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Practical holiday gifts for your dog (or the dog-lover in your life)

Holiday treats for the hounds

Lavishing attention, gifts and toys on dogs is nothing new to me. Growing up in a home where the dog was our baby, my sister and I have been giving Bailey birthday and Christmas gifts for as long as I can remember. Faux fur-lined jackets. Turtlenecks. Pink studded collars. Matching leashes. You name it, we probably bought it. Unfortunately, my parents didn't see the need to dress dear Bailey up every time they took her out, so many of our gifts went unused, unless we were visiting and dressed her up ourselves.

Don't let fashionable and cute gifts for the four-legged love of your life go to waste, like I have experienced. Whether or not you utilize all your pooch's accessories, a fur-lined jacket probably isn't the first thing on your mind when considering buying gifts for the family in this economy. But in a family where the dog is the baby, leaving her out of the festivities simply will not do! That's why I'm asking for practical gifts for my dogs this year – and will likely be doing the same for Bailey.

1. A harness

If your pooch or your pet-lover friend doesn't have a harness for their dog, it's a must-have. It makes walking so much easier, and takes the pressure off your dog's sensitive neck. Puppia makes adorably-colored halters that are functional. Or if you're going for something more festive, there are a number of cute options – many of which are actually designed to be part harness/part stylish outfit. Choose your favorite color for your puppy at Woof and Wag Pet Boutique!

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