Kids Health

Gifts for Kids Who Want a Dog but Are Definitely Not Getting a Dog

Dogs must have the best marketing team on the planet, because (with a few exceptions) every kid seems to want one. Right? And look; I get it. They’re cute, furry and look fabulous on Instagram. But they also need a lot of attention and training. Like, a lot a lot. Plus, those vet bills can get crazy. And no matter how many times your kid promises he or she will walk the dog, let’s get serious: You know who is going to end up walking that dog. That’s right. You. In the rain. In the snow. In the cold.

So you’ve made the decision: You’re not getting a dog. I’m sure your kid will completely understand once you explain that you just can’t handle the responsibility or cost right now. (Haaa just kidding, good luck! Prepare for your child to ask three trillion more times!)

In the meantime, though, here are some ideas for some holiday consolation prizes — for all ages of wannabe dog owners… who are not going to be dog owners. Yet.

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Big Scruff the Jumbo Stuffed Puppy Dog Super Flopsie By Aurora

I mean at 27 inches long, he’s just as good as the real thing, right? Right. 

Big Scruff the Jumbo Stuffed Puppy Dog Super Flopsie By Aurora, $39.99 at Stuffed Safari.

High-tech remote-control robot interactive puppy dog

This high-tech puppy does all kinds of cool things a real dog would never do… like sing Michael Jackson songs, dance and even display the alphabet on its eyes. Freaky or educational? You decide. It even farts, which is very real dog behavior and is certain to be a crowd-pleaser. This toy is for ages 6 and up. (Note: You have to charge it first, and then you can use a remote control from up to 50 feet away.)

High-tech remote-control robot interactive puppy dog, $59.99 at Amazon

Little Live Pets: Frosty, My Dream Puppy

Doesn’t “Little Live Pets: Frosty, My Dream Puppy” sound so much more fun than just a plain-old dog? This is for the younger set (ages 4 to 6). It is a really sweet interactive dog that responds to touch. The husky opens and closes his blue eyes, plus you can feed him a bottle (awww). There’s even an adoption certificate so you know this dog is legit.

Little Live Pets: Frosty, My Dream Puppy, $54.99 at Moose Toys

FurReal Friends: Pax, My Poopin’ Pup

If you like the idea of an interactive puppy but you’re thinking, “I’d really like him to also poop for ultimate realness,” then dreams really do come true. You can buy the Pax, My Poopin’ Pup toy! Your child can feed this dog treats, then put on his leash, and he’ll actually poop them out. There’s even a cleanup bag so the neighbors don’t yell at your family when pretend Pax pretend poops on their lawn. Keep in mind, though: The poop treats are small, so they are pretty easy to lose. This will give you the chance to remind your kids to keep track of Pax’s poop (which is a pretty proud moment as a parent). Best for kids (and ridiculous adults) ages 4 and up.

FurReal Friends: Pax, My Poopin’ Pup, $22.56 at Amazon

Dog accessories

Whether your kid digs wallets, socks or backpacks, there are so many adorable dog accessories out there. We love this super-cute Who Let the Dogs Out pencil pouch that lets your child carry her “dog” around throughout the school day. But there are all kinds of great dog-related accessories and gifts for every age — and none of them shed on your couch or pee in your house.

Who Let the Dogs Out pencil pouch, $12.85 at

Dog-walking business

Maybe that teenager who wishes for a dog can turn that longing into a money-making experience instead. Find out if some of your neighbors need help walking their dogs after school. This could be a great way for your teen to earn some cash while getting some puppy love. Or volunteer to take a friend’s pet for the weekend when he or she goes away. This will give your child a chance to experience what it’s really like to take care of a dog without costing you a thing. Or you can even volunteer to walk dogs at local animal shelters. The point is, there are lots of ways to spend time with dogs without actually owning one. Thank goodness.

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