If you know me at all you know that number one on the list of shit I'm obsessed with are my dogs, Charleston and Rhaegar. I literally cannot get enough of them. Like Matt actually gets irritated with me because I treat them like they are my babies. My Instagram is flooded with photos of their cute selfs snuggling, playing, melting hearts... and I'v had some people ask me what my favorite "dog products" are. Now I'm not exactly sure what specifically that encompasses but I think I've got the gist. I pulled together a short but well thought out list of the products/items that my dogs must have. Now I know that is a little psycho. It is actually me that must have this stuff because I just love to see them happy. Psycho. I know.
ACANA DOG FOOD
High quality and fresh ingredients are must haves when it comes to food for the pups. Rhaegar has a nearly fatal history with intestinal issues (why we get along so well LOL) so we have to stay committed to providing him with the right food and treats to keep his digestive system healthy and functioning properly. Originally we just switched Rhaegar to this food but Charleston got a sniff of it and it was game over. We had to switch them both because they loved it so much!
You can find an Acana retailer near you via their website.
We have two heavy chewers. Like crazily heavy chewers. So we have to have things for them to chew on that can hold up for more than 24 hours in our house. Antlers are a huge favorite because they last FOREVER. They aren't cheap but they are definitely worth it. There are a variety of different types of antlers that range in hardness so they are good for different levels of chewers. We like to get ours from our local shop because they have a huge selection and we can hand select the shape and size but you can also find them on Amazon in single orders or in bulk. Make sure to read the reviews and make sure they won't splinter easily if you have heavy chewers. As with any chew toy, make sure to keep an eye on your dog while they are chomping away and throw the antler away before it becomes too small and a choking hazard.
With the amount of packages that we get from Amazon I was really impressed that after only a couple of months they recognized that when the BarkBox package came it most definitely is theirs, not anyone else's. We signed up for the extra toy club so they get three toys, one edible item (like a knuckle or a trachea), and two bags of treats. This is the perfect amount of newness (and treats) to keep them satisfied all month long. The great thing about Barkbox is that you can customize the contents for your dog's needs. They take into consideration size, chew factor, allergies, etc. to make sure each box is full of things that pertain to your dog's preferences. From a human perspective I am so obsessed with this idea and their branding is out of control. Everything is so cohesive down to the information on the box, the tissue paper, and the emails they send out. Ya'll know I am a sucker for good branding so I was sold from one look at the website. Each box is curated for your pup each month, not only based on their preferences but also to align with a certain (and very adorable theme). Recently we've had a South Western box, an 80's box, and a Safari box... all so cute, so well branded, and so cohesive.
I really think that the idea behind BarkBox is a genius one. They take something that humans are already so obsessive over and willing to spend their disposable income on (their dogs) and pair that with a customer experience that is seriously enjoyable and leaves you trusting the brand and the products their products. You cannot beat that.
If you aren't sold on this yet, you're a psycho. But just incase HERE is a link to get a free BarkBox, love Charles and Rhaegar. You're welcome.
SLOW FEEDER DOG BOWL
Charleston eats like a true maniac. Literally he will be done a meal in less than 30 seconds. Our dog trainer originally recommended we get one of these to prevent him from choking or having indigestion issues. This definitely slows him down as much as possible and is really the only thing that works in order to do so. There are many different types with different patterns but this is the one most similar to what we have.
IQ TREAT BALL
We got this ball for Charleston for Christmas because we were trying to find a way to stimulate his mind. He is part Collie so he is definitely an intelligent little guy but he gets neurotic if he isn't constantly stimulated. This ball is his absolute favorite toy. He brings it everywhere around the house, even to bed. I swear, even when it doesn't have food in it, he carries it around like it is his pride and joy. This inspired us to start buying him different "puzzles" which have helped a lot with his anxiety. I can't tell you how seriously I recommend this ball and other puzzle games for dogs that are intelligent and anxious. We were told in Charleston's training classes that he is basically too smart for his own good sometimes so this helps his to exercise his inner genius.
We got this toy from BarkShop (link here for the exact one).
ANIMAL PLANET PET LASER TOY
We started out getting Rhaegar's attention accidentally with a laser heat thermometer and it got a little crazy after that. He became obsessed with "the red dot that follows him everywhere". He can be entertained by a laser pointer for, I kid you not, hours. Matt's mom got him this automatic laser toy for his birthday last month and he can't get enough. The laser randomly moves around the floor and Rhaegar chases it until he gets so sleepy and passes out mid pounce. For any dogs that like laser pointers I highly recommend this because number one, they will love it, and number two, it is hands free entertainment for when you need to get things done and can't play.
This app has been one of our best finds in a while. With Matt changing schedules that leaves some days where our boys need a little bit of care in the middle of the day so they aren't cooped up for too long. There are a ton of different "dog walker" apps out there but Rover has been my favorite. Within minutes of signing up I was able to create my profile with specific information about both dogs and easily view a plethora of dog enthusiasts for hire around my neighborhood. I was actually very surprised to see just how many people were close by and side hustling as a dog care taker!
I am so paranoid about who I leave my dogs with so it was incredibly comforting to read a variety of different reviews and be able to message care takers directly before booking them. The app is easy to navigate. It lets you choose the dates you need help and the service (walk, potty break, house sitting, dog sitting at the sitter's house) and shows you who is available on those days for those services. The interface reminds me of AirBnB which is definitely a compliment. Both bookings and payments are done right on the app so there is no hassle.
Our first week with our new Rover sitter has been great. She is phenomenal with both pups and makes sure to send me video and picture updates everyday. I have to say the whole experience has made me way more at ease about leaving my dogs in a sitter's hands.
SO WHAT'S NEXT?
What is next on my list of obsessive dog buys? I am thinking a Petcube. I always wonder what the dogs are doing during the day while I am at work and now that we have been trying to leave them out and not in the crate my curiosity has grown. I would love the comfort of knowing I can check out what the pups are doing at anytime and make sure they are okay. The other day I realized I really need one of these when Charleston's allergies were getting bad and I wanted to monitor him while I was at work to make sure they didn't get a lot worse in a short period of time. Matt and I have been looking into different cubes but haven't decided on one yet. If any of you guys have recommendations definitely let me know! We are kind of digging the one with the laser toy because Rhaegar will be obsessed with it. The treat dispensing one is cool too but if both dogs are alone together in a room I wouldn't want them fighting over treats. Decisions, decisions. Seriously though, if anyone has one please let me know if they are worth the money!
I know this post was a little different than the usual ones I have been doing but when I was getting questions about the pups I couldn't resist! If you like this kind of post feel free to drop me a DM or email and let me know what you like and what you want to see next!
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.