. The insulated reservoir holds 0.5 gallon, keeping the water cool during long car trips to family, during summer trips, or on car rides during the holidays. An active carbon filter removes impurities from the water, leaving clean water whenever your dog takes a drink. It’s easy to clean with standard dish soap, too.

So what are the downsides? The bowl only fills a shallow amount. It’ll work fine for travel purposes, but not so much for daily use. Also, the BPA-free plastic lacks an anti-microbial coating, so stay on top of your cleaning regimen.

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During hectic holiday activities, you don’t want your dog’s feeding schedule to suffer. Automatic feeders make unique dog gifts with a practical edge. WOPET’s Smart Feeder allows you to pre-program feeding times or even dispense a manual feeding – in case you find yourself stuck in a surprise meeting. The system holds up to six feedings, and you can choose between two kibble sizes. There’s also a voice recorder, letting you call your dog to dinner. Sad you’re missing the meal? Simply engage the app, and you can watch them chow down – or even snap a quick picture!

Downsides? You DO have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection, so if there are connectivity problems, your dog may end up waiting for that meal, after all. Also, you can only use dry foods – canned foods won’t work with this style of feeder.

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Unique Dog Gifts: Travel

Even if you’re only planning to hop in the car for a jaunt to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, packing for the trip can turn into an ordeal. Our dogs require the same necessities we do – if not more! After all, we want them to stay as comfortable and stress-free on the journey as they do at home. Good thing we have some unique dog gifts to make those trips easier on everyone!

When looking at pet carrier bags, you want plenty of ventilation. Texsens provides lots of roomy air circulation for your little dog with PVC mesh on three sides. They’ll have an unobstructed view on their adventures, riding around in comfort on the removable mat. Meanwhile, you get an extra chest buckle to ease any strain during carrying.

Downsides? Your dog needs to weigh less than 17 pounds to enjoy this backpack. Also, some people found the straps giving out with a lot of use. Check them carefully before you swing your dog onto your back.

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What could make a more unique dog gift than LEMONDA’s Portable Pet Carrier? The futuristic bubble lets your dog play at being an astronaut, while the holes allow for plenty of ventilation. The bottom faux-velvet lining keeps your dog pampered, while a built-in lock reassures you your little space traveler will stay safe and sound.

The downsides? Your dog needs to weigh less than 11 pounds to fit properly inside of this pet carrier. And the acrylic shell comes with a protective plastic film you need to remove after purchase – which tends to happen with varied success rates.

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Do you have a long trip planned with plenty of activities? Snoozer has you covered with a truly unique dog gift. This all-in-one pet carrier works as a car seat, an airline carry-on, a rolling carrier, and a backpack. No matter what you’re planning, you can easily convert between activities; no need to pack multiple carriers. The mesh sides provide plenty of ventilation, while the padded straps and telescoping handle make transport a breeze for you.

So what are the downsides? While available in three sizes, the maximum weight for even the large is 15 pounds. The handle also tends to dig into your back when worn as a backpack (maybe skip lengthy hikes).

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Unique dog gifts come in multiples, right? Furry Pal thinks so. This is why they combined their retractable leash with an LED flashlight and a container for poop bags. Now you can take your dog for walks at night and still see without a problem (and make yourself more visible). You’ll also be able to find those poop bags without fumbling in the dark.

Downsides? Well, it’s a retractable leash – so you need to be careful and mindful of the usual hazards. Also, the flashlight’s meant to be detachable, but that means it CAN come off on its own (say, when your dog takes off running at the end of that retractable cord).

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Do you and your dog love hiking? Then OneTigris has the perfect dog gift for the pair of you. Their handy harness backpack allows your dog to carry a water bottle, snacks, or perhaps a favorite toy to chew on after that satisfying hike. The cotton canvas holds up against the elements while remaining machine washable. Plus, your dog will look super-snazzy!

The downsides? The two sizes aren’t meant for smaller dogs. Hopefully, you weren’t planning this gift for a little dog. Follow the sizing chart carefully to avoid chafing, though. Also, if you’re an avid camper, this isn’t super-durable. Consider placing it on “light duty.”

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When packing for camping trips, space becomes a premium. Jardin helps solve that problem with their Collapsible Travel Bowl. The nylon material is water-resistant enough to work for your dog’s food. It folds nearly flat, taking up next to no room in your backpack. Or you can clip it onto a carabiner for even easier portability.

So what are the downsides? Those folds can make cleaning a challenge. And since it’s not waterproof, you’ll need a separate container for water.

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Staying hydrated on lengthy car trips remains a crucial concern – for you and your dogs. A bowl sloshing around in the backseat doesn’t rank high on anyone’s list of “fun” car activities, though. Highwave came up with a unique dog gift to solve the problem. The 20-ounce reservoir fits into your cup holder, staying out of trouble. When you stop, you simply give it a squeeze, and the water fills the cup at the top. Venturing away from the car? No problem – it comes with a Velcro strap! Best of all, it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Downsides? Once the water enters the cup, it stays there. It won’t drain back into the reservoir. Also, you have to remove the lid to get the air out so you can squeeze everything again. Not deal-breakers, but good to know ahead of time.

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Dog hiking boots help protect your dog’s feet when you hit the trail. They can also keep your dog’s paws safe during winter conditions when salt, snow, and ice may create hazards outside. QUMY offers the perfect option for both situations. Two Velcro straps – with reflective tape – secure the boots in place, while grippy soles prevent slipping.

The downsides? While available in seven different sizes, the largest won’t fit a dog larger than 88 pounds. They’ll do great for light activity (such as winter play), but if you want a trail boot, you’ll want a sturdier hiking boot.

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Travel can take a toll on our dogs. If your pup feels a touch of nerves when getting on planes, trains, or automobiles, ThunderShirt provides a unique solution. The vest’s gentle pressure across key points on the torso exerts a calming influence on your dog (similar to a “hug machine” used in humans). The lightweight material’s breathable and comfortable, allowing your dog to wear the polo for the duration of the trip. You can also find it in TWELVE different sizes, which should cover every dog on your gift list.

So what are the downsides? The ThunderShirt doesn’t work for every dog. You may want to test it out at home before hitting the road. Also, you need to remove the ThunderShirt at least twice a day. Make sure you plan breaks appropriately.

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When you make long car trips, you want to make sure your dog stays safe and secure. You don’t want them to feel confined and bored. But you also don’t want to spend your vacation cleaning pet hair out of the seat cushions. Petego to the rescue! Available in two sizes – for front seats or the bench seat – the barrel-shaped tube gives your dog the ultimate in luxury travel. The tube secures to the seats, keeping the dog hair confined, while also giving your pup room to breathe and relax.

Downsides? People struggled to keep the zippers closed, particularly with crafty pets. Also, the fabric WILL give under determined diggers. If your dog isn’t a savvy traveler, you may want a sturdier travel carrier.

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Dog car seats keep our precious four-legged friends safe – even if Grandma and Grandpa’s house is around the corner. The PupSaver is the ONLY car seat certified by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), making it a unique dog gift indeed! Modeled after rear-facing car seats, it cradles your dog in comfort like a cushy baseball mitt.

The downsides? Dogs need to weigh less than 30 pounds to fit in this particular car seat. It’s also on the difficult side when it comes to cleaning. And it doesn’t come cheap (but can you put a price on safety?).

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Unique Dog Gifts: Treats

Whether we’re talking holidays or another kind of celebration, we usually envision special treats. We love doing the same for our dogs. Fancy occasions demand snacks that are out of the ordinary. Good thing we have the best listing of dog treats that meet the description of unique dog gifts. These nifty dog “cookies” will assure your dog that today is out of the ordinary. Always keep in mind, if you decide to wrap any dog treats, make sure to keep them out of reach of smart canine noses. You don’t want your dog to make off with the entire bag before the celebration starts!

Why not offer a unique dog gift with some added bonuses? Whimzees uses special shapes that act as a kind of “doggie floss” to get between your dog’s teeth with rounded bumps at the ends that encourage natural blood flow into your dog’s gums. Your dog also gets a great source of multivitamins and antioxidants, with no grains and all-veggie ingredients.

Downsides? The largest size is intended for dogs weighing no more than 60 pounds. Also, some dogs end up with GI upset as a result of the vegetable-based ingredients. Watch your dog carefully.

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When you start training your dog, you want a variety of options. Natural Balance offers handy treats that snap into convenient pieces. Available in two sizes and three flavors, your dog won’t get bored.

The downsides? At 35 calories a stick, these treats rank as high-value and should see sparing use. Good thing you only get a few sticks per bag – though some people found that off-putting.

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Healthy doesn’t have to mean your dog loses in the equation. Fruitables provides a unique dog gift that combines low calories with a delicious treat. Your dog gets high-quality ingredients with superfoods such as flaxseed and pumpkin in a soft treat that only carries THREE calories. You also get the benefit of offering antioxidants and vitamins with each yummy bite.

So what are the downsides? Not every dog’s a fan of these treats. And if you don’t reseal the bag, the treats get hard.

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Blue Buffalo offers the perfect occasional snack for the dogs on your gift list that prefer crunchy treats. Your dog doesn’t have the habits of a wolf, but the meat-first ingredients appeal to a lot of owners – and dogs. You can choose from six different flavors in four different sizes of bags.

Downsides? Those protein-packed squares also load on the calories: 41 per piece! Not bad for a rare treat, but avoid using them for training. Also, these particular crunchy treats tend toward the dry side. Not a big problem if you’re only giving one on rare occasions.

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You’d like to give your dog a chew treat, but you know rawhide chews are dangerous. Honest Kitchen offers a unique alternative. Crispy fish skins give your dog the same chewing satisfaction in a completely digestible form. Available in two sizes and two flavors, your dog can snap up and chomp away at the human-grade, responsibly-sourced fish. We give our dog these fish skins, and she LOVES them (and attracts the cats while she snaps them up).

The downsides? You WILL smell fish while your dog works on the skin; up to you whether you’re willing to tolerate it. The bags are also sold by weight, so you don’t get the same count every time.

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Do you have a reformed rawhide chewer on your gift list? SmartBones provides a truly unique dog gift for them. They look like rawhide, chew like rawhide, but they’re made from chicken, vegetables, and sweet potato! They’re long-lasting, but the formula’s completely digestible (unlike a rawhide). It’s a great compromise for the chewer on your list.

So what’s the downside? While you can order up to 720-count boxes, they only come in a mini size, which is too small for the larger dogs out there. Also, some dogs’ tummies don’t agree with those vegetables – monitor your dog closely.

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Want to make your dog think they’re getting a super-special treat? Stella & Chewy has just the thing! With 13 flavors to choose from and formulated with only top ingredients, your dog will think you’re upgrading their diet. Everything comes from right here in the U.S., and the freeze-drying process seals in the nutrients.

Downsides? Each patty carries 56 calories, so this is REALLY a special treat. Also, make sure you read through the ingredients before feeding – sometimes your dog’s stomach may object to the fruits or veggies.

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What goes better with birthdays or Gotcha Days (or a hot summer day) than ice cream? You know dairy doesn’t mix with canines, though. Good thing Puppy Scoops came along. This dairy-free ice cream, formulated just for dogs, lets your pup in on the fun. You mix in water, pop it in the freezer for a few hours, and voila! It’s time for ice cream!

The downsides? It’s on the pricey side compared to already-frozen options available at the grocery store. Also, some owners saw GI upset with their dogs. You may want to offer a small amount as a test.

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Nothing brightens someone’s day quite like a box of fresh-baked cookies. Why should your dog be any different? GoodDogTreatBox doesn’t think they are, which is why they offer amazing, handmade dog treats you can personalize with your dog’s name or a special message. Baked with garbanzo bean flour and peanut butter, your dog is sure to approve (and so will their stomach).

So what are the downsides? You do have a character limit of 10 on your personalization, so you may need to get creative. And if you’re not going to use the treats within three weeks, make sure you freeze them, so they don’t go bad.

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Do you want to add a personal touch with your unique dog gift? Why not make your own dog treats? Ann Clark’s bone cookie cutters provide you with five sizes to work with – perfect for every dog out there. The cutters are made in the U.S., and they work equally well in cold and warm dough.

Downsides? There’s only one dog biscuit recipe in the book. However, you can find plenty of free recipes on the internet. Also, make sure you dry your cutters thoroughly after you wash them, or they WILL rust.

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Celebrations call for libations. And Pet Winery has the perfect option for your four-legged friend. Don’t worry, there’s no alcohol in their dog wines and beers – it’s filtered water and salmon oil – but the authentic bottles and wrapping look the part. It makes a unique dog gift for your four-legged friend, or one of the dog lovers on your gift list. Your canine will feel super-special when you pour them a glass for the festive occasion – or, you know, to celebrate making it through Monday.

The downside? This unique dog gift is on the expensive side, considering it’s mostly water. 

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Unique Dog Gifts: Home

When you move into a new place, you find yourself receiving little touches from friends and family to make the place your own. But what about your dog? Shouldn’t they receive unique dog gifts that allow them to leave their paw prints around? (Not literally, of course) We have the perfect dog-approved items that will make that new apartment or house feel like the cozy, dog-friendly space you want it to be.

Nothing lets your dog know they’re home quite like a dog bed. Whether picking up a new bed as a present for the holidays or using a bed to welcome a new addition into the family, you can’t go wrong with the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed. A central core of four inches of memory foam cradles your dog, with bolsters of polyfill allowing them to lounge in comfort. For you, that cover zips off and pops directly into the wash for easy clean-up.

Downside? Few people have complaints about this luxury dog bed. The only thing they seem to find fault with is that the bed’s too big to fit inside a kennel.

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Do you have a pampered pup? One who ISN’T prone to chewing? Consider hitting up AinesArk for one of their Hand-Woven Marino Wool Pet Beds. These gorgeous beds create a cozy pocket for your dog to burrow into. Available in three sizes, you can choose from six different pastel colors. Your dog will love their plush new den, and nothing says “unique dog gift” more than handmade.

The downsides? The large is still on the small side for bigger breeds. And, as you might guess, this is a TERRIBLE option for dogs that like to chew.

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If you have a discerning pup in your house, odds are you’ve heard of Design Dua. In August 2016, they received NY NOW’s Market Award for their unique dog bed, woven from elephant grass and dyed in vibrant colors. They’ve continued to manufacture these hand-crafted works of art and function, allowing your dog to snuggle onto a fitted cushion. Each dog bed’s a unique work of art, sure to complement a high rise apartment or add a touch of whimsy to a country farm.

So what are the downsides? Such handmade detail doesn’t come cheap. Also, this is another lovely creation that won’t hold up to chewers.

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Do you know a nervous pup? Cave-style dog beds make the perfect option for anxious hounds. And the SPOT Cuddle Cave gives your dog a unique little bed to snuggle into. The plush inside keeps your dog toasty warm, surrounding them in comfort. You can even choose from four different colors to suit your decor.

Downsides? As you might guess from the cat in the picture, this dog bed is intended for the small set. Your dog probably shouldn’t weigh more than 10 pounds. And, yet again, all of that fleece and padding is too hard for chewers to resist destroying.

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Arthritis strikes our dogs as they age. We know offering glucosamine can help keep them comfortable, and we often watch for limping as the first sign to start that supplement. But what about possible neck pain? Bending down to eat can cause neck strain in our aging canines. PetFusion offers a sleek, elegant solution to this common problem. The anodized aluminum resists corrosion, promising long use, even through repeated washing. You can choose from two heights, catering to dogs of small and medium sizes.

The downsides? As you might guess, the bowls aren’t high enough for large or giant breeds. And if you don’t dry the bowls right away, they WILL rust.

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The Premium Elevated Pet Feeder makes a unique dog gift for the owner with classic tastes. The bamboo base resists the development of mold, no matter how much your dog splashes their water. You also get two sets of bowls, allowing you to keep one set clean at all times. Supposedly, the bottom is intended for storage, but it’s a little questionable without a drawer. Better to leave it open and appreciate the clean aesthetic.

So what’s the downside? Unhappily, there’s only one size for this elevated feeder, and it’s intended for small dogs.

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If your dog happens to be one that bolts their food, you know the importance of slowing down that eating process. Outward Hound turns mealtime into a game with this unique dog gift. The concentric circles slow your dog at dinner, forcing them to finish one row at a time. No more gobbling the entire bowl in one gulp! Of course, you may need to clear room in the kitchen for your pup to spin, but it’s better than having them gulp all that food in one shot.

Downsides? The feeder IS BPA-free plastic, but most owners prefer stainless steel. Also, consider the size of your dog’s nose when ordering the feeder. If they can’t fit their nose inside the circles, they won’t have a chance to eat. You may need to choose one of the other styles.

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Does your dog run the fence every time they set foot outside? Do you think they might calm down if they had a viewing window to the “outside world?” Pet Peek agrees with you. Their acrylic domes give your dog a safe way to see what’s going on over the fence. You get all of the necessary hardware to attach the dome to your fence, and it’s easy enough to clean off nose prints. You can install a dome at any level, making it a unique dog gift for pups of every shape and size.

The downsides? If you know your dog shows aggression toward strangers (or other new objects), AVOID giving them the chance to get worked up. This is designed for the curious, well-behaved pup. Also, think about your placement carefully – sightlines to your door? Not a great idea.

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Gone are the days of ordinary dog houses. Now, if you want to pull out all the stops and find a truly unique dog gift, you need to look no further than Rah:Design. Their MDK9 house features the same materials as most standard houses on the market: Brazilian teak, powder-coated steel, and concrete. You’ll also get an ultra-luxe memory foam pillow and your choice of a customized nameplate or house number in brushed aluminum. Your dog will love you forever!

So what are the downsides? That forever may be how long you’ll be paying for this luxury dog house. It doesn’t come cheap! Also, it’s only available in two sizes, neither of which will fit your bigger breeds (probably a good thing, considering that price tag).

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While a book may not work for your dog, every genuine dog lover would jump at the chance to see The Dogist appear in a gift box. Photographed by Elias Weiss Friedman (AKA Instagram’s Dogist), this hardback captures what “canine” means in every sense of the word. You get 1,000 stunning dog portraits – enough to cover an entire year and then some! This unique dog gift will brighten your coffee table. And who’s to say you can’t snuggle up with your favorite hound to share in the gorgeous pictures?

Downsides? Really? Downsides to a beautiful book of dog pictures? Come on! (Okay, so it’s not appropriate for your dog – that’s all I’ve got)

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The Thought That Counts

Finding that perfect, unique dog gift may or may not make your dog’s day. We all know the crushing blow of spending hours researching and selecting a toy or treat, only to have our dog turn up their nose (or play with the wrapping paper or packaging instead). However, deep inside, you know your dog felt touched you thought of them.

So roll up your sleeves, break out the gift boxes, and look for that special something your pooch isn’t expecting. They’ll appreciate it – even if you don’t get to see that canine grin right away.

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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