Shopping for dog Christmas gifts and gifts for dog lovers
If you’re stumped on ideas about gifts for dog lovers or pet parents, we are here to give you some amazing ideas! This year has been unique and challenging for everyone, especially local and small businesses. It’s so important to #supportlocal this Christmas season, so our list will ONLY feature awesome local and small companies. They may not have the advertising big box stores do, but they offer such a great variety of quality dog Christmas gifts!
You may be worried you’re going overboard for a four-legged creature, but Rover did a study showing that 25% of Canadian families estimate their dog gets more gifts than human family members. Even better, 60% of them thought they should buy a stocking for their dog too! Obviously, dogs (and other pets) are considered part of the family and it is never a bad thing to get pet parents or dog lovers gifts that are dog-related.
We are focusing quite heavily on local Vancouver pet companies, but also include Canadian-owned and operated businesses as well. So let’s jump into our list of fun dog Christmas gifts and goodies!
Local B.C. businesses with great dog Christmas presents
1. Good Boy Collective
If you’re in the Mount Pleasant area and are walking down Main Street, you can’t miss a chance to drop into a local favourite: Good Boy Collective. This great store, run by Dayandra and her two pup helpers Bowie and Rupert, focuses on providing modern and ethical goodies for dogs. They currently have cute Christmas-themed toys, winter jackets, and comfy beds that would make paw-some Christmas gifts for any doggo or pet parent. You can shop now online, set up curbside pick-up, or go into their store at 3633 Main Street. One of our favourite things about Shop Good Boy is that they’ve released their very own collection of biothane collars and the “any-way lead”. Talk about a posh yet functional Christmas gift for dog moms or dads!
2. Blue Paw Co.
Have you ever noticed how many Frenchies you see around Vancouver?! Well, we’re here to introduce you to one named @zoeythebluefrenchie who is the CEO of the very popular dog accessory company, Blue Paw Co. When dog mommy, Marion, was having a hard time finding a local, fashionable harness that fit Zoey, she decided to bridge the gap. Now they are known for their adorably-styled pet gear that is high quality and comfortable for your dog. Once you view their online shop, you’ll be overwhelmed with cute doggy gift options! Although they are most well-known for their patterned harnesses, be sure to also take a look at the newly-released rope leashes and great selection of cooling bandanas!
3. Barking Babies
One of the pup’s favourite places to be in Yaletown has to be Barking Babies. This small dog shop is packed full of dog fashion goods and accessories - think dog cashmere sweaters, faux fur dog parkas, and luxury harnesses! They also offers some great pet services such as grooming. Since opening in 2004, Nancy and her team of knowledgeable staff have helped dog owners find functional and fashionable accessories stocked from the best suppliers from all over the world. All of their goodies can be found online, or they are happy to help you pick out the perfect Christmas gift for your dog when you stop by their location at 1188 Homer Street. Go say hello in person because their pup employees, Mr. Pickles and. Georgie Girl, love to meet all the customers and will show you what fashionable pups look like!
4. Benji’s Bandanas
Are you looking for that special bandana? Hand-crafted right here in B.C., Benji's Bandanas has the variety and quality you’re looking for! The moment that Benji’s mom first saw her handsome pup in a bandana was very special and began her love of pup apparel. She decided that she would like to create these memories for other pet pawrents and Benji’s Bandanas was born. All the bandanas are high quality and made in Canada. When you take a peek at their website, we recommend browsing their fantastic Christmas collection because who wouldn’t love to dress up their dog with holiday spirit?! BONUS - You can also add some “Benji’s Bites” to your order as an extra gift for your dog!
5. Keelo and Kona Treats
Like many small businesses, @keeloandkonatreats was inspired by Susan’s two dogs: Keelo (miniature poodle) and Kona (standard poodle). The dogs’ health is extremely important to Susan, which is why she eventually switched them to raw diets and started making dehydrated single ingredient treats. In expanding to a treat business, Susan’s goal is “to bring our healthy and nutrient rich treats to all local pups and share the love”. Feel good about shopping with Keelo and Kona Treats for your dog’s Christmas gifts as they also donate 10% of their profits to different charities every month!
6. Nutmeg & Co.
When you purchase from Nutmeg and Company, you are supporting a young entrepreneur and animal lover, Virginia. With encouragement from a friend, Virginia began Nutmeg and Company in 2018 with the goal of making long lasting toys that are made from pet-safe materials. Additionally, 10% of profits go towards helping VOKRA, a local cat shelter here in Vancouver. Shop for dog toys online and help out the rescue cats of Vancouver!
7. The Snuggit Sac
The Snuggit Sac was an idea born out of love and necessity. When Bronwen’s dog, Clairence, was diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disorder (Myastiena Gravis), she needed to find a comfortable and safe way to hold him upright 12 hours a day. The SNUGGIT sac was created and quickly became a favourite in the small dog community! Give the gift of easy travel and togetherness whether they’re in the city or exploring the great outdoors. You’ll find many different styles of this luxurious carrier on their website.
8. Kafka’s Organic
Your friends will thank you for introducing them to the world of fresh pet food. @kafkasorganic is on a mission to provide an alternative to the industry-standard, over processed kibble. Instead Kafka’s makes fresh, nutritionally-balanced pet meals made from human-grade ingredients. Although fresh pet food is best when served as full meals, you’ll see positive changes even if you add fresh food as a topper or mixer to your dog’s food. Kafka’s has 3 signature flavours and you can try each of these in the Christmas Sampler Set, or be luxurious and get your pup a Christmas treat with the new holiday flavour: Pawliday Feast. A dog’s love is definitely gained through lots and lots of yummy food, so we couldn’t think of a better Christmas gift for dogs or pet pawrents. The best part is you can buy it online and the gift will get delivered right to the door -- Talk about easy (and safe) Christmas gift shopping!
Small Canadian businesses with amazing dog gifts
1. Sirius Metals
Hand stamped dog tags are becoming more popular and Sirius Metals is a great small business option based out of Ontario. They sell off of their Etsy storefront and have an amazing variety of designs with customizable options (ex. Type of metal, shape of tag, writing etc.). While browsing all their goodies, look out for cute winter-themed tags that they brought out for the season!
2. L’Atelier Barkshe
L'Atelier Barkshe is based out of Montréal, Québec and was created by two university students who are also sisters. Their first dog, Happi, and the desire to match with him in every way possible is the inspiration behind Barkshe! While browsing their selection of environmentally-conscious goodies, be sure to check out their holiday collection! There’s a great assortment of bows, bandanas, scrunchies and headbands for great matching gifts for a pet parent and their dog.
3. Kleos Cookies n Treats
If you know a chewer, you need to check out Kleos Cookies and Treats! This amazing business produces the only certified and inspected “homemade” dog treats in Manitoba that are made with 100% human-grade and locally sourced ingredients. Find well-priced chicken feet, bully sticks, pig ears, sweet potatoes, and even antlers! Think about grabbing gifts online for multiple furry friends here because they offer free shipping on orders over $20!
4. Messy Mutts
Chris and Lauren have two pups, Daisy and Davis, who love mess and mud! After their dogs dragged the outside into the home, they came up with the idea of Messy Mutts. This Toronto-based company provides dog (and cat goodies) that will help you maintain a chic home while also providing for your messy pups. Shop their functional accessories for feeding, storing, grooming and playing! We’re sure any dog gift you pick up here will be very appreciated by your dog parent friends.
5. Rover Boutique
This cute small business Rover Boutique focuses on well-made and well-loved pet apparel for dogs to wear everyday. All the clothing pieces are handmade locally and the company gives back to local charities! What a great way to shop for doggy Christmas gifts. While you shop through their online store, you’ll see great patterns that are hard to find other places. Grab some unique apparel for a furry friend this Christmas!
6. Wilder Bandanas & Collars
We’re here to introduce you to a small business from the east coast: Wilder Bandanas and Collars. Courtney lives in Newfoundland and worked in vet clinics for 9 years. Along the way she ended up with a few pets: 6 dogs + 5 cats + 4 chickens + 2 goats. Because of a passion for creation, she started her small business and still makes every item personally! If you’re looking for warm, earth-themed accessories for your pup, check out their amazing goodies online. We can’t get over how sturdy and well-made everything looks!
Shops that have gifts for dog lovers (even if they don’t own their own dog)
1. Drinking Dog & Co.
So you may not own a dog, but you love dogs… and candles! A perfect place to shop is Drinking Dog & Co. This great candle company is owned and operated by two Vancourites who love dogs, wine, and candles. Each soy candle is hand-poured and made in honour of special dogs. They have many scents that would make great gifts on their website, and in the spirit of the holiday they brought out a “12 Pets of Christmas Advent Calendar”.
2. Big Wild Project
Big Wild Project creates apparel that is every dog lover’s dream! Big Wild Project was created in 2019 by Vancourite Rikki, who took the plunge by quitting her job and starting a business that she hoped would contribute to raising funds and awareness for dogs in need. When you buy any of these amazing dog-themed clothes, part of your purchase goes towards charities that rescue animals. This is the perfect gift for dog lovers!
Sherryl is an entrepreneur, chiropractor, and dog lover who started DIYxe because of her love of building things and DIY abilities. When you browse her online store, you’ll find a lot of inspiration for Christmas gifts! If you know people who just love animals generally, this is a great place to find goodies -- one of our favourites is the Morning Blows Cermac Mug! Everyone needs a little humour at Christmas time.
4. Sofs Designs
Sophie, creator of Sofs Designs, is a Montreal-based DYI enthusiast and designer. These unique 3D paper designs are made with the hope they will be a creative outlet for makers (empowerment) and awesome fun items for buyers (pleasure). A lot of people may be stuck without family this holiday season, so a great gift would be something to keep them busy! A piece from Sofs Designs will allow them to have fun and end up with a great home decor piece. They have quite a few dog-themed pieces, but our favourite has to be the pug!
We hope you are all able to enjoy the holidays this year, even if they look a bit different than normal. Good luck in your gift shopping endeavours! We’re sure that no matter what you get, pet parents and their pups will love their gifts. Thank you for thinking about shopping small and supporting local!