Having a dog would be so much easier if you tried any of these clever things

Because the right tools can create safety, cleanliness, and calm.

ByChristina Wood
Originally Published: 
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There is no doubt that life is better with a dog. They are pure of heart, love unconditionally, are insanely cute, and possess the most unstoppable happiness of any pet. But our four-legged weirdos do have their own challenges, quirks, and — let’s be honest — bad habits. Life is great with a furry four-legged canine by your side, but it isn’t always a walk in the park (even when you’re walking in the park).

Dogs are covered with fur that sheds all over the furniture. Dogs will enthusiastically roll in the foulest smelling dirt they can find while grinning and wagging. Dogs have a tendency to eat so fast you have to worry about their digestion (and any messes that may result from too-fast eating). And, for many dogs, a generations-long battle with squirrels is an obsession that has a detrimental effect on their judgment.

There are solutions to help us humans manage the more difficult side of dogs, whether you’re struggling to manage their energy, hygiene, curiosity, or hair. And having the right tools on hand can create safety, cleanliness, and calm. Nothing will end the Great Squirrel Feud but having a dog would be so much easier if you tried any of these clever things.


This super-absorbent shammy that gets a dog dry fast

When your dog exits the bath dripping wet, you need to get the water out of that fur coat before your pup soaks everything in the house. This dog-drying shammy is so much better than towels. It absorbs a huge amount of water, fast, with its long absorbent pile, and has pockets on the backside for your hands. This makes it easy to grab a wet paw and dry it, towel dry a wet dog without filling the laundry with wet towels, and move on from the bath much faster.


This wobbling toy you can fill with treats

This dog toy has a shape designed to wobble and roll so your dog can be engaged and distracted. You can make it even more fun by filling the interior with dog treats, peanut butter, or other snacks so they play with it longer and enjoy a reward when they manage to get the treat out. It comes in two sizes and, if you buy them both, they fit together to form a closed toy that makes getting treats out extra challenging.


A large-capacity water fountain with a customizable flow

This water fountain encourages your pet to drink water by making that water more interesting. Choose from two flow modes: a 360-degree flower waterwall (similar to a faucet flow) or a gentle bubbling fountain. A four-stage filtration system filters the circulating water, and the basin also has a viewing window and LED light so you can see how much water your pets are consuming.


This pet bowl insert that slows down a fast-eating dog

If your dog tends to wolf down their food, insert this silicone pet-bowl insert into their food bowl and fill its compartments with kibble and your dog will be forced to slow down. The spiral design with all its nooks, crannies, and crevices create a challenge that makes mealtime more interesting for your dog and much healthier because fast eating can lead to vomiting, bloating, and even choking. This insert can be trimmed to fit your existing dog bowl and is easy to clean in the dishwasher.


A 2-pack of seatbelts to make car rides with your dog so much safer

Clip one end of these canine seatbelts to your dog’s collar or harness and the other end into the seatbelt clip of your car and your dog can ride along with none of the hazards caused by inviting a loose dog into the car. The leash’s length is adjustable to fit. Once clipped in, your dog will be unable to roam the car or leap out an open window. They will also be held securely if you have to stop fast. This is a two-pack, so you can keep one handy in separate vehicles.


These gloves that remove excess fur while you pet your dog

Pull on these grooming gloves and pet your pup to remove shedding fur before it becomes your next vacuuming project. The nubby palms brush and detangle your furball but you can feel and control what’s happening so you don’t scratch their skin or scare them. You can easily peel the fur off of the palm and keep going. And what pet doesn't like the pleasant bonding of lying around being petted? (Even if you are wearing gloves.)


This first aid kit that has everything you need in a pet emergency

This easy-to-pack first aid kit has over 100 items — neatly organized and painstakingly thought out — to help you help your dog if something goes wrong on a hike, camping trip, or road trip. There’s everything from a thermometer to an emergency collar, tic remover, bandages, antiseptic wipes, tourniquet, instant cold packs, and much more. It’s all packed into a bright orange hard case. Toss the whole kit into the car or in your backpack or pack a subset along on a walk in the included small pouch and rest assured that you will have what you need.


This tennis ball launcher that lets you get some serious distance

Help your doggo get out all their excess energy with this ball launcher. Just load it up with your pup’s favorite ball, wind back, and be prepared for that ball to go at a speed and distance you could never get with your arm. This ball launcher lets you engage with your dog for longer because you won’t tire out as easily from the upper body workout of tossing a ball over and over and over again.


A tool that easily gets rid of mats in fur

If your pooch is prone to uncomfortable mats in their fur, score this dog mat remover with more than 5,000 reviews and keep them groomed and happy. The tool features a de-matting comb with rounded teeth that are safe for even the most sensitive skin. It comes in two sizes and is perfect for long-haired or short-haired dogs.


These folding stairs that help pets get to high places

When your pup is too small — or has aging hips — and can’t jump up onto the couch, bed, or into your car, pull out these folding stairs and give them access. The stairs fold so you can stash them under the couch or bed — or in the trunk — when not in use and the fabric treads are easy on the paws and give nice traction so there won’t be any stair-related accidents. You can replace the treads with grippy high-traction ones if your dog has trouble or as they age. They come in two colors and sizes.


This effective pet odor eliminator with a built-in UV flashlight

When pets have accidents, it can be hard to get rid of the smell they leave behind. And that encourages more accidents, creating a cycle that’s hard to beat. This Angry Orange odor eliminator makes the two most challenging problems of eliminating that smell — finding it and completely obliterating it — super easy. The UV flashlight built into the spray top lights up the source of smells you may not be able to see and the enzyme-based formula in the bottle completely destroys it so that even your pet can’t smell it anymore.


A chew toy that engages your dog’s sense of smell

Considering how powerful a dog’s sense of smell is, this scented chew toy that smells like sweet potatoes will be a likely favorite. Built even for the strongest chewers, this ball has a squeak to accompany the smell — and it’s built to float, making it fun for water play. The toy is also easy to clean; just rinse with warm water. “It's only been 6 or 7 weeks, but both balls have not only survived, but are constantly being picked out of their toy bin and played with for HOURS every single day!” one reviewer raved.


A nail grinder for trimming the dog’s nails without fear or pain

This simple dog nail grinder tool takes the fear and pain out of grooming your dog’s nails. Instead of risking a deep cut with clippers, just grind the nails down gently with the diamond bit grinder. A removable grinder cover makes it even easier by providing a guard to protect paws. Just insert the claw into the port that’s perfect for your pup’s size. It’s USB rechargeable and portable for easy use.


An elevated pet bed that gives your dog somewhere cool & breezy to nap

This elevated pet bed gives your dog a place to sleep that’s 7 inches above the ground so that cool breezes get underneath it. The cot-style bed takes the pressure off joints, too, so your dog can relax without getting hot spots or aches and pains, even when the floor or ground is hard and uncomfortable. It’s light, easy to move, assembles easily, and comes in five sizes and two colors.


The dog brush that reaches into the undercoat to remove excess fur & dander

This de-shedding brush is the trick for removing that shedding undercoat before the fur ends up all over your furniture and clothes. It has long, steel bristles that reach under even the deepest undercoat to remove fur, improve circulation, and get rid of dander. The long handle is easy to hold, the blade removes for storage, and your dog will love it.


A big bag of toys to keep your best friend occupied

When this big bag of fun toys shows up, it will be like a birthday party for your pup. There are four rope toys that will make for a great game of tug, two cute plush toys, three rope balls you can throw for a game of fetch, and a rubber bone. Swap out these toys every now and then to keep your dog engaged for playtime.


This clip-on bone-shaped poop bag dispenser & bags

Clip this cute bone-shaped bag dispenser to the dog leash, your walking bag, or a belt and you will have a poop bag every time you need it so you don’t leave behind an environmental mess when you walk the dog. It comes with four rolls of large and sturdy poop bags, each with 15 bags, that load easily into the dispenser. You will never be caught without a bag, even if your dog decides to go more than once.


This belt bag that comes with a clicker, whistle & other dog training tools

When you head out to do some dog training, bring along all the tools for success simply by clipping this training pouch to your belt. You will have treats, a clicker for teaching a variety of commands, and a sonic whistle for teaching recall without shouting yourself hoarse. There is also room in the pouch for your personal items — keys, phone, chapstick — in a separate zippered pocket. It also comes with hanging bells to help with housebreaking and a puppy training guide.


The seat cover that lets your dog ride shotgun without ruining your car’s interior

When you and your canine buddy go for a ride, do you let the furry one ride in the front seat? This isn’t a big problem until that same fur-covered canine decides to roll in the mud (or something worse) while you are out. All you have to do is pack this waterproof seat cover, and you can protect the seat without making your dog ride in the back. It clips on easily and creates an impenetrable water barrier that keeps the entire seat safe from whatever fun your dog had. It’s also comfy for your dog and easy to clean with a damp cloth of vacuum.


The waterproof apron that’s perfect for giving the dog a bath

When it’s time for a dog bath, wear this waterproof rubber vinyl apron and you won’t get doused in water and shampoo in the process. The 40-inch waist straps let you loop it around the back and tie it in front. The neck strap clips easily behind your neck and adjusts in length for a perfect fit. And at 35 inches, it’s long enough to keep your pants dry.


A sturdy leash with a reflective rope & comfy handle

You can’t have a dog without owning a good leash and this reflective one with a comfy handle, 360-degree swiveling hook, and a place to clip your poop bag dispenser is probably an upgrade from what you have. The strong cover over the handle connector will keep it from fraying and your hands will love that roomy, gentle handle if your dog pulls.


This cute pet sling so you can take your dog anywhere

If your small dog loves to go everywhere with you, tuck them into this pet sling and go hands-free. Sling it cross-body to distribute the weight, clip your dog in securely so they can’t jump down, and let them rest in the comfort of this carrier. There’s a big zippered pocket for your cell phone or sundries, and it’s reversible so you can change the look of the five color combinations.


A complete dog grooming kit for your DIY pet spa

This dog grooming kit has everything you need to trim fur, clip nails, and primp your pet, which saves you the money and stress of going to the groomer. The quiet, rechargeable clippers have four guards so you can trim fur to exactly the right length. The set also comes with a cleaning brush, comb, scissors, nail file, and nail clippers.


A swimming pool that lets pups cool down in the heat

When the weather is hot, your dog will jump happily into this swimming pool that you fill with cool water. It’s easy to pull it out, unfold it, and fill it using a hose. A drain makes it easy to empty, the tough PVC will withstand all the canine antics, and no animals — or children — will be harmed on the non-slip play surface.


This pet feeding mat and bowl set that keeps kibble & water off your floors

Got a messy eater? Set this silicone pet feeding mat down and fill the accompanying stainless steel bowls with food and water and watch in amazement at how the mat captures any and all spills and drips. The grippy surface keeps bowls from sliding around the room, and the raised edge contains water and stray bits of food on the mat. And it won’t move on the floor, either. It comes in five colors and four sizes and is dishwasher-safe.


A must-have powder for home groomers that stops bleeding

If you cut your dog’s nails at home, keep some of this styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut too close and it starts bleeding. A dab of this will stop that fast so your pup won’t freak out, you won’t panic, and no one will feel guilty. Over 10,000 people have given it five stars. “This stuff does the trick so your house doesn’t look like a bloody crime scene,” said one reviewer. “The bleeding stops. Everyone is happy. If you cut dog nails at home, I would not be without it.”


These soft finger toothbrushes for great dental hygiene

Your dog’s teeth need attention, too — but it isn’t always easy to brush their teeth with a standard toothbrush. But that’s where this tool comes in: the set of finger toothbrushes slide over your finger and have gentle silicone teeth that massage their gums and remove debris at the same time. They come in a set of seven.


This pet gate that you can walk right through

When you have a dog, there is usually an area of the house you want to prevent them from bounding into with their frisky canine energy and dirty paws. This pet gate lets you block that room off from the dog without locking the humans out. Just pressure mount it into the doorway and close the gate. You can walk easily through simply by opening the latch and swinging open the internal gate. Dogs — lacking opposing thumbs — will have to stay put.


The hair brush and hair dryer that grooms dogs in a flash

Say good-bye to wet dog smells with this pet hair brush and hair dryer combo. The dryer features two heat levels and bristles with rounded tips that are gentler on your dog’s hair and skin. It has a 6-foot power cord and one reviewer raved, “Great way to "trick" pets into getting dry. They just think they are getting brushed. [...]”


A purse holder that keeps the dog in the back seat

Install this clever purse holder between the two front seats for a handy place to stash bags and sunnies — and also prevent poochies from jumping up front. It clips easily to the headrests and under the center console to create a sling for your and your furry friends’ sundries, while the breathable mesh material allows backseat-driving bowwows to keep an eye on you and the road.