5 Christmas Gifts Your Service Dog Will Love
For thousands of U.S. veterans, a service dog is a member of their family, and just as with any member of the family, they’d enjoy finding a few special gifts under the Christmas tree this year. Of course, service dogs enjoy the usual range of treats, toys, and fun. But thanks to their very specific training and work on a daily basis, there are several gift ideas specific to service dogs that your most dependable buddy is sure to love.
Items That Help Them Do Their Job Better
A service dog is highly trained and constantly on-the-job. Unfortunately, members of the public may not always realize their actions can make this job harder to do. Petting, distracting, and even separating the dog from its owner during an emergency can be a huge detriment, although often unintentional. Gifting your service dog with patches, special tags, and even mini buttons for its vets can help alert the public that this dog is on-duty. You can also purchase a shirt for yourself that, politely stated, explains how the public can help by not interfering with your dog’s work.
A New Vest
Working in their vest is a normal part of most service dogs’ lives. It can not only help with the needs of his or her owner, but is a visible way of setting the dog apart from the typical house pet. You can add some fun and pride to your service dog’s work attire by purchasing a military-themed vest, complete with your choice of camo pattern. These vests are the perfect place to add service dog awareness patches, customized messages (the dog’s name, designation as a therapy dog, a thank you to veterans, etc.) as well as patches representing your past service.
Monthly Treats in the Mail
If you want to set your dog up for some recurring treats without the headache of having to remember or go shopping, you can consider a subscription to Bark Box, a service that sends you a package each month filled with goodies for your dog. For around $25 a month (prices vary depending on the size of your dog breed and if you want all the “upgrades” or not), you’ll receive a monthly package in the mail that includes new chew toys and snacks with a unique theme for each month. You can also gift a subscription to other dog lovers, and your first box is only $1.
Items that Show Your Love For Them
These days almost any item can be personalized to reflect your interests and favorite things, including your service dog. Whether you want to add a breed-specific service dog decal to your car or truck, drink from a stainless steel service dog travel mug every morning, or add a beautiful engraved service dog photo frame to hold a picture of your favorite dog, the options are endless. You can even have a custom portrait of your pet painted by an artist at Pawtraitz.
A Donation in Their Honor
If you’ve seen how much a service dog can improve your own life or that of someone you love, you know the valuable is almost immeasurable. In honor of your own service dog, why not make a charitable donation to one of the many reputable organizations working to train and place service dogs for other military veterans? Additionally, organizations like Mission K9 Rescue work to provide loving homes for retiring military K9 dogs, often reuniting them with their handlers from their time in the service at no cost to the soldiers. Supporting these efforts is a perfect way to be thankful for your own service dog.
Whatever you choose to give your service dog as a special treat during the holidays, remember that the easiest and best way to make them happy is through your ongoing love, affection, and quality time. Together, you support each other and make each other’s lives the best possible lives they can be.
Written by Megan Hammons