Is your dog the beloved family pet, or do you feel so close to it that you treat it almost like a child? Dogs fill different roles for women as we progress through the stages of the later years. Maybe fido started out as a dog for the kids, then became your understanding companion when they headed out on their own. Maybe you got one for safety reasons for when you are home alone, only to fall in love. Maybe it’s truly a best friend that goes with you wherever you go. Or maybe you know someone like this. Regardless, it’s handy to have an arsenal of gifts for dogs at the ready, to shower your favorite dog like they do with their kisses.
People and dogs have coexisted for millennia, and for many of us, our four-legged friends are full-fledged family members. Canine companions provide company, stress relief, a friendly shoulder to cry on, a running or fitness partner, a co-pilot for life’s daily moments and so much more.
An estimated 63.4 million households in the United States have at least one dog, according to the American Pet Product Association’s (APPA) annual survey. (The total estimated number of canines in U.S. homes is 89.7 million.) That’s a lot of canines completing families all over the country.
It’s also becoming more and more commonplace to see hotels advertising their “pet-friendliness” — about 37% of us travel with at least one pet in tow!
Now, us pet people know that dogs make us feel better. But, is there any scientific proof that explains why we get so much out of these relationships? Actually, there is. Researchers are still studying the effects our furry friends have on us, but here are some things we already know.
While results are mixed when it comes to general wellness benefits for dog owners, scientists do agree that dogs can lift your mood, encourage you to exercise and remind you to take care of yourself (and Fido). They also may help you to be more social — canines are pack animals and often require trips to a local dog park. This, in turn, gives you opportunities to connect with neighbors and other locals who also share your love of four-legged friends.
People with dogs walk, on average, 30 minutes more than those without them, and this healthy habit can help you lose a little (or maintain a healthy weight as you age).
First of all, as our nest empties, dogs often fill the void your kids left, at least in space. As we get older, if we slow down a bit and start to cut back on our activities and social time, having a dog will get you to take walks. I’ll also give you someone to talk to and a reason to follow a routine. Research also suggests that because dog ownership lowers stress levels, their owners may have healthier hearts! In a recent study, 78% of dog owners said they were more active because of their pet. Women over 60 should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week — that’s just 21 minutes a day of a brisk walk with your dog.
Our four-legged friends offer us so much in the way of affection and companionship that it’s only natural to want to spoil them a little bit. So, whether they’re king (or queen) of the couch or ruler of the yard, here are some of the best dog gifts for the canines in your life.
Tip: Visiting a house with dogs? Bringing along gifts for dogs will likely please your hostess more than a treat for her.
When they aren’t snuggled up beside you, are they napping in a bed of luxury? Well, why shouldn’t they deserve the best? And if you’re going to have it out where people are going to see, you’ll want it to look stylish for your decor, too.
Dogs of all ages will appreciate this premium cotton blend bed. Cover removes for easy machine washing.
This dog bed provides all the comfort your pup needs to sleep soundly – and the outer cover is machine washable so cleaning is easy!
Help your dog snooze in style with this stylish raised bed from ecoFlex (Also comes in Antique White, $245)
Keeping your pooch playful is half the fun. The joy at receiving a new toy! And then playing hard to get when you try to grab it. They’re so darn cute when they’re feeling frisky. Stock up the toy basket with a fresh, not yet drooled on, supply.
The open design of this rubber toy allows you to stash a treat inside to keep your pet entertained.
This mix of chewable and squeaky toys will keep your dog happy for hours.
This cute plush is fun to chew…if you’re a dog.
Throw their favorite balls even farther with a sport launcher. Makes “fetch” easier on your arm, and more fun for your furry friends. Hours of fun!
For when you need a break and let the dog self occupy. For training purposes. Rewards for jobs well done. And, well, because just look at that face. These are bound to make the tail wag fast, while still being good for them, too.
Good for aggressive chewers, Benebones also hold their flavor well.
With tasty flavors like chicken and apples or turkey and cranberries, your dog can enjoy their snacks, too.
This sampler pack includes 3 bags, each with a different flavor (extra tasty assortment, p-nutter and original), so you can figure out which one your pooch enjoys the most.
Want to take your pet everywhere? Dog Fever has you covered with these adorable breed-specific adjustable bracelets and rings. Made of enamel and sterling silver, available in most of the major dog breeds.
This Yorkie will hug your wrist all day to remind you of the one at home.
(Get $100 off a $400+ purchase with code NM100 through 9/5)
Rings come in whole sizes, and are the perfect reminder of your favorite furry friends.
So maybe the gifts for dogs are for them, or maybe the gifts are actually for you. Either way, the joy you will both get out of these small expressions of love is priceless. >READ: PRIMEPICK: I LOVE BARKBOX AS MUCH AS MY DOG DOES >READ: 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S: #10 DOG PHOTOGRAPHY
Subscribe today for free to receive our weekly update and never miss an article.