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Doing Your Homework to Find Great Gifts for Dog Lovers - Family - Pets

Doing Your Homework to Find Great Gifts for Dog Lovers   by Trey Markel

in Family / Pets    (submitted 2010-10-28)

Copyright (c) 2010 Trey Markel

Are you a dog lover? It's not a question about whether or not you like dogs, but more an inquiry about your passion for all things canine. A dog lover is someone who puts their retriever, shepherd, pit bull, or poodle before anyone else in their life. They rate their dog as a family member and would do anything to guarantee their happiness. If you understand that, you can easily pick out gifts for dog lovers because you are one yourself. If you have a hard time comprehending that level of feeling for an animal, you'll need to ask for help to shop for your dog lover friends.

The first step in this process is to study the breed of dog that your friend or loved one has chosen to spend their time with. The pet can tell you a lot about its owner's personality. If a person chooses an aggressive dog like a shepherd or pit bull, they may have a need for security or self-confidence. Focus on gifts that reinforce that. If they own a smaller dog like a terrier or poodle, they may like cute and fuzzy gifts. Try to put yourself in the position of the dog owner and think about what you like about your dog. That should give you some ideas for gifts for dog lovers.

The next element to look at is the environment that the dog and its owner spend their time in. Do they live in a house or an apartment? Is there more than one pet in the home? Many dog owners also have other pets such as cats and exotic birds. When you buy a gift for them you might want to take that into account. Perhaps something that shows an appreciation for all animals would make a good gift. Either way, make sure any gift doesn't clash with the environment that pet and owner reside in. For instance, you wouldn't want to buy a large outdoor fountain for someone who lives in an apartment.

Shopping for the Pet Owner, Not the Pet

Remember that you're shopping for the person, not the dog. Don't think about dog toys or specialty items when you set out to go shopping for gifts for dog lovers. Trying to buy something for someone else's animal can backfire on you unless you have a close relationship with the dog itself. Pet owners can be very touchy about who befriends, plays with, or feeds their dog. Be careful about crossing that line. Before you do anything for the animal, ask the owner first. If they see you truly care they will no doubt give you some leeway, but don't go out and buy dog gifts without asking first.

As far as gifts for dog lovers themselves, clothing, pictures, and novelty items seem to work really well. You can always tell when you're in the home of an avid dog lover by looking around the room and counting the number of animal pictures, plates, and pet logos or slogans you see on walls and refrigerators. Take a peak in every room and you're bound to see at least one "I Love My..." sign that mentions a dog or dog breed. Those items were most likely gifts from someone else in the past, so make sure you don't duplicate their efforts. You'll want to find something original.

Looking for Value without the High Price Tag

Let's face it, some of the items marked as "gifts" by pet and department stores are downright cheesy. They're cheaply made and designed to catch the attention of those who don't know any better or those working with a very limited budget. If you're in the former category there's not much we can do for you, but if you have a limited budget as many of us do these days, you can still find something nice if you shop around. Good things come in small packages and they often come with small price tags too. When searching for gifts for dog lovers, don't think in terms of price or opulence. Those things mean very little to a dog lover. Think in terms of value instead, spiritual and sentimental value you can't put a price tag on.

Helpful Suggestions and Gift Ideas

Let's summarize. At this point, you've evaluated the personality of the pet owner by looking at their pet and the characteristics inherent in it. You've viewed and studied the surroundings, the environment that pet and human coexist together in. You've discarded the thoughts of buying for the pet and not the owner, and you are determined not to get anything cheap or cheesy, despite being on a limited budget. Your homework is done and you are now ready to do some actually shopping for gifts for dog lovers. Start at pet stores and then move on to department, gift, and novelty stores. You might even want to try hobby shops. You'd be surprised at some of the really cool gifts you can find there for pet lovers.

Pictures and plaques make great gifts, but don't go with the same old thing that everyone buys. Those "I Love My Dog" signs are neat, but everyone already has one. Try finding something unique that you never see. Afghans and throw rugs can be nice if you find the right one, but make sure you match the color scheme of the pet owner's home or you'll never see it again after you gift it to them. Statues and figurines are also nice; go for quality instead of size when you buy them. An exquisitely designed miniature is a far better choice than a gaudy statue. Use you imagination and keep some basic guidelines in your head while you're shopping. Remember that the person you're buying for loves animals, so don't buy anything that shows an animal in captivity. You'll want to focus on something that glorifies the animal or acknowledges the contributions of pet owners and animal lovers. You could also make a donation in the recipients name to a shelter or organization that prevents cruelty to animals or saves them from harm. That's the kind of gift that benefits many, not just one dog lover.