National Dog Day: 12 Gift Ideas To Give Your Best Friend Something Special

A dog in the grass

There are a lot of great holidays out there.

Some quintessential holidays are loved by everyone, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July. I won’t argue with anyone who picks those as their favorite holiday.

Other people consider opening day of Major League Baseball season or the kick off of college football season to be their favorite holiday, which is also totally understandable. For a lot of people in my home state, the first Saturday in May is their favorite holiday. That’s the Kentucky Derby and that means fast women and pretty horses.

Many folks consider the first day of dove hunting season to be their favorite holiday because it signifies the start of fall. In some parts of rural America, schools still shut down so kids can enjoy the first day of firearm deer hunting season. That’s the premier holiday for a lot of people. Then there is also official National Hunting and Fishing Day which takes place every year in late September. That’s a good one.

Then of course there are all those extremely popular but kind of peripheral options that are definitely towards the top of the list when it comes to the best holiday of the year in most peoples books.

I’m talking about super awesome celebrations like:

National Squirrel Appreciation Day (January 21st),  Galentine’s Day (Leslie Knope’s Favorite holiday)(February 13th), National Corn Dog Day (March 16th), Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you), National Cheese Day (June 4th), International Beer Day (August 6th), that one random day from the movie Mean Girls (October 3rd), World Toilet Day (November 19th), National Bartenders Day (December 3rd), and the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (December 16th) – just to name a few.

But today is arguably undoubtedly the most important of all holidays ever invented…

National Dog Day

I’ll admit that I feel like I see someone or something celebrating National Dog Day on Instagram like at least once a week. Now, I have no clue who is in charge of those types of things, but it’s cool because dogs really do deserve to be celebrated every day.

But according to our friends as Bass Pro Shops, today is the real National Dog Day, and that’s good enough for me.

Did you know you’re also allowed to bring your dog into Bass Pro Shops with you?

Really makes an already incredible shopping experience even better. Heck, I’ve even taken my dog in there just to walk around and get some exercise when it was raining outside. We even shared a bag of beef jerky. Just DO NOT let your dog jump in the fish tank or swim in any of those fake indoor creeks by the taxidermy mountain. I mean I’m probably not speaking from experience, but I assume you would get kicked out for that.

If you’re lucky enough to own a dog then you should celebrate that dog every day, because we honestly don’t deserve dogs. If you don’t own a dog then you should for sure consider buying one, because the unconditional companionship they provide is something special.

If you’re not in a position to buy a dog, then the least you could do is buy your friend’s dog a gift today.

So, anyways… Celebrate National Dog Day today by buying your best friend something awesome from Bass Pro Shops. Please? And Thanks?

Whatever, here is some stuff on a list:

Cabela’s Tennis Balls – $5.99


A simple tennis ball is unquestionably the premiere dog toy on the market. Heck, I can even keep myself entertained with just a tennis ball for at least a couple of hours even without my dog, so it makes sense that dogs think these things are the greatest invention since pooping outside.

It doesn’t matter what else you buy or how much money you spend on a dog toy, your dog probably isn’t going to like it more than it would like these tennis balls. So just buy this 4-pack already and you won’t have to read anymore of this article.

Rawhide Bones – $8.99

A close-up of a baby's feet

Similar to the classic tennis ball, this is a straight up iconic dog treat. I mean there is a reason the phrase “throw a dog a bone” is such a popular cliché. It’s because there are few things in life that a good dog wants more whole-heartedly than a belly rub and a nice bone. So just throw your dog a bone already.

Funny thing is, the classic dog bone isn’t even made of bones. Dog bones like this are made of rawhide, which is basically just the commercial leather industry’s leftovers.

Rawhide is also an awesome theme song for an old time western show from the 1960s starring Clint Eastwood. Pretty sure this song is what’s going through a dogs head every time they wag their tails and chew on a rawhide bone. Now it’s stuck in your head too.

Dokken Dead Fowl Training Mallard – $29.99

A bird with a fish head

Most dogs will just absolutely shred most squeaky toys or stuffed animals within the first day or two, or even just a few minutes depending on the dog. Even the toys misleadingly labeled as things like “super tough” or “long lasting” go up in smoke pretty quick. So while this is more expensive than a typical dog toy, it’s way more durable too. That’s because it’s not a toy.

It’s actually a training dummy for hunting dogs and it’s basically indestructible. If you use this to actually train a hunting dog then don’t let the dog use it as a chew toy too, because that will cause your dog to get into some bad habits in the field. If that dog don’t hunt though, then buy one of these and it will outlast any other normal dog toy on the market. Just maybe cut off the rope and remove the metal band from the ducks leg so your dog doesn’t choke.

Cabela’s Retriever Dummies – $5.99

Shape, arrow

This thing here is similar to the training duck.  Except it is cheaper and not a duck. This training dummy is extremely resilient, waterproof, buoyant, and slobber resistant. It is also the color orange and that’s easily one of the top 5 most popular colors there are according to some experts.

You can launch this thing a good distance for a game of fetch or let your dog try and fail at chewing it to pieces. Just don’t let your dog use it as a chew toy if you also plan on using it to train your hunting dog. Also, cut the rope off if you’re going to let your dog go to town on it.

Carhartt Retrieving Bumper – $11.99


The revival of the Carhartt brand has been something to behold. Carhartt was once a clothing line pretty much reserved for blue collar workers and high school kids who got made fun of by classmates because they were wearing Carhartt, but it is now one of the trendiest brands on the market. That’s because they make incredibly durable products for a great price.

This dog toy is no exception. If it was a jacket I’d wear it. But it’s not, it’s a dog toy. So just buy it for your dog already and move on with your day. Other dogs will think your dog is rugged and macho when they see it playing with a Carhartt toy. Honestly, they might even think your dog drives a Chevy Silverado too, and that’s pretty cool.

Chuckit! UltraRing Dog Toy – $7.99


This little number is basically just a rubber frisbee, except someone out there went into a ton of student loan debt getting an engineering degree just so they could make sure that this thing erratically bounces, hops, and zig zags all around once it hits the ground. Considering most dogs just kind of bounce, hop, and zig zag along the ground too, it seems like this is a solid choice when it comes to toys for your dog. They both have something in common.

Every dog lives for the thrill of the chase, and this whacky little rubber ring is sure to trigger your dogs natural instinct to run down moving objects. Might as well just say “chuck it” and give this thing a whirl already, huh?

Pendleton Yellowstone National Park Dog Bed – $119.99

A flag with a white background

This is a dog bed. But it’s not just any ole dog bed. It’s a dog bed that has Yellowstone in the name, so ya know it’s gotta be good right? I mean there’s a reason that Yellowstone the show is one of the best programs in television history and Yellowstone the National Park is one of the best tourist destinations in the history of the world, right?

On a serious note though, the rustic color scheme of this dog bed matches the official color scheme of Yellowstone National Park, and that’s pretty neat. The Pendleton brand also makes dog beds with color schemes for a wide variety of other National Parks too, so do a little browsing if you’re so inclined.

But once you’re done browsing just be a good person and buy your dog a new bed. I bought my dog a new bed and he just sleeps on the hardwood floor next to it most of the time. Any dog would look great sleeping on the hardwood floor next to this dog bed.

Cabela’s Advanced Life Jacket for Dogs – $49.99

A black and white helmet

Most dogs can swim. Actually, I guess a more accurate statement is most dogs can like kind of swim? An even more accurate statement is that most dogs will probably jump into a pool or a lake regardless of whether they can swim or not. Erase the fear of your dog drowning and eliminate the panic in your dogs eyes while it tries not to sink. Instead let your dog have a great time splashing around the water and scratching people on rafts with its paws instead.

In my experience, most dogs just flail their front legs without using their back legs at all. A doggy life jacket like this will elevate your dogs rear end in the water column and naturally coax it into using its back legs to paddle. Some of the more athletic breeds will even start naturally using their tail as a rudder if you give them a little help with a device like this. It’s kind of like a swim lesson for your dog.

Not saying this thing is going to turn your chubby golden retriever into a gold medal swimmer, but at least your dog will be safe while it takes its next dip in the lake, the pool, or the fish tank/fake creek at your friendly neighborhood Bass Pro Shops.

Hyper Pet Wild Eats Water Buffalo Horn Dog Chew – $7.99

A brown object with a white object in the middle

Do you want to toughen your dog up so it stops whining in the car,  rolling over on its back every time another dog approaches, or acting like fireworks are a nuclear fallout? Or maybe you just want your dog to experience some of life’s more exotic flavors? Then buy your dog this real genuine water buffalo horn. I was going to start the next point I’m trying to make by saying that I’m no wildlife expert, but one of my college degrees actually says otherwise. So I’ll say this instead…

I can’t “prove” this hypothesis, but if your dog starts chewing on the horn of what many people consider to be the toughest wild animal on Earth, then your dog is basically guaranteed to get tougher too. It’s pretty much the same idea as Rocky Balboa punching meat carcasses and it’s called science. This horn is non-splintering, non-abrasive, and will actually help clean your dogs teeth. On that note, I’m honestly thinking about getting one for myself once the tree branch I’ve been using to brush my teeth starts splintering.

Hyper Pet Hyperdog Four Ball Launcher – $29.99

A pair of glasses with a green liquid in them

You can never have enough sling shots. You can never have enough tennis balls either (please see the top of this list if you have doubts about that.) With this little pocket rocket you can combine your love of modernized prehistoric weaponry with your dogs love of tennis balls. The extendable forearm brace allows you to get extra leverage and really give that ball a heave.

Plus it’s got a built in holster to hold the 4-pack of tennis balls I’m going to assume you already added to your online shopping cart. Anyone who has ever played fetch with a dog knows that sometimes they don’t want to just fork over their prized possession very easily, even if they know you’re just going to throw it again. The easiest way to get a dog to drop the tennis ball in its mouth is to present it with another identical tennis ball. With this unit you’ll be shooting balls across the yard with more streamlined efficiency and mechanical precision than a batting cage machine.

Hyper Pet Flying Pig – $9.99

A stuffed toy of a dinosaur

This admittedly looks like one of those dog toys that would get the stuffing ripped out of it pretty quickly, but honestly I buy my dog those type of toys on purpose sometimes just to see the pure joy he experiences every time he rips open a stuffed animal and flings cotton balls all over my living room floor. Something about it just makes him feel like even more like an alpha male, even if just for a little bit.  It’s the same idea as going to the gym for 20 minutes just to do bicep curls. It’s about your mental confidence just as the actual physical activity and muscle mass.

Plus, just think of all the great dad jokes you can make about doing certain things, or certain things happening “when pigs fly,” and then immediately tossing this thing through the air. It’s pure corny comedy gold. I mean no one will laugh, but at least you and your dog would still probably be having a good time even if your sense of humor is straight out of a cheesy 80s TV sitcom.

Petsafe Sportsmen Squeeze Meeze Turkey – $8.99

A toy dinosaur with a pink nose

Look at this thing. You can just tell it’s as soft as play-doh. This turkey probably won’t last very long at all when it comes to rough housing with the big dogs, but at least your dog can annoy you and interrupt conference calls from the next room over with this toy. I would rather someone hammer away on an actual turkey call at full volume while I’m trying to work than have my dog play with a toy like this.

But as with almost every squeaky toy, the only thing moving faster than the machine gun frequency of squeaks and the oncoming headache is the happy dogs tail. Every time my dog makes those horrible noises with a squeaky toy I can just tell he thinks he’s shredding the Ring of Fire guitar riff or playing the fiddle against the devil himself down in Georgia, so I usually just let it go and tell him good job.

The whole time I wrote this article, that cover photo of my dog Banjo was just posted up in the side bar of the word press browser and it made me stop and think how much I love my damn dog. Even if that little puppy weighs like 100 pounds now.

So it feels appropriate to end this blog by telling folks to listen to one of the very best songs about dogs ever made… And no, I’m unfortunately not talking about “Who Let the Dogs Out: by the Baha Men even though it meets the criteria. 

Tyler Childers said it best when he said:

“If I can’t take my hounds to heaven… then I’d rather load my dog box up and go to hell with all my friends.”

*This post contains links through the Bass Pro Shops affiliate marketing program. If you use these links to buy something Whiskey Riff may earn a commission.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock