Last updated on February 18th, 2023 at 06:01 pm
When families hang holiday stockings from the fireplace, they often include one for their furry pooch as well. If you are one of those people who likes to buy your dog gifts, you may be overwhelmed by the endless choices offered by retailers. Numerous retailers offer holiday stocking stuffers for your dog, but will your dog love them, and are they healthy and good for your dog?
I strongly suggest you think about getting things for your dog’s holiday stockings that are actually healthy. And, they don’t have to be boring. There are a lot of really great small gifts that are good for your dog that he will really love!
Keep reading to see my favorites.
(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon from which I may be paid a commission.)
Make Sure You Buy Something Your Dog Likes
I see so many gifts advertised that are not things that a dog may like, but that people think are cute. I have seen chew toys made in the shape of beer cans, decorated dog Christmas cookies, Christmas bandanas, and Christmas dog bow ties. While there is nothing wrong with these things, I doubt that your dog really cares!
Instead, get your favorite pooch his favorite things and maybe something new and different that he will surely love. And while you are at it, make sure they are healthy and good for him. Yes, such things do exist! It is possible to get toys, treats, and other small goodies for your dog’s Christmas stocking that he will love and you will feel good about giving to him. Click the images below to go to Amazon and check out the prices.
1. First, Get a Big Stocking!
These well-made, embroidered stockings are fun and will give you plenty of room to stuff in a lot of goodies. WEWILL makes these stockings from luxurious velvet to ensure they will last for years. The stockings are fully lined inside and come with a small strap at the top for hanging on the mantle. I think they look pretty classy as well as sweet! I love that the stockings also come in smaller sizes as well and that they can be personalized. WEWILL also has stockings for the entire family including the cat.
I am buying two for my two rescue dogs who are sisters, Charlotte and Georgia. After they drag all of their gifts out, they will probably play tug of war with the stockings. This will be a good test for durability!
2. Yaks — Chew Sticks
These large-sized Yak Cheese Dog Chews are something I recently discovered and my dogs love them!! They are made with only three ingredients — lactose-free skim milk, lime, and Himalayan salt. As your dog chews on them, they become soft and they can nibble off small pieces. Therefore, Yaks are fully digestible and may be okay for dogs who have allergies to milk and cheese since they are lactose-free. They are listed as having limited all-natural ingredients hand-crafted by Nepalese dairy farmers. They contain no preservatives or chemicals and are good for sensitive stomachs.
Because they were on sale, I decided to buy two brands — these large chews, and a bag of medium-sized Eco Kind Gold Yak Chews. I was attracted to the Eco Kind brand because they were listed as being organic. Otherwise, they seem to be very similar to the Mighty Paw brand and are also imported from Nepal. However, I discovered that the medium chews seemed a bit small for my 35-pound dogs, so I will order the large chews next time.
Benefits of Yak Chews
Both of these brands are a great alternative to rawhide chews, which can be really hard on a dog’s stomach. I really like that they are made exclusively of real food — no plastic, bamboo, wood, or chemicals. The Yak chews are highly digestible and are made solely of food containing a lot of protein, calcium, and other minerals. My dogs will chew on them on and off and they last for several days. I have noticed that they drink more water when they have been chewing on them most likely due to the lime and salt.
Cautions about Yak Chews
One word of caution is that any chew stick requires supervision, as it could become a choking hazard. So, I pick them up when I am not around. When they become very small (less than an inch square), I also pick them up. My dog Georgia who will eat anything recently swallowed an entire piece of wood that was slightly larger than an inch square. She became really sick for two days until she finally threw it up. Otherwise, it may have been a trip to the vet for emergency surgery!
The Yak chews are probably much less dangerous than a small block of wood since they do eventually dissolve. However, they could get stuck in a dog’s throat. Even so, you probably don’t need to worry about giving them to your dog as long as you supervise. However, the good news according to Eco Kind is that when they get small, you can pop them into the microwave for 90 seconds and they become puffed-up crunchy treats for your pup!
I tried this and it worked pretty well. But, I had to break it apart with a large kitchen knife and then I had a whole sandwich bag full of easy-to-crunch treats. Just be mindful of the salt content and dole them out sparingly.
3. Chuckit Balls
These Chuckit! balls have been around a long time and are now my dog’s favorite balls. They love to play fetch with them or just carry them around. My dogs have other balls they like, which you can see on my recommended products page, Dog Toys. But these are the ones they like most right now. These medium-sized balls are the perfect size for their mouths. They love to gently squish them in and out and can do this without tearing or destroying them. They almost seem like a pacifier for them as they often carry them around all day long.
What I love about these balls is that they are durable yet lightweight. These balls are great for playing fetch in the dog park and a launcher can also be purchased to assist with long throws. You can also throw them around inside the house when the weather is bad. They are a little bouncy, so watch your lamps. But they are lightweight and rarely do any damage if something gets hit.
These orange balls with blue trim have two colors that dogs can see really well. So they are easier for your dog to see and grab in the air or find in the grass. They are ergonomically easy for a human to grip and throw and they clean up nicely. What I appreciate the most is that my dogs get a little obsessive with all of their balls, but they will give these back to me with a little coaxing!
4. Festive Ginger and Pumpkin Treats
What could be better than holiday snacks like gingerbread or pumpkin biscuits for Christmas? These human-grade treats are crafted and baked by hand in Portland Oregon and my dogs absolutely love them. They get a few bags everything Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dogs will do anything to get these treats! They smell so good that I am tempted to eat a few myself!
These treats are non-GMO have no preservatives and contain no wheat, gluten, dairy, or grain. They are great for sensitive stomachs and are made with only seven natural ingredients. Portland Pet Food offers a variety of flavors as well as homestyle meals in a pouch. And best yet, Portland Pet Food Company donates 5% of their net profits to local non-profit animal shelters and programs.
5. Stuffed Toys Made by West Paw
West Paw has been making fun, safe, and durable pet toys for years and this one is one of my dogs’ long-time favorites. Unfortunately, they don’t make the purple color anymore, which is the color we have. But they offer them in other great colors like hot pink, lime, and bright yellow.
They are fun for my dogs to hold in their mouth and shake and run around with. They have a squeaker in the head and durable Hardy Tex feet which hold up well to chewing. We have had our purple version for over two years and I just wash it periodically to keep it clean. It is amazing how well it has held up!
We call these two our purple squirrels. What I also love is that they are the perfectly sized toy to slip into a holiday stocking as a stuffer!
6. Nudges Natural Dog Treats
My dogs will do flip-flops for these steak grillers! They are great training treats that are soft and can be broken up into smaller pieces. Nudges is part of Blue Buffalo Dog Food company and they make their all-natural treats from USA sources using healthy and natural ingredients which do not include chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, or soy, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. These are tasty and healthy treats to stuff into your dog’s holiday stocking.
Dog trainer, Athena Labberton, owner of LetUsDotheTraining.com, introduced me to these training treats when we were trying to condition my two 9-year-old rescue dogs to be a little less reactive. On the first day, Athena was able to get my stubborn Cattledog mix dog, Charlotte to lie down on her mat. Two other trainers could not get her to do this. Of course, Athena is quite skilled, but the Nudges Grillers seemed to help!
7. Outward Hound Mini Toys
This sweet, plush, mini bear is the perfect holiday stocking stuffer for your dog. Outward Hound makes safe, durable, and intriguing toys for dogs of all sizes and ages. This plush toy is made of durable material with double seams, double lining, and no stuffing. This little bear can be chewed on or thrown around for a game of fetch or tug of war.
The mini plush toys come in a variety of colors, sizes, and animal types. Even larger dogs can enjoy the mini plush bear to carry around, nibble on, or engage in a game of fetch.
8. Rawhide Alternative Chew Sticks
These small chew stix are great treats to give my dogs a short fun distraction. They are actually a little small for my 35-pound dogs. But I find that if I give them the larger sizes, they will eventually begin fighting over them as they would a prized bone. The smaller stix get gobbled up pretty quickly but they seem to manage them well without choking under my watchful eye.
If they are bugging me in the morning while I am sipping my morning coffee or barking at the mailman, these treats come in handy. And of course, they absolutely love them to the point of a little resource-guarding and growling. I usually get chicken stix, but they have other flavors like beef, venison, salmon, peanut butter, and pork. They come in four different sizes for small to larger dogs.
These non-rawhide stix are made from seven wholesome, natural ingredients including chickens and other animals that are humanely raised. They contain no soy, gluten, dairy, preservatives or artificial ingredients. They are easily digestible and will not cause tummy upsets. These stix are very easy to slide inside a holiday stocking as another stuffer!
9. Handheld Pet Massager
This small battery-operated pet massager will slide right into your dog’s holiday stocking. It fits well within the palm of your hand and will give your pooch a lot of nurturing and comfort. It can be used as a head and back scratcher as well as a tool to relieve stiff muscles and stiffness. The massager features four rotating small heads and two levels of intensity. It comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery.
My dog, Charlotte, is very athletic and prone to minor joint problems and arthritis. She has her very own chiropractor who has helped a lot. But I am planning on purchasing this massager to help keep her tuned up in between appointments. She seems to respond well to hand massages and always loves to be scratched. So, I think she will enjoy finding this in her stocking!
These are my recommendations for some healthy holiday stocking stuffers for your favorite pup. You may think of many more that your pooch will like as well. Just remember that gifts are for the benefit of the recipient rather than the giver. So, make sure you pick stocking stuffers that you know your dog will love. Of course, it is okay for you to feel joyful in giving your pet the very best!
Deanna Euritt is a dedicated dog enthusiast with over three decades of experience in raising and training a diverse range of dogs, including many rescue pups. Her practical expertise is rooted in real-life experiences, where she has successfully navigated the challenges of nurturing rescue dogs into confident, well-adjusted companions. Residing in Northern California, Deanna’s days are filled with adventures along trails and beaches with her beloved dogs, Charlotte and Georgia. In her writing, she offers insightful, compassionate advice to fellow dog lovers, leveraging her extensive personal journey in the world of dog care and training. See About Us.