Some people love their pets as much as they love their children; others love their pets even more. And for the most obsessive pet owners, only the best accessories, grooming products, and toys will do. We’ve compiled all the best pet advice that’s been on the Strategist — from stuff for cats and dogs to cleaning products that’ll take care of any pet’s mess.
The Best Gifts for a Cat
The Best Gifts for a Cat Lover
Writer Karen Iorio Adelson surveyed animal behavior specialists, advocates, and pet-store owners to find the best gifts for cat lovers who are human, not just cats.
The Best Cat Toy
Writer Alexandra Pechman tipped us off to this battery-operated cat toy called the Cheese. “Though the wedge of Swiss cheese is riddled with indentations that resemble fake holes, there are only two yellow mice that poke out from actual holes in random order — that’s it.” But her cat Michael is obsessed with it.
The Best Gifts for Dog Lovers
Writer Maxine Builder talked with groomers, dog trainers, and the dog-parents of Marnie the Dog and Toast, among others, to find the best dog gifts for doting dog parents.
The Best Dog Toys
Writer Alice Gregory doesn’t understand why her dog loves this bear-octopus plush hybrid, but he really, really does. “Everything a dog might do with a toy, Mickey wants to do with the bear octopus: cuddle it, gum it, guard it territorially as though anyone but him would possibly want it. I almost put it in the trash every single day. ‘Mickey, why do you love this monstrosity?!’ I want to scream. But he does, and I love him, so the bear octopus stays.”
Mia Leimkuhler’s chew-happy rescue mini-schnauzer mix Reggie loves this rubber ball. “The Hol-ee Roller is a hybrid bouncy ball and chew toy, with big holes that make it easy for smaller mouths to catch and grip and fling about. The rubber is durable but not inflexibly hard, so errant tosses aren’t a breaking hazard, and the ball’s squishiness absorbs its own noise and shock, which is nice news for your downstairs neighbor.”
The Best Bathtub for Small Pets
Writer Alison Freer discovered the Pet Gear Pup Tub a few weeks after an incident involving one skunk, her three Chihuahuas, and a series of six back-breaking baths. This “well-designed hunk of plastic” is just the thing for “bathing pets under 20 pounds without having to bend over your human-size tub and break your back.”
The Best Pet Carriers and Crates
We’ve rounded up the best-reviewed dog carriers on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers.
As well as the best-reviewed cat carriers on Amazon.
Writer Ariel Kanter has “a 13-pound Chihuahua mix named Pippin. He’s about two years old and impossibly cute. He’s also a Houdini dog,” who can escape from any crate — except for this one from Ultima.
The Best Dog Travel Accessories
For a dog that’s constantly on-the-go, writer Ashlea Halpern wrote about her seven go-to travel accessories that she uses when traveling with her two chihuahuas.
The Best Dog Beds
Our editors have also found the best-reviewed dog beds on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers, including beds made out of suede, foam, shearling, and more.
The Best Outdoor Gear for Dogs
For the dog that likes to go on hikes, we’ve got a roundup of the best dog boots, coats, and vests on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers.
This bandanna is pretreated with permethrin, which, according to Dr. Thomas N. Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center, is one of the most effective tick repellents on the market.
The Best Dog Products According to Doug the Pug
The Best Spray Bark Collar
Writer Alice Gregory found a way to save her sanity and lessen her dog’s barking — no pain necessary — with this citronella-infused PetSafe Gentle Spray Bark Collar. “I don’t mind when he begs for food, or lurches me into oncoming traffic in pursuit of a squirrel, or gnaws on my hand, or humps my foot, or wedges his way between my husband and me in the middle of the night. But I do mind his barking, which is bloodcurdlingly shrill — an objectively annoying bark, leagues worse than those of other dogs, and made more awful in the summer when the windows are down and every passing pedestrian provokes him to yelp.”
The Best (Looking) Litter Box
The Best Dog-Food Bowl
SNL actor Aidy Bryant swears by this maze of a dog-food bowl: “My sweet, lil’ dumb dog loves food so much, but he eats so fast that he pukes! Very cute. I found this out of desperation because my poor little barf baby needed it. The bowl has been a total game changer. It’s a little puzzle for him to dig into the food, which actually slows him down so he doesn’t throw up from eating too fast.”
The Best Monitoring Device
If you’re looking for a way to watch your dogs nap while you’re at work, or play with your cat via laser pointer on your lunch break, the Petcube Play is the answer. Writer Alison Freer praises the little cube that lets you interact with your pets through your smartphone. “For simple peace of mind — and home-intrusion monitoring — the Petcube is worth ten times the price.”
The Best Brush for Hair Balls
Writer Elizabeth Gumport was given the gift that keeps on giving by way of the FURminator. With a metal comb, the device reaches through your pet’s topcoat, collecting the fur, and then allowing it to be neatly tossed. “The benefits are more than fur deep, though, and include preventing hair balls — if you remove your cat’s excess fur with a FURminator, he doesn’t have to do it himself with his tongue.”