Our dogs are part of the family. For many people, it may be the only “family” they have. 


Just as you make sure your kids eat properly, have decent clothes, age-appropriate toys, and proper preventative health care, you do the same for your dogs. 


Sometimes, the things we get our dogs are necessities: heart worm pills, flea and tick repellant, regular bathings. 


But other times we just like to have some frivolous fun with our fur babies. Therefore, we splurge on novelty items like dog costumes, treats and toys, personalized collars, luxury dog beds, and more. 


I’ve compiled a list of some Grade A pet products that I highly recommend. Some fall under the “necessities” category and some are more frivolous finds, but each are things that I think any dog lover can buy with confidence for their furry family member and have peace of mind knowing it’s a quality product, an excellent value, or an impulse buy you won’t feel guilty about!


Here goes…


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1) Bully Sticks


My dogs have such a routine that they’ll sit on the floor in front of me and whine and paw at me when it’s time for their nightly treat. Every night I give my 2 dogs a bully stick and they love it!


Dogs love bully sticks but when you go through 2 of them a night x 7 nights a week = 14 sticks, well that adds up pretty quickly.


Best Bully Sticks are hands down the best value you can find for bully sticks. You can buy them in bulk and get them for the same price you’d pay at a pet store for half the number of sticks.


If your dog is crazy for bully sticks like mine are but you don’t love the crazy prices some places charge for them, Best Bully Sticks can’t be beat (and trust me, I’ve looked!).


2) Dog nail grooming and grinding tool


Ugh, it’s one thing many dog owners dread — clipping their dog’s nails. 


Some dogs r-e-f-u-s-e to allow their nails to be clipped. It requires an expensive trip to the vet who has to basically put your dog in a headlock while another vet tech clips their nails. 


Other dog owners are just super nervous about clipping their own dogs nails afraid that they will overcut and cut the quick, which can be painful for a dog. 


There is another way — the doggy Dremel. It’s a rotary tool that grinds, rather than clips, your dogs nails. It’s like a high-powered nail file essentially. 


Many (but not all) dogs will tolerate this tool being used whereas they won’t sit still enough to allow their nails to be clipped. 


If you’ve ever had trouble clipping your dog’s nails and are sick of taking a trip to the vet every several weeks to pay them to do it, this might be worth a try.


3) Undercoat deshedding tool


I used to have my daughter’s dog that stayed with me who was an Australian Shepherd. Super smart, energetic, and fun dogs but man do they shed!


I’d literally see hairballs lodged under furniture and would suck up gobs of hair in my vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. 


One thing that helped was regular brushing. The more I brushed out the undercoat, the less that got lodged underneath my furniture. 


Thank goodness I came across the FURminator. It’s a tool that reaches through the topcoat and gets to the loose hair in the undercoat and combs it away. 


You want to be sure that you brush your dog outside or some other place where you won’t mind a little dog hair because you will be shocked at how much hair the FURminator dislodges. 


Duke loved it, too. He loved the attention he was getting from me plus he loved how it felt on his skin, often backing his rump up to me so I’d get his backside extra good. Nothing beats a good butt scratch in a dog’s world!


4) Dog food storage bins


I keep all my dog food in storage bins, rather than keep it in the bag. For me, I just find it easier to scoop out and it stores much easier in my pantry. 


These are nice because it’s a 3-piece set and the big bin is on rollers, so it’s easy to move back and forth, much easier than trying to lug a big food bag to and fro. 


You can use the smaller bin for dog treats, to store doggy bag (aka plastic grocery bags), toys, leashes/collars, or whatever else. 


These are definitely a ‘must-have’ in my household.


5) Car Seat Cover Protector


If your dog goes with you wherever you go, then you definitely need this in your life. 


There’s no faster way to ruin your car’s interior than by letting your dog run amok in it. Dog’s nails will scratch the leather or fabric of your car, your center console, and the backs of the seats. 


When that happens, good luck trying to get a good price on it should you ever choose to sell it!


This car seat cover is easy to install, easy to clean, and is waterproof. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”, so it’s better to spend a few bucks on something like this than have the interior of your car ruined for good. 


6) Pet Stairs


As much as we hate to admit it, our pets get old just like us. The spry, athletic canine that used to be able to hop up on the couch right next to you with ease now suffers from hip dysplasia and can’t launch off of her hind legs any more. 


If you have a large dog, she might be too heavy for you to lift up onto the couch or bed with you. You feel enormously guilty and sad as your dog whines at the foot of the couch or bed while you’re helpless to get them up. 


Pet stairs can be a God send for older dogs suffering from joint problems or arthritis that can’t move like they used to. You don’t have to sit there anymore and feel guilty that you can’t help them.


They’re also handy if you have a small or toy breed that can’t jump as high as the sofa to get up there with you. No problem — just hop up the stairs and claim their comfortable spot by your side that way. 


7) Pooper Scooper


The worst part of dog ownership is picking up your dog’s poo, but as responsible pet owners, it must be done. 


I prefer this rake and bin set up because it works better on my rock garden landscaping. The backyard of my villa doesn’t have any grass so my 2 dogs do their duty on the rock beds that surround my courtyard.


I also prefer this over a regular pooper scooper because you can go ahead and outfit your bin with a poop bag, so you just rake up the poo and it’s already deposited into a disposable bag. No need to befoul your bin and clean it out after each use. 


It’s not the sexiest dog item, but it is a necessity so you better go ahead and pick one up and make an otherwise unpleasant task somewhat easier. 


So there ya have it — my ‘must-have’ list of doggy staples that will make your life easier. I’ll probably make another post some other day with even more of my fabulous pet finds so stay tuned for that!

Wag more,


Ann Heathman

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