Life·10 min read

17 Smart Pet Products You'll Wish You Bought Sooner

products that'll help you care for your pet
Design: Lindsay Lange, Credit: Maxbone
May 6, 2021

If you’re new to pet parenthood, congrats. Joy and unconditional love, coming right up. But taking care of a cat or dog can also be challenging. Especially because they can’t speak and tell you how they’re feeling or what they want. Seriously, where’s Eliza Thornberry when you need her? 

While we can’t talk to animals, we can help you take care of that precious furball you take so many photos of. From making sure they eat the right food, to keeping them happy and healthy with daily exercise, we got ya covered. We’ve rounded up the products that’ll make life easier for the both of you. Four paws up.

And if you're also looking for recs for your human little ones, check out products to help make parenting a little simpler.

An allergy chew that can 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’s also got omega-3 fatty acids to support their skin, coat, heart, and joint health. Cheers to more belly rubs. ($24.99, Amazon)

Buy it

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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A waterless cat shampoo to make bath time much less stressful…

It works like a dry shampoo. Just add a few pumps to your hands and rub the solution in your cat’s fur. You can dry them with a towel, or let ‘em air dry naturally. You can use it on both long-haired and short-haired cats. And its formula is free of alcohol, silicone, and parabens. ($17.99, Amazon)

Buy it

A peanut butter–flavored pill paste to help pets take medication…

If you’ve ever struggled to give your pet a pill, listen up. This paste can disguise the smell, helping them to swallow medication without instantly spitting it up. It’ll fit pills of any size, and is safe for both cats and dogs. It also comes in other flavors. Problem = solved. ($11.99, Amazon)

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A slow feeder bowl for pets that devour their kibble way too quickly…

Because slow eating can help digestion and decrease bloat. The grooves act like a mini maze, so your pet will have to search for food. Not just gobble it down in a few bites. Phew. ($8.97+, Amazon)

Buy 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. ($13.99, Amazon)

Buy it

A no-pull dog harness so you can keep full control…

Going for a leisurely walk? Relaxing. Getting pulled every which way by your dog the entire time? Not so much. The leash attaches in two places, to help communicate to your pet when to go and stop. The front attachment is kinda like power steering, so you can better dictate where they walk. It’s also a great tool for training (or everyday use, especially if you have a large dog). ($38.56+, Amazon)

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A teething toy for new puppers in the nipping phase…

The raised nubs can stimulate their teeth and gums. While the actual chewing motion can help clean away tartar and reduce plaque buildup. Plus if they’re chewing on this, they won’t be chewing on your shoes. ($7.32, Chewy)

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A scratching toy that cats will obsess over…

It’s designed to help sharpen claws, while also removing dead layers. It’ll give them a place to play and exercise, and since it comes with a bag of catnip, it’ll keep their attention. It’s time for them to leave the leg of your coffee table alone. ($32.99, Chewy)

Buy it

A ball launcher to help your pooch get exercise…

We’re not all pro baseball players with amazing throwing abilities. But with this launcher, you’ll be able to reach double the distance. So your pet runs further, getting as much exercise as possible. And it’s designed for a hands-free pickup, so you never have to touch a slobbery ball. Win-win. ($6.07, Chewy)

Buy it

Grain-free bites perfect for training growing pups…

With lots of nutrients, these chews will become a go-to during their first year of life. They’re a natural source of DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Plus no soy or corn, artificial flavors, or meat byproducts. ($3.37, Chewy)

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A 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 change up recipes, skip a month, and readjust based on their picky preferences. (Prices vary, Smalls)

Buy it

And healthy, fresh-cooked food for your dog…

First personalize the plan to fit your pet. Then everything will be delivered to you. The food used is nutrient-packed, with real ingredients. Plus it's all cooked in USDA kitchens, the same way human food is prepped. So you know you’re getting high-quality meals. Food will also be portioned when it arrives at your home, so you won’t have to worry about running out. (Prices vary, PetPlate)

Buy it

Calming supplements for pups who get a bit nervous…

Maybe they hate the car. Maybe they hate thunder. Whatever it is, these supplements work to reduce hyperactivity. Reviewed by a board-certified vet, each chew has a blend of hemp seed powder, organic chamomile, and organic passionflower. So your pooch won’t get so worked up in certain situations. ($28, Wild One)

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A raincoat for particularly blah weather days…

Yes, taking your dog out in the rain can be annoying. But put on this raincoat and everything will be way, way better. It fastens via snaps underneath their belly. And has a little hood for their head. Oh, and it’s 100% adorable. ($75, Maxbone)

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A cat toy that’ll keep them entertained for hours…

Between the rolling balls and fluttering butterflies, their attention will be fully focused on the toy in front of them. And since it has multiple levels, it’s great for those with cat siblings who wanna play too. ($9.98, Chewy)

Buy it

A monthly subscription for your pup that’s all about the Kong toy…

A classic Kong toy is shipped with your first box, and each month following that will include treats, a training toy, a hand-picked toy just for them, and easy-to-make recipes they’ll love. They also have themed boxes focused on issues like separation anxiety, boredom, crate training, and more. And don’t worry, Kong toys are very durable and made from all-natural rubber that’s been FDA-approved. ($39.95/month, Kong Box)

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PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. PPS: If something’s out of stock, oops, it was there when we published (and all prices were accurate too). Thanks.

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