I get emails, comments, questions on a daily basis asking me what are the best dog foods, treats, toys…? What’s most popular? And what do I use with my dogs?
In fact I recently received a few such emails from our readers:
This one for dog toy recommendations:
…Wanted to find out any additional puppy toy suggestions you have? We have a stuffed duck. A rope. A Kong. Any other references for best dog toys? Thanks and have a good. We have an 8 week old golden…
This one for leash, collar, and harness/holster:
…My fiancé and me are bringing home a new golden. I am looking for recommendations from you. Would you please help me with any recommendations for: a leash, collar, holster. Any other tips for purchases we can make to ensure a smooth transition? I saw a post from you all about best puppy leash etc but cannot locate? Really appreciate your help!!
All the best!!
And one about best dog food for puppies:
…My 5 month old labrador retriever puppy has skin allergies and my vet said to try a new dog food with a novel protein. I’m trying to figure out what the best dog food is for my puppy. What do you feed your puppies…
Best Dog Foods, Treats, Toys…2018 Edition
This list updated 3.2.2018
So, I started putting this list together including Amazon’s Bestsellers (I did include some Amazon bestsellers) and found out the majority of Amazon’s bestsellers in he Doggy Department are real duds!
Instead I’m just going to include what I use with my dogs and in my limited experience these are the best dog foods, treats, toys, and other products for my puppies and dogs.
Without Further Adieu…LETS GET IT ON!
When I search for dog food I always visit the Dog Food Advisor website for more information. They do a great job of rating different dog foods and there are a ton of reviews for most of the popular dog food products. You can also subscribe to get alerts when companies announce recalls.
Here are the dog foods I’m feeding my dogs which all happen to be 5 star rated on the Dog Food Advisor website.
- Orijen Original Dry Dog Food – We recently started feeding Stetson and Raven Orijen Dog Food.
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food – Original Formula – I feed the Wellness Puppy Formula to the littles.
- The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food – We use this similar to a topper for Linus’ meals.
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost – Archer’s breeder started him on Nature’s Variety.
UPDATE for 2019: When feeding our dogs we plan on rotating through different high quality dog foods throughout the year.
Treats & Chews
We actually had all 3 of these on our Amazon Subscription. Needless to say the doggies were pleased!
- Bully Sticks – We love our bully sticks. Be sure to purchase high quality and odorless (usually still an odor, but not nearly as stinky).
- Himalayan Dog Chews – Who doesn’t like cheese?
Natural Balance Dog Food Roll – We cut these into tiny pieces and use them for training. The pups love the Duck and Turkey formula!They may have changed the formula, but the last couple times we purchased the Natural Balance Dog food rolls they were crumbly and not too good for training. Instead we changed to…
- Happy Howie’s Premium Rolls – We cut these up and they work great for training and don’t crumble like the Natural Balance rolls.
My dogs either want durable or problem solving when it comes to new dog toys.
- Snuggle Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Pads – This is our new #1 for puppies and their first night home.
- Nylabone Dura Chew Toy – Adelle loved these giant Nylabones. Just watch your toes!
- KONG Wobbler – Stetson loved his KONG Wobbler even though it meant he had to work for his meals.
- Hide-A-Squirrel – It’s just like de-stuffing one of their toys, but instead they’re pulling out a fuzzy little squirrel!
Yep, there’s more than 3 essential puppy items, but these products are on the top of our list. By the way, stock up on paper towels.
- Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Remover – We like Rocco & Roxie the best for cleaning pee and poop accidents.
- Nature’s Miracle – #2 on our list of enzymatic cleaners – it’s a little less expensive and a good second option.
- Bitter Apple Spray – If your puppy likes to bite (of course he bites, he’s a puppy) then you’ll want some of this handy.
- Poop Bags – Got Puppy? then…YOU Got Poop! These poop bags are eco-friendly!
BONUS for 2019: Snuggle Puppy – New Puppy Starter Kit – At the suggestion of one of our readers we purchased this for our current puppy, Charlie Bear. If you’re a regular reader then you probably know about our trials and tribulations crate training puppies especially Stetson. This little stuffed toy comes with a warmer and a little heart beat so your new puppy doesn’t feel alone his first night away from his litter.
Guess what? All of our pet beds are elevated. It’s not that we don’t like the traditional cushions, but we do like how much easier it is to clean the our elevated dog beds.
- Carlson Portable Dog Cot – We put together a sponsored review for the Carlson Portable Dog Cot…and we love it!
- Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed – We actually used to have and enjoyed our Coolaroo doggy bed.
- PVC Elevated Pet Bed – We got one of these at the America’s Family Pet Expo, but there was no brand and I’m not sure where to buy the exact same bed we have at home. There are PVC beds listed on Amazon, but I’m not sure if they’re the same quality as the one we have at home.
Uhhh…yes, we prefer our wire over molded plastic crates. We have a couple of the molded plastic crates, but we much prefer the collapsible metal crates. We’ve purchased, received from sponsors, or were donated these wire dog crates:
- Midwest LifeStages Folding Metal Crate – The original! We bought this exact crate for Linus over 13 years ago and it’s still ticking…so is Linus!
- Carlson Pet Products Single Door Metal Dog Crate – A simple, inexpensive signal door wire dog crate.
- Carlson Pet Products Double Door Metal Dog Crate w/ Divider – We prefer the more expensive double door crate with divider so our puppy can grow with his crate.
Again we like to use harnesses based on the situation. One for nosework (#1), one for training (#2), and one for traveling (#3)
- Comfortflex Sport Harness – We use these harnesses exclusively when doing K9 Nosework training.
- Easy Walk Dog Harness – We like this harness for mild pullers
- Dog Travel Harness – This is a list of CPS approved harnesses. I don’t own these harnesses, but will soon for safer travels.
My guide dog pals love different colors and patterns. I’m about functionality. Check out these 3 collars we like using with our pups:
- Breakaway Dog Collar – Our friends just had an incident where her two dogs got caught up in their collars and nearly suffocated.
- Mighty Paw Martingale Collar – We like Mighty Paw an this durable martingale which has quick release buckle.
- Tazlab Safe-T-Stretch Collar – Similar to the breakaway collar this one stretches with elastic in case of emergencies.
We use different leashes for different stages. Our little guys need lightweight (see #1), convertible leather leashes work best with our older dogs (see #2), and training requires long lines (see #3).
- Petsafe Nylon Dog Leash – We get the lightest weigh smallest leashes for our puppies. Try the 6 foot 3/8 inch leash.
- Convertible Service/Guide Dog Leash – This isn’t the exact leash I have, but very close.
- Mighty Paw Long Dog Leash – Mighty Paw makes a nice long line great for dog training.
Cameras & Monitors
Not All Products in this category PuppyInTraining approved – Buyer Beware, we’ve only used the Furbo (we love ours) from this list.
- Furbo Dog Camera – We love our Furbo Dog Camera. Great for tossing treats, watching the pups, and the barking alert works great with our pack.
- PetChatz – Our pals at Golden Woofs rave about their PetChatz. We don’t have one, but we could always use another puppy monitor!
- Petcube – We saw this little gadget at BlogPaws. Haven’t used it, but the laser pointer looks like a ton of fun!
Like all things 3 different bowls for 3 different situations: Our standard bowl (#3), our slow feeder bowl (#1), and our travel bowl (#2)
- Fun Feeder Slow Feed Interactive Bloat Stop Dog Bowl – A more advanced slow feeder dog bowl then the ones we reviewed in our early days of blogging.
- Tazlab Aqua Fur Silicone Travel Dog Bowl – After nearly a decade this is still our favorite dog travel bowl.
- Loving Pets Bella Bowl – We got these as Christmas gifts and used them with our pups. Simple, no slide, and didn’t tip over with our litter of puppies.
I’m going to say it once and I’ll say it again. Don’t skimp out if you need a pet nail grinder. We’ve tried multiple “Pet” approved nail grinders (even the Dremel brand) and none met our expectations. Go with a higher end Dremel like the one I list below.
- FURminator – We’ve had one for years and it’s great at moving the under coat just be careful not to overuse it.
- Dremel – Don’t go cheap and get one of those silly pet nail grinders. We have the Dremel 8220 and it’s awesome for trimming dog nails!
- Flea Comb – When Linus was a wee pup we used a flea comb to remove hundreds of fleas. Today we still use it for early flea detection.
Puppy Training Books
So many great puppy training books. Here are 3 of my current favorites.
- Puppy Start Right – More scientific then most of the books I’ve read. It will give you a solid foundation.
- Puppy Primer – A very simple easy read. It’ll start you right on your puppy training journey. Required reading for CST puppy raisers.
- Don’t Shoot The Dog – I kind of feel like this should be required reading not just for dog training, but for life skills.
Is there anything else? Am I missing an essential dog product category?
If there’s a dog food, treat, toy, or any other product you’d like to recommend please let me know in the comment section below.
We plan on constantly updating this list as we find new products we love so tell us about your experiences and let us know what products you love.
What do you think are the best dog foods, treats, toys…and other dog products?