10 Heart-Happy Gifts for Dog Lovers: Companies That Give Back
Seriously: Best. Gifts. Ever. on this list of incredible companies doing more!
With everything that’s been going on this past year, people are shifting their mindsets and priorities to seek to do good, give back and advocate compassion for others.
Whether this new movement of the heart was cultivated in response to the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on people’s physical and mental health, or prompted by desire for improving the vast civil divide we have found ourselves in, one thing is for sure:
People are spending with their hearts.
At a time when we’re a little stir crazy, days are melting together, and work-life boundaries are nowhere to be found, we look for small ways to shake up the routine and wake up that dopamine lying dormant in our brains.
Translation: we want to feel happy!
Have you noticed holidays in 2020 were not only still celebrated but some people even did more than they did last year?! We’re dying to have an excuse to celebrate something, spend time with others and HAVE FUN!
We’re seeing the same thing with gift-giving. Did you notice people went ALL OUT last Valentine’s Day? With less activities available to do and less restaurants to visit, it means more gifts!
That means sending extra, extra personalized gifts! So we may as well support businesses whose interests are not only profit, but profiting with a deeper purpose.
So, what if there was a way to show your love for your dog, be known as the best gift giver in the group, give back to the communities we live in, AND have a blast while doing it? Oh wait, there is!
Check out this list of 10 thoughtful gifts that:
✧ Are for humans who love dogs ✧
✧ Are fun to shop for ✧
✧ Show you care ✧
✧ Will make the recipient over the moon ecstatic ✧
✧ Support causes that bolster a higher quality of life for our community members (all of them, not just the ones with 2 legs) ✧
Let’s get into it!
1. DOGUE By Gina: Personalized Dog Magazine Style Portraits (Framed)
“I’m ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille.”
| DOGUE By Gina is a play on VOGUE magazine, where the dog model is the one being featured (be sure to get their good side!)
These hilarious, personalized (literally) works of art are hand-made here in the U.S. in sunny San Diego, CA, printed on high-quality canvas, custom framed with premium light-weight wood, and shipped direct to your home ready to hang (nail and hanger included).
We offer different themes for customers to choose from, so that you can match the theme to the particular dog’s personality. This unmatched personalization (which includes the dog’s name and birthday) will make the recipient lose control of their smile muscles!
How we do more: DOGUE By Gina has a two-part mission:
“Our mission is to make being OBSESSED with your furry family members as normal as a Tuesday. Let’s change the way people see and treat “pets” by highlighting them just like we do for our human children…” We don’t want dog pawrents to feel ashamed or weird for having deep connections with their fur babies. Because it’s something to celebrate! Those are the lucky ones, so soak up every minute of it while you can.
The Deeper Mission:
To end animal cruelty and homelessness. How? DOGUE By Gina is a small business with big dreams. We are what is known as a "profit with purpose" business, meaning we are driven in all that we do to enhance social, economic, and community benefits through trading and by channeling a portion of our profits to our mission.
As a young venture, we are committed to supporting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) and other local organizations that support our mission.
Our long-term vision is to build vast outdoor animal oases for homeless animals both domestically and internationally, to happily live out their days under the care of extreme animal lovers. The goal is to supersede as many animal shelters as possible with something better. It's a lofty vision for sure, so please show us some love and get the word out about DOGUE By Gina!
We also plan to file for B Corp certification when we satisfy the first barrier to entry, which is predicated on the length of business operations. Haven’t heard of a B Corporation? Learn more here.
*Full disclosure: DOGUE By Gina is owned by the author of this article.
I wrote an article not only to help shoppers find us and find other great gifts for dog lovers, but because good businesses that act ethically and for the good of the community, like people, should encourage and support one another. And we all get farther when we do it together.
- The Twin Kelpies’ Mom, aka Gina
2. All About Vibe aka “That Pillow Guy”
There isn’t much they won’t make into a pillow.
|All About Vibe (Previously LifeLike Pillows) makes photos into stylish pillows. Each pillow is hand-made, one-of-a-kind, customizable, memorable, washable, and guaranteed to last a lifetime. Another bonus is they’re made in the USA as well! (Support local!)|
How they do more:
“All About Vibe was created with one simple goal: to bring joy to you or a loved one by helping you feel closer to the people and moments that matter most.”
At a time when we're reminded how fragile and short life is, we begin to evaluate what matters most to us and try to soak up every good moment while we can. All About Vibe gives people another happy way to capture and savor special moments and memories in a fun and useful way. Cuddle up with the pillow of your fur friend's face and be overwhelmed with comfort and good feels!
3. Baked Beauty Co.
THAT kinda baked ;)
|Baked Beauty Co. is a fresh and fun online self-care retailer that focuses on clean beauty and sustainable practices. Their products are CBD facials, bath salts, and salves that are hand-made and cruelty free! They have a really fun sense of humor in the branding of their stuff, and they are everything you need whether the goal is to reduce anxiety, alleviate muscle/body aches and soreness, or simply to pamper yourself. And of course, their stuff makes for a thoughtful gift to someone who needs to take some time for themselves.|
OKAY- now let's talk about WEED. That's right, CBD comes from cannabis plants! No it can't get you high, no there are no psychoactive effects, but there are some pretty amazing physical ones and that’s why Baked Beauty Co. includes it in their products. Cannabidiol (CBD) is not only an all-natural way to relieve pain and reduce anxiety and inflammation but it also has amazing benefits for the skin. It regulates oil control and helps reduce acne and inflammation.
Baked Beauty Co. thrives through a belief that we can help change the stigma around cannabis by loving it for its natural health benefits. Their products are specifically designed to be cute, fun & easy to use for CBD newcomers!
They can be used just like your normal beauty and wellness products but with the boost of CBD that works within the body's own endocannabinoid system to help produce amazing all-natural results like reducing muscle pain, helping with inflammation on both the skin & body and being a natural relaxant.
In addition to their website, can find them in some storefronts you may have heard of as well (like #4 on this list, Nordstrom, and other retailers).
How they do more:
Aside from priding themselves on being cruelty-free (zero animal testing!), Baked Beauty Co. believes that consumers should always be aware of the core values of the brands they support. As an eco-conscious company striving to be completely zero-waste, all of their products are either plastic-free or made with 100% recycled plastic.
Besides the planet they also give back to other social justice endeavors like Gyrl Wonder (supporting professional women) and The Loveland Foundation (supporting mental health of black women and girls) by running special sales where 100% of the proceeds go directly to these foundations.
Big things for this small, female-owned business.
Can't wait to watch them grow ;)
4. Urban Outfitters
How did I not know this?! ...
Urban Outfitters is a popular retailer, known for selling hipster clothing and fun and unique products you can’t find elsewhere, which always makes for great gift-giving around the holidays. They have all kinds of random stuff and cute knickknacks for both men and women.
Urban Outfitters has strived to focus on using “found objects, recycled, unused, bulk materials to enhance the brand’s unique identity” since they started up in 1970. This applies even to their storefronts, where they make it a point to preserve the space’s originality, which includes things like recycling concrete or up-cycling the left behind objects into store décor. (I’m having an ah-ha moment right now. That’s where their funk comes from!)
How they do more:
In 2020, Urban Outfitters Community Cares (UOCC) reached new heights with their light fixture program (repurposing old ones), and rolled out a new LED lighting strategy at all its stores which helped them use 70% less electricity!
Plus, their distribution center has one of the largest rooftop private-use solar setups in the country. Their thing is “Small Acts, Big Impact.”
5. DOG for DOG
I’m in already...
DOG for DOG offers high-quality and ultra-nutritious, clean dog food and treats (they have their own “Dogbutter Peanut Butter!) They also offer dog care (grooming stuffs) and accessories (training pads, leashes & more).
But for the hoomans: We highly recommend a car seat cover to protect your seats from dog nails and hair. As an added bonus, it serves as a covering if you want to hide your purse or backpack at arms reach in the backseat on the floor.
DOG for DOG has different colors to match different car décor, they're washing machine safe and easy to clip and unclip from around the head rests. Game changer for beach days, that's for sure.
Fun fact: DOG for DOG is owned by some dog-loving celebrities. Guess who?!
Snoop Dogg (no kidding), Chelsea Handler, Luisana Lopilato and Michael Buble.
How they do more:
For each purchase, they make food, product and cash donations to a shelter of the equivalent product amount. Their mission is to provide premium quality food, treats and accessories while helping save dogs in need in the process. They’ve donated over 2 million pounds of food at the time of this publishing!
Careful, a minute on this site could turn into an hour!
Etsy is an online store where you can find all kinds of unique and artistic products, hand-made by talented artisans around the world. Everything from customized jewelry to furniture, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of pretty things. They are mostly made up of solo shops and sole proprietors, so Etsy gives small businesses a chance to be seen and help individuals build their businesses.
For example, they make it easy to start an Etsy website with helpful templates and tools that enable a new shop to get all set up in a day's time. Quite different than the months it generally takes to start a website from scratch! And for small shops just starting out, this is really all you need.
Anything that supports small businesses is so crucial right now in light of COVID-19!
How they do more:
Etsy is “the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping,” meaning they are able to balance out the emissions by creating a positive environmental impact at the same time. They do this in their partnership with 3Dgegrees, where they support protecting forests and developing greener methods of production of things like electricity and auto parts.
Having a positive impact on the community is part of their mission statement AND they’re really doing it, as they’ve announced being on their way to being completely powered by renewable energy for all of their operations and marketplaces.
7. TITO'S HANDMADE VODKA
For those last minute gifts, ya can't go wrong with a bottle of booze!
|For those of you living under a rock, Tito's is a rather popular vodka brand. I think that pretty much wraps it up.|
How they do more:
Tito's made a special line just for dog people that supports three different nonprofits that are committed to rescuing dogs and connecting them with people who have tons of love to give them. It’s known as The Vodka For Dog People Program. (I’m sold already, and I’m more of a tequila girl, myself. #anythingfordoggies)
Tito’s started giving back when they got a request to donate some of their product to a local charity event years ago back in Texas when Tito’s was just starting out (after becoming the first legal distillery in the state of Texas, by the way!)
Tito agreed and just asked that if people liked it, that they'd share that news with 20 of their closest friends as they were still a new venture working on their exposure. Well word caught on fast and good ol’ Tito became the go-to for charity party starting.
From then on, giving became an integral part of their culture and has increased tenfold over the years, with various different initiatives including veteran scholarships, women in business assistance programs, partnerships advocating for racial equality, etc. and over time, the focus shifted to a cause near and dear to the hearts of all the Tito’s employees. Yep, you guessed it, DOGGIES!
Fun fact: Tito’s employees are encouraged to bring their fur children to work with them in their Austin, Texas headquarters. Many of whom have been adopted as a result of this outstanding project!
Tito’s supports Emancipet Nonprofit Pet Clinics (affordable veterinary care), Wings of Rescue, and Pilots N Paws, two non-profits that work closely with rescue organizations around the United States, flying thousands of homeless animals to warm homes with welcoming arms. How incredible is that?!
8. HouzzYou read that right: like “house”
Houzz is a unique online store that is sort of 4 things in one. It’s a place to find photos for home project renovations, design tips, kind of like Pinterest. It's also in a community forum setting where people can connect with others, share tips and troubleshoot challenges they find in their home construction or design project. They also have a list of filtered geographically for you to hire for help. Lastly, they sell products, too. From furniture to hand towels, Houzz is basically a one-stop shop.
They have all kinds of fancy pieces of furniture and crate covers that would be a fantastic gift for a dog parent to keep their homes looking gorgeous (rather than seeing random dog beds and crates in the corners of the rooms that destroy the room's décor!)
How they do more:
Houzz has a number of ongoing partnerships with deeply impactful nonprofits as well as internal programs that give back to the community:
Furnishing Hope: They are a nonprofit that assists families in crisis transition into homes where they can live better. Their programs include the transition from homelessness to independent living as well as helping those suffering from domestic abuse to escape to a new home and a new beginning.
Savvy Giving By Design: They are a nonprofit, founded by an interior designer from the Houzz community, that enhances and transforms the interior design of the homes of families who have children with medical crises. They turn their rooms into places of healing.
Houzz also started a scholarship fund in 2016 that supports students in architecture, construction management, interior design, and landscape architecture.
Lastly, Houzz never misses an opportunity to support communities affected by natural disasters. They match donations to organizations that fund home rebuilds and other disaster relief campaigns. Many employees even donate their time and share their tips and other content to help those rebuilding efforts.
It’s true, they even have things for dogs!!!
As many of you already know, TOMS® has a One for One® business model, which means every time a pair of shoes is purchased, a pair is also donated to someone in need. You may even be aware that they have TOMS Eyewear, TOMS Roasting Co. (coffee) and TOMS Bags, where they support the initiatives to further sight-saving surgery, clean water, and safe births, respectively.
Getting your loved one a gift of a pair of TOMS shoes is a fantastic way to do good and feel good doing it. Who doesn’t love to shoe shop?! And reward themselves after by getting themselves a pair?! Oh common, I know that’s not just me!
But did you know they now have dog stuff?! They have the cutest TOMS shoe-shaped slipper toys for dogs, collars, and leashes! I know, right?!
How they do more:
It’s clear they do more, but now YOU can do even more by purchasing from TOMS through the Giving Assistant.
Giving Assistant explained: Shoppers at the Giving Assistant can purchase from their partner brands (companies raising charitable funds) either through givingassistant.org and selecting a store OR by adding the Giving Assistant extension to their website browser, which enables them to shop directly at participating stores’ websites and receive cash back for their purchases, and some even have a rewards program.
Shoppers can either save using cash back and coupon codes OR choose to donate a portion of their cash back earnings to one of the 1.2 million 501(c)3 nonprofits and organizations they work with. Giving Assistant’s mission is “to transform everyday shopping into charitable action. [They] are a Certified B Corp and shopping rewards platform that makes it easy for shoppers to both save money and give back for free.”
Be sure to check them out, too!
Where everything smells so LUSHious, you want to eat it!
Lush is a bath, beauty and cosmetics retailer that does a ton to give back and carry on sustainably. Almost all of their products are handmade and you can even see a cartoon version of the face of the person that made them via the sticker on the bottom of the product (and that picture is hand-drawn by LUSH’s graphic designers).
They have delightfully scented face exfoliants and creams, cosmetic items like lipstick and blush, soap, bath bombs, shampoo, etc. Anything you’d need to pamper yourself for a quiet night alone or a really fun slumber party with the girls (trust me, I’ve done both)!
How they do more:
Lush has the strictest non-animal testing policy in the entire cosmetics industry. They only get ingredients from suppliers who refrain from both conducting and commissioning tests on animals, and Lush audits them annually to ensure that such is the case. When they create a new product, they only test on human volunteers.
The founders have also been heavily involved in lobbying efforts and raising awareness around how prevalent animal testing still is today. In 2012 they took their efforts even further by creating “The Lush Prize.” £250,000 is awarded every 2 years to a student or young researcher making strides in science, training, lobbying, public awareness and animal- free initiatives.
They also support other grassroots groups that fight for animal protection, environmental justice and human rights with their specific body cream sold at check out called “The Charity Pot.” 100% of the purchase price (less sales tax) goes to these groups. To learn more, check out their website here.
But that's not all. They “ensure that everything [they] use is of the highest quality and has been ethically sourced from beginning to end.” They are very big on transparency in their entire supply chain with a big focus on fair trade and organic certifications. Everything from the products themselves to the pots and types of paper they source. Which leads me to their next initiative that they call “naked packaging.”
When you walk into the store, you see all the bubble bars, shower gels and bath bombs, etc. out in the open. Package-less. Makes for fun sampling and less waste! And you take your items home in recycled paper bags.
Some even come wrapped in colorful knot-wraps purposely to be worn as head-wraps and eliminate unnecessary product packaging!
The things that do need packaging are in post-consumer recycled and biodegradable plastic bottles and pots. Customers are encouraged to reuse them or brought back to the store to be melted and remolded into new ones in a closed-loop recycling system: bring back 5 and you get a free fresh face mask! (I do this every time I go!)
They’re even experimenting with ocean plastic now, which would give them incentive to clean up the ocean to source their materials.
Lastly, they are 100% vegan.
They’re basically amazing.
By the way, I don't have any kind of arrangement with any of the companies in this list. I just did my research and wanted to help guide other dog moms like me toward fantastic gifts that make our hearts feel happy.
I hope you enjoyed the read and found what you were looking for! Feel free to add comments below if you have any requests or feedback we can use to continue to deliver helpful and relevant information to our community of dog lovers!
Until next time!
Wanna see the amazing fur babes that started it all?!
Follow them @thetwinkelpies and join me in pure jealousy (I wish I had their lives).