One year, my mum forgot to buy me an advent calendar, and let me tell you – I was about to cancel Christmas. And yes, I might have been 21 years old and more than capable of buying my own, but it’s just tradition that, no matter how old you are, your mum buys you an advent calendar.
And I’m planning to continue that tradition with my own children – well, my dogs, that is. So we’ve been sniffing out some of the best on the market, from budget buys to more luxurious canine calendars. Think of it as Cadbury’s compared to Lindt – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Dairy Milk and I’ll absolutely scoff the treat behind every single door until December 25, but I’m a Lindt calendar gal through and through and do enjoy paying the extra for a taste of chocolatey heaven each morning. Though I’m not a total splurge spender – I did get mine from Cheshire Oaks.
Advent calendars for dogs are becoming more and more popular – especially this year with the rise in households acquiring a dog during the pandemic. And it’s only fair that they’re involved in all of the festive fun, so Phoebe and Frank have picked out their top four advent calendars for 2021, ranging from under £2, up to £10.
Price – £10
How many doors? 24
Type of treat? Biscuits
The Lily’s Kitchen Advent Calendar for dogs features a cute hand drawn illustration of a drummer boy doggo surrounded by traditional depictions of the yuletide season, like candy canes and festive rocking horses.
Behind each window, there’s a surprise of either a Lily’s Kitchen Rise and Shine biscuit, a Cheese and Apple Training Treat or the famous Bedtime Biscuits. We love Lily’s Kitchen biscuits, and indeed, their whole Christmas range, however, it is on the pricy end of the spectrum and as much as we adore the relaxing chamomile Bedtime Biscuits, it seems a little bit odd to give it to them first thing in the morning when you open their calendar. It might have been nice to see Lily’s swap these out for their new Breaktime Biscuits – and how cute would a festive packet of ‘Twas the night before Christmas Bedtime Biscuits’ be?
That said, the doors have more than one treat behind them, which is great when you have two dogs, and each morning it’s a surprise what you’ll be opening. Lily’s Kitchen are particularly generous with the Cheese and Apple Training Treats.
Pooch and Mutt
Price – £7.49
How many doors? 24
Type of treat – Meaty
The Pooch and Mutt advent calendar has a festive red design this year, with snowfall and expertly wrapped gifts on the packaging, with shiny gold writing which reads ‘Merry Poochmas’.
There are 24 doors on the calendar, taking your dog all the way up to the morning on Christmas eve. Each window contains, not one, but two tasty Turkey and Cranberry meaty treats, which are suitably seasonal in a limited edition star shape. Again, this is a real bonus when you’ve got two dogs, but if you’re a solo dog home, they could have one in the morning, and one before bed!
The meaty bites are packed with low-calorie turkey, Christmassy cranberry, a sprinkle of cinnamon – a natural anti-inflammatory – and probiotics. We love the thought that’s gone into the recipe to make it feel festive, everything from the seasonal botanicals to the shape of the treats.
Pooch and Mutt’s advent calendar is more mid-range in terms of price, but offers great value in that there are two thoughtfully curated treats behind each door.
Price – £6
How many doors? 24
Type of treats – Meaty and biscuits
Scrumbles Dog Advent Calendar really gives your pet the best of both worlds, full of delicious natural dog treats that will get them excited during the Christmas countdown.
Each of the 24 doors holds a surprise treat, that have functional benefits, including dental dog treats, calming treats and 100% chicken treats that taste great, are kind to tummies and the planet.
We really like that the packaging is all eco friendly and fully recyclable, and that Scrumbles have thought about the benefits of each treat for your dog, so it’s not just giving them treats for the sake of it. This is another really affordable option, with a mix of meat treats and biscuits – the only one in this list to offer both – for just £6.
But much like Lily’s Kitchen, the nibbles do have a calming effect on dogs, which might seem unusual to use in a morning routine, but Scrumbles say it’s to help ‘keep your pooch relaxed in the run up to the big day’.
Price – £1.99
How many doors? 24
Type of treat – Carob
This is the cheapest calendar on our list, but we love the fact that you don’t need to spend tonnes of money to get your dog involved in the Christmas spirit.
Priced under £2, the PetBrand calendar is a fun way to celebrate the holidays with your dog with a treat that looks just like chocolate. Carob is a totally safe pet friendly alternative to chocolate that’s suitable for dogs over 16 weeks old.
There’s a treat behind every door, each one shaped with the mould to look like gifts. One of my favourite parts of opening an advent calendar as a kid was turning it around to see what shape it was – be it Santa, a snowman or a present – so this is a great option if you’ve got children in the home too, as an experience they can share with their pooch. Just make sure they give the dog the right chocolate, not only for safety, but because carob doesn’t taste great to humans either.
You can bag this calendar with 10% off at Hounds, too, making it just £1.89, with the code SCAMPS, making it even more of a bargain.
Your dog would be one lucky pup to receive any of these calendars on December 1, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they cotton on to getting a treat each morning!