30 Common Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making If You Have A Dog

The solutions you didn’t know you needed to make owning a dog easier — and less gross!

Written by Veronika Kero
Originally Published: 
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Whether you’re new to dog ownership or a veteran of all things canine, there are some simple tricks that will let you sidestep common mistakes you may not even realize you’re making. There is a dizzying array of pet products available on Amazon — save time by checking out the ingenious Amazon reviewer-beloved inventions listed below. They’ll help you keep your dog safe, well-groomed, and mentally stimulated. There are even products for you and your home to make being a fur parent easier (and way less gross).


Mistake: Trying To Remove Mats With A Regular Brush

Solution: A Brush That Glides Through Tangles

With a six-tooth design made of stainless steel blades that won’t rust, this mat remover gently cuts through mats and tangles without any painful pulling. And to make it easier on yourself as well, the ergonomic handle has a non-slip grip to give you better control. In between at-home spa sessions, hang it from the hole in the handle for easy storage.


Mistake: Forgetting To De-Shed Between Baths

Solution: These Grooming Gloves That Let You Remove Fur By Petting

If your dog isn’t the biggest fan of getting brushed, you need these pet grooming gloves. The soft rubber grooves that cover both palms gently remove loose fur while you pet your pup. The collection of hair forms a layer across each glove that can be peeled off in one swoop, and the pair is one-size-fits-all with an adjustable wrist strap.


Mistake: Not Protecting Paws from Icy & Hot Pavement

Solution: This Highly Rated Paw Wax

The vegetable oils, beeswax, and other food-grade ingredients that make up this dog paw wax not only moisturize cracked paws but also create a protective barrier to protect them when they walk on icy or hot pavement. Plus, it can be applied to minor cuts to promote healing.


Mistake: Relying On Finding Accidents By Sight & Smell

Solution: A UV Flashlight That Makes Stains Glow

Don’t rely on just your sense of sight (or smell) to find any accidents your pup had when you were gone. Instead, bring home this UV flashlight that has over 27,000 five-star reviews. Its 51 LED bulbs can instantly expose any hidden stains. Reviewer Carla Olson commented that “it was amazing to see all the places that we didn't realize the dog had [gone] potty.”


Mistake: Not Preventing Costly Dental Issues

Solution: This Effective Food Additive

This teeth-cleaning powder comes in a shaker bottle so you can sprinkle the product right into their food. It can help reduce plaque by 20% and tartar by 18%. And because it’s made with probiotics, it will help manage odors from the inside out. Reviewer Rick raved, “I don't write many reviews so hear me when I say this stuff works.”


Mistake: Not Using A Pet Stain Remover With Enzymes

Solution: This Pet Stain Spray With 72,000 5-Star Ratings

This odor-eliminating spray is safe to use in every room of the house near pets or children. The blend is made with natural enzymes that activate when in contact with pet stains of all kinds, feeding on the organic matter until it’s gone. It’s safe for use on carpets, upholstery, rugs, kennels, clothing, and more. Because it eliminates the chemicals that make up smells, it can help prevent future puddles.


Mistake: Forgetting To Bring A Flashlight On Walks

Solution: These Tiny Flashlights You Can Attach To Your Keys Or Leash

It’s easy to forget to bring a flashlight when the sun starts setting earlier and rising later. This five-pack of keychain flashlights can be attached to your keys, bag, or directly to your leash so that you always have one on hand. They each offer 12 lumens of brightness and have a 100,000-hour battery life. They can be turned on by pressing the top or sliding the on/off switch for constant light.


Mistake: Buying Toys That Contain Stuffing

Solution: Stuffing-Free Squeaky Toys For Under $10

Made without stuffing that will end up all over your floor (or in their tummy), this squeaking toy will last much longer than most other options — and keep your pup safe. It features a squeaker in both ends and comes in 15 different animal designs and two sizes, all of which are available for $15 or less per toy.


Mistake: Carrying Poop Bags In Your Hand

Solution: This Hands-Free Poop Bag Holder

To avoid carrying a full pet waste bag (yuck), use this poop bag holder to hang bags directly from the leash until you can dispose of them. The carabiner clip on this stainless steel holder can also be attached to your backpack or belt loop. Just slip the poop bag into one of the two slots below the bag’s knot to enjoy a hands-free hike, walk, or run.


Mistake: Bending Over To Pick Up Poop

Solution: A Pain-Free Way To Scoop

Save yourself back pain and the ick of picking up poop by hand by adding this long pooper scooper to your cart. The set comes with a 36-inch rake and a tray with a 37.8-inch handle so that you can limit how often you bend down when picking up after your furry friend. Both pieces are made of lightweight, rustproof stainless steel and aluminum and they can be snapped together and hung from a hook on top for hassle-free storage.


Mistake: Not Making Long-Lasting Treats By Freezing Them

Solution: A Freezable Toy For Customizable Treats

Instead of giving your furry friend regular treats that they’ll devour in minutes (or seconds!), use this freezable chew toy to create a safe, unique popsicle that they’ll love to lick and chew on for hours. Fill the hollow of this durable rubber toy with peanut butter, yogurt, broth, or anything else safe for your pet. It comes in two adorable shapes and it’s also available in large for dogs over 30 pounds.


Mistake: Not Buckling Them In During Car Rides

Solution: This No-Tangle, Clip-On Pet Seatbelt

To keep your dog safer in the car, clip in this pet seatbelt the next time you go for a drive. It also helps keep dogs from climbing into areas they shouldn’t. The strap has an adjustable length (21 to 31 inches) and an elastic shock absorber to keep it from pulling too roughly. The hook spins 360 degrees to prevent tangling. Just clip the stainless steel buckle into your vehicle and attach the clip to their harness, and they’ll be good to go.


Mistake: Letting Them Track Dirt Into The House

Solution: These Compostable Pet Wipes

These 100% plant-based cleaning wipes can be composted once you refresh your dirty puppy. They’re made with organic antioxidants and aloe vera to condition their fur and paws while deodorizing. The large wipes (nine by eight inches) can be used anywhere from head to tail, including ears, rears, and paws, before they come back inside.


Mistake: Letting Them Eat Too Fast

Solution: A Genius Bowl That Slows Them Down

Without the help of this slow feeder bowl, your dog may experience bloating or even choke on their food. To help them take their time, spread kibble or wet food all around the bowl’s raised ridges. It holds up to three cups of food at a time and is made of flexible, dishwasher-safe silicone that will be easy for them to work their way around. The bowl is also available in orange.


Mistake: Using A Regular Collar On Walks With A Dog That Pulls

Solution: This Comfy Harness That Takes The Pressure Off Their Throat

If your dog gets excited or reactive on every walk and chokes itself with its collar, try this comfy dog harness. Instead of digging into the throat like a collar, the padded nylon chest piece protects their trachea, and the leash can be attached to a durable D-ring on the front or back of the harness. A convenient short handle on the back allows you to control or guide your pup to safety, even when you don’t have a leash.


Mistake: Forgetting To Bring Food & Water Bowls On The Go

Solution: This Set Of Collapsible Bowls That’s Just $10

Whether you’re traveling or just taking a quick trip to the park, these collapsible dog bowls are an easy and compact way to make sure that your pet always has the food and water that they need. Each of the two silicone dishes can hold up to three cups of food or 25 ounces of water each. The pop-up pieces can be folded down to just over half an inch tall when it’s time to get back on the road. They also come with key rings to attach to a bag or leash.


Mistake: Traveling Without Bringing Water For Your Pup

Solution: A Clever Dog-Friendly Water Bottle

Great for travel, hikes, and long walks, this genius dog water bottle is a convenient (and leak-free) way to keep your pet hydrated. The compact device allows you to fill the built-in bowl with the touch of a button, and any unused water can be filtered back into the bottle for next time. If you don’t have anything to carry it in, just slip your wrist into the attached strap. It’s also available in a 19-ounce size for larger dogs.


Mistake: Using A Cup To Rinse Them In The Bath

Solution: A Tool That Works In The Bath, Shower, Or With A Hose

With this dog bath brush, you can use the showerhead or hose to more thoroughly and easily wet and rinse their fur — no cups required. It comes with different adapters so that it can be attached to a showerhead or an outdoor hose, and it comes with an eight-foot hose. Once attached, you can adjust the silicone strap for a snug fit around your hand so that you can rinse and brush your dog all at once.


Mistake: Not Providing Them With Enough Mental Stimulation

Solution: An Enriching Treat Puzzle

Pack treats into this dog puzzle to provide your pup with valuable (and tiring!) mental stimulation. With moveable pieces that can be used to conceal small treats, your dog will be challenged to not only figure out where the goodies are but do their best to quickly move the parts as they do. It can also be used with a portion of their kibble from meals to extend feeding times.


Mistake: Not Making A Game Out Of Treat Time

Solution: A Treat-Dispensing Ball They’ll Love

To keep them entertained even when you don’t have the energy or time to run around, buy this treat-dispensing toy. The stretchy material pops up to let you load it with their favorite treats (even larger ones), and it can be popped back into place to make getting to the treats more challenging. Mint is infused into the toy to keep their breath smelling fresh.


Mistake: Forgetting Their Treats At Home

Solution: Keeping This Treat Pouch By The Door

To easily reward your dog for good behavior when out and about, clip this dog treat pouch onto your waistband. The silicone holder is BPA-free and designed with a magnetic closure so that it’s easy to open and close with one hand. When you get home, stick it in the dishwasher to give it a thorough cleaning. It’s available in over 20 fun colors, including neutrals like black, beige, and gray.


Mistake: Not Using A Break-Away Collar For Safety

Solution: This Collar With 2,000 5-Star Reviews

The lightweight construction and easy-to-use buckle make this break-away dog collar a safer option for your pup. It’s made of polyester with two metal D-rings that can be used to ensure it stays in place on walks. The plastic break-away design ensures that if your pup manages to get the collar caught or snagged, it will release them for their safety. It’s available in four colors.


Mistake: Forgetting To Bring Poop Bags On Walks

Solution: A Bag Dispenser That Attaches To Your Leash

This refillable poop bag dispenser holds 60 bags at a time, simplifying walks and ensuring you never forget to bring bags. The extra-thick plastic ensures there won’t be any leaks and the lavender scent of the bags helps mask odor. And because they’re made with biodegradable technology, they’re eco-friendly too. This pack comes with an adorable bone-shaped holder that can clip onto your leash and three rolls of bags.


Mistake: Buying Toys That Get Chewed Up Fast

Solution: This Durable Treat Bone

Dogs that love to chew will finally meet their match with this durable KONG rubber bone. It was purposely designed to be strong enough to last a long time, even with aggressive chewers. Reviewer Kaitlyn W. wrote that this bone, “is the only toy that can stand up to my 5 year old yellow labs constant chewing.” This medium size is for dogs weighing 15 to 35 pounds.


Mistake: Not Protecting Furniture From Nails & Fur

Solution: This Washable Couch Protector

To keep your furniture scratch- and fur-free but still offer a comfy place to settle into, you need this shaggy couch protector. It has a cushion on two sides to support the neck when laying down or dozing off. Meanwhile, the bottom has a leakproof and non-slip lining so that everything (even liquids) stays in place. The inner cotton layer can be removed so you can clean the cover in your washing machine.


Mistake: Not Covering Their Crate To Give It A Cozy, Den-Like Feel

Solution: A Crate Cover Available in 7 Sizes

To give your pet some privacy and help them calm down to rest, slip on this crate cover. It appeals to dogs’ natural instincts by creating a cozy, dark cave. It covers all sides but the front can be rolled up and held open using the velcro patches. The protective atmosphere can also help with behavior issues like barking.


Mistake: Buying Dog Beds That Aren't Machine Washable

Solution: This Cozy, Washable Pet Bed

A shocking number of pet beds aren’t machine washable. This ergonomic pet bed will help support your dog’s head and joints — and it’s machine washable for accidents or when it starts to smell. Its donut shape mimics a dog’s natural sleeping position. Underneath the shaggy faux fur is a soft cotton filling and the bottom features a no-slip lining.


Mistake: Applying Wrinkle Paste By Hand Or With Q-Tips

Solution: A Paste Applicator That’s Just $7

For a soft and hygienic swipe between skin folds, you’ll want this wrinkle paste applicator that makes the process less messy and time-consuming. Using the silicone spatula to apply tear stain remover or wrinkle cleaner will help keep your furry friend’s face and tail pocket dry and healthy. The suction cup on the bottom adheres to any flat surface for sanitary storage.


Mistake: Not Protecting Floors From Pet Bowls & Water

Solution: An Anti-Skid Mat To Keep The Mess Contained

To keep crumbs and spills off your floors, place this anti-slip bowl mat in their feeding area. The silicone placemat will grip onto any surface to prevent slipping and its raised walls help contain the drips and spills. And because it’s flexible, it’s easy to wash and fold or roll up for storage when not needed.


Mistake: Holding 2 Separate Leashes On Walks

Solution: An Adjustable 2-Dog Leash Converter

Give your hands a bit more freedom when walking both your dogs at the same time with this handy double leash. It can be attached to any ordinary leash and won’t cause any tangles thanks to its 360-degree swiveling hardware. Both sides can be adjusted in length and they can accommodate dogs weighing up to 100 pounds. It’s made of weatherproof nylon with reflective stitching for added visibility at night.

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