Leonidas is our ADORABLE lab/great dane/boxer mix/child. He slobbers incessantly, hogs the ENTIRE bed, and is at times the most hyper thing in the world, but we love him!
In loving him, I've researched and found the BEST dog necessities at the best prices, and I wanted to share all of this research with you guys! And when I say I research, that's a complete understatment. I research the crap out of EVERYTHING that I'm going to buy. I compare products, read hundreds of reviews (I'm not exaggerating), check different websites for the best prices, compare if one website has free shipping and the other doesn't, look up online coupons... I have no idea how much time I've spent researching dog stuff, but I know it's a lot. I just never want to waste my money and always want to buy the best, but for the cheapest price.
Recently, I've had a lot of people ask me about where I get certain items for Leo (especially friends who are getting a puppy), so I decided to compile it all into a list with links to make it easy! So here is my list of the top 10 items that I have found to be necessary for a dog. Tried and true, I've bought and used each of these things, so you can know that these are legit recommendations and reviews. Some of the prices have changed since I bought them due to sales at different times, so there may be some small deviations from time to time, but I'll do my best to keep it updated. The following links are amazon affiliate links and purchases via the links supports BarbellsAndBaking (at no additional cost to you). Affiliate links on my blog help me to be able to keep this blog up and running. All links are to items that I myself have bought though and completely trust and believe in! Thank you for your support!
-Starting with the Big Stuff -
1. Best Crate
Midwest iCrate Double-Door Home Training and Travel Series (note that I bought the 42"L x 28"W x 30"H)
Ok this is HANDS DOWN the absolute BEST DEAL on quality crates ANYWHERE. The great thing is that there are different sizes that you can choose based off of the size of your dog. Leonidas is about 70lbs., and the size that I described above fits him perfectly. Large enough where he can turn around in it, but not too small where he looks like he's cramped. I love this crate because it FOLDS UP and has little handles to carry it with! Yes, it is large, and yes it is a little heavy (obviously, it's made out of metal), but we have taken this with us for traveling, if he needs to stay overnight at a friend's house, etc. and it has been amazing. Completely worth the investment.
2. Best Dog Bed
Midwest Quiet Time Deluxe Gray Ombre Swirl (40"L x 27"W x 4"H)
This size fits PERFECTLY inside of his crate by the way. Leo loves it, it's super comfortable (heck I'd sleep on it if I needed to), and the best thing - you can throw it in the washing machine and dryer! Leo just threw up on it the other day and I just sprayed it off with a hose and then gave it a good wash and whala!
3. Best Dog Bowls or Dog Feeder
Petmate Stainless Style Pet Bowl (Medium)
I bought two of these and I we loved them, but he eventually grew out of them and needed larger bowls (see feeder below). They don't slip and look great!
Double Seesaw Elevated Pet Diner (Medium)
This one is a little more expensive of a pet feeder, but I REALLY wanted something that would look nice (since his food is out in the open in our apartment) AND something that would last for a long time (it's made out of actual iron). Leo splashes water EVERYWHERE when he drinks, so I needed something that wouldn't warp (such as wood) and wouldn't look a little classier than plastic. This thing looks FANTASTIC in my apartment AND it'll last forever. We technically ordered the large for him, but just as a warning, it's VERY large. Perfect for Leo, but for most dogs the medium size (what I posted above) would work perfectly.
4. Best Way to Keep your Car Clean:
Dog Seat Cover with the Best Nonslip Rubber Backing and Seat Anchors for Cars Trucks and SUVs (Regular)
Trust me. We bought a crappy seat cover before this one and wasted our money. This one fits our car perfectly, it doesn't slip, and it's super easy to just take out and wash and put back in. Also, you can roll it up over the top of the seat if you need to put people in the back of the car. AND did I mention it looks so classy in black? Mhhmmm.
5. Best Way to Get Your Dog to Walk NEXT TO YOU:
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness (large)
This was amazing when Leo was a puppy. Basically you put it on them (make sure you read the instructions on how to do that correctly) and then attach the leash to both the harness and the collar and if your dog pulls, it pulls them on the shoulders back to you... basically their force and bodyweight works against them here.
IF you need a step up from that, you can get a Herm Sprenger Pinch Collar, 16-Inch, Medium 3.0 Millimeter
This is also a miracle worker. It's important to watch some videos online on how to train them with this, but Leo now walks right next to us! This is widely used by a lot of professional dog trainers. Note, this is NOT THE SAME AS A CHOKE COLLAR. Choke collars are absolutely horrible devices and can actually hurt your dog. This collar has rounded edges so that the weight displaces on the entire neck and is a safe way to help your dog learn how to walk nicely beside you.
6. Best ID Tag: Pet ID Tag - Round - Custom engraved dog & cat ID tags (Stainless Steel, Medium, 1" diameter)
This tag is so durable (it IS stainless steel) and the perfect size. I would buy an extra stronger "ring" for it to be put on though, because we replaced the one that it came with.
7. Best Deal on Waste Bags/Dispenser:
This is by the far the best deal for poop bags and the one that has the best poop bag dispenser. Plus, this set lasts us forever! It comes with an actual dispenser that you can easily hook on the leash.
8. Best Potty Training Door Bell
Don't laugh at me... we taught Leo how to ring these when he needs to go outside to go potty! Originally I saw some "potty training bells" at Petco that just looked hideous, so I searched for something that would look "nice" on the door and FINALLY found these! Also, even though Leo is potty trained now, he still uses them to let us know when he really needs to go outside!
We have used this pet corrector many things and it work amazingly! It's simply compressed air, but they don't don't like the sound (please don't ever point it at the dog though). The key is for them not to see where it is coming from, but when they do something bad (start barking, going for the trashcan, etc.), you do a brief spray WHILE THEY ARE DOING THE UNDESIRED ACTION. Put it behind your back so that your dog doesn't know where it came from, and they will associate whatever they were doing with the spray, which they don't like! This is cheaper than buying it from Petco (this is a larger size).
10. Best Brush/Grooming item
We use this on Leo (a short-haired dog) while we are giving him a bath to get out even more hair (which mean less shedding). Also, if he seems to be shedding a lot, you can use it on them dry and it helps get off the excess hair. It definitely helps decrease the amount of hair that I have to vacuum up in the house when we use it regularly on him.
IF you have a long haired dog, definitely buy the FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs
We originally bought this for Leo, but he seems to be too short-haired for it to work. IF you have a long haired dog though, this works WONDERS (and saves you a ton of money from having to go to the groomers all the time). My neighbor has a long haired dog and uses this every couple weeks on him. They definitely swear by it!
Now for the fun stuff! Toys!
*I didn't include these in the top 10 list because they aren't "must haves", but definitely fun for the pups!
Best Dog Rope for Chewers
So far, this rope has been the most durable! After having it for over a year, he finally did chew it up to the point that we threw it away. And let me tell you, a year is a long life for the toys of a chewer haha.
Hygiene Dog Chews/Teeth Cleaners
C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs (30 Chews - 26-50 Pounds)
We bought these for Leo when he was a puppy and he loved them! It's an easy way to keep their teeth clean!
Dog Toy Leo loves the most
Ok seriously, Leo is in LOVE with his alligator (although we call it a dragon in our house haha). He chewed up the first one after a couple months, but when we got him the second one he seems to take better care of it! It's ALWAYS his first choice in a toy and hewould take it with him everywhere if he could haha.