Topher’s Top Ten: Dog Gear We Can’t Live Without
Over the years, we’ve amassed quite the hoard of dog gear. Even after we’ve cleared out and donated what doesn’t work for us, the fact remains: owning a dog comes with a hefty amount of accessories! Some of which—now that we’ve owned a dog for a number of years—I don’t think I could live without. Every dog owner has their favorites list in their mind: the dog gear they’d recommend to anyone thinking of introducing a dog into their lives. Here’s what makes my list, every time.
A Heavy Duty Chew Toy (or Five)
We’ve spoken at length about how Topher is a very heavy chewer. This isn’t to say he’s been destructive of our own property—far from it, in fact—but when he gets a toy, he usually destroys it. He loves to chew, rip, and tear, so he needs toys that we stand up to the abuse. (Or toys we don’t mind seeing destroyed.) We’ve tried a variety of brands over the last two years, but there are only a handful of toys we feel measure up to the tenacity of Topher’s chewing.
Kong Extreme Toy, Large ($9.14)
Drool Worthy Treats
Training is a near daily occurrence and we have treats on hand 24/7, thanks to BarkBox. We love the variety BarkBox brings, but I always try to have a few of Topher’s known favorites for sessions where we really want him attentive and working. Topher’s favorites tend to be the stinkiest ones, of course. I’m smitten with Bixbi’s treat lineup, so we keep them in stock. The Pocket Trainers are a great size when you don’t want to overfeed treats during longer sessions, and Topher has deemed their jerky to be quite drool-worthy.
Bixbi Pocket Trainers, Peanut Butter ($10.76)
Bixbi Chicken Jerky Treats ($12.99)
Healthy Chew Options
Remember how Topher is a heavy chewer? Well, that means edible chews don’t last very long either. We’re not willing to sacrifice quality for chews that may last forever (ahem, rawhide) so we’ve done some serious testing on what types of edible dog chews work for us. We give Topher bully sticks for the majority of his chewing sessions—we’ve had the most success with them. The occasional bone (non-smoked!) or himalayan yak chew shows up in our house too: they last longer, but they’re also pricier options so we use them more sparingly.
18 Pack of 6 Inch Bully Sticks, from Best Bully Sticks ($39.99)
Himalayan Dog Chew, Large ($8.51)
For those in Atlanta: City Dog Market is a great place to get bones for dogs, they carry a few varieties that are never smoked.
A Durable Everyday Collar
We switched to using martingale collars with Topher, and never went back. They work well for us, but limit our options as far as style. This is a portion of why I sing the praises of Dog + Bone all the time. They have a style that can’t be beat in addition to being ridiculously durable.
We haven’t found the one ring of pet beds, but there’s one rule in our house that all dog beds must meet: machine washable covers. If I can’t take a dog bed cover off and wash it, that’s a death sentence. I don’t care how fancy the dog bed, we have to be able to wash it or my allergies will slowly begin plotting my untimely demise.
Right now we buy pet beds from Overstock because they offer good quality at a lower price. I’m perpetually on the hunt for a quality dog bed that stands the test of time (at a not obscene price point), but unfortunately I’m not sure if such a bed exists.
A Multipurpose Leash
Another piece of dog gear in constant use is our Halti leash. It’s worked for us for every walk and in every combination of collar, halter, and harness we’ve ever used. Should it ever break, I’ll be buying five more. Maybe ten. Just so I can have one on hand for the rest of my life.
Halti Training Lead in Black ($10.79)
We mentioned Barkbox above, but it really deserves it’s own special mention. Our BarkBox subscription supplies a few bags of treats and a few toys every month for far less than each individual item might cost in a store. It saves me from impulse buying cute toys at the pet store…okay, it saves me most of the time. Plus, most of the toys they’ve sent recently are about 1000% cuter than anything we’ve seen in stores, and you can quote me on that.
What dog gear makes your top ten list? What couldn’t you live without?