Life·16 min read

Our Go-to Problem-Solving Pet Products That’ll Make Life Easier

problem-solving pet products
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Tuft + Paw, Amazon
Jun 22, 2022

This post was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Owning a pet is the definition of fun...until they shed everywhere, make a mess while eating, and refuse to take a bath. Not everything is morning snuggles and cute selfies (despite what Insta-famous dogs and cats may lead you to believe). 

To help you handle the unavoidably inconvenient parts of pet parenthood, we rounded up products that are sure to solve some common problems. Totally pawsome. 

Doggie poop bags that trap odors and have handles…

You’ll be able to pick up after your pet without any fear of dirtying your hands. The bags are strong, leak-proof, and housed in recyclable packaging. You can tie the handles together to trap smells inside, and the light-green bags are compostable too. Your dog walk just got a lot more pleasant. Use code THESKIMMFS for free shipping on your first order over $40. ($7.99/120 pack, Hive)

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A chic litter box that won’t be an eyesore in your home…

This minimal one comes with a dustpan, scoop, and hand brush. Your cat will have more than enough room to do their business, but the compact design won’t hog much floor space. The grippy bottom is an added bonus and will help it stay put while your cat moves around. ($199, Tuft+Paw)

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Veterinarian-formulated dog food that’s nutrient-rich…

Made from plant-based ingredients, this kibble is flavored with roasted peanuts and sweet potatoes. Everything is oven-baked, which helps preserve nutrients and flavors. Ingredients are organic, corn- and soy-free, and the packaging included is made from renewable, plant-based fibers, which cuts single-use plastic waste by 40%. Do good for your pooch and the planet. ($34.95+, Petaluma)

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A mat for your favorite messy eater…

Because your pet deserves their very own place mat too. It’s super soft, so it’ll be a comfy resting spot for your furry friend while they wait for dinner. And it’ll keep their bowls in place while protecting your floors from any scratches or spills. Pick the fish-shaped one for your fave feline. Plus, you can throw it in the wash for the easiest clean up. It’s a dinner paw-ty. ($20, Redbubble)

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A yummy meal plan (but for your cat)...

If you’re confused about how to feed your cat nutritiously, listen up. All you’ve got to do is fill out a questionnaire about your feline friend. You’ll be asked about their likes, dislikes, food history, and more. You’ll also be able to choose their favorite protein. Once you’re finished, you’ll get a sampler mailed to your door to see how your cat responds. If things go well (they will), you can sign up for a monthly subscription. But, no worries if things change you can always switch up recipes, skip a month, and readjust based on their picky preferences. Use the code SKIMM for an additional $5 off your first trial. (Prices vary, Smalls)

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A treat bag to help with obedience on walks…

Stop fumbling with a Ziploc. This one can clip to a leash and has a snap closure. So you can open and close it with one hand. And when they do something good, you can quickly reward them. Positive reinforcement, coming right up. ($26.01+, MarsAndMocha via Etsy)  

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A nail clipper so you can safely trim without taking too much off…

Once you find the right size, you can buy the clippers that match your pet’s nails. This means that only a predetermined amount of nail will be cut each time. Aka you won’t cut too close and possibly hurt them in the process. How to find the right size is fully explained on the page (just in case you’re a bit confused). ($8.48, Grommet)

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A PB&J-inspired treat spread that will help your pup relax…

Made of peanuts, honey, blueberries, cranberries, and coconut oil, this small-batch spread can do it all. Use it as a meal topper, dip their fave bone in it for an added treat or put it on a play mat. It’ll promote licking, which is proven to help dogs relax. Ahh… ($14, Diggs)

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A laptop-inspired scratching pad cats will adore…

They always seem to wanna sit on yours, so why not give them their own? You can print out different images to slip into the “screen,” while they can lean and paw at the “keyboard.” Your kitty is about to become tech savvy. ($35, Uncommon Goods)

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A rubber broom that’ll pick up fur like a dream...

We’re talking magic. It’ll work on carpet, tile, and wood floors. When you’re done, place the broom under running water to wash. It’s that easy. ($12.98, Amazon)

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A multipurpose skin paste so that they can feel and look their best…

This one cleans between wrinkles and tail pockets, removes tear stains, and soothes itchiness. And because it’s made with shea butter and avocado oil, it’s even great for pups with the most sensitive skin. Win. ($20.67, Amazon)

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A rolling brush that’ll remove hair from clothes and couches... 

All it takes is a few sweeps. It can be used over and over again to pick up stray hairs that just don’t seem to leave pillows. Plus, it works on sheets and blankets too. No batteries or cords necessary. ($26.95, Amazon)

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A good probiotic for a good dog…

Whether their morning walks have started to become not-so-regular or you’re looking to improve your dog’s gut health, these high-fiber probiotic chews will do the trick. Digestive enzymes, flaxseed, and essential omega-3 fatty acids all help to boost your dog’s immune system, keep ’em regular, and create a happy tummy. There’s no corn, soy, artificial flavoring or preservatives. Plus, the delish chicken flavor will keep them scratching for more. Win, win. Use code SKIMM20 for 20% off all products except food. ($24.99/120, Great Pet)

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PS: Check out some of our other fave problem-solving pet products here

A paw washer so you don’t have to deal with muddy prints…

Just add a little water, insert your pup’s paw, and twist. The silicone bristles will gently wash away dirt and grime that would otherwise wind up all over your kitchen floor. Pro tip: Leave it by your back door and do a lil’ wash before entering. ($12.99+, Amazon)

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A personalized and pre-portioned food service for dogs…

First you’ll answer some questions to help build your pet’s plan. Each meal is nutrient-packed with fresh ingredients. Plus, it's all cooked in USDA kitchens, the same way human food is prepped. So before the meals are shipped to you, they’re flash-frozen to lock in freshness. The full plan has lots of options, including turkey, pork, chicken, lamb, venison, and beef. Once you’re ready to serve your pup, you can prep the food cold or warm it in the microwave. All the packaging is BPA-free and recyclable too. PS: Check out these other yummy options for your pet. (Plans start at $1.11+/day, PetPlate)

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An anxiety jacket to help dogs that get frightened by thunder or fireworks…

It works much like a weighted blanket for humans. The jacket gently hugs your pet, applying light pressure to calm them. Think of it like a constant hug (or like swaddling a baby). It can help dogs that get easily worked up during car trips, vet visits, and more. Customers rave about the results. ($39.95+, Amazon)

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A self-grooming brush that can be mounted to a wall…

Your feline friend will immediately want to rub up against it. They’ll get daily massages. And you’ll get fewer interruptions as you WFH. When the brush gets filled with hair, simply remove it from the bracket and wash with soap and water. ($5.50, Amazon)

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A licking mat that can keep pets distracted during baths…

It’s pretty simple: Fill the mat with a tasty treat (like peanut butter) and stick it to the shower wall. It’ll keep your pupper busy while you shampoo and condition them. The tiny silicone nubs will trap whatever treat you use, so they’ll need to keep licking to actually get every bit out. ($14.95, Amazon)

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A cotton cat-carrier bag so you can keep 'em under control when you need to…

Like during vet visits, on car rides or while cutting their nails. The bag itself has a little opening for seat belts to pass through and shoulder straps for convenient carry. It’s also pretty thick just in case they get a little feisty and wanna claw. It looks kinda funny (we admit it), but reviewers really love how well it works. ($35.60+, Amazon)

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An interactive cat toy that’ll hold their attention…

Because sometimes you need to lure them away from scratching the couch leg. This toy will get 'em up and moving (well, dancing). It’s pretty basic, but it’ll get the job done. What more can ya ask for? ($1.67, Amazon)

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An allergy chew to help dogs that itch, lick, and sneeze…

Yep, even dogs can have allergies. To help 'em out, this chew packs a powerful punch. It’s got colostrum and apple cider vinegar to help boost their immunity and digestive system. It also includes omega-3 fatty acids to support their skin, coat, heart, and joint health. Cheers to more belly rubs. ($25.49, Amazon)

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A life jacket for dogs that insist on playing in the water…

Now you can enjoy a boat day without having to worry about a pup falling overboard. This jacket will keep 'em afloat. The top has grab handles just in case you need to swoop them up quickly. Psst...everything is adjustable (thanks to the buckles), so you can get a snug fit. Time to take a dip. ($17.99+, Chewy)

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A glove brush for pets that get too spooked at the groomer…

Time to DIY. The gloves work on long- or short-haired dogs, cats, and horses. The petting motion helps soothe them and clean their coat at the same time. So they look their best and you don’t have to worry about a nervous, shaking pup. ($12.74, Amazon)

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Alcohol-free wipes that will keep your pet’s eyes irresistible…

There’s nothing better than staring deeply into your pet’s eyes — when they’re nice 'n clean. These gentle wipes reduce infection and prevent stains around the eyes, ears, and mouth. Irritation? Not paw-sible. They condition and moisturize sensitive spots without depleting the skin’s natural lipid barrier. Use code SKIMM20 for 20% off all products except food. ($16.99, Great Pet)

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A water bottle with a cup that flips up for easy access…

So your pet can stay hydrated on long walks. Oh, and so you don’t have to lug around a bowl or try to get them to drink from a water bottle or fountain. Now when you hear them panting, you can flip it up, squeeze, and presto — the cup will fill with water. Excess liquid they don’t want will drain back into the bottle for later. ($12.97+, Amazon)

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A bone broth trio that will have your doggo begging for seconds…

Want a gourmet meal for your pup without all the hassle? This pack comes with humanely raised turkey, chicken, and grass-fed beef broths that are cooked with ingredients like non-GMO pumpkin, carrot, and turmeric. Use it as a kibble topper to zhuzh up their fave meal or to rehydrate any freeze-dried dishes. Broths are slow cooked in small batches to support healthy joints, skin, digestive health, and so much more. Thanks fur everything. Use the code SKIMM15 for 15% off your first order. ($20.99, Open Farm)

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An automatic water fountain to keep your furry friend hydrated…

With a five-level filtration system, this 24/7 fountain is ultra-quiet, BPA-free, and customizable to your pet’s preferences. The size is also adjustable depending on your pet’s height. No babbling brook nearby? All good. Flowing-stream and gentle-bubble settings signal fresh, safe water to your pet. Because all of us (pets included) should be drinking more water. They’ll be sure to lap it up. ($29.99+, Petlibro)

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Psst...Now you can adopt a shelter with help from Amazon. How does it work? Glad you asked. Each shelter has a wishlist for the supplies they need most. The charities included help save dogs, cats, horses, sea turtles, wild birds, and even humpback whales. It’s time to do some good.

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