Dogs are often seen as part of the family, so it makes sense to want to include them in Christmas festivities. Every year pet shops are full of Christmassy products and gifts for our canine counterparts. Let’s be honest - a lot of these are short-lived and end up in landfill, plus add to an already expensive time of year.
Here’s some gift ideas your dog will love without having to reach for your wallet or create additional waste:
Give something back
Christmas can be a tough time of year for rescue centres. The rates of people giving up their pets often spike, and they end up overloaded with new arrivals. It's also a tough time for a lot of humans, and having an animal around can be a huge comfort when you're in a vulnerable position. Why not donate or volunteer at an animal related charity such as The Lost Dogs' Home, Pets of the Homeless or Animals Australia?
Turn deliveries and wrapping into gifts
Got a lot of delivery boxes and leftover wrapping paper? Turn this into an exciting treat search for your dog! A cardboard box with some scrunched up paper makes a great present. Chuck a few treats in and let your dog use its powerful nose to find them.
Arrange a toy swap
Got an equally dog-obsessed friend or colleague? Plan a toy swap! Arrange some of your dog's toys in a box and get your friend to do the same. Trade boxes and your dog now has a whole new selection of toys to choose from with the added bonus of interesting 'other dog' smells.
Craft a unique and cosy bed
Having lots of comfy beds around the house makes for a happy pooch. You can easily create your own using old duvets and pillows, or check out the video below for the inventive use of an old sweater.
Make some tasty treats
Why not get baking and create some Christmas themed treats? You can use some of your dog's favourite ingredients and they're likely to enjoy the yummy smells almost as much as eating them. Try this liver bite recipe or easy fish treats recipe.
The best gift of all…quality canine time
At such a busy time of year it's easy to overlook things and get distracted. Dogs love spending time with us, whether it's out and about or just hanging on the couch. Block out some time over the holiday period to do something nice with your dog, like exploring a new location and letting them sniff as much and for as long as they want. Leave your phone at home and spend time observing their behaviour and allowing them to connect with their very special senses.