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 Dog Toy
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.
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 Dog Products According to Doug the Pug
With Crusty Nose Balm for Dogs and Organic Antler Chews, it’s hard not to trust a dog sensible enough to bring a hoodie to an overly air-conditioned office setting.
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
Vulture editor Abraham Riesman loves his Modkat litter box: “Unlike the garish, airplane-hangar-esque litter boxes that occupy the popular imagination, a Modkat box is a stylish, round-edged cube that looks more like a nifty, small table than a cat-waste container.”
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.”
The Best Odor Eliminators
We sourced the best intel from dog walkers, groomers, and holistic-pet-care owners for their solutions to an array of accidents. For a mess all over the place or for a mess with specificity, here are all the products you need for poop, pee, and puke. Plus, we’ve got you covered for the general smelliness that can accompany a beloved pet.