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2021 Gift Guide: Top Picks for Pets and Their People

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All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Living may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

‘Tis the season to spread some cheer to the pets that bring so much joy to our world! Our team here at Great Pet Living—including our furry, four-footed in-house experts—has been hard at work play-testing, taste-testing, sleep-testing, and chew-testing plenty of gift-worthy goodies for dogs, cats, and fellow pet parents. 

Not gonna lie, it’s been so much fun, we can’t bear to keep it to ourselves. 

So here’s our annual Gift Guide to help you choose the perfect present for the most lovable furballs on your gift list…including some options the whole family can enjoy.

Best Gifts for Dogs

Who’s a good dog? Your dog, of course! Whether you’re looking for toys, treats, or the perfect present for under the tree, we’ve got gifts galore that are guaranteed to get tails wagging. 

Best Stocking Stuffer for Dogs Who Like to Get Close

Our Pick: The Missing Link Smartmouth 7-in-1 Dental Treats

The holidays are a time to snuggle in under blankets and enjoy some one-on-one time with the people (and pets) you love. That definitely includes extra cuddles with your dog. But, if you don’t want to deal with bad breath, we have the perfect stocking stuffer. Smartmouth 7-in-1 Dental Treats from The Missing Link aren’t just deep-cleaning, breath-freshening dental chews that are perfect for all those holiday mistletoe moments. They’re made with a multi-tasking 7-in-1 formula that provides whole-body health support for teeth, breath, joints, skin, digestion, heart, and a daily vitamin supplement. Oh, and did we mention that it’s crunchy and delicious? Smartmouth is flavored with real pork and poultry, so it’s not like receiving a toothbrush as a gift. Trust us—they’re a great-tasting, healthy treat. Give the pooch in your life the gift of Smartmouth, then get ready for some kisses!

Best Toy for Energetic Dogs

Our Pick: iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher

iFetch dog ball launcher

Whether your dog enjoys a good game of fetch or the sight of a B-A-L-L triggers a full-on fetching frenzy, the iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher is a holiday home run. Choose the classic iFetch, which launches mini tennis balls 10, 20, or 30 feet, or go long with the iFetch Too, which can launch standard-sized tennis balls 10, 25, or 40 feet. Either way, fetch-obsessed dogs can enjoy the non-stop fun while you give your overworked throwing arm a much-needed break. 

Both models come with 3 balls and a battery adapter. iFetch runs on C-cell batteries or a wall plug, while iFetch Too features a built-in rechargeable battery. Plus, the iFetch is perfect for indoor and outdoor play. But be warned: If you take this interactive toy to the dog park, you better bring enough balls for everyone! 

Best Gift for Dogs Who Feel the Force

Our Pick: Baby Yoda Santa Dog Toy

Baby Yoda Santa Dog Toy

We suspect all dogs are a little bit Wookiee at heart. So here’s one gift that’s sure to delight your favorite fuzzball (and any other Star Wars fans in your home): The Baby Yoda Santa Dog Toy! This festive, plush Grogu dog toy features durable canvas construction with soft sherpa fleece accents. Plus, it has sounds our canine testing crew loved—from the crinkly ears to the squeaker inside. Best of all, one look into those adorable alien eyes can almost erase the memory of the Star Wars Christmas Special. Almost.

For the true Jedi-at-heart, pair your Baby Yoda Santa Dog Toy with this covered dog bed inspired by Grogu’s hover pod. Then prepare to make the jump to lightspeed.  

Best Gift for a Long Winter’s Nap

Our Pick: Canopy Dream Fur Dog Bed

Canopy Dream Fur Dog Bed

Every night will feel as magical as the night before Christmas when your pup is snuggled up in this luxe Canopy Dream Fur Dog Bed by Bowser’s Pet Products. We love it because it‘s fashionable, functional, and comfortable. The tufting gives this dreamy bed a high-end, modern look, complete with a “scooped” front that provides easier access for small or arthritic dogs. The plush canopy and overstuffed bolsters cradle your dog in a cozy, comforting embrace pets find reassuring. Zippered, easy-to-clean covers make this an ideal gift for pet parents, too! 

Best Gift for Dogs Who Wanna Play…and Keep Playing

Our Pick: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Jumpin’ Stix

Natural Balance Jumpin Stix

Even if your dog is long past puppyhood, there’s still a way to keep them young at heart…and then some! No, it’s not the fountain of youth (on back-order everywhere…not to mention, impossible to wrap). It’s a healthy helping of Jumpin’ Stix from Natural Balance. These delicious dog treats are formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy hips and joints so your dog can maintain an active and playful life to match their youthful spirit. The grain-free formula is made with a limited list of high-quality ingredients, so it’s great for healthy digestion and limited-ingredient diets, too. Who needs the fountain of youth? Just pack your sack of presents with plenty of Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix to keep your adult dog jumping for joy.

Best Gifts for Cats

We’re almost certain that cats believe all the holiday hubbub is purely for their entertainment anyway. (Why would the holidays be any different than any other day?) So, there’s no harm in spoiling your precious kitty with a sleighful of gifts designed to please even the most finicky feline. 

Best Stocking Stuffer for Cats

Our Pick: Ethical Pet 5-in-1 Spot Pet Laser Classic

 Ethical Pet 5-in-1 Spot Pet Laser Classic

You can’t go wrong with a laser toy when it comes to keeping cats entertained and active. But you can go bigger and better. And that’s exactly what this 5-in-1 Spot Pet Laser Classic cat toy from Ethical Pet does. Instead of a boring old dot, this laser light features five different laser hologram images you can change simply by rotating the lens. There’s even a star shape you can use to distract your cat from all the oh-so-tempting ornaments and holiday decor in your home. Best of all, batteries are included, so you can skip the last-minute search and get right down to bonding with your beloved cat as they chase, pounce, and stalk their festive, glowing, laser “prey.”

Best Alternative to Climbing the Christmas Tree

Our Pick: Frisco Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo 

Frisco Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo

Your cat doesn’t care if your Christmas tree is fresh-cut or artificial, fat or skinny, crooked or riddled with bald spots. To your cat, it’s a challenge—one that must be scaled and conquered! Here’s a better idea: The Frisco Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo is a tree of a different sort, one that’s much better suited to your cat’s natural instincts. This deluxe, multi-level structure is an all-in-one cat captivator, thoughtfully designed to provide plenty of lounging, leaping, climbing, clawing, stalking, surveying, hiding, and hunting opportunities. Durably crafted of high-quality materials, this show-stopper of a gift will keep your kitty active and occupied long after the holidays are over.

Best Gift for Feline Foodies

Our Pick: Smalls Fresh Food Subscription

For cats who love to eat, a Smalls cat food subscription is the feline equivalent of having a Michelin-ranked personal chef in your kitchen. Smalls specializes in human-grade fresh and freeze-dried raw recipes that are clean, nutritious, and made with tasty, protein-rich ingredients. Fresh formulas are available in three flavors — Bird (chicken), Cow (beef), and Other Bird (turkey) — and two textures, smooth or ground. For cats who prefer some crunch, Small offers freeze-dried raw niblets in Bird (Chicken), Other Bird (Turkey), and Water Bird (Duck) flavors. You can even tell them about your cat and they’ll send a box that’s customized to fit their palate and their health needs. Best of all, Smalls delivers a subscription box to your door once a month, just when you need it. It’s truly the perfect gift for cats who love to eat and pet parents who want them to eat well and be well.

Best Gifts for Pet Parents

When you’re making your list and checking it twice, don’t forget to add some of these great gifts for pet lovers…including you! (We’re all for self-gifting. It’s the newest form of self-care.) You can even sign your pet’s name on the gift-tag if it makes you feel better. 

Best Gift for Art Lovers

Our Pick: Crown & Paw Pet Portraits

Crown and Paw custom pet portraits

Got a one-of-a-kind pet? Of course you do. Give your little king or queen the royal treatment they deserve with a custom art canvas from Crown & Paw, creators of the original renaissance pet portrait! Just choose from over 150 unique costumes (spanning the Renaissance, film, TV, sports, hobbies, and more), upload your photo, and place your order. You can preview your portrait, request edits, or approve the proof online. Then just sit back and wait for your one-of-a-kind artwork to arrive. Best of all, this instant family heirloom is unique to your pet…perfect for all the pet parents on your gift list!

Best Gift for Rescue and Adoptive Parents

Our Pick: Embark Dog DNA Kits

Embark DNA tests

Get $50 off the Breed + Health and DNA Test for Purebred Dogs through 12/12

There’s no question about it: Your dog is 100% part of your family. But their own family tree may be more of a mystery. That’s what makes Embark Dog DNA Kits the perfect gift for curious pet parents everywhere! With just a simple cheek swab and easy mail-in sample kit, Embark can help you unlock your pup’s origin story. Discover everything from your dog’s magical mix of breeds to 210+ genetic health risks, so you can provide targeted, effective care and help your pet live a longer, healthier life. Plus, Embark tests analyze over 220K genetic markers and identify over 350 breeds, types, and varieties—more than any other DNA test. The company even offers the world’s only Canine Relative finder, so you can find and connect with other dogs who share your dog’s DNA!

Embark offers Breed ID, Breed + Health Kits, and Purebred Dog DNA Kits. So whether you’re hoping to solve the puzzle of your rescue pup’s past or you’re interested in finding out more about your purebred dog’s lineage and health, there’s an Embark Dog DNA Kit for you…and any other curious pet parents you know. 

Best Gift for Grooming On-the-Go

Our Pick: Great Clean Pet Wipes for Dogs & Cats

Great Clean Pet Wipes

Too busy with holiday hijinks to make it to the groomer? Fluffy or Fido get into some messy mischief? Did somebody leave muddy paw prints all over your floor? Do yourself (and your home) a favor and stuff your own stocking with fresh-smelling Great Clean Cleansing Wipes for Dogs & Cats. These portable, fresh-smelling wipes are perfect for grooming on the go and easily remove dirt, dander, odor, pet hair, and more. Talk about a holiday miracle! Plus, they’re made with soothing aloe and oatmeal, so they’re easy on your pet’s skin. No matter how much naughtiness pets get into, Great Clean Wipes will keep them looking nice! And that’s a gift no pet parent can live without. 

Best Gifts for the Whole Family

Some gifts are so good, the whole family’s gotta get in on them. Here are some bonus picks for gifts that benefit you as much as they do your pet. 

Best Gift for Nailing Family Photos 

Our Pick: Dog Threads

Dog Threads clothing

Even if your dog isn’t Instagram-famous (yet), when you and your pet don matching fashions from Dog Threads, you’re guaranteed to look the part! Whether you’re suiting up for the family holiday photo or just feeling cute, the new holiday offerings come with premium-quality matching outfit sets so you and your pet can strut (and sync) your style wherever you go. 

Each set from Dog Threads features both a pup-sized and people-sized version of the design. You can choose from new holiday styles like the festive Let it Snow design and the seasonal smash Great Yukon. Or you can opt for the Great Plains Flannel button-down set to keep you warm and cozy this winter.

Best of all, when you give the gift of Dog Threads matching outfits to the pet and pet lover in your life, every matching set feeds a homeless pup in need for one full day. So you’re spreading extra joy this holiday season.

Best Gift for Holiday (or Everyday) Travelers

Our Pick: TrustedHousesitters Membership  

Trusted Housesitters vacation

For pet parents who love to travel, the next best thing to an all-expenses-paid world tour is the gift of an annual TrustedHousesitters membership! TrustedHousesitters members get unlimited pet care from a network of verified and reviewed in-home pet sitters. So when you can’t travel with your dog or cat, you can still enjoy a guilt-free vacation knowing your pets are happy at home in the care of a 5-star sitter.

Not only is veterinarian-recommended TrustedHousesitters easier on your pet, but it’s also better for your budget than traditional boarding services, kennels, and catteries. With a TrustedHousesitters membership, you won’t pay a dime for vacation pet care. The sitter network is made up of vetted, pet-loving travelers who trade care services for a place to stay. There are no sitter charges or hidden fees. Plus, you and your sitter get free 24/7 access to phone, text, or video consultations with veterinary experts who can address any questions or concerns. 

So give yourself (or any of the pet parents on your list) the gift of peace of mind this year…along with great vacation pet and home care with TrustedHousesitters.

Best Gift for a Little Peace on Earth

Our Pick: The Anxious Pet Relax and Roll Calming Hemp Oil for Dogs and Cats 

The Anxious Pet CBD Hemp Oil

Whether it’s the parade of delivery people knocking at your door, hectic holiday travel, out-of-whack schedules, or festive (and incessant) New Year’s Eve fireworks, the holiday season can be a minefield of stress and anxiety for our pets. To keep your home merry and bright, treat your dog or cat to a dose of calming Organic Hemp Oil from The Anxious Pet. This veterinarian-formulated, all-natural hemp oil delivers the calming benefits of CBD in a safe and effective format that’s easy to administer. Calmer pets make for a calmer household. And a calmer household means a more enjoyable holiday season for everyone!