I’m all about practical dog and puppy products and making sure I have everything I need for nearly every possible situation. Here are a few of my “must have” dog product picks for your puppy or dog.
I have to say with conviction that I couldn’t live without the Spill-Less Smart Bowl from Premier Pet Products. Ok, I’d probably live (as in, I’d likely keep breathing without it), but my floor would be a mess and life would be a lot more difficult. The Spill-Less Smart Bowl from Premier Pet Products is a Godsend. Is it sacrilegious to call a dog bowl a Godsend? Not only is it ideal for food and water, it’s amazing for traveling and it comes in three awesome colors. I have one of each.
Another bowl I’m in love with (yes, I said it – I’m in love with a bowl), is the Kurgo Collaps-a-Bowl. It’s like a dog bowl plus an accordion, but without the weird monkey in a hat. Fantastic for travel and quick meals, and very easy to clean – I use it every day.
When you have dogs, especially multiple dogs, it’s critical to be prepared for any situation – this is why I keep e-collars on hand for my three dogs. I used all three of these collars, and highly recommend having at least one in your doggie emergency kit: The Trimline Veterinary Recovery Collar (very lightweight), the BooBooloon (comfortable and easy to use), and the Kong Cloud Collar (also lightweight and comfortable). These collars create much less stress for an injured dog than a hard plastic e-collar. Besides, what dog wants to walk around in the “cone of shame,” looking like a satellite dish? Not mine.
The Lickety Stik by Pet Safe is quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread (I don’t remember a time before sliced bread, but I hear it was a challenging era). I love, love, love this product, as both a dog owner and a trainer. The packaging looks like a roll on deodorant, but don’t put the contents under your arms unless you want the neighborhood dogs licking your armpits (and if you do, please keep that to yourself). Simply uncap the roll-on tube and offer the roller-ball to your dog – as he licks it, the ball rolls and he tastes the vitamin-packed juicy goodness inside. The product claims to have 500 licks inside, with just one calorie per every ten licks. This is fabulous for “plus size model” type dogs like my Pearl. And it’s amazing for training – rather than fuss with a bunch of treats, now you can “click and lick.” I’ve used the Lickety Stik in training sessions and works great. I carry it in my pocket or purse for quick rewards – no mess, easy to use. Did I mention already that I love it?
Another fabulous training product is the Pet Corrector from In the Company of Animals. Essentially, this is “canned air” that makes a loud “shhhh!” sound when you depress the top. This noise is used to stop bad behavior – I use it often to halt barking in my dogs. It stops them cold. One caveat – this product is not a substitute for training, it’s just one weapon in your doggie training arsenal. When I use it to stop barking at my door, for example, I depress the button to release the air, the dogs stop barking, then I call the dogs to me and thank them for ceasing to bark, ask them to sit, and then treat them. The air sound is fantastic at getting their attention – and that’s when the real training can begin.
I have a new favorite dog carrier, the SturdiBag. I’ve had other carriers for my dogs in the past, but Sturdi Products have gone out of their way to make an incredibly lightweight bag that still retains the toughness of a bag twice its weight. When I’m traveling, I don’t want to have to carry more weight than I have to – three dogs and ten pairs of shoes is enough! The SturdiBag is also attractive and can double as an airline carry-on even if you’re not toting your dog (but why wouldn’t Poochie be with you on vacation?).
For the puppy owners out there, here’s something I haven’t used, but that has definitely piqued my attention – Martha Stewart has a new line of puppy gear at PetSmart. I poked through these new toys, grooming products, and bowls the other day at PetSmart – there’s nothing tremendously original, but it’s all irresistibly adorable – great gifts abound in this new collection, lots of pinks and baby blues, and the quality is top of the line. Martha Stewart Puppy Line
Here’s something that’s not “practical” in the useful sense, but it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to get one for each of my dogs – nose print pendants from Metropawlitan Art. They send you a mold kit for your dog’s nose, you take the mold and send it back to them, and then they send you a silver or bronze pendant of your dog’s nose print that you can wear on a necklace or bracelet. What an incredible way to show the world how much you care about your dog – and what a weird dog person you truly are. Let your freak flags fly, dog people! It makes a great piece of memorial jewelry too.
Do you have any products that you can’t live without? Have anything you’d like me to review? Send it along!