Whether you’re bringing home a new dog yourself and looking for things to buy that you may have forgotten or planning a new puppy gift basket for someone else, I’ve got you covered! Read on for ten things that every new dog parent needs (but may not even realize it).
For the most part, everyone remembers the basics when bringing home a new dog (if you’re not sure what they are, here’s a great new puppy checklist). We’re not likely to forget a collar, leash, food, bowls, or crate (if you crate train, which I didn’t).
However, as any seasoned dog owner will tell you, your new pup’s life isn’t just about eating, sleeping and pooping! Don’t get me wrong, those are definitely major components of any dog’s day!
Still, there are plenty of other little things that are easily overlooked, like playing and training! So, for my new puppy gift basket ideas, I’m including those things that people typically forget. Check them out!
Things to Put in a “Welcome, Puppy!” Gift Basket
As I said, I’m trying to stick to things that new dog owners forget or items that will enrich a puppy’s life. Collars, leashes and the like aren’t really good gifts to buy unless you know exactly what size & style they’ll need.
One last thing: I received some of the products below to try out with Pharaoh Hound Freya in exchange for sharing them if we liked them. I’m also using affiliate links in this post. If you click those links and buy through them, I get a tiny commission at no extra charge to you. Neither of these things influenced my opinion, as I only recommend pet products that I have used myself.
1. A really good dog training book
Every new dog parent needs at least one really terrific training book! While there are probably thousands to choose from, I am a huge fan of either anything by either Zak George or Victoria Stillwell. Both focus on positive reward-based training versus archaic “alpha training” methods. Dogs are NOT pack animals like we once thought (and we thought that based on flawed studies to begin with).
I could go on about that but I’ll spare you the 2-hour rant. Bottom line: reward training isn’t just more humane, it’s scientifically proven to work better than cruel and outdated dominance methods. So, if you’re going to take my advice and include a great training book in your new puppy gift basket, make sure it covers a reward-based method! You may also want to check out these best dog training tools to have on hand for more ideas.
2. Tasty training treats
If you’re using reward training (which you should!), then you need rewards, right? Grab some tasty training treats to add to your gift basket!
Freya loves Wag More Bark Less Meatballs and Jerky from Cloud Star. They’re big treats, so I just broke them up when I used them for training purposes. You can also buy small training treats if you prefer, but for big dogs, I find it easier to break up larger treats.
Besides, Freya doesn’t really go all crazy for the tiny treats the way she does for meatballs, jerky and the like, so they’re not really an incentive for her to follow a command. If you do want to go the tiny route, check out the best sellers on Amazon below.
3. High-quality regular treats
Along with treats used for training purposes, you may want to throw in some “just because” treats! Both Freya and I really like Dogswell (her because of the flavor, me because of the ingredients). We tried out the Grillers & the Jerky, both from the Hip & Joint line.
I’m not gonna lie, they’re a bit pricey! As you can see from Miss Freya’s thievery above, though, they’re worth it. Not only are they sugar-free and loaded with protein, real meat is the first ingredient. Like real real meat, not meat by-products. Both the jerky and the grillers have chicken as the first ingredient (chicken or chicken breast, NOT chicken meal).
If you don’t need (or want) the hip and joint formula, they also have treats designed for healthy immunity as well as a “skin and coat” line. Check out some of the top Dogswell products on Amazon below.
4. Teething Toys
Teething toys are great for dogs of all ages, not just those in the puppy chewing stage. Freya is almost three and she still loves to gnaw on a good rubbery toy! You have a boat load of options when it comes to choosing a good teether for dogs, but I’m a fan of Nylabone.
We had something similar to their Power Chewer Beef-Flavored Toy when she was a baby. It lasted quite a long time, even though she was an aggressive chewer! Just make sure you choose the right size for your dog. Toys that are too small can be a choking hazard, while toys that are too big may be a bit overwhelming for tiny pups.
5. Interactive toys
While teethers are great for helping soothe aching puppy gums and satisfy their urge to chew, interactive toys help during training and bonding time. If you need a great suggestion, I bought Freya the Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel toy when she was a baby. She just turned three and we still have almost all of the squirrels. For some reason, she’s never destroyed them, even though she shreds every other toy.
6. Comfy blanket for crates or beds
Every dog needs a cozy place to sleep, right? A dog bed is probably too big to put into a gift basket (unless you’re buying for a chihuahua), but a blanket fits perfectly! Grab one that’s big enough to fit on the sofa (for dogs who are allowed on furniture) but also small enough to go into the crate at night. I really like the one pictured above because it’s water-resistant yet oh-so comfy!
- Waterproof- This blanket can protect your furniture and make your pet feel comfortable while spending time with the family. The internal LINING provides extra defense against damage and stains, effectively stopping liquids from seeping through.
- Reversible- with soft plush on one side and fuzzy Sherpa on the other, your dog, cat, or other pets will love to snuggle up on this warm and cozy blanket.
- Versatile- the pet Blanket provides protection from stains, spills, and pet fur, while also being an attractive throw on your sofa, chairs, or bed. It’s ideal for protecting carriers, kennels, or the seats in your car while you travel with your furry friend!
- Machine washable- This blanket is easy to clean and care for. Simply machine wash cold and tumble dry low.
- Product DETAILS- 250GSM solid Flannel+PU water resistant+sherpa 230GSM W/ embroidered paw. Dimensions: 60” x 50”. Color: dark Gray.
7. Grooming Glove
While really good clippers are pretty pricey for a gift basket, grooming gloves are fairly cheap and super easy to use (just slip it on your hand and pet your dog!). Although they’re not going to do much to cut down on shedding the way a Furminator would, they’re fabulous for removing loose top-coat hair. The pair above (with more details below) has fantastic ratings and it won’t bust your budget.
- UPGRADE VERSION: With enhanced 255 silicone grooming tips, mimics the touch of your hand for a soft and relaxing massage; This flexible, slip-on grooming gloves allow you to brush away dirt and loose hair from cats and dogs
- Hair Remover: Perfect for long, short and curly haired dogs, cats, horses, and other pets, grooming the hair quickly, gently and effectively; The shedding hair sticks to the glove, making it easy to peel and throw hair away
- Bath Brush: Bathe the pets with this glove, which will clean the pet hair easily and give your pets a gentle massage without hurting their skin; Five finger design allows you to groom hard-to-reach places like tail or face
- Skin-friendly: Free from any materials which could cause skin damage; Soft rubber ensure gentle massage and grooming without painful removing of fur or scratching the skin; One size fits all, it has adjustable wrist strap for a comfortable fit
- What You Get: 2 blue DELOMO pet gloves (1 left-hand and 1 right-hand; The left-hand glove is customized for left-hander).
8. Dog Health Record Book & Journal
Sure, there’s an app for that, but when it comes to your dog’s records, old school journals are the way to go. First, there’s just something fun about noting down your pup’s milestones (it’s like a baby book for dogs!). Second, a journal can’t crash and wipe out all of your data! This one has room for your dog’s vital info (name, breed, gender, allergies, etc) plus plenty of pages for vet visit notes.
- Publishing, Moito (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 116 Pages - 05/15/2018 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
9. Special gift for the new puppy parent
Don’t forget to include a little something special for the new puppy parent! With fall and winter on the way, a “Best Dog Mom” hoodie makes a sweet gift idea. Other cute ideas include breed-specific mugs (which are super hard to find for Pharaoh Hounds, sadly) and personalized frames.
- Are you the proud mommy of a dog or a puppy? Sounds like you need to purchase this funny dog mom tee for yourself or purchase it as Mother's Day gift for that dog lady friend.
- This Colorful T-Shirt for women with a heart-shaped paw print and the funny saying: Best Dog Mom Ever makes a great gift for dog lovers friends. It is perfect for any gifting occasion: Valentine's Day, Birthday, Christmas & Graduation
- 8.5 oz, Classic fit, Twill-taped neck
10. Gift card to buy other pet supplies
If there’s one thing every single dog parent can use, it’s a gift card! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Chewy offers gift cards (I searched all over their site for one), but Amazon is always a great way to go! They have a cute one with cats and dogs that says, “From All of Us,” which would be adorable as a gift from your own pets. If that’s too pricey (it’s only for a $50 gift card from what I can tell), they have other cute ideas with dogs on them.
With a bazillion and one different dog products out there, it’s really not hard to load up a new puppy gift basket with plenty of fun and functional items. In fact, the only hard part is sticking to your budget! So get creative and have fun!
Last update on 2020-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API