Clever things that immediately make having a dog so much easier

Modern tools for four-legged friends.

ByChristina X. Wood
Originally Published: 
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Your canine companion might very well be the love of your life. But even so, living with a dog has its challenges. Many canines among us don’t understand that cars aren’t strange herd animals to be chased — or that the people driving them can’t focus with a frisky hound in their lap. However, all of these issues are made downright easy with the help of a few cleverly designed items.

Even better, these can be deployed in a flash. The smart dog owner needs these clever things — because they immediately make having a dog so much easier.


A motion-activated ball that throws itself

Give your dog a toy with a mind of its own and watch as the hilarity unfolds. This motion-activated dog ball moves, rotates, and bounces wildly all on its own. And it’s touch activated so your dog can start the fun whenever the mood strikes. It’s rechargeable, waterproof, and comes with a cover to enhance the bouncing.

“If your dog loves playing with tennis balls, or any type of ball, they will just love this toy,” said one reviewer. “It took him about an hour to learn how to actually play with it, and he plays until he flops down from exhaustion.”


The dog person's secret to keeping the car cleaner

Traveling with a canine companion does not mean your car has to constantly smell like a wet dog and be covered in fur. This dog car seat cover creates a dog-only zone in the back seat. Simply hook the loops over the headrests and invite your dog to hop in back. Your pup won’t be able to leap through the front seats and the upholstery under this waterproof, nonslip cover will stay clean and dry.


The ball-launcher for fetch-obsessed canines

Make your ball-obsessed canine companion happy while giving your own limbs a break by throwing the ball far and high with this ball launcher. The long handle gives every throw a trebuchet-like boost so you can throw farther with less energy. You can choose the ball size and handle length that suits you and your dog.

“I have a bad arm and this makes throwing the ball so much easier and farther,” said one reviewer. “Also don’t have to worry about grabbing the ball with slobber or who knows what else on it.”


An easier way to wash the dog

Put the shower right into the palm of your hand with this brush sprayer and scrubber tool. It makes it so easy to wash the dog by delivering water into flexible brush nubs that are strapped to your hand. You can even turn the water on and off using a button on your palm. It includes adapters for your showerhead or hose so you can use it indoors or out.


A wearable treat pouch for quick rewards on-hand

When actively training a dog, getting that reward out and onto your pup’s taste buds is key to helping the dog connect the behavior with the reinforcement. This training dog treat pouch removes all the logistical obstacles from that process. Clip it to your waistband or loop it over your belt and it keeps the treats within easy reach, without making your pockets smell like bacon. A zipper pocket holds your wallet or keys and a cinch-close top prevents spills.


These reusable pee pads that look like throw rugs

This snazzy rug looks enough like a normal rug that only you and your dog need to know its secret: It is your dog’s emergency plan. If the pup has to go and you can’t be home to grab a leash and hit the grass, this rug is a reusable pet pee pad. It won’t let liquid through to your floor. And it’s a two-pack so if your dog needs to use it, you can replace it while the dirty one is in the wash.


This no-stoop pooper scooper that doesn’t need bags

This pooper scooper turns cleaning up after your dog into an easy, bagless endeavor you can do while standing up and holding a leash. Just locate the dropping, pull the trigger to open the claw, and release the trigger to close the claw. It grabs the waste so you can drop it in a receptacle and be on your way.


An extra-long leash for training & play

Teaching a dog to “come” is impossible if the dog is never off leash. But it’s not always easy to find a place that’s safe for teaching this essential skill. This extra-long dog leash lets you work on this skill anywhere. It has a foam comfort handle, lets your dog wander 15 feet away, and has a hook and loop system for controlling the length and for tidily storing the leash. It’s also ideal if you want to let Fido roam with limits.


A light-up collar to help keep your pup safe

This LED collar makes it easy to see your dog at night, which is safer for your dog and easier for you. The lights are rechargeable, go all the way around the collar so there are no dark spots, and glow for over eight hours on a charge. There are three modes so you can set the collar to strobe, blink, or steady on. Choose from 10 colors and four sizes.


A silicone mat to help keep the feeding area clean

Keep the mess around the food bowls contained and easy to clean up by setting this pet food splash mat on the floor. The waterproof silicone protects your floors and a raised lip around the edge keeps water and kibble contained. To clean up the area, just rinse off the mat — or put it in the dishwasher. It comes in five colors and three sizes.


This canine seatbelt that’s so easy to use

Keep your dog safe in the car with the adjustable dog seatbelt that clips to your pet’s collar or harness then snaps into the seat belt buckle in the car. It’s easy to use and will help prevent your dog from coming up front or flying around the car if there is a hard stop. The swivel clasp and bungee-cord shock absorber make it comfortable to wear.


A robot that feeds the dog on a schedule

End the begging and clever canine attempts to move dinner time earlier by outsourcing mealtime to this automatic pet feeder. You set the time, the amount of food, and the frequency — up to four mealtimes a day. Your dog will get fed whether you are home or not. A battery backup makes sure mealtime happens, even if the power goes out. Also, it’s hilarious when the food drops and your pet drops everything to race to dinner. You can even record a message to deliver each meal if you like.


This 5-in-1 leash for hiking hands-free

Hiking with your dog is a lot easier if you both are connected to this adjustable dog leash. One of its most popular forms is hands-free — it attaches to your waist and clips to your dog’s collar so you can use those hands as you climb or hike. It also serves as a tether when you get to a campsite. Or, use it as a standard leash. The handle slides up and down the leash so you can use it the way that suits your activity.


A simple way to signal that your dog shouldn’t be pet

Your dog can’t talk but these two harness patches are the wearable messages you need to convey a clear message to anyone who wants to pet your dog while out on the town. Choose from six messages that explain that your dog is in training, doesn’t want to be touched, or is busy being either a service or therapy dog. You can change the message easily and the patches come in three sizes.


A dog bowl made for flat-faced breeds that slows down a fast eater

Some dogs eat so fast they can make themselves sick. This slow-feeder dog bowl made just for flat-faced breeds slows that down by making the kibble more challenging to find and munch. It’s made from a nonslip rubber that stays still while your dog eats, and is great for pugs, bulldogs, and even cats, if you have a finicky feline. You can buy it in gray or blue.


The dog chew that can survive your aggressive chewer

Give your dog a bone that they can sink those dangerous canines into. This durable dog chew toy can withstand even the most aggressive chewing. The wishbone shape makes it easy for your dog to grasp, carry, and chew. The tempting smell and delicious flavor will make it a favorite.

“This toy is not only insanely durable but [my dog] has not left it alone for the three days we’ve had it,” said one of the more than 63,000 five-star reviewers.


These wipes that help clean & soothe wrinkle-faced pups

These wrinkle wipes are the simple way to quickly clean up tear stains or upset face wrinkles because not only are they convenient and gentle, but they are loaded with phytosphingosine, which is said to help rebuild skin’s natural ceramides. The brand says these wipes improve your dog’s skin and prevent hot spots and itching while keeping those adorable eyes, folds, and wrinkles clean and easy to look at.


The fetch stick that’s durable, fun, & safe

If your dog is a fan of fetch, this outdoor fetch stick is sure to be a favorite. With none of the splinters or possible contaminants of a found stick, it has all the same fun and throwability. It’s easy to find — for you and your dog — and resists getting gross and slobbery. It’s durable, too, so even an aggressive chewer will be hard pressed to destroy it.


These doorbells so your dog can ask to go out

Hang these dog doorbells over the doorknob or near the door and teach your pup to hit them instead of barking or scratching to go out. You will always know when they need to go. Your door won’t get destroyed in the process and you aren’t teaching your dog to bark. There are nine colors and options and nearly 26,000 people gave this communication method five stars.


The trusty headcollar that helps stop leash pulling

Help prevent leash pulling for good by using this Halti headcollar instead of a standard neck collar. It gently redirects your dog's nose away from scents and distractions to keep them focused on where you are going. It’s lightweight, reflective, and requires so much less energy and strength from you that you can finally be in charge of the walk.

“This eliminated my pups' pulling immediately!” said one reviewer. “It has provided so much relief and allowed for me to take them both on a walk at the same time again!”


The licking mat that helps calm your stressed pooch

If your dog hates the bath, distract them and allow them to self-comfort by sticking this licking mat to the shower wall. Fill it with a treat like peanut butter and they will lick that while you wrangle the soap and water. You can stick it to the floor, too, to slow-deliver treats or allow you to brush or groom a nervous pet.


A short leash for teaching a dog to walk next to you

When you are teaching your dog to heel, a short training leash is an essential tool. This 30-inch version keeps your dog right by your side and has an ergonomic handle and swivel clip so this is easy on your hands. There are four lengths and four styles of handles to choose from so you can get the leash that’s perfect for your pet and training methods.


This clever tool for dogs who love bully sticks

This strange-looking gizmo is actually a handle for bully sticks and other long chews. Stick the bully stick in the gripper at the center and it is much easier for your dog to hold while chewing that treat down to the last remnant. The handle itself is also a durable chew toy so when that bully stick is gone, your pet can keep right on chewing.


A big, soft ball made to toss indoors

Bring the ball-toss game your dog loves so much indoors with this soft dog ball that’s slightly larger than a softball and soft, light, and plush so it's safe to throw indoors. It’s still durable enough for medium chewers and it’s brightly colored so is easy to keep track of.

“My dog absolutely loves it!” said one reviewer. “In fact, he won't leave me alone now. It bounces and rolls well on both wooden and carpeted floors, and it doesn't damage things when it bumps into them!”


The trick for preventing dogs from eating the plants & furniture

If your dog likes to chew houseplants, shoes, furniture, or other things you would like to make off-limits, spray the item with this Bitter Apple no-chew spray. It tastes terrible to dogs so they will drop that thing and find something tastier to munch on.

“I have an American bully and he ate my couch along with I don’t know how many shoes,” said one reviewer. “We use this and [no] more chewing.”