When you get a dog and take your first trip to the pet store to stock up on essentials, you probably feel pretty confident as you're leaving with a big bag of goodies. You got the food, the treats, the toys, the leash, the collar, the crate — you can't imagine there being anything else you might need. But the truth is, you don't realize what products you need if you have a dog really until your pup is a bit older, and you have a better sense of what your lifestyle is like with your dog. For instance, you can't yet know if your dog likes going in the car with you regularly, or if your dog likes to walk on intense hikes, or if your dog likes to travel, or if your dog has an affinity for rolling in mud, or if your dog likes eating things it shouldn't? These are all fun little facts that you simply can't know early on; these are the things you learn along the way.
My dog just turned 10 this year, and for the first time in his life, I feel confident that I have all the products that he needs and that I need for our life together. Your dog will grow and change over time — hating the car, loving the car, for instance — but having the right products to make your dog feel comfortable and safe can make all the difference. After 10 years of trying products and a lot of trial and error with my pup, these are the ones that I can truly recommend — especially if you have the kind of pup that would rather be with you all the time.
A Sturdy Car Seat
Even if your dog loves the car, they still like to feel a sense of security, and if they're sliding around in the backseat, they're going to have a hard time enjoying the ride. This car seat allows them to get comfortable and feel secure — and the best part is, you don't have to buckle them into the seat, which many dog owners are uncomfortable doing.
A Wearable Carrier
An over-the-shoulder dog carrier can be really hard on your neck and back and isn't much help when you want to take your dog on a bike ride or difficult hike, as you need to be able to move freely. This forward-facing dog carrier is the first of its kind. It allows you to wear your dog like a backpack, giving you the ability to use your arms and your dog the ability to be out of the bag.
A Portable Bowl
A Pet Cam
When you get a dog, you'll convince yourself that you'll take it to get groomed regularly. But the reality is, grooming is expensive, and it's hard to find the time. Likely, you'll do most of your dog's grooming at home, so having a gentle and natural shampoo that doesn't irritate them is important.
Indoor Potty Device
Whether you're training a puppy, have an adult indoor dog that uses wee wee pads, or if you live in an apartment building in a city, it's important to have a back up potty device for your pup. While pads are great, you've got to clean them up regularly, or else they start to smell. Fresh Patch is a real live square of grass that your pup can use as a bathroom indoors when needed. Each patch lasts a week, and is naturally odor-free.
Get your dog used to having their teeth brushed regularly at a young age so they learn to love it. Professional dental cleaning at the vet not only calls for putting your pet under anesthesia, but is incredibly pricey. Brush a little each week and keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy as long as possible.
Electric Nail Cutter
Your dog likely hates having its nails cut, but if you leave them too long, they can break or snag. This electric nail trimmer is quick, easy to use, and way less dangerous than slice cutters. You can just use this while you're watching TV with your pup and they won't mind.