Shopping for pet parents? Whether it’s your mom, your friend or yourself, for these folks, furry friends aren’t just pets—they’re a member of the family. Which is why we’re gifting them like one, of course. And this year, we’re looking for unique products that’ll surprise and delight the pet lovers in your life—from an at-home treat maker to a dog DNA kit—fun, but useful gifts they’ll use long after the holidays are over. Curious what made our list? Let’s dig in.
The Most Unexpected Gifts for Pet Parents (At-Home Treat Maker Included)
Gifts as unique as your pet
The Most Unexpected Pet Parent Gifts at a Glance
Best for Amateur Bakers
Does your pet parent love to bake? Are they mindful of nutrition? Do they just want to spoil their BFF? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, look no further than this compact treat maker. With it, you can make six home-baked, bone-shaped treats for pets of all sizes. Simply select a custom Cuisinart recipe from the included booklet, mix up the batter and pour onto the non-stick plate. “Ready-to-bake” notification lights let you know when the treats are done (no Martha Stewart-level kitchen skills necessary). Customize the provided recipes or come up with some of your own—either way, pets will love reaping the rewards. Bone appétit! Sorry, we had to.
Best for the Social Media Obsessed
Genuine Fred Howligans
Homemade bones? Check. Now put them to good use getting the perfect pic with this selfie cell phone tool. The flexible, lightweight silicone treat holder attaches to your smartphone or tablet to help hold your pet’s attention so you can get the shot. Ideal for that friend who just started an Instagram account for their French bulldog.
Best for an At-Home Makeover
Whether they’re a first-time pet owner or badly need an upgrade, this convenient starter pack has all your grooming essentials for medium-to-large breeds. This set is also a great value, since purchasing together vs. each tool separately saves you money (23 percent, to be exact). The Pet-It Curry Comb removes dirt, debris and loose hair—just slip the grip through your fingers to mimic a natural petting motion. The Medium Soft Slicker features reinforced coated tips that won’t irritate your pet’s skin during detangling, as well as a comfortable memory gel-handle for you. Lastly, the Large Nail Clipper features a built-in safety guard and non-slip grips to safely trim nails. A grooming sesh—and its cost—has never looked so good.
Best for a Genetic Deep-Dive
Keeping your dog healthy is a combo of breed, diet, environment and lifestyle. With this veterinarian-developed kit, you can decode a dog’s breed mix, screen for health conditions and even find relatives. (Yes, just like the human version.) It’s simple to use: Swab your dog’s cheek pouch to collect saliva, mail samples to the lab in prepaid envelopes and get results via email in two to four weeks. We suggest adding on the health test package to find out your dog’s drug sensitivities or proclivity to degenerative diseases. Because the more you know, the better you can equip your pup for a long and happy life.
Best for Late-Night Strolls
The simplest gifts are usually the most useful. Such is the case with this convenient, portable poop bag. The bag dispenser features an LED-lighted flashlight function for better visibility on nighttime walks, while the poop bags are made from plant-based, cornstarch material for an eco-friendly waste-management solution. Plus, the bungee cord loops let you attach the dispenser to a harness, collar, backpack, or belt loop. Stocking stuffer gift secured.
Best for Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Your pet lover will flip over this super comfy crewneck sweatshirt embroidered with their buddy’s custom portrait. To order, upload your pet’s photo, name and select a color option. Each unique portrait is then stitched onto a patch before being heat-pressed onto the sweater right in Texas. Pro tip: These are truly one-of-a-kind, so make sure to order a few weeks in advance of the holidays.
Best for the Tech Savvy
Tracking your pets has never been easier. This collar holder is designed to work with the most recent Apple AirTag, so you’ll know where your pet is at all times with a glance at your phone. The case is 100 percent waterproof and made from pet-safe premium ABS plastic, which won’t get stuck in their hair. The secure screw design and transparent lens ensures the AirTag won’t get damaged or lost no matter where they roam. There are two sizes—small is suitable for cats and puppies, while large is best for adult dogs—and three stylish colors to choose from.
Best for the Communication Expert
Hunger for Words
If your pet parent has a mug with the cheeky saying “I’m only talking to my dog today” on the side, have we found the gift for you. With four recordable buttons and an expert guide, this kit helps you learn how to recognize and build off of your dog’s current communication patterns. It also teaches you how to use those patterns as a foundation for adding words. Your dog will actually be able to tell you when they want to go “outside,” “play,” or “bed.” So not only will you be giving your pet a voice, you’ll be connecting with them on an even deeper level.
Best for Comfort in Cold Climates
K&H Pet Products
With dual thermostats and a low-wattage heater that’s safe and efficient, this heated pet bed ups the cozy factor tenfold. Here’s how it works: The surface temperature will remain 10-15 degrees above ambient air temps when not in use and it’s designed so that the surface will only warm to full temperature when Fido is physically on the bed. The entire cover is machine washable and the bed itself comes in two sizes.
Best for the Horoscope Devotee
If you know someone who’s almost as obsessed with astrology as they are with their dog (*raises hand*), it’s your lucky day. Using their sun sign, Dog Astrology by Stella Andromeda will give you some insight into your dog’s personality and character, as well as share insights into the breeds that may best suit your personality. According to one Amazon reader, “She adds some things that are dog-specific that I never really thought about. Honestly every dog owner should read this.” That, plus it makes both a colorful coffee table book and great conversation starter.