Dog Trainers Say These 30 Cheap Things On Amazon Are Pure Genius

These pro-approved products will make dog parents’ lives easier and pups’ lives better.

Written by Allison Bolt
Originally Published: 
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Sometimes you end up with a pile of dog products cluttering up your closet because they just didn’t work out. It happens. Buying new, clever pet products is seriously daunting, even if you’re just trying to choose a feeding bowl (there are honestly way too many styles). So, I asked the experts who actually know which puppy products to grab, and dog trainers say these 30 cheap things on Amazon are pure genius — and you’ll get a ton of use of them.


This Gentle Toothbrush Set That’s So Easy To Store

To pair with that toothpaste, grab a two-pack of BPA-free finger toothbrushes, like Malawey recommends. They’re covered in a ton of scrubby silicone bristles that are gentle on your pup’s teeth and allow you to brush from any angle. They also come with little cases, so it’s easy to store them with your dog’s toothpaste.


This Medium Difficulty Puzzle Toy With Adorable Treat Compartments

Ellis also tells Bustle that this is her go-to puzzle toy. Why? “This puzzle is very versatile and adjustable in complexity so it will occupy the mind and paws of a beginner as well as a canine puzzlemaster,” she explains. This mentally-stimulating toy has a bunch of built-in treat containers that slide around and flip open as your dog roots around. It comes with square and adorable bone-shaped compartments. Plus, each one of these BPA-free containers has little holes, so your pup can smell their favorite treats while they search for them.


A Set Of Stuffing-Free Toys That Are So Plush & Fluffy

These stuffing-free toys are a go-to for Malawey. “ZippyPaws no-stuffing plush toys are a win in my book,” she says. “Dogs looove them. And if they (inevitably) get ripped, there's no mess to clean up after.” They might be completely free of messy stuffing, but they’re still just as fluffy and plush as your pup’s usual toys. Plus, each toy has three built-in squeakers and a long animal-shaped design that’s easy to pull around. Without stuffing, this toy set is also compact and seriously easy to store.


A Quick & Waterless Shampoo To Keep In The Car

If your pup needs more than just a towel after swimming or simply walking in the rain, Fontana-Dreszer suggests this TropiClean waterless shampoo. It’s called a shampoo, but with the foam formula, you won’t actually have to put your pup in the bathtub. This pH-neutral shampoo with a coconut scent also comes in a compact bottle that’s super easy to keep in your car or by the front door.

When it comes to using this shampoo, Fontana-Deszer says, “A few squirts of this and a quick rub with a towel take dirt and mud right off. I suggest keeping it in your car or by your front door, so you can let your dog splash through mud puddles and roll in dead worms without trashing your car and house.”


This Extra-Durable Chew Toy That Won’t Get All Gross

“Chewing is a completely normal and self-rewarding behavior for dogs and there are quite a number of reasons why our dogs chew,” Carleen notes, but says that there are some things that should be chewed on. “If you catch your dog chewing on something inappropriate, take it away and replace it with the hard chew. My dogs been working on a hard chew she's had for over a year at this point!”

She recommends this Benebone chew toy to keep around for when your pup starts chewing things around the house. It has a classic stick shape that’s easy to hold onto, and it can be either maple or bacon flavored for extra doggo fun. It also has a super durable design that’s completely free of fabric, so it won’t split like real sticks can.


This Quirky Treat Toy That Won’t Roll Under Furniture

Dog trainer and founder of K9 of Mine Meg Marrs not only recommends a treat-dispensing toy, but she even uses it herself. “The Bob-A-Lot is my all-time favorite Amazon buy for my dog Remy,” she says. “It’s an enrichment puzzle feeder toy that dispenses kibble as your dog knocks, mouths, and rolls the wobbling toy. Using this toy at mealtimes or just for a midday snack is a great, easy way to add some enrichment to your dog’s day. My heavy-chewer, soft-toy-destroying dog has been eating with it twice a day for several years now, and it’s still holding strong!”

It might look like a classic ball for fetch, but it also has a little lid on top, so you can pack in a bunch of treats. With this lid on top and a weighted bottom, it leans and bobs instead of rolling under all of your furniture. Of course, there’s also a tiny door for the treats to pop out during playtime.


This Adorable Treat Container That’s Easy To Carry

“As a trainer, I don't go anywhere without treats,” Malawey says. “Zip Top snack containers help me keep my pockets clean and my treats fresh. They fit perfectly inside my favorite treat pouch.” Not only does this snack container make it easy to carry around treats, but it also has an adorable bear-shaped design. The little ears on top make it easy to pull this BPA-free container out of your bag. When it’s time to switch out treat flavors, you can pop this container in the dishwasher before filling it up with new treats.


A Long-Lasting LED Dog Collar That Works In The Rain

Susan Nilson, DipCABT, PCBC-A, and the owner and founder of The Cat and Dog House, suggests this LED dog collar that’s so easy to charge up with a micro USB cable. “I don't know where I'd be without my Blazin LED Light Up Dog Collars,” she says. “The safety and peace of mind they provide for me and my four dogs are invaluable. With poor visibility and treacherous weather conditions at this time of year, the collars allow me to see my pups - even when we're doing our evening walk and it's pitch black outside.”

The easy-to-see lights are completely waterproof, so you can even reach for this collar for rainy walks. There are also two blinking modes for a super rainy day. Plus, this comfy collar works for over eight hours of before-bed walks before needing a charge.


These Slow Feeder Mats With Entertaining Textures

Jennifer Malawey, a dog trainer and behavior counselor, CTC, CPDT-KA, FFCP, cert. SAPT, says the Lickimat slow feeder mat “doubles, er, triples as enrichment, slow feeder, AND homemade treat maker! It's the latest on my long list of food puzzle favorites.”

This pack gives you two of them, so you always have one of these BPA-free mats handy for treats. No matter what kind of food or treat you put on these mats, each one has an entertaining texture to keep your pup occupied. These unique textures even help their teeth and gums out while also helping out with stress.


This Quiet Nail Tool That Can Help Your Dog Get Used To A Groomer

“Desensitizing your dogs for grooming or vet care is very important,” Dimit explains. “If the pup is nervous around the sound or feel of a nail grinder, start with an electric toothbrush, and build up their comfortability.” Once your pup is comfy with the toothbrush, grab this nail grinder because it will be an easier, quiet transition thanks to the low-noise motor. It has a low-vibration design that’s gentle enough for an anxious pup, but it’s still effective enough to avoid nail clippers. Plus, it has a USB charger for between puppy grooming days.


This Puzzle Toy With Plenty Of Pockets For Treats

“While this isn’t a super difficult treat toy, the pups love it,” certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA), American Kennel Club CGC evaluator, and APDT trainer Nicole Ellis of Rover says about this quirky little Ballistic Hide ‘N Treat toy from Kong. When it’s all folded up and secured with the built-in velcro, this toy looks like a classic ball for fetch. Once your pup solves the puzzle and unfolds it, this unique toy has a bunch of little pockets for treats. There’s even a large bowl-shaped pocket at the center for larger treats or snacks.


A Beef-Flavored Pet Toothpaste That Won’t Foam Up

“Every vet will tell you that doggie dental health is of critical importance! A yummy tasting enzymatic toothpaste and finger brush get daily use in our home,” Malawey also explains. She recommends this enzymatic toothpaste from Virbac, and it is definitely a yummy choice because it has a beef flavor. The rest of the formula has ingredients to help out with plaque, tarter, and of course, those dog breath odors. It won’t foam up, so it’s OK if your pup swallows a bit of this helpful toothpaste.


This Mess-Free Spray To Take Care Of Stains & Smells

“Wee accidents needs to be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner, and My Pet Peed is hands-down the best one out there,” Malawey states. It comes in a super easy-to-use spray bottle, so cleaning up those smelly accidents is a little less messy. It’s not just the bottle that makes it easy either because the odor- and stain-eliminating formula doesn’t require any scrubbing after you spritz it.


A Waterproof Fanny Pack With A Ton Of Treat Storage

If you don’t want to carry a treat container in your bag, grab an adjustable fanny pack for your pup’s training snacks. “The Ruffwear Treat Trader has a magnetic closure and a more ergonomic fit than any other,” Malawey explains. It has a large pocket for treat storage, so you won’t have to refill it all the time before walks. There’s also a little pocket on the front for anything else your pup might need while you’re out (think: potty bags). This waterproof pack can be worn around your waist with the adjustable belt or clipped right onto your pants.


A Unique & Long-Lasting Toy That Helps Focus Dogs’ Prey Instincts

Certified Dog Trainer from Animal Behavior College and owner of Mindful Doggo, Jackie Carleen, suggests this training toy. “I'm sure you've seen similar toys for cats, but dogs enjoy them too,” she says. “It's fun, it's exciting, and it's amazing physical and mental stimulation.” Also called a flirt pole, this toy has a plush dog toy on the end of a durable nylon rope that’s long enough to play with on walks. Plus, it even comes with an extra toy, so it’s easy to swap it out if your pup chews up the first one.

Carleen explains that this toy has especially useful benefits for dogs who have trouble focusing on walks. “These tools are particularly great for dogs with a high prey instinct and may be triggered by squirrels, bird, or other critters while on their walks,” she says. “This tool channels that energy and behavior into a time and place where it is appropriate so that you can start to eliminate the behavior where you don't want it, such as on a walk with a strong puller.”


This Unique Collar That’s Comfy & Secure

Liz Dimit, an ABCDT and CPDT-KA franchise trainer from Dogtopia, recommends a martingale collar, which helps you control your dog as you walk them. “Specifically for dogs who have high anxiety, I always utilize a martingale collar as an added safety measure when going outside the home or into those environments where the dog may be nervous,” she says.

It has a handy design that keeps it super secure, prevents leash clip from rubbing their skin, and helps with bad habits like like pulling or slipping out of the collar. This particular collar even has an extra hook to clip on potty bags and reflective accents.


A Portable Bowl With A Spot For A Water Bottle

Dimit also suggests adding some handy tools to your bag, like a collapsible dog bowl. The flexible silicone pops open and folds back down for super quick water breaks on walks or for days when you’re hanging with your pup at a bar or in the park. It has a super sturdy clip on the side, and it even has a little keychain that holds onto a water bottle.


This Adorable Set Of Durable Chew Toys

Dimit also says, “Rotating toys throughout the week can keep the dog stay engaged and not lose interest.” This 18-piece toy set gives you plenty of options for rotating your pup’s go-to play things. It comes with a bunch of different kinds of toys, including durable rubber toys, squeaky toys, stuffed toys, and more. The rope is made from 100% cotton, and there’s also a toy that helps clean your pup’s teeth. The set also comes with two free poop bag rolls and a holder.


A Foldable Crate That Makes Cleanup Easy

“The ultimate puppy set up starts with getting a puppy pen and crate,” Dimit notes. “We want to limit a new puppy’s access to the entire house until you have their feeding, elimination and of course destructive nature handled.” This crate is the one to grab because it has a foldable design that won’t take up a bunch of space when it’s not crate time. It has a large door on the front, so it’s easy for your pup to jump in and out of (but only when you unlock it, of course). To make it even easier, it has a removable and cleanable tray that’s perfect for a cozy pillow.


A Super Plush Bed With Straps For A Puppy Crate

Dimit also shares a tip for creating the perfect setup for your puppy. “Having the right items and set up can make a huge difference in the upbringing and overall experience for both you and the dog.” So, grab this machine-washable pet bed for the coziest puppy setup. The compact design makes it easy to tuck this cushioned bed anywhere in your home, and it’s designed to even in their crate. The bottom has straps to secure it in the crate, and on top, there’s plenty of fluffy fleece fabric to keep your pet comfy.


A Stick-On Doorbell That Your Dog Can Press To Let You Know It’s Potty Time

“This is the No. 1 item I recommend to my clients. It's so easy to teach your dog how to 'nose target.' You can teach your dog to push the button with their nose every time they need to go outside to go to the bathroom,” says Emily Quiles, a certified dog trainer with CCPDT, CPDT-KA.

Simply stick this Mighty Paw Smart Bell at perfect pup-height with the included 3M tape. It comes with a plug-in receiver and 38 sound options to let you know when your dog pushes this easy-to-use bell. It’s also water-resistant, so you can even set it up as an outside doorbell for your pup.


These Textured Baking Mats That Can Help You Bake Seriously Crispy Dog Treats

Quiles also recommends grabbing this textured silicone baking mat set from Wolecok. “I know what you're thinking. A baking mat for dogs? What in the world? It's actually my FAVORITE dog-mom purchase of 2022,” she explains. “I found some amazing recipes to make homemade dog training treats. The ingredients cost less than $2 and with this baking mat, you can make 1,500 treats.”

This BPA-free mat set also makes cleaning up your sheet tray easier after you bake your go-to treat recipe, because they’re flexible and nonstick. On top, each one has a triangle-shaped texture that raises up each of the treats to make them extra-crispy. With the unique texture, you can even use the other mat in this set as a trivet.


A Washable Faux-Leather Mat To Protect Your Floors From Messy Toys

Lindsey Fontana-Dreszer, the founder of Dogby, with a certificate in training and counseling from the Academy for Dog Trainers, has a hack for keeping your floors clean at treat time. “I discovered these attractive, vegan leather mats when I was making a baby registry for my first kid, but they are perfect for dogs!” she says. “You can give your dog a bully stick, bone, or stuffed Kong on this mat so you don't have to worry about your floor getting filthy.”

This aesthetic and super durable mat is perfect for your pup’s playtime. It’s completely waterproof and washable if your dog’s favorite chew toy or bone is a bit messy. It also has a non-slip design with a faux-leather finish that you won’t mind leaving out on the living room floor.


A Cozy Bath Towel That Fits Like A Sweater

Fontana-Dreszer also recommends this Geyecete towel coat for your pup. “It's easier to let your dog swim or play in the mud on a hike or trip to the park if you know your car isn't going to get trashed on the way home,” she says. “This towel gives great coverage, is impressively absorbent, and holds up well to frequent washing.”

This handy pet towel is basically a comfy coat made out of absorbent microfiber fabric. It dries super quickly, so your dog is never stuck wearing a damp towel after bath time. The design stays just as secure as a dog sweater, and it even has a cozy foldable collar.


A Unique Car Seat Cover With Plenty Of Pockets For Toys

“A good seat cover will also make it less stressful to let your dog romp around on a hike or trip to the park,” explains Fontana-Dreszer. She likes this Kurgo car seat cover because “[it] has a few extra attachment points relative to the cheap ones you see on Amazon or in pet stores, which keeps it from sliding around and exposing part of your seat. The fact that it leaves one seat open in the back is also great if you have kids or are transporting friends.”

It’s all about the unique hammock design that gives your pup their very own space in one car seat. The water- and stain-resistant fabric even comes up high enough to protect the back of your front seat. There are also two built-in pockets, so it’s easy to pack all of their favorite traveling supplies and toys for the park.


A Fluffy Snuffle Mat That Folds Into A Bowl

Multi-certified professional dog trainer Blythe Bouchard-Neer of Delta Tails says, “Snuffle mats are an amazing enrichment choice for every dog.” So, she suggests grabbing this Neecong slow-feeder mat with an extra-fluffy design and a non-slip bottom. It’s covered in a bunch of soft felt pieces for your pup to search through. It also has a drawstring, so you can fold it up into a bowl shape if your pup tends to toss food everywhere.

Bouchard-Neer also points out, “Enrichment is a core need for dogs, and I'm all about cheap and low energy ways to meet this need. This snuffle mat is the perfect choice for mental stimulation, and you might notice your pup is extra sleepy after working all the food out.”


A Long & Waterproof Dog Leash That Won’t Get Grimy

“These waterproof long lines are my go to for training clients. Most leash struggles can be solved by working with your dog on a longer lead. They are great for enriching walks, allowing more room to sniff, and practicing recall. This particular material allows you to quickly wash it off and it looks brand new again! I always recommend 10 feet or longer to my clients for training and enrichment walks,” explains Bouchard-Neer.

This extra-long 16-foot leash from Nimble is made of coated nylon that’s completely waterproof for walks in the rain. After your stoll, the unique fabric won’t smell damp and grimy (even if this leash gets soaked). The best part is — nothing sticks to it if it accidentally gets pulled through the dirt or sand.


This Seriously Durable Chew Toy That Also Works For Fetch

Aaron Rice, an expert dog trainer at Stayyy, suggests extra-durable chew toys. “Not only will these toys provide your pup with hours of entertainment, but they will also help prevent boredom and destructive behavior,” he says. So, grab this heavy-duty ring-shaped chew toy. It’s the perfect size for tossing around or tugging. Plus, it’s made of 100% non-toxic rubber that won’t crack or splinter, even after a ton of chewing sessions.


A Rolling Airtight Container To Keep That Big Bag Of Dog Food Fresh

When it comes to practical pup products, Rice says, “There are also plenty of go-to products for everyday use. Dog food and treats are essential, as are food containers and water dispensers.” He recommends this Iris USA pet food container with a rolling design that’s so easy to pull out of the pantry every day. It holds up to 22 pounds of dry pet food, so you don’t have to use a bunch of smaller containers to store that big bag of food. The clear design shows you how much of your pup’s favorite food is left, and of course, it’s topped off with an airtight lid to keep that kibble fresh.


This Cleanable & Super Aesthetic Water Dispenser

When it comes to water, Rice suggests a water dispenser, like this minimalist option with triple filtration built right in. The 3-liter container on top has a geometric design that looks super aesthetic next to any food bowl. It’s also finished off with a stainless steel bowl that’s completely removable to easily clean this dispenser.

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