13 Products Every Dog Owner Needs, According to Our Editors
See our favorite products for life with man's best friend—all tried and tested by Bob Vila editors.
Like welcoming a new member of the family, adopting a dog can be a big change for households. The right gear will help you successfully raise your pups, keep them healthy, and control the mess that undoubtedly comes with a four-legged friend.
The pet owners on our staff know and agree: Your pup deserves the best. So, from our homes to yours, these are the products that we’ve tried ourselves and couldn’t live without. Keep reading for our secret weapons against pet fur, our favorite dog beds that aren’t the couch, the sleekest storage options for stocking kibble, and more.
1. Simplehuman 25 Liter Pet Food Storage Container
My wife and I needed a way to store large amounts of dry food and keep it fresh. The sealing mechanism on this Simplehuman food canister is a tight latch that keeps contents fresh, and its removable inner bucket makes for easier cleaning.
More than that, it’s just super convenient! The size is perfect (we buy 16-pound bags of dry kibble, and it fits the whole bag). It also comes with a scoop that magnetically attaches to the underside of the lid to keep it off the food. And it looks good wherever you keep it. We store it pushed back underneath a counter next to the dog’s food and water bowls; when it comes time to scoop his meals, it rolls out on two wheels for easy use.
—Majfred Memetaj, Email Marketing Strategist
2. Coolaroo’s Cooling Elevated Pet Bed
Several years ago, my husband and I adopted a middle-aged rescue basset hound who had some problems with his hips. We started him out with a plush bed like our younger (and more sprightly) dog had, but he had trouble getting up from it. Our vet recommended an elevated bed. We found the Coolaroo’s elevated pet bed for a reasonable price online, so we took a chance. We loved it so much that we bought another one for our other pup—and have since bought an additional two for our new rescue pit bull.
One of the biggest perks about these pet beds is that you can order a replacement cover if the original rips (which has only ever happened once for us, because these beds are super durable). They’re easy to move around, and you can lay a blanket on them in the winter to help your pup stay warm. We have purchased the large size since we tend to adopt medium-to-large dogs, but Coolaroo also sells the bed in small, medium, and extra-large sizes, so it’s accessible to dogs of all sizes. It comes in 10 neutral-ish colors, so it’s easy to find one to blend in with your home decor.
—Catherine Hiles, Senior Editor
3. Shark HV302 Rocket Pet Corded Stick Vacuum
As any Chow Chow owner knows, shedding season is year-round and incessant. I have a Chow Chow/Samoyed mix with double the fur—also double the shedding and double the vacuuming. That’s why I purchased a Shark stick vacuum when our puppy Echo arrived a year and a half ago. This vacuum comes with the suction power needed to clean up the mass amounts of fur and dirt that latches to our hardwood, tile, and rug-covered floors.
This model is lightweight at 9 pounds and comes with swivel steering to reach under our bed, desks, tables, and other fixtures. Plus, the pet hair pickup attachments get into hard-to-reach areas like around and under the dog crate, in closets, and around baseboards where hair and dirt are often trapped. This model also converts from a stick vac to a handheld vacuum for extra portability. When the job is done, the extra-long cord wraps around dual hooks on the unit for easy storage, and the dustbin can be emptied with a simple push-button.
Though not the most important feature, I also take heavy advantage of the rubberized base of the dustbin as it can be placed on a wall without toppling when I need to pause mid-chore because my dog begins to act up (or make more of a mess!).
—Alexandra Mantella, Commerce Content Update Editor
4. Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard Mega Dryer Sheets
We like to call our dog’s fur “glitter” because it shows up all over the house, no matter how frequently we brush our pets. However, we’re not fond of it sticking to our clothing, especially if we’re getting ready to go somewhere.
We weren’t expecting much when we first bought this box of Bounce’s dryer sheets, but they work. They are designed to help our clothes repel pet hair by decreasing the static in the fabric. Before, it was impossible to play with our Saint Bernards without being covered in fur. Afterward, the hair didn’t even stick to a sweater.
Now, we also toss Bounce pet hair sheets in the dryer with throw blankets, pillow covers, and bedding. The house seems much less furry (though we still have to vacuum daily).
—Glenda Taylor, Staff Writer
5. ChomChom Pet Hair Remover
Confession: I’m not a dog owner. However, my cat Brutus sheds with the best of his canine counterparts. Beneath his tuxedo is a thick undercoat that sloughs off in tufts and sticks to just about every upholstered surface in my home. Tired of lugging around the vacuum and wasting gobs of sticky paper to keep up, I searched for a better solution.
TikTok made me buy the ChomChom Roller, a non-electric, sticky paper-free lint roller designed specifically for pet hair. It features plastic squeegee-like blades and bristles that create static electricity to quickly gather up even large clumps of hair from all types of fabric. (The trick is to use short strokes, as the ChomChom doesn’t fully rotate like a traditional lint roller.) The hair collects into a separate chamber that is easy to empty right into the trash can.
I’ve successfully used the ChomChom Roller on furniture, carpet, blankets, clothing, and pet beds. According to reviewers, it works just as well with canine hair as it does with feline hair. Hear that? Cat people and dog people agree on something!
—Jenny Stanley, Executive Editor
6. Veken 2.8L Pet Fountain
As a lifelong pet owner, I’ve thought (and researched) a lot of thought to find the best food for my fur babies. But what about their water? After finding the right food for my dog, I upgraded our traditional dog bowl for a filtered water fountain that removes bacteria and other harmful contaminants from their drinking water. Its triple-filtration system includes an activated carbon layer, an ion exchange resin, and a thick non-woven fabric.
The fountain cycles water through filters at your choice of two flow levels—waterfall and gentle—so you can avoid startling your pets. (The pump has a quiet operation volume that won’t add any ambient noise to the house.) This large, 95-ounce capacity is ideal for large dogs like mine but also a solid supply for smaller pets. Its tank is made from BPA-free materials and features an adjustable LED light that will help users assess the amount of water left.
The only downside with this product is the 6-foot power cord. Those that don’t have a cord near the floor in their kitchen (like me) may have difficulty finding a space to plus this unit in.
—Alexandra Mantella, Commerce Content Update Editor
7. Gorilla Grip Silicone Pet Feeding Mat
We have a dog who makes a huge mess at mealtime, and this pet feeding mat contains her enthusiastic eating and sloppy drinking. The raised edges help deter ants since the food doesn’t go everywhere, and it can go into the dishwasher for easy cleaning!
—Becky Helzer, Lead Copy Editor
We have an Airedale puppy. He has more energy than any dog I’ve ever met. It’s nonstop! Other than long hikes and tons of ball chasing, we rely heavily on these. We fill the treat toys with layers of food (oatmeal, sardines, fermented carrots, peanut butter, treats, etc.) and freeze them. It takes him a minute to lick his way to the bottom, which wears him out. And despite his ability to chew through pretty much every toy instantly, he hasn’t put a dent in these over many months’ use.
—Michelle Larson, Assistant Editor of Product Reviews
9. Dog Gone Smart Dirty Dog Microfiber Doormat
This microfiber doormat is must-have when your furry friends get wet, muddy paws. It’s durable, washable, and attractive. We have had our Dog Gone Smart doormat by our back door for 6 years, and it’s still going strong. As soon as our 60-pound furball comes back inside after playing and relaxing in the backyard on a damp day, we simply have him sit and lay down a few times on the mat while the microfiber mat absorbs all the excess moisture. If our best friend has become a bit muddy, we use the Dog Gone Smart shammy for some extra paw and belly cleaning.
The non-skid backing keeps the doormat in place and the medium gray color can suit a variety of color schemes while also hiding dirt until it can be washed. (It’s available in many other colors too!) When it gets too dirty, we simply toss it the washing machine and let it air dry. In our house, clean floors and a clean dog equal happy homeowners.
—Elizabeth Cranston, Associate Editor of Product Reviews
10. Mothers VLR
One of our dogs decided she wanted to sleep on our new leather couch, and we started noticing scratch marks almost immediately. We use this leather repair product (intended for car enthusiasts, but we swear by it), and it removed the scratch marks and has made a world of difference in the appearance of our couch.
—Becky Helzer, Lead Copy Editor
11. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
As a Siberian husky owner for 15 years, I can confidently say this is the best brush for large dogs with multiple coats of fur. Huskies require a lot of grooming, and bringing a large dog to the groomer is not always fun. We tried the common brushes on the market with little success before we discovered this self-cleaning brush. Game changer.
The long bristles works wonders for dogs with an undercoat and would leave my husky looking like he just walked out of a professional groomers. As our dog aged and became sensitive in certain spots due to pain, this brush was gentle enough that he never winced when brushing.
The best part is, there is no digging hair and dirt out of the brush to clean the bristles. With the press of a button, the bristles retract into the brush, and you simply wipe the fur and dirt off.
—Stephanie Cronk, Executive Editor of Product Reviews
12. K&H Pet Products Heated Waterproof Bed Warmer
Our shelter pup gets the shivers every winter, and he 100 percent believes he’s a 30-pound lap dog. When we can’t cuddle him, we give him a substitute lap with this heated pet pad. I thoroughly researched what temperatures are okay for him, and this pad offers a low-level warmth that mixes with his own body temperature to keep him cozy and comfortable.
Bonus: It’s portable, sliding under crate pads, pet bed cushions, and comforters—you know, if you sleep in a big pile of pets.
It’s also a great solution for design-conscious pet parents because you can slip it under a window seat cushion or a throw blanket on an entry bench, and you’ve got a designated pet bed that’s part of your decor. The pad is also a gentle way to comfort aging pets or those with aches and pains.
—Amy Anderson, Features Editor
13. Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness
Our lab-great dane mix weighs in at 125 pounds (150 at his peak!), so finding a collar or leash to comfortably suit his frame has always been tough. This Ruffwear harness fits him perfectly, though. And with four adjustment points to fine-tune the fit, it’ll grow with him if he ever puts on more weight. It’s durable enough to last, too: Ours is still going strong after years of daily use.
The harness slips on and off with ease, and the foam padding adds some extra comfort during long walks or hikes through the woods. But the standout feature may just be the dual leash clips on both the front and back. The back clip is great for aggressive pullers that need to be reined in when they get the sudden urge to, say, chase down a squirrel. I tend to go with the front clip, though, since my “labradane” can be very opinionated about the direction we take on walks; a gentle tug on the harness can get him moving along again when he’s being particularly stubborn and refuses to budge.
—Jeff Keleher, Editor of Home Finances