Three friends and housemates hold up their dog with a Christmas tree backdrop for a festive season portrait

2023 Guide to Top Dog Christmas Presents


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Looking for the ultimate dog Christmas presents to fill your fur kid’s stockings? Look no further. We’ve researched and collated nine tail wag worthy Christmas gifts for dogs that are available in NZ. Hopefully you can find all your dog Christmas presents in this one festive roundup!

We also share tips on making Christmas a special time for your canine buddy. Tuck into the seasonal fun here.

A woman in pajamas playing with her corgi dog in front of a Christmas tree, surrounded by delightful dog Christmas presents.

Do you buy your pets Christmas presents?

Do you? Should you? It’s completely up to you but as pet lovers we believe buying a dog Christmas present or three is worthwhile because it gives you a chance to include them in the festive fun. They may not fully understand but they’ll know they’re opening presents just like the rest of the family, which comes with a sense of belonging.

Not just that, but you can also double up your shopping achievements by getting them essentials you’ve been needing to buy while choosing slightly fancier or better quality options.

Take a look at what we mean about gifts that provide summer safety and fun for dogs in NZ…🎄

What to give my dog for Christmas?

For us Kiwis, Christmas falls in summer so there’s lots of time to spend at beaches, lakes, streams, rivers, pools, forests, mountains and more! That’s why we’ve selected good Christmas gifts for dogs that help them stay cool, hydrated, stimulated and even stop them from gaining added kilos.

Choose from these eight savvy dog Christmas gifts:

A person holding a dog chew toy, one of the good Christmas gifts for dogs.

#1 Slow eating puzzle toy

We all love dogs, many of us love rugby, and dogs love food. What do you get when you combine these three concepts as a single dog Christmas present? A rugby shaped kibble dispenser from Fluff n’ Stuff for dogs!

Your dog needs to use their brawn and their brains to access kibble, helping slow down the eating process and fulfill their foraging instinct.

That’s a big point for responsible pet parenting, especially with fat and obese dog health issues being a top canine concern. The little rubber points on this dog puzzle toy may help clean their teeth too (read about pet dental insurance).

Though remember: as fun as puzzle toys are, we always recommend supervision.

A Golden Retriever dog cools down on a pet cooling mat they received as a good Christmas gift

#2 Pet cooling mat

A pet cooling mat is the perfect solution to hot dogs needing cool relief (read: Is a Pet Cooling Mat Worth the Investment?). You can have it in your dog’s favourite spot at home and pack it up and bring it along for outings. It’s super useful in car rides too.

There is a variety of size and price options for different dog breeds. We like the Hercules Pet Cooling Mat that comes in multiple size options.

A dog wearing a life jacket on the beach, ready for some water adventures.

#3 Dog life jacket

On the list of good Christmas gifts for dogs in NZ that love the water is a life jacket. We’re not talking standard orange here; it’s the festive season, so we’re pulling out all the bells and whistles and opting for the Malibu dog jacket.

This too cute and stylish dog Christmas present offers your dog safety and fashion in one go. It boasts a padded neoprene handle, buoyancy foam and adjustable straps to keep your dog afloat while making a splash in style. Because of its quick-drying material it’s also easy to pack away after.

What’s better for hitting dog friendly beaches in NZ or taking a dip in the pool? Speaking of poolside time, be sure to read our Guide to Dog Pool Safety this Summer for our top tips.

A dalmatian dog drinking from a blue water bottle, enjoying a refreshing break.

#4 Portable dog water bottle

In theme with keeping pets cool on hot summer days, we think a portable dog water bottle is an essential. This sleek and portable dog water bottle comes with a lid that slides open so dogs can drink from the bottle as though it were a bowl.

After all, maintaining their precious health and hydration on the go is a must! It comes in pink or blue and a built-in lock to prevent spillage in your bag. This is a dog Christmas present that says, “Stay hydrated, my friend,” in the most simple and useful way possible.

A pair of grey and black dog boots on a white background, perfect for good christmas gifts for dogs.

#5 Dog summer booties

Dog summer booties aren’t just good dog Christmas presents, they’re essential items for walking on hot tar, sand or concrete. It’s easy to forget how hot the ground can become in summer when you’ve got shoes on. Dogs usually walk barefoot but if their paw pads burn they can become blistered, swollen and infected.

We like the Ruffwear clearance summit trex™ dog boots that come in different sizes. Be sure to take these booties off as soon as you’re off the hot surface so your pet’s paws can breathe and sweat. And you should always avoid the midday heat whenever possible – dog shoes on or off.

A man and woman sitting on a couch in a cabin with Christmas presents for their dog.

#6 Dog getaway time

It’s been a long year with lots happening and a little holiday getaway might just be in order for us and our dogs. Getaway gifts for dogs in NZ that love rustic settings are our top five pet friendly Airbnb getaways. If you’re after luxury getaways, check out our luxury pet vacation spots to soak up sun, get spa treatments and more.

A tin of sun balm for dogs on a white surface.

#7 Dog sunblock

Dog sunburn is super serious (yes, dogs can get sunburn)! The Life of Riley Sun Balm is one of those savvy dog Christmas presents that doubles as an essential. For those not keen on using a balm, try out Vetpro Pet Sunblock Powder.

Keep in mind that human sunscreen simply isn’t safe for dogs and overexposure to sun is a risk factor with cancer in dogs. Stick to dog safe sunscreen and plan outdoor trips for early morning and late afternoon.

Lick mats make excellent dog gifts for Christmas

#8 Go slow lick meal mat

Among the great 2023 gifts for dogs in NZ are dinner lick mats, like the Enrichment Lick Mat. These innovative textured mats turn mealtime into a fun challenge for your pup and slow down eating. You can spread delectable treats like dairy-free yoghurt, peanut butter or other wet dog food over the grooves. (Just beware of xylitol toxicity in dogs and avoid peanut butters that contain it.)

Your dog gets to lap it all up, gradually.

The mat fastens to surfaces with 77 suction cups so you can stick it to a floor or wall surface. This nifty device is a game-changer for bath time too because it keeps your dog occupied, making washing them a breeze. It’s made from food-grade silicone.

#9 Pet insurance – a responsible Christmas gift for dogs

While we’ve ticked off most of the best dog Christmas presents, here’s one not to be missed… Pet health insurance to help pay for non-routine vet bills!

Whether that’s a swallowed Christmas tree decoration or food poisoning from Christmas mince pies, you won’t regret it. Of course, even though accidental ingestion is a top claim for pets, there are many others that range from illness to dental issues.

Are puppies good Christmas presents?

If you’re wondering whether a puppy is a good Christmas pressie, the answer is sometimes no. A dog is not a good Christmas present – unless the person getting the puppy is very much involved in the decision and planning process. Christmas is a day but a dog is for life and the domino effect of giving someone an unplanned pet can be that it ends up at a shelter.

Even someone who absolutely adores dogs may not have time or budget to own a dog. Having a pet is a special responsibility with a range of obligations. No one should make that choice for someone else (unless they’re their mum or dad of course)!

Despite Lady and the Tramp being a great film, pets as Christmas gifts aren’t a good idea. If you see puppies for sale, don’t get carried away because, as we’ve mentioned, a puppy is not just for Christmas, it’s furever. Read about steps to take if you can’t keep a pet you got for Christmas.

A woman sits with her cat alongside a Christmas tree, Googling great dog and cat Christmas presents

More ideas for dog (and cat!) Christmas presents

Here are some great cat and dog Christmas presents for those who have meows too:

How can I make my dog’s Christmas special?

Besides a range of good dog Christmas presents at your disposal, there are plenty of great DIY dog foods you can make for Christmas. Importantly, giving your dog a special Christmas means keeping them safe from human foods that can poison them!

Here’s a list of guides to, well, guide you:

If you’re still on the lookout for other dog Christmas presents, read more ways to spoil your dog.

And remember to take a couple of minutes to grab a quick no-obligation quote for our award-winning insurance! Simply choose the level of cover you want and you can get one or more months of FREE pet insurance.

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