Gifts for Your Pet and the Pet Lover in your Life.

You provide your dog with food and shelter. In return, you get unconditional love and loyalty. It’s a pretty sweet deal, actually. And while it can be tempting to pamper your pooch with fancy gourmet treats and luxury bedding, the truth is he’s probably more happy tearing apart an empty wrapping paper tube and lounging on the sofa next to you. In fact, the best thing you can give your favorite furball is your time and attention. Here are 5 great gifts for the canine and canine lover in your life.

A bag full of tennis balls. Visit any dog-friendly beach or park in the U.S. and you’ll see at least one ball-obsessed dog staring intently at their owner patiently awaiting the launch. And if you really want to have fun, get a Chuckit Launcher, you will get a super-long throw range, a slobber-free ball pick-up mechanism, plus you save your throwing shoulder. (Price range $7.00 to $25.00) Win. Win. Win. Also the the Varsity Ball ($40) is an insanely durable toy (it’s made of FDA-approved linear low-density polyethylene plastic) that’s designed to stimulate your larger dog’s natural herding instinct and play drive. As the Varsity Pets website notes, it’s too big for dogs to destroy or grab onto with their mouths. Instead, they push it around, kick it, and otherwise work themselves to exhaustion as they try to “figure it out.” If you have a pet lion or tiger, they seem to like Varsity Balls too.

Or, how about a therapeutic futon bed. Orvis has a FleeceLock Bolster Futon dog bed made of micro suede and fleece. Its super soft and washable. The wrap around bolster is perfect for resting your pets head. (Prices range from $100-$200)

Its hard to get excited about leashes and collars but how about a custom made collar and leash with your pets name and or phone number embroidered on it. Its made of durable webbing on one side and your choice of ribbons or fabric on the other. You can get multiple upgrades including Lily Pulitzer fabrics and reflective clasps. (Prices start at $25.00)

Just when you thought creative pet photography couldn’t get any better, portraits of dogs caught in the act of shaking off water and drool or just having fun with the family make great gifts. Give one photo or make is a book with a collection of your favorites. It’ll be a welcome addition to any dog lover’s coffee table.

There are really only a handful of truly useful gadgets for dog lovers. The Tagg Tracker ($100, plus $8/month) is one of them. This GPS collar clip and charger station lets you track not only how much exercise your dog is getting during a given day, but also monitor his precise movements. The subscription service may come with a hefty upfront cost, but you’ll get fast and accurate location updates and the piece of mind that comes from knowing exactly where your furry friend is.

Even though we may think the season is all about spending money and giving gifts, the most important gift if all is remembering the reason for the season. Take time to give Fido a little cuddle time. It will do wonders for helping to reduce the stress that can accumulate during this time of year.