Clever canine Christmas ideas

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You don’t have to spend a fortune to indulge your beloved four-legged friend at Christmas time. Here’s how to shop for your pooch on a budget.

Yes, you could buy your beloved pooch a $US150,000 “La Jeune Tulip” diamond-studded collar for their Christmas present. Perhaps The Refined Canine’s outdoor chaise lounge for a mere $1489.99? But if you’re not awash with cash, here are some great festive gift ideas for your best furry friend (BFF) that won’t break the bank.

A basket of goodies 

Who doesn’t love a seasonal hamper brimming with goodies like wine, sweet and savoury biscuits, jams and condiments and a nice plump Christmas pud? Creating a canine version is ultra-simple and will give your dog hours of chewing pleasure. The contents will depend on your BFF’s tastes, but a packet or two of commercially made treats (remembering that your pooch should be only having a treat once or twice a week ), a little fruit (apples and berries are good choices), a can of tinned tuna or salmon and a fresh bone (think raw lamb ribs or raw chicken wings) is a good start. Place everything in a small basket just before present-opening time, wrap in some non-toxic paper and festoon with a few dog-friendly Christmas ornaments. Of course that last bit won’t matter one hoot to your dog, but it will to you.  

These Doggy bliss balls are quick and easy to make, and are a delicious and healthy treat for your furry friend. Perfect as a special treat of for rewarding good behaviour!

Say my name

On a similar note, your four-legged mate won’t know that he’s being dried with a monogrammed towel, or that she’s eating from a bowl with her name on it, or sleeping on a blanket embroidered with her initials. But that’s no reason not to enter the burgeoning world of personalised doggy everything. There’s no end of products you can tailor specifically for your handsome Henry or fluffy Coco (monogrammed leather bow-tie collar, anyone?): and there are plenty that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Etsy is an excellent place to start.

Be a sport

Want to get that tail really wagging on Christmas morning? Then think balls, balls and more balls. Or anything you can throw that your pooch will love to fetch. Make up a cute little sports pack in an easy-to-transport bag, and fill it with everything that gets your dog moving. Try op shops for a second-hand tennis racquet, then stock up on tennis balls, Frisbees and cheap throw toys. Toss in a portable water bowl and you’ll both be ready to hit the park, beach or backyard on Christmas Day.

Groom to move

You might not be forking out for a bejewelled collar but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your furry mate a little luxury pampering over the festive season. A good selection of grooming products will give your pet a lovely sense of being indulged. PAW by Blackmores has a great range of products, from Conditioning & Grooming Spray and Rose Aroma Grooming Mist to NutriDerm Replenishing Conditioner and Dermoscent Essential Mousse.

The soft option

Whether it’s for companionship, plain old chewing or tearing apart with puppy teeth, most dogs love a soft toy. So how about a basket full of plush toys of various colours, sizes and shapes to brighten up their Christmas morning. As any op shop manager will tell you, there’s always an over-supply of pre-loved bears and lions and elephants etc in store, so you can buy up big for very little money. A quick wash on the gentle cycle in the washing machine, and voilà – hours of joy to come. 

As with all gifts, especially with your best furry mate, the joy is in the giving. With just a little effort, a dash of creativity and all wrapped up with love, any present is sure to be gratefully received. And undoubtedly torn open with the same gusto that you had as a youngster on Christmas morning.

READ MORE: Keeping your pooch safe this Christmas