20 Problem-Solving Pet Products That’ll Make Life Easier

Published on: Jul 1, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
problem-solving pet productsDesign: Lindsay Lange, Credit: Amazon

Owning a pet is the definition of fun...until they make a mess while eating, shed everywhere, and refuse to take a bath. Not everything is morning snuggles and cute selfies (despite what Instagram-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. 


compostable dog poop bags with handles
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. ($6.95/120 pack, Hive)

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white and gray modern litter box for cats
A chic litter box that won’t stick out in your home…

It 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 the box stay put while your cat moves around. Psst...use code BEST15 to get 15% off all bestselling cat furniture. ($149, Tuft+Paw)

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Colorful dog food bag
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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Brown cat hiding behind orange cat food bag
And 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 be able to choose proteins and textures. 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. (Prices vary, Smalls)

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brown and white bag for treats
A treat bag to help with obedience on walks…

Stop fumbling with a Ziploc. This one can clip to a leash and has a Velcro 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. ($17.99, The Treat Teek on Etsy)  

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teal non slip map set with black dog eating out of it
A non-slip feeding set to avoid mealtime mess...

The silicone mat will hug the floor, so the bowls inside won’t get knocked around while your pet dines. The raised lip can help catch spills, just in case some water dribbles out. And the bowls can pop out easily when you need to fill ‘em. It’s really a great solution for sloppy eaters. ($34.95, Grommet)

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Cat getting it's nails cut by purple scissors
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). ($16.95, Grommet)

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laptop inspired scratching post with orange cat
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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Rubber broom collecting pet fur
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. ($12.44, Amazon)

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rolling brush over brown couch covered in fur
And 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. ($24.95, Amazon)

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cat rubbing face against rush
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. ($3.74, Amazon)

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Groomer gloves covered in fur
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. ($13.99, Amazon)

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Blue paw washer with dog paw inside
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. ($14.41+, Amazon)

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Dog with Anxiety grey  jacket on
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. ($39.99+, Amazon)

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Blue mat with peanut butter on it, golden retriever licking mat
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. ($10.95, Amazon)

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Cat inside blue carrier bag
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+, Amazon)

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Container reading Allergy +Immune Chews
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. ($24.99, Amazon)

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Cat Dancer toy and Black cat reaching for her toy attached to a string
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? ($2.95, Amazon)

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Dog with Orange Life Jacket
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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Blue Water bottle with Golden Retriever drinking out of it
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 the cup up, squeeze, and presto — the cup will fill up. Excess water they don’t want will drain back into the bottle for later. ($15.97, Amazon)

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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 created 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.

If you buy anything from this email, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate too) when we published. Thanks.

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