Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our October/November issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
The holidays are upon us, which means parties, gift giving, and lots of food! Don’t reach for that same boring fruitcake; consider bringing something else that’s doggone adorable. Check out these gifts that will have your dog-loving friends and family going gaga.
1. Twisted Pretzel Bones
You know how excited your dog gets when you hand him a new bone? Well, imagine that same look in the eyes of the human recipient of these amazing pretzel bones. Give an ordinary pretzel a neat doggie “twist” with this simple idea.
- Raw pretzel dough (your favorite recipe; some stores carry unbaked pretzel dough)
- Roll out the pretzel dough into logs. Tie each end into a large knot. Bake according to the recipe’s instructions. When they poof up, they will look just like rawhide dog bones.
- Wrap in bags, and package with a fancy mustard or cheese sauce.
2. Bone Appétit Chips
The holidays are filled with sweets, so why not try a gift with a little more spice? Homemade tortilla chips are easy to make, and by making them yourself you can give them a little bit of puppy love!
- Tortillas (corn or flour)
- Vegetable oil
- Bone-shaped cookie cutter
- Salt or other seasonings
- Using the cookie cutter, cut pre-made tortillas to make as many chips as you can. Place bones on a baking sheet, brush both sides with oil, and sprinkle with salt or any other seasonings you like. Get creative! Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until the chips are lightly browned.
- Place in a bag with a bow, and pair with your favorite salsa or hot sauce for the perfect gift.
3. Dog-Themed Sugar Cookies
Everyone loves holiday dessert, and sugar cookies are a tradition for many families. Give this human classic the canine treatment by using dog-themed cookie cutters. Bones, paws, doghouses, and seasonal themes make the perfect treat for any dog lover. Customize cookies with a pet’s name, or change the icing colors around to make these festive treats for any occasion.
Want to add a little something extra to your gift? Include a dog-themed cookie cutter and your favorite cookie recipe. Or, order a custom doggie cookie cutter from an online marketplace like Etsy.
- Sugar cookies (use your favorite recipe or pre-made dough)
- Dog-themed cookie cutters
- Royal icing
4. Peanut Butter Puppy Chow
This stuff is addicting! If you can stop yourself from eating it all, you’re sure to get invited back to any house you bring this to. Super easy to make, all you need is a microwave, a bowl, and five ingredients, which you might already have on hand.
- 9 cups rice or corn square cereal
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
- 1⁄2 cup colorful chocolate or chocolate peanut butter candies
- Melt the peanut butter, butter, and chocolate in a bowl. Mix until smooth, then pour over the cereal. Make sure the cereal is completely coated. Place in a bag with powdered sugar and shake. Then add your chocolate candies. That’s it!
- Aside from the adorable name, you can give this gift a doggie touch by wrapping it in a new clean dog bowl or a treat container with a little scoop. Just make sure your recipients know that if they want to reuse the bowl/container for their dog, they should wash it out first.
5. Chocolate Doggie Pop Bouquet
Candy is an excellent gift for any occasion. These adorable lollipops are perfect for any size gift. They can be eaten right off the stick or dipped into hot milk for a tasty beverage.
- Candy melts or chocolate in various colors
- Dog-themed candy molds
- Candy sticks
- Food-safe paintbrush
- Melt the chocolate. With the food-safe paintbrush, paint your mold with thick layers of colored chocolate in the design of your choosing. Once the first layer starts to dry, fill the rest of the mold with chocolate. Put the stick in place, and cover with a little bit more chocolate. Place in the refrigerator to dry (about an hour).
- Wrap individually, and decorate with a ribbon. You can then create a stand for them by putting the stick end into a piece of Styrofoam. Place into another container of your choosing, and cover the foam with decorative paper shreds or tissue paper.
Get recipes for dog treats on Dogster:
Dog Treat Recipe of the Month: Minty Carob-Dipped Christmas Cookies
Dog Treat Recipe of the Month: Kira and Angie’s Thanksgiving Feast Treats
Dog Treat Recipe of the Month: Olive Oil and Flax-Seed Cheese Biscuits
About the author: Samantha Meyers is the managing web editor of DogChannel.com and Rescue Proud.com and spends day and night covering everything dog. When not writing, Sam bakes animal-shaped cookies, throws guinea pig parties, and collects tiny replicas of French Bulldogs. Sam lives with her husband, Sam (yes, another Sam), Huggs the dog, and three rescued guinea pigs, Potter, James, and Griffin.