15 Things Your Dog Wishes You’d Buy at Petco
We know what's on your list—dry food and a flea collar—but this is the stuff that really gets your dog's tail wagging.
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“It is hard to beat the KONG Classic,” says Angela Hughes, DVM/PhD, veterinarian and genetics expert at Wisdom Health. “They are excellent for dogs that need to chew and can be stuffed with food or treats to occupy your pup’s brain as they try to reach the treats.” Stuff the KONG with peanut butter and pop it in the freezer for yummy fun for your fur baby. But Hughes says not to use peanut butter that has xylitol or added sugars. In fact, don’t feed your dog anything with xylitol, as it can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. Here are more foods that are toxic to dogs that every pet parent should know about.
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It’s not just human kids that love their stuffed animals. “For dogs that keep their toys as a companion, soft plush dragons fit the bill,” Hughes says. “The squeakers can keep a dog busy for a while, but note that they’re definitely not for aggressive chewers.” If you have an aggressive chewer that loves plush toys, make sure that you always supervise your dog when they have the plush toy and be sure to switch over to a different toy if you find them trying to rip it to pieces, she advises. Toys are just one cost to factor in when you have a dog—here’s a breakdown of the rest.
Chuckit! Ball Launcher
Balls are a solid favorite with most dogs—especially if you have a retrieving, sporting, or active pup. “The Chuckit Ball Launcher is perfect for long rounds of fetch with your active pup and comes in sizes from small to extra large to accommodate different-sized dogs,” says Hughes. Balls come in tennis style or rubber, but the rubber ones will last longer and stay cleaner, Hughes adds. Whatever ball you choose, just make sure you throw it away when it starts to break down to prevent your pup from ingesting any pieces.
KONG Wobbler Dispenser
Dogs love puzzle toys when a yummy treat as their reward. “The KONG Wobbler is great for dogs with active minds that need to have a job,” says Hughes. And it’s also good for dogs who might spend a little too much time on the sofa because the KONG Wobbler forces them to work for their treats or meal. “They’re also a great way to occupy dogs that miss you when you leave. Just save their meal for when you have to walk out the door,” adds Hughes. Here are some other smart ways to keep your pup busy when you’re not home.
“My dog Maggie loves her iFetch,” says Nicole Ellis, pet expert and certified dog trainer with Rover. iFetch is an automatic tennis ball launcher made for small dogs that include three mini tennis balls. “Dogs love the physical and mental stimulation, and it’s suited for inside and outdoor use, so you can adjust the launch distance from ten to 30 feet with the touch of a button,” says Ellis. Bigger dogs will love iFetch, which uses standard size tennis balls and has a “random” distance setting to keep pups guessing. Fetching balls are a fun way to knock out his exercise for the day. By the way, this is how much time your dog needs to be active every day.
Dogs could only dream of digging in the house until recently, but now dogs can dig to their heart’s content and not get their paws dirty with iDig. “The iDig provides hours of positive physical and mental stimulation by encouraging the dog’s natural digging behavior through play. Owners just load the flaps of the iDig with their dog’s favorite toys or treats and watch them dig away to find the treasure,” says Ellis. Here’s the reason why dogs love to dig and lots of other odd dog behaviors.
KONG Extreme Ball
Your dog has had more stuffed toys than a kid with a roll of quarters at a school carnival—except your pup’s toys are chewed up and destroyed in one sitting. The KONG Extreme is one toy she won’t be able to tear apart. This toy is meant for “super chewers,” Ellis says. “KONG Extreme is one of the most durable toys on the market. Plus, you can fill them with treats, which keeps dogs occupied and entertained for hours.”
Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit
Puppies love to sink their baby teeth into almost anything they can pick up—including your shoes. Nick Hof, a certified professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant at Paws Look Listen, says chewing is normal, but for some dogs, it becomes a lifelong habit to deal with stress or boredom. “Each one of these offers a unique use to help for a variety of situations. They are a godsend to keep you and your belongings safe,” says Hof. Speaking of puppies, here are the training mistakes you should avoid now—and how to correct them before it’s too late.
K&H pet cot
Dogs love this alternative to a traditional dog bed because the raised mesh cot keeps pups cool and happy, Hof says. It’s durable and easy to clean and can be used outside, under the tree next to your hammock so you can both chill on a lazy summer day. Keeping your dog cool isn’t just for comfort—overheating can lead to heatstroke. Find out the warning signs every pet parent should know.
Dogs start drooling (even more than usual) when they hear you open up a package of these meaty flavored dog chews. It hits the mark for their craving of meaty yumminess and hankering to chew stuff. And pet parents love them for a different reason. “Bully Sticks are a great item to use when you have guests over or when you just need a break,” Hof says. Just FYI, a puppy will make these last for several sittings, but an adult dog will probably devour them in one.
Trixie Activity Chess dog toy
Dogs love it when they get their nose into a good puzzle—especially when it has treats to uncover. “Puppies can have a fun activity to keep them happy while you answer some emails, and even senior dogs can gain some benefit from firing up the neurons as they think through how to get the treats,” Hof says. Just make sure you stay within monitoring distance since it has small pieces.
JW Pet Hol-EE Roller dog toy
Dogs who love to tear apart stuffed toys and have an immeasurable amount of energy for fetching go bonkers over this ball. Khara Schuetzner, certified professional dog trainer with Doggie Spot, says, for the dogs who like de-stuff toys, simply roll up a treat in strips of fabric, then stuff the fabric in the ball. Your pup will yank on the fabric and find the food. And for the dog who can easily overdo it in fetch mode, the abundant holes in the Hol-EE Roller allow them to breathe and pant while carrying the ball back.
K&H Orthopedic Bolster Sleeper dog bed
“If your dog loves to put its head on things while sleeping, this bed is great!” Schuetzner says. Her senior dogs like it for a different reason—a little velvety indulgence for their achy joints. “My senior dogs love this bed because they can fluff the bed and they aren’t as stiff when they get up from their naps,” she adds. Check out the pet products vets never, ever buy (and the alternatives they like).
Whole Life Freeze-Dried Chicken Treats
Their tails will be wagging fast enough to propel them off the ground when they get a whiff of this treat. Because it’s freeze-dried, the aroma and flavor are concentrated. “These are especially good for food-reward training,” says Jodi Andersen, dog trainer and co-founder of How I Met My Dog™, an app that matches people and pups according to their behavior and lifestyle. “Even the most fidgety pup will sit still for this snack.”
This durable rubber ball has loads of fun and stimulating options—which means dogs of all activity levels and ages love it. “For teething pups, just a whisper of peanut butter in the center or the crevices of this ball will keep a puppy busy for a long while. For the dog that likes a challenge, place a treat inside this ball and watch him/her figure out how to extract it. For the swimmer, this ball floats. And for the outfielder, it’s the right weight for a great game of catch,” says Andersen. Find out even more things your dog really wants with these 30 secrets your dog wishes you knew.
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