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It's hard to believe that the year is almost over. The other day, I attended the grand opening of a new local pet store and I had a blast walking around and checking out all of the new products. It was fun learning why the owners chose each brand/product for their shelves and it made me wonder what I'd add to my pet store.
When it comes to my Top 5 list, I'm including products I was introduced to this year and products that have be solid winners in our home for years. Since this is my first year doing a Top 5 list for products in a long time, I'm a little all over the place.
So, here are the top products that I loved this year. They're in no particular order, just items I found fun for my dogs.
1 – EzyDog Chest Plate Harness
I've tried many harnesses with my dogs and this one is my favorite. It's easy to put on and take off. It's easy to adjust. They're comfortable and the dogs don't slip out when on walks.
I know there are folks who disagree with using harnesses with dogs, but when I'm using the right harness, they work for my dogs. When I grab the harnesses, they know that we're going for a walk.
We have two green camo and two pink camo harnesses that we alternate with our dogs. Because everyone is nearly the same weight and size, the harnesses are easily interchangeable.
2 – Jax and Bones Rope Toys
Some people don't like rope toys and I'm thankful to them because the stories they shared helped me find rope toys that work best for my dogs. I avoid rope toys that have loose ends with threads that can be chewed off and swallowed. I searched for a while until I came across Jax and Bones rope toys online; they're shaped like animals and our dogs love them.
Our dogs primarily walk around the house with one of these toys in their mouths. Especially Rodrigo, who is very tough with toys. Since Jax and Bones toys can't be destroyed immediately, Rodrigo just walks around with them and the other dogs follow suit. Sometimes they play tug with them. But however they play with them, the toys stand up to a pack of dogs that are tough on their toys.
The toys that are a hit with my dogs are:
- Jax and Bones Coco The Elephant Rope Dog Toy, Jumbo
- Jax and Bones Elton the Octopus Rope Dog Toy
- Jax and Bones Celtic Knot Dog Toy
3 – Neater Feeder Elevated Dog Dishes
Feeding dogs a raw food diet can be messy and I have a dog that is messier than most and he eats from a Neater Feeder elevated dog dish and it makes all the difference. His water and food are surrounded by an elevated wall that catches food and other splatters, keeping it from the walls and floors. I'd like to swap out all of the dogs' dishes with Neater Feeder bowls, but, for now, only our messy eaters get these great dishes.
Of course, Neater Feeders can be used with dogs that are fed raw, kibble, or homecooked. Whatever floats your boat.
There is a cleaning aspect of these dishes. I rinse the raised part weekly and wash them a couple of times a month. I wash the actual dog dishes every other day with all the dishes.
4 – Big Barker Dog Beds
We have two Big Barker dog beds and if I could afford more, I'd get more. These beds are AMAZING and having two senior dogs with arthritis, these beds quickly became favorites in our home. I've seen my dogs go from having trouble standing up after resting and their joints get tight, to popping up and running out side. Combined with a quality joint supplement, Big Barker dog beds have been a welcome and valuable addition to our home and I want more.
Yeah, they're crazy expensive, but we've had them for a while and I haven't regretted the investment. Full disclosure, we received one of the beds for free (thanks, Big Barker) and we paid for the second bed. We have large dogs and I like the XL beds for them, but our dogs would have been fine with the Large beds.
One of the beds has a headrest, the other doesn't. The headrest isn't necessary for our dogs. They use it sometimes, but most of the time, they don't so I don't recommend spending the extra money unless you know your dog prefers that feature.
5 – ‘Bully Buddy' Bully Stick Holder
I recently had the opportunity to try Bully Buddies with our dogs. A Bully Buddy is a product that holds a bully stick to allow our dogs to chew at their leisure while keeping the last couple of inches from becoming a choking hazard.
Although bully sticks (yep, they're the bull's penis) are a safe alternative to rawhide chews, they pose a hazard on their own. It's challenging for some dogs to hold on to that last inch or so of the bully stick and they'll give up and try to swallow it whole. This may become a choking hazard or obstruction and the Bully Buddy helps to take away that risk.
We received five Bully Buddies along with bully sticks to try with our dogs and they did great. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I appreciate this product.
And, full disclosure, the Bully Buddy can be an investment for some. If this is the case for you, I recommend buying one for the dog that needs it. With our dogs, I would buy a Bully Buddy for Rodrigo and Apollo. Rodrigo is our fastest chewer and will swallow the bully stick if I'm not watching. Apollo doesn't have a solid “drop it” and will run away and try and swallow the bully stick when it's time to give it up.
The Bully Buddies come in various sizes to accommodate your dog and although you don't have to buy them, Bow Wow Labs also offers bully sticks too.
Want More Amazing Products?
- COLLAR Puller Rings – these rings are great for exercising, especially if you're short on time! They're available on Amazon.com. There are a lot of knock offs out there. Go for the COLLAR brand.
- ChuckIt Launcher and Balls – OMG these are amazing. I kept seeing people bringing these toys to parks and fields to play with their dogs and went to pick a set up for my dogs. I immediately learned to invest in the rubber balls because the felt ones get soaked and gross quickly. Today, we have a drawer full of balls and three launchers. They do such a great job of exercising a dogs and the price is spot on. You can get a set on Chewy.com.