Dog Owners Say They Wish They Got These Cheap, Clever Things Sooner

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Written by Claire Epting
Originally Published: 
A dog being washed with a shampoo and the same dog playing on a step closet

As a dog owner myself, I find that the best care tips and training advice come from my friends who also have pups — and the same goes for pet products. After all, there are so many cheap and clever things for dogs out there — knowing which ones actually work saves a lot of time.

If your dog is a heavy shedder, you can use this self-cleaning slicker brush that detangles their coat (while removing tons of hair). Or, if you have an aggressive chewer, you may want to check out this durable rubber toy — it’s infused with baking soda, so it also helps clean your dog’s teeth clean. No matter what kind of canine you have, this list is packed with genius, wallet-friendly items for your dog that you’ll wish you’d heard about sooner.


This Cover That Protects The Back Seat From Dirt & Pet Hair

Protect your vehicles’s interior from your dog’s stray hair and muddy paws by installing this quilted back seat cover in your car. Made of durable Oxford cotton, the cover is easy to clean with a vacuum, hose, or damp washcloth. Simply hook the straps onto your car headrests to keep it securely in place. “We love this and wonder why we didn't buy one sooner. Our dog likes it too,” wrote one reviewer.

  • Available colors: 4


An Interactive Puzzle Toy With Adjustable Difficulty Levels

This interactive treat ball encourages your dog to work for their kibble and treats — when they push it around, little bits will fall out of the opening. What’s especially great about this puzzle is that you can adjust the difficulty level by simply rotating the opening. This way, your dog won’t get bored, no matter how many times they’ve solved it.

  • Available sizes: 3 inches, 4 inches


The Highly Rated Slicker Brush That Removes Extra Fur

Owners of heavy-shedding dogs know that keeping up with a brushing routine can help keep pet hair from covering your home. This slicker brush — which has over 58,000 five-star reviews on Amazon — effectively lifts loose hair from your dog’s coat, while removing tangles and debris from their fur. The retractable bristles make cleaning a snap — just press the button to separate the hair from the bristles.


An Orange-Scented Cleaner That Removes The Toughest Of Pet Stains

When you have a dog, occasional accidents are just part of the territory. But while many cleaners simply mask the odors that come with stains, this orange-scented enzyme cleaner actually breaks them down on contact. “The stains have faded, and odor is GONE, even on the older stains! The smell is fresh and pleasant! Wish I had tried this sooner!!!” raved one customer.


This Pet Hair-Removing Tool With A Cult Following

With over 96,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this handheld roller is a favorite hair-removing tool among dog owners. It’s just so easy to use — simply roll the cylindrical base over your furniture, clothes, and carpet to lift the loose fur, then open the chamber over the trash to dispose of the hair. More effective than sticky lint rollers, the ChomChom roller can be used again and again.


The Puzzle Toy That Keeps Your Pup Occupied

Dogs love having a job to do, and this puzzle toy keeps them occupied for long periods of time — so they’ll be less likely to engage in destructive behaviors. Designed with multiple sliding compartments and rotating tabs, the toy encourages your dog to sniff and forage for their reward.

  • Available styles: 25


This Ultra-Quiet Nail Grinder That’s Gentler Than Clippers

If your dog gets nervous every time you pull out the nail clippers, you should consider switching to this electric nail grinder. It has an ultra-quiet motor that won’t spook your stressed pup, and an adjustable grinding surface that shaves down their nails without creating any jagged edges. “I have to say I am so ridiculously happy with this product,” one reviewer wrote. “My dog handled this trimmer better than anything else I've tried, including using a nail file on her nails.”

  • Available colors: 6


These Combs That Remove Dirt Buildup From Beneath Your Dog’s Eyes

Certain breeds of dogs — including poodles, Yorkies, and chihuahuas — are prone to dirt and mucus buildup underneath their eyes. Luckily, these stainless steel combs offer a gentle way to remove those stains. Since they’re so compact, you can keep them in your bag for on-the-go touchups.


The Grooming Gloves That Relax Your Pet & Remove Hair

Covered in flexible silicone bristles, these grooming gloves allow you to remove loose fur from those hard-to-reach spots on your dog’s body. The ergonomic shape fits your hand comfortably — all you have to do is pet your dog to lift that hair up. If your dog doesn’t love being brushed, these gloves offer a gentler, more relaxing experience.

  • Available colors: 6


An Adjustable Sling Carrier For Your Pup

With this sling carrier, you can keep your small dog or puppy securely fastened to your body wherever you go. Designed with an adjustable, padded shoulder strap and both zipper and drawstring closures, the carrier gently hugs your dog while you go about your day. “From everyday day use to outdoor adventure, this is our new traveler! Wish we had found it sooner,” wrote one reviewer.

  • Available colors: 14


The Treat-Hiding Snuffle Mat & Puzzle Toy Set That Busts Boredom

Engage your dog’s natural foraging instinct with this snuffle mat made of flaps of soft felt. The mat features plenty of pockets you can stuff with treats or kibble, providing your pooch with a fun challenge as they sniff them out. You also get five fabric puzzle toys that roll up and attach to the mat, so your dog will never run out of things to do.


This Mini Security Camera That Keeps An Eye On Your Pets

Whether you’re at the office or on a weekend trip, leaving your dog home can be nerve-wracking. This mini security camera offers peace of mind. With customizable motion detection and two-way audio, the camera allows you to see what your pup is up to — and even speak to them. It has over 151,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality product.

  • Available colors: White, Black


These Carpeted Stairs That Assist Your Pet In Climbing On Furniture

Whether you have an elderly dog or a small puppy, your pet might need assistance climbing up onto your sofa — which is why this set of stairs is so useful. With a slightly angled design, each platform has a carpeted top that makes them extra soft on your pets paws. You can use these steps with any dog up to 150 pounds — plus, they also work for cats.

  • Available colors: 11


A Whimsical Gorilla-Shaped Toy That Cleans Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing isn’t the only way to keep your dog’s mouth fresh. This gorilla-shaped toy from Arm & Hammer has rows of narrow grooves that clean your pooch’s teeth while they chew. It’s also infused with baking soda, which helps brighten your pup’s pearly whites. Made of heavy-duty rubber, this toy can stand up to aggressive chewers 35 pounds and under.


This Unique Plush Toy With A Relaxing Heartbeat

While it may look like a regular plush toy, the Snuggle Puppy has some unique qualities that make it perfect for soothing stressed dogs. It has a battery-powered “heart” that mimics an animal’s heartbeat, as well as a disposable heat pack that provides comforting warmth. “Love it! Our puppy finally slept through the night! Wish we would have gotten it sooner,” wrote one reviewer.

  • Available colors: 5


The Artificial Grass Patch You Can Place Anywhere

This artificial turf pad provides your dog with a place to use the restroom, no matter where you are. Perfect for apartment patios and balconies, the grass patch sits on top of a plastic drainage insert — making cleanup easy as can be. Since it can be transported anywhere, it also works as a great potty training tool for young puppies.

  • Available sizes: Small — Large


A Moisturizing Balm That Soothes Cracked Paw Pads

Made from a moisturizing blend of oils as well as nourishing shea butter and beeswax, this healing balm soothes cracked, dry paw pads while also protecting them against future damage. Just spread a thin layer onto your dog’s paws and between their toes. “I used this product once and her paws look so much better in just one use. Never going back to the other paw oils,” wrote one reviewer.


This Spraying Hose Attachment For At-Home Baths

You can add this spraying attachment to your indoor shower or your outdoor garden hose — wherever your dog prefers to be washed. Designed with a long row of nozzles, the contoured wand creates a comb-like effect that allows you to reach more of your dog’s coat at once — resulting in a quicker, less stressful bath for the both of you.


These Adorable Squeaky Toys That Are Stuffing-Free

Shaped like woodland creatures, this trio of adorable plush toys will satisfy your dog’s prey drive. Each one is designed with three squeakers inside, keeping your pooch engaged throughout their playtime. Since these toys don’t contain any stuffing, they won’t make a mess if your dog rips them open.


An Elevated Bed That Keeps Your Dog Cool & Comfy

Not only does the unique design of this elevated pet bed relieve pressure on your dog’s joints, but it also increases airflow underneath — which keeps the fabric from getting too warm as they lie on it. Available in a wide range of sizes, the bed consists of an easy-to-assemble iron frame and a breathable mesh platform.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: Gray, Green


The Dog Doorbells That Help Your Pup Communicate

Clusters of stainless steel bells hang from this unusual training tool, creating a way for your dog to get your attention without barking. The thick strap hangs over your door knob, suspending the bells at your dog’s height. Teach your dog to paw or nudge at the bells when they need to go outside. “Best thing we bought for our lab yet. She figured it out after day one and we haven't had an accident since,” wrote one reviewer.

  • Available colors: 9


The UV Flashlight That Detects Hidden Urine Stains On Carpet & Furniture

The tricky thing about urine stains is that once they dry, they’re practically invisible to the naked eye. By using this UV flashlight, you can quickly spot any accidents that have left a mark on your carpets or furniture. Shine the purplish light over your home’s surfaces to quickly identify which spots need to be treated with an enzymatic cleaner.


These Calming Chews That Relax Your Dog In Stressful Situations

Featuring a wealth of calming ingredients including melatonin, chamomile, and L-tryptophan, these soft chews help promote relaxation in potentially anxious situations — think: thunderstorms, firework shows, and grooming appointments. They taste just like a treat, so your dog won’t need any convincing to eat them.


A Gravity Dispenser That Automatically Refills Your Dog’s Water Bowl

Remembering to keep your dog’s water bowl filled throughout the day can be a challenge, especially if you work long hours. That’s why this gravity pet waterer from Amazon Basics is such a good idea. Holding up to 1 gallon of water, the dispenser automatically keeps the built-in bowl filled with fresh water — you don’t have to do a thing.

  • Available sizes: Small, Large


This Portable Water Bottle With A Built-In Dog Bowl

Whether you’re at the dog park or on a hike, your furry friend will appreciate a bowl of fresh water after burning off so much energy. This portable water bottle has a built-in silicone dog bowl, so you don’t need to bring a separate dish with you. Just unfold the drinking bowl and squeeze the nozzle to fill it up with water. Wrote one reviewer: “Great product. It's going to be this year's Christmas present to my fellow pet-owner friends for sure!”

  • Available colors: Black, Blue, Green


The Squeaky Bowling Pin Made Of Bouncy Rubber

If your dog destroys plush toys as soon as you get them, you might want to try something new — a rubber bowling pin that stands up to tough chewers. The unique, oblong shape allows the toy to bob and bounce, keeping your dog engaged as they toss it around. Plus, it creates a squeaking sound for added excitement.


An Ultra-Soft Microfiber Towel That Dries Your Dog Quickly

Made of absorbent, soft microfiber, this grooming towel quickly soaks up the water from your dog’s dripping fur after a bath. It measures 41 by 23.5 inches, which is plenty big enough for dogs both large and small. As an added bonus, it comes in dozens of colors and patterns, so you can find one that matches your home’s decor.

  • Available colors and patterns: 29


Some Bamboo-Based Grooming Wipes Infused With Moisturizing Aloe Vera

When your dog is by no means clean — but also isn’t dirty enough for a full-on bath — you can give them a quick once-over with these grooming wipes. Made from soft bamboo fiber, the large, textured wipes remove dirt and dander from your pet’s body. They’re infused with moisturizing aloe vera and vitamin E, leaving your pup’s skin feeling conditioned and fresh.


The Cozy Sherpa Blanket That Protects Your Furniture From Accidents

One side of this pet blanket is covered in cozy sherpa fleece, while the other features a soft plush texture. By the look of it, you’d never guess the blanket was also waterproof — but indeed, an inner lining protects your furniture from puppy accidents. Your pooch will love snuggling up on this blanket, and you’ll love knowing that your furniture is safe from stains. It’s a win-win.

  • Available sizes: Medium — X-Large
  • Available colors: 5


This Licking Mat That Helps Reduce Stress

If you have a stressed pup, this licking mat is a useful tool to have around. The act of licking promotes the release of endorphins in dogs, putting them in a happier, calmer state of mind. The textured surface can also help freshen breath and keep teeth and gums healthy. Just add peanut butter, yogurt, or any other spreadable treat.

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