Best Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers

From dog-themed apparel and books that give back, to coffee, corgis and photo keepsakes, here are our top local gifts.

We’re in the home stretch to the holiday season – and if you’re like us, you still have a bit (ok, a lot) of shopping to do.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t been making our list, though. During the past few weeks, we’ve been busy sniffing out some of our favorite unique gifts for dog lovers.

Whether you’re searching for one last stocking stuffer or the hero gift that’ll help you win Christmas, here are our picks for the best presents for dog lovers this holiday.

Simply American Dog Treat Truck

For the coffee addict

We’re all about gifts that give back, and this year’s holiday gift guide is no exception.

If your favorite Charlotte dog lover also happens to adore a good cup of coffee for a great cause, create your own gift set by pairing Grounds & Hounds coffee ($14+) with a North Carolina dog coffee mug ($10). You can shop both from Simply American Dog Treat Truck’s booth at Blacklion’s Park Road location or by catching the truck in person at a Charlotte-area holiday event. The best part: Grounds & Hounds donates 20% of the proceeds from the shop’s coffee purchases to a no-kill shelter.

Of course, the treat truck also features plenty of holiday gifts for dogs, too. We hear the Simply American Chews Chicken Bites taste great. They’re made from a single ingredient with no preservatives and are available in 4- and 8-ounce bags ($10 and $20, respectively).

For the bookworm

Here’s an idea for dog lovers that pairs perfectly with a coffee-themed gift: a coffee table book by and for Charlotte dog people. You have two local options this holiday.

Gone Dogs” ($31) is a collection of short stories and poems about great dogs loved and lost. It’s the work of a Charlotte writer-designer duo and features touching stories of dogs from as far away as Portugal and as close as our own backyard. You can snag a signed copy via the book’s website or at area retailers and independent book sellers including Moxie Mercantile, Park Road Books and Wall of Books in Cornelius.

Dogs of the QC” ($79) is on pre-sale now. It’s an art-project-turned-coffee-table-book featuring 85 Charlotte puppers and their parents. BlueSky Photo Artists is the team behind the project, which is expected to deliver in early 2020 and aims to raise $10,000 to benefit Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue, North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue and Stand for Animals. All pre-orders include a special surprise perk packaged and ready for gift-giving.

Wagamuffins Dog Boutique

For the do-gooder

In the Lake Norman area and looking for cute gifts for dog lovers? Pop in to Wagamuffins Dog Boutique on North Main Street in Mooresville. The shop has treats like Green Coast Pet peanut butter ($10), Fox + Hound fragrance sprays ($12+) and Pure + Good grooming wipes ($12) for the four-legged friends on your list, plus plenty of people-friendly gifts as well.

Among our favorites: Buttercup the Corgi stickers ($3.50), keychains ($8) and pillows ($20). Buttercup is one third of the Instagram-famous Three Crazy Corgis trio that calls Mooresville home. But the local connection isn’t the only reason we love this pick.

About a year ago, Buttercup suffered a ruptured spinal disc which, when coupled with her severe hip dysplasia, left her permanently unable to walk. Her family not only helped her adjust to new ways of getting around, but chose to channel Buttercup’s story to inspire others. Proceeds from Buttercup’s pillows and keychains sold at Wagamuffins help support her family’s mission to donate the corgi’s inspirational pillows to patients at Levine Children’s Hospital and similar facilities across the country.

For the queen of all things 704

Shopping for someone who loves Charlotte almost as much as she loves her pup? Check out the Dogs of the QC project’s local T-shirts and tanks ($25+). From Dilwoof to Puptown to Myers Bark, these super-soft shirts put a dog-friendly spin on the logos of some of Charlotte’s most iconic in-town neighborhoods. (We’ll have to settle for the South End edition while we wait for one for Madison Bark.) As with the coffee table book, a portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits three local animal rescues. 

english bulldog with underbite looking up at camera
Nicole Begley Photography

For the keepsake collector

Whether your dog lover just brought home a new four-legged friend or has been snuggling a senior pup for years, a session with a local pet photographer is the perfect gift for dog owners who see their pups as family. From studio sessions to in-home visits to on-location shoots at some of Charlotte’s loveliest landmarks, a local pro can capture all aspects of a pup’s personality – and edit out the eye goobers and leashes – to make some truly treasured (and share-worthy) keepsakes.

Not sure where to start? Head over to Instagram to scroll shots from local dog photographers like AKBS PhotoBARKographyNicole Begley Photography and Rusty P. Williams Fine Art Dog Photography to get a feel for each of their personalities and shooting styles.

For every dog lover

If your favorite dog lover already has everything – or if you’re interested in giving a gift with bonus benefits – consider making a donation to a local shelter or rescue in his or her name. In addition to welcoming one-time and recurring monetary contributions, many Charlotte-area groups also maintain Amazon wish lists for much-needed supplies like dog and cat food; toys and other enrichment items; crates, leashes and collars; cleaning supplies and more.

Don’t already have a favorite Charlotte-area animal rescue? Start with Humane Society of CharlotteNorth Mecklenburg Animal Rescue or Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control.

What’s on your wish list?

Which local gifts for dog lovers are you most hoping someone fetches you this year? Tell us in the comments!

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