I spend more time with my 15-pound rescue mutt, Joey, than I do with any other being. I work from home, where Joey sits on my lap “helping” when he can between his elaborate stretching routines. We travel around the city together for our work as a volunteer therapy dog team, bringing canine kisses to hospitals, schools, and summer camps. And naturally, my husband and I take Joey along on outdoor dinners, short hikes, and beach trips.
Since adopting Joey almost a year ago, we have spent a lot of time figuring out what our dog likes. Turns out, he’s very picky about his food; he will not allow us to brush his fur or teeth; and he has chewed his way out of two harnesses. Naturally, we’ve tried a variety of different products, from travel solutions to treats, to work around his preferences. And we keep coming back to these—10 products that are attractive, exciting, and Joey-approved.
The Wild One Walk Kit is our go-to for everyday use. Joey can’t slip out of the harness, which has two leash attachment clips — there’s the standard clip on the back, then a front clip that you can try if your dog is a puller. The leash is chew-proof and easy to keep clean, which is a must after long walks in the park.
Apparently, drinking from potentially germy communal water bowls is passé this summer. Instead, I find this dispenser is a steady favorite with patrons of our local dog run. These water bottles are portable, leak-proof, and so easy for dogs to drink from.
Joey shows little to no interest in dental hygiene (that’s a no to chews and brushing). Enter the FlyingStork Dog Toothbrush Stick, which looks like a chew toy but claims to remove plaque and dental debris. When paired with a peanut butter flavored toothpaste, it’s irresistible to him (fooled ya).
If you have a picky dog or a dog with a sensitive stomach, single-ingredient treats are a godsend. Joey is a big fan of these chicken tenders, made from hormone-free chicken strips. Wild One's canine wellness treats also come in Sweet Potato and Fish Puff flavors.
Joey has a funny way of showing his love for plushy toys—he destroys them within minutes. We got to test out some dog toys for super chewers at a recent event, and it stood up to his butchering. A steady rotation of these will definitely cut down on the amount of time I spend hoovering up the fluffy innards of toys that were.
Pavements and asphalt can get dangerously hot during the summer months, so you’ve likely seen dogs rocking booties to cover their paws. We bought a set of these over the winter to protect against rock salt, and they are designed for warm weather use, too. Plus, watching Joey try to walk in them is pretty hilarious.
Another indestructible toy is this oddball, which has lasted us since April. Which, in Joey time, is an absolute record.
After much research on dog carrier bags, I bought this for casual jaunts. Joey does not really love being carried in a backpack, but this design is excellent and the bag is very lightweight. Plus, the velcro patch you can customize with your dog’s name? Genius—and a huge hit with passersby.
I purchased a Kurgo 6 in 1 Quantum Dog Leash as a hands-free walking solution for hikes. It’s extremely sturdy, and I can wear the leash around my waist, or as a shoulder strap. There are multiple ways to configure this, and it has reflective fabric strips that keep you and your pup visible at night.
Finally, our GPS, clipped to Joey’s harness, gives me tremendous peace of mind. It alerts me every time Joey leaves a “safe zone” like our apartment, so I also know when he is being walked and exactly how much exercise he gets. If he ever got loose, the app would allow me to track him live. Because a life without Joey is unimaginable.