Know someone who calls their dog their fur baby? Or perhaps you’ve got a loved one who counts their cat among their best friends. It’s no wonder — not only are pets cute, they can provide comfort and companionship.
Shopping for a holiday gift for pet owners can be easy when you pick out something for their cat or dog. There are so many fun and functional gifts out there for any and all pet lovers — from toys to carriers to cameras — that makes the process of finding the perfect present a breeze.
Gifts for pet owners in 2023
The items on this list were selected specifically with pet owners in mind. Some of the picks will make taking care of their pets easier, while others will allow them to spend quality time with their cat or dog. All of the products we chose are either highly rated, a Select reader favorite or a staff pick.
For the cat or dog owner who likes to jetset, the Roverlund carrier provides a safe space for a pet on the go. It is available in two sizes (for pets up to 15 pounds or up to 25 pounds) and seven colors. Editorial projects manager Rebecca Rodriguez, who tested the carrier with her 15-pound cat Enzo for Select’s pet awards, found it to be “very structural and sturdy, which is a plus when you have a big cat.” The straps are made of waterproof rock-climbing rope, which Rebecca found to be more comfortable and supportive than other carrier straps she tried. The interior lining is machine washable, according to the brand.
Another Select pet award winner, this shampoo is a good gift for anyone who likes to pamper their pup. It’s formulated with a mix of purified water, plant-derived surfactants, aloe vera and vegetable glycerin. Commerce analytics manager Amanda Smith liked using this all-in-one shampoo and conditioner on Mac, her rat terrier. “I didn’t have to use a lot to get good coverage on Mac,” says Smith. The shampoo has a pomegranate citrus scent to leave your pet smelling fresh.
Know a pet owner with separation anxiety? Consider giving them a camera so they can keep an eye on their fur friend while they’re out of the house. The Furbo 360, which won a 2023 NBC Select Pet Award, is a pet camera and treat dispenser that can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to see more of your space than you get with a fixed-angle pet camera. NBC Select manager of editorial operations Shari Uyehara uses this camera and finds it easy to use. “You can allow multiple people to monitor your Furbo, just in case you have someone helping dog-sit while you are away,” says Uyehara, who also likes that the app notifies her when her dog is making noise or being restless. The camera also has two-way audio, night vision and automatic pet tracking, which keeps your pet in the camera’s view.
A handy item to have on a long walk with your dog or if you live in a warm climate, this doggie water bottle also earned a spot on our list of pet award winners. The lid also acts as the bowl — its deep shape and small handle make it “very easy to pour,” says Sadhana Daruvuri, social commerce editor. The Kong water bottle is made of stainless steel and comes with a clip that can be hooked on a leash, bag or belt loop.
Looking for a pet owner gift that is under $25? Dogs can carry, catch and cuddle with goDog’s Dragon, which is made with soft, bubble-textured fabric and a built-in squeaker. The stuffed toy has a chew-resistant lining and reinforced seams, making it harder for dogs to chew through. The toy is available in small and large sizes, and it’s not over stuffed — it’s floppier and more flexible compared to traditional stuffed toys, which associate updates editor Zoe Malin says her dog seems to like since it takes up less room in his bed.
Electronic cat toys like this one, which won a best toy accolade in the Select pet awards, are designed with moving components that cats can swat at and chase, providing mental and physical stimulation. This electronic laser toy has a built-in timer, so it provides 15 minutes of playtime every one and a half. You can choose from five laser circle ranges depending on how large of a space your cat has to run around, and you can power the toy with a USB cord or AA batteries. NBC Select editorial director Lauren Swanson says she worries that her 8-year-old, 9-pound Bombay cat, Wonton, can get bored and a little lazy throughout the day, so she appreciates that this laser toy can add mental stimulation to his routine even when she’s not at home to play with him.
Designed for small dogs up to 10 pounds, this sling carrier was featured in our list of best pet carriers. The base has a built-in drawstring that adjusts the size of the opening to fit different sized dogs, and the crossbody strap length is also adjustable to fit your comfort level. The carrier includes a safety buckle inside that connects to your dog’s harness to prevent them from falling out, according to the brand.
Even if you love your cat or dog, you may not love the hair they leave behind. A pet hair remover can help. “As you gently scrape it along the fabric, it lifts lint, hair and dirt out and collects it in a little ball, which you can either pick up and throw out or vacuum it up,” says Malin, who uses it on carpets, clothing, bedding, furniture and pet beds and cat trees. The tool is reusable and doesn’t damage the fabric on her furniture. “I’ve used mine for almost a full year, and it has not lost any of its cleaning power,” says Malin.
Sometimes the best gifts are the types that someone may not realize they even need — like a first aid kit made specifically for dogs and cats. This 50-piece set, which made our list of best pet travel items, includes cotton swabs, antiseptic towelettes, gauze pads, sting relief pads and more, that are stored in a soft-sided bag that includes three mesh compartments and an exterior zipper pocket.
PetSafe’s Buddy Twist & Treat is a great gift for a new puppy owner. To use, just slip treats between the two discs and then adjust the opening based on how big the treats are. The dog then has to work to get the treats out, keeping them stimulated and entertained. The toy is built to stand up to aggressive chewing and made from non-toxic material, according to the brand.
Dog paw wax can help moisturize toe pads and is useful for animals when they are exposed to harsh weather. Senior associate of commerce operations Donna Pilikyan used this paw wax on her dog Ozzy when testing products for the 2023 pet awards. “I used the paw wax on his cracked paws and a few days later most of the redness was gone,” says Pilikyan. “The dryness also improved significantly within a day of applying.” The brand recommends applying the paw wax two to three times a week, more if you and your dog are located in an area with extreme weather conditions.
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Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle.