We’ve written a lot about products and services that you can spoil yourself with. Let’s take a break with this post and indulge your pet. We’ve had our well-spoiled pup for 9 years and several dogs before him, including assistance dogs that require specialized attention and intense training. If you want to treat your dog well, here are our personal reviews of some of the highest-quality brands and best dog products we’ve found for our dogs over the years.
Dog Brain Toys and Games – Busy Buddy and Nina Ottosson
Our Weimaraner has so much energy. We can run 10 miles with him and he still wants to play afterwards! However, brain games, where he has to figure out how to get to treats out of a toy or game, absolutely wear him out. There are two brands we love when it comes to toys or games that challenge him: Busy Buddy and Nina Ottosson.
Busy Buddy offers toys you stuff with your dog’s food and make him work to get it out. When we leave for work, we put his breakfast in one of these toys so he’ll not focus on our leaving, exert a lot of energy, and need to nap during the day. Check out all of the options Busy Buddy has to offer. We’ve used the Squirrel Dude, Kibble Nibble, Tug-a-Jug, Twist ’n Treat, and Magic Mushroom, and loved all of them. Not only does it take a long time for our pup to get all of the food out, but the quality of these toys is impressive. He really beats them up trying to get the food out, but he’s never been able to break one.
Nina Ottosson takes it up a notch when it comes to brain games to challenge our pup. Her games have tons of different compartments that we can hide treats in. We’ll put some treats in one right before starting to cook dinner, and he’ll spend 15 minutes getting all of the treats out. He definitely has a love-hate relationship with the games! Nina Ottosson has three different levels, so as games become easier, we can buy a higher level to still challenge him. Check out all of the games Nina Ottosson has available. Unlike the Busy Budy toys, we never leave our pup alone with the Nina Ottosson puzzles as they require human supervision.
Long-Lasting and Comfortable Dog Bed – Orvis
We bought a memory foam dog bed from Orvis over 5 years ago. Of all the purchases for our pup, this is easily in the top 10 of our favorite dog products. He absolutely loves sleeping on it. Despite scratching at it nightly to fluff it up, it doesn’t look worn at all. We wash the cover every month, and it looks brand new every time it comes out of the washer. Check out the beds on the Orvis website. We bought the Tempur-pedic memory foam bed that is no longer offered. However, we’ve always been impressed with Orvis’s products and customer service, so you can’t go wrong. It’s expensive but worth it. And, Orivs has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you’re not really taking a risk. Don’t forget to personalize your bed with your pup’s name!
One word of caution: These beds aren’t cheap, so don’t make this the first bed you buy for your 8-week old teething puppy. You may want to go through a few cheap ones before investing in one of these. While it’s durable, we haven’t found anything yet that can withstand the tenacity of a teething and untrained puppy!
Nutritious Dog Food – Orijen
Your dog’s nutritional needs depend in large part on their breed and age. The AKC provides a nice nutrition guide if you want to do your own research. Since our dog was a puppy, we’ve used the Orijen dog food brand. The brand uses high-quality, human-grade ingredients that offer a balanced diet for our pup. He had a lot of food allergies early on and Orijen was the first brand of food that worked well for him. His coat glows and he’s always nice and trim. Learn more about Orijen and see if it’s the right food for your dog. Consulting your veterinarian is always good, too, but remember that sometimes they receive incentives to promote certain brands.
Best Dog Leash – Ruffwear
The Ruffwear Flat-Out Leash is high quality and practical. It has a couple of features we really love. First, the handle is adjustable, so we can either hold it with our hand like a normal leash or adjust its size to click around our waist when running. You can also use the handle’s buckle to quickly secure the leash around a pole or table without having to unclip your pup’s collar — super helpful if you eat at outdoor cafes together. The other feature we love is that it has an extra handle towards the bottom of the leash. If we need to pull our dog back from something or pull him closer to us because we’re walking near traffic, we can quickly reach down to grab the handle. Although we’re huge fans of the leash, we also love pretty much everything from Ruffwear which offers practical and high quality dog products for active people.
Best Dog Collar – Dublin Dog
We’ve bought our pup two types of collars from Dublin Dog. The first is a no-stink, waterproof dog collar. We put this one on him for days we head out to the dog park, go on a hike, or take a jog. It never smells, dries immediately, and is super easy to clean. The other Dublin Dog collar we love is the Ecolucks Fabric version. It’s made from 100% recycled materials. We also love the different patterns they have, ranging from everyday preppy to holiday-themed ones. Our pup even has a few adorable Christmas collars.
Dog Shampoo – RELIQ Mineral Spa
We’ve considered using the RELIQ Mineral Spa dog shampoo on ourselves because it smells so good. The website touts that it mixes a mineral from volcanos and nanotechnology to produce a shampoo that cleans the dog’s skin and promotes a healthy coat. We can’t speak to the science behind these claims, but we can tell you that our pup smells amazing after a bath with this shampoo, and his coat really shines. Our pup has sensitive skin, but he’s never had issues with this brand. We’ve only used the Green Tea fragrance and love it too much to try any others. It almost smells like a spa when we bathe him. The other fragrances are probably just as good. Lean more from the RELIQ Mineral Spa shampoo website.