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Want to spoil your dog or yourself this holiday season? We rounded up our favorite dog toys, accessories, apparel, and technology available for dogs and dog lovers. Every gift is unique, high quality and guaranteed to keep your dog's tail wagging well into 2019.
We and our long-haired dachshund Django personally love and use every one of these items and have tried them all. So don't hesitate to leave a comment below if you have a question about anything. Happy holidays and happy shopping!
USD 13 | via Amazon
If your dog (1) loves tennis balls, and (2) destroys the tennis ball within 10 minutes of getting it... consider treating him or her to a massive bag of very affordable and lasting tennis balls from Amazon. Before I found this, we were purchasing legit tennis balls (3 to a can) which started getting expensive. Although I wouldn't play tennis with these balls, they are 100% perfect for a pup looking to play fetch. One tip? Store them in a garage bag or other scent-proof container... Otherwise your dog will find them with his nose and whine relentlessly at the closet door until you give him one (we know from experience).
USD 8 | via Old Factory
We're always looking for safe, natural and chemical-free products for Django. Old Factory recently introduced two very good canine-friendly soap bars. The soap is shea butter and flaxseed oil based and made with primarily organic ingredients. NO synthetic ingredients or preservatives are added, making this an especially good bar for dogs with sensitive skin. We're big fans.
Price varies based on size | via Amazon
This is by far one of the most popular dog toys on Amazon and easily one of Django's favorite toys. Each plush 'log' comes with tiny plush squirrels that squeak and hide inside the log. Watch with amusement as your dog rips each plush squirrel out from the log over... and over... and over again. My only complaint about the toy? Django broke the squirrels' squeakers pretty quickly. With that said, he still plays with them regularly. I also just saw you can buy replacement squirrels on Amazon for only $7. Not bad at all.
USD 22.95 | via Amazon
If you're looking for a special gift for a dog loving child or young adult, consider Operation ResCUTE's Story of Jingles. The Story of Jingles is the first book in a series of three. Based on the true story of a real life rescue dog, the book comes with an adorable stuffed animal. The best part? 100% of profits go towards helping shelter dogs get adopted.
We met the people behind Operation ResCUTE over the summer and have only incredible things to say about them. Their cause is honorable and generous. Operation ResCUTE is a non-profit organization intended to educate and encourage the next generation of young readers to think about adopting shelter dogs in need of a loving home.
We came across Open Farm dog food for the first time this year. In general, Mike and I are very picky about what we feed Django... so before trying two Open Farm recipes, we did some research. We were ultimately very impressed with the ingredients Open Farm uses in its dog food and treats. One great example - Open Farm's freeze-dried beef dog food recipe is made with grass-fed meat that has zero antibiotics or growth hormones. This was huge for us, since the very large majority of dog food companies do not use such high quality meat. The protein content on Open Farm's beef recipe was also relatively higher than most other dog food brands - a sign of nutritional quality and value.
USD 46-48 | via djangobrand.com
If your dog needs a new high quality coat this year, check out our best selling Reversible Puffer Insulated Dog Coat and City Slicker All-Weather Rain Jacket & Windbreaker. Mike and I designed both of these coats while living and adventuring with Django in the Pacific Northwest.
Both coats are very effective at keeping your pup warm and dry throughout the cold weather months. Each design is lined, windproof, water-resistant, and very durable. The main difference between these two designs is insulation. The Reversible Puffer is insulated with micro poly fiber fill to trap heat against your pup's body. It's the equivalent of a human Puffer coat and is as comfortable and cozy as a sleeping bag! The City Slicker is sleek, lightweight, and made with water-repellent nylon. Unlike the Reversible Puffer which is designed exclusively for cold weather, The City Slicker is incredibly versatile - it is equally effective in a winter snowstorm and summer rain shower.
USD 80 (2 weeks of meals) | PetPlate.com (currently 50% off with this link)
We tried Pet Plate for the first time this year and Django loved it. The first time he ate Pet Plate, Django actually carried his dinner bowl out of the kitchen and into the living room so he could continue licking it. Considering he had never done that before.. I take it as a good sign :)
There are a few things I really respect about Pet Plate. For one, convenience. Every box comes delivered to your door with 28 frozen meals. For a 15lb dog like Django, one box of 28 meals costs around USD 80, or $2.85 per meal. More expensive than most dry dog food? Yes, but Mike and I don't give Django Pet Plate for every meal. Rather, we mix in Pet Plate with his dry food. We also skip Pet Plate some nights to give Django fresh boiled chicken, wild alaskan salmon, or an egg. The fact that Pet Plate is frozen until needed allows us to spread out the '28 meals' over a much longer period of time. One box of Pet Plate for us always lasts well beyond 1-2 months.
The quality and simplicity of ingredients also stands out. We usually go with the Turkey recipe. Pet Plate's turkey and beef are both high quality sources of protein from USDA-registered suppliers. Obviously no animal by-products or rendered meats are ever used (a big heck NO for us). The vegetables are flash-frozen (making them higher in nutritional value) and include peas, carrots and sweet potatoes.
The DJANGO Pet Tote is a super high quality waxed canvas and leather travel carrier. I realize I'm biased, but in my opinion our pet tote is the most beautifully constructed and unique dog carry bag on the market. We've already received incredible feedback from customers and the media. The DJANGO Pet Tote has already been featured by Business Insider, Bark, Guide, Reader's Digest.
When Home Depot reached out to Mike and I earlier this year to test and review their new SmartWash Advanced Pet Carpet Cleaner, we welcomed the opportunity. We were getting ready to move out of our Philadelphia apartment - a one bedroom rental - and the light cream carpet in the bedroom showed clear signs of Django’s presence. We ultimately were very impressed with our new Hoover's power, effectiveness, and ease of use. Link below for a full and very detailed product review of our Hoover.
We got Django a Brentwood Home memory foam orthopedic dog bed last year and he absolutely loves it. Django has slept on it every night since we brought it into our home and often walks into the bedroom during the day to nap on it. We're huge fans of the waterproof, removable, and machine washable bed cover. It is obvious the fabrics and materials used are very high quality, and they are also non-toxic.
Check out our short video below of Django trying out his new Brentwood Home dog bed. We own the mocha Runyan Pet Bed in size medium which is perfect for Django's long weenie body. This is definitely the way to go if you're in the market for a very high quality, comfortable, and long-lasting dog bed.
USD 250 | via mypetsies.com
Petsies creates custom stuffed animals of your pet. And when we say custom... we mean the stuffed animal looks exactly like your pet. After uploading a few clear photos of your pet and completing a quick questionnaire about your pet's breed and distinguishable markings, a team of designers works on and perfects your stuffed animal. They actually use air brushing techniques to ensure your stuffed animal looks exactly like your pet - markings, hair and all. The end result is pretty incredible (see a few examples below).
We're actually having a custom stuffed animal of Django being made right now for our baby nursery :) We'll make sure to update the below photos with Django's lookalike once ours arrives! And keep in mind that every Petsies order is obviously custom, so it usually takes 1-2 weeks for your order to arrive.
We have been fortunate to partner with both Furbo and Petcube over the years and own both of their treat-tossing dog cameras. These cameras are essentially baby monitors for your dog. They allow you to monitor and speak to your dog when you're away with 1080p HD video, 2-way audio, and even night vision. Each also allows you to fling treats to your pet remotely. An extra benefit? We leave a pet camera on whenever we travel *with* Django for an extended period of time for home security and peace of mind.
Which one do I prefer, Furbo or Petcube? Each company will claim their device offers unique features and benefits. But... in my opinion... and after using both pet cameras for well over a year... they are essentially the same. Both Furbo and Petcube also have 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. If I were in the market for a new pet camera, I would purchase whichever was lower priced.
Mike and I can't say enough good things about Dyson's new Cyclone V10 Animal. We got this lightweight, cordless, and compact vacuum earlier this year to replace our very old, heavy and clumsy model. Oh my GOSH what a difference. Dyson's Cyclone V10 works incredibly well on our carpet and manages to completely rid it of Django's long hair (see photo below for evidence). Our white area rug is hair-free for the first time in three years.
The convenience of having no cord is also worth emphasizing. I now find myself quickly pulling our Dyson V10 out of the closet and using it to clean up hair or dirt on the floor. In the past, vacuuming was a laborious process involving at least 30 minutes and a lot of sweat. One more perk - the compact body of the vacuum allows it to easily reach under furniture including our bed, dresser, and bureau.
New York City can be an intimidating place, especially if you're visiting for the first time with your dog. Not sure where to stay next time you visit? There are thousands of hotels in Manhattan alone, and not all are pet-friendly, in a good location, or even well rated!
To make your life easier, Mike and I (Steph) put together a list of the best dog-friendly hotels throughout Manhattan. Our recommended pet-friendly hotels range from trendy to central to luxurious. And although nothing in NYC is cheap, there are a few hotels below that qualify as 'budget'. If you are focused on a particular Manhattan neighborhood, scroll down for our Google Map guide which highlights the location of each dog-friendly hotel.
How do you choose the best dog food for your pup? The endless selection of dog food products with promising marketing claims make the task of selecting dog food incredibly challenging. Do you go with the dog food brand that claims it only uses all-natural ingredients? Is organic better? And what does "all-natural" even mean!?
We're here to help you understand how to choose what is right for your dog. In the following article we discuss how to identify the highest quality dog foods and what to look for in dog food labels. We also clarify the meaning of organic and natural and address recent rumors about grain-free dog food. As always, leave any questions and thoughts in the comments below! We love hearing from you.
Is there any airline that will allow my large dog to travel with us in the cabin? This is a question we at DJANGO Dog Blog get frequently.
An increasing number of dog owners are traveling with their pups, both domestically and internationally. In this article we explore pet travel options for larger dogs - ones that do not fit under a plane seat in an airline-approved pet carrier.