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Dogs might be the happiest animals on earth. We leave them alone part of the day, and do we ever return to find them moping? Nope.
My big dog, Zeus, is always happy to see me!
Still, there are plenty of products designed to keep tails wagging — even when we're miles away at work. The best part about investing in stuff for your dog? It makes owning one easier and more fun: happy pup, happy parent.
Benebone Dog Chew Toy, $12, Amazon
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
If dogs could type, this made-in-America chew toy would have twice as many Amazon reviews (currently 6,500 with a 4.3-star rating). The key to its popularity among dogs is the winning combination of good design, it "rocks to easily position a comfortable chewing session," and quality ingredients. It's flavored with food-grade bacon, chicken and peanut butter. Dog owners appreciate its durability. One reviewer says his two dogs chew on theirs 8 to 10 hours a day, yet the bones have lasted four months!
TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash with Dog Waste Dispenser, $17, Amazon
A bad leash experience can turn a 15-minute walk into a 10-minute walk. To avoid getting tangled up, hurting your hand and other leash-related woes, invest in this popular retractable leash with more than 3,200 reviews. You get to decide how much freedom your dog has — up to 16 feet of length — and the easy-to-grip, anti-slip handle keeps you firmly in control. Unlike most retractable leashes, which are only good for small or medium-sized dogs, this one works for dogs weighing up to 110 pounds. It even comes with a clip-on doggy waste bag dispenser and a complimentary roll of bags.
Whistle 3 Pet Tracker, $80, Whistle
If you're wondering whether your dog is getting enough exercise, Whistle has the answer. Like a Fitbit for dogs, the Wi-Fi-enabled, waterproof device attaches to the collar and tracks how many minutes your dog is active. It also features GPS, so you can easily find your lost pup's location and even get "breaching" alerts sent to your phone. Since Whistle offers on-demand location tracking, it requires a monthly AT&T subscription plan (starting at $7).
Want to keep up with your pup? We found the best fitness trackers for humans too!
Greenies Dental Treats, $16, Amazon
Trick or treat? Greenies — which have 3,300 reviews and a 4.6-star rating — are both. Dogs think they're a treat, thanks to the chicken flavor and the texture that is just begging to be chewed. Dog owners know they're are an easy trick to take care of bad breath and plaque buildup.
Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test, $84 (with code), Amazon
If you're tired of telling people your four-legged best friend is just a mutt, you need this kit. Simply swab your dog's cheek and mail in the sample. You'll get a breed breakdown pie chart, an ancestry tree so you can see if you're raising the descendent of a pedigree grand champion and even a basic genetic health panel. Note: The 3.0 version of this kit, which has 2,300 glowing reviews, is available on Amazon for $84. But if you wan't to get the 4.0 version, and save $10, buy it direct from Wisdom Panel for $75 with the code DOGDAY2018.
CHI Deep Moisture Dog Shampoo, $25, Amazon
There's a reason PetSmart uses CHI for Dogs products in its grooming salon. It smells amazing. With this sulfate and paraben-free shampoo, your dog's fur will smell as good as your hair right after you get a professional blowout. It will also be almost as soft. In other words: Don't be surprised if you find yourself tempted to use it on your own hair. The best part about this product, and what makes it worth the price, is that the smell and softness lasts for days, even a week after washing your dog.
Grooved Pet Grooming Gloves, $25, The Grommet
Most dogs don't dig getting brushed. But all dogs love belly rubs. With these grooved gloves, you can brush and rub down your dog at the same time. While they're not the best for really matted messes, they're perfect for capturing loose fur and tidying up your dog's coat. Most of the 200 reviews— which give it an average 4.5-star rating — speak of successfully using these on both long and short-haired dogs. Some reviewers even use them on their cats!
Chuckit! Ultra Ball 2-Pack, $8, Amazon
Forget the tennis ball. Dogs these days are crazy about the Chuckit! Ultra Ball. With 5,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating, it's Amazon's best-selling ball for dogs. Not only does it bounce higher, last longer and even float better than its fuzzy green counterpart, it's also orange and blue, so the chances of it getting lost in the grass are slim. Note: It's best used with the Chuckit! Dog Ball Launcher which has an impressive 4.5-star rating from 3,400 reviews.
Rae Dunn Eat & Drink Dog Bowls, $50, Nordstrom
This set of bowls is so cute you won't feel the need to hide it in between meals. They're designed by an artist famous for her handmade pottery so they're real, quality stoneware. But don't worry: they're also dishwasher-safe.
Furbo Dog Camera, $194, Amazon
Finally, there's a way to stay connected with your dog while you're at work or traveling. Meet Furbo. Not only can Furbo take dog selfies — it's Amazon's No. 1 pet camera — it can also toss treats to your boy or girl via the app and Amazon Alexa. One positive customer review comes from a man whose girlfriend is deployed overseas. Thanks to Furbo, she can see, hear and even give treats to her dog back at home.
Pendleton National Parks Dog Bed, $99, Petco
One of the most comfortable dog beds on the market comes from the iconic U.S. brand, Pendleton. Their dog beds feature a high fiber fill enclosed in a removable machine-washable fleece cover featuring signature Pendleton designs. In your living room, this bed looks more like a piece of furniture than an eyesore. Buying a bed from Pendleton's national park collection also supports the National Park Foundation, which receives a royalty from each sale.
Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment, $17, Amazon
It's not exactly something you want to use, but with nearly 8,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating, this is one of Amazon's most popular pet products. Of course, anyone who has ever owned a Cocker Spaniel, or a dog who loves swimming, knows the struggle of trying to keep ear infections at bay. This antibiotic-free solution contains hydrocortisone and gives dogs relief from any inflammation in the ear. One reviewer calls it "life-changing." Another happy reviewer writes that their dog actually runs over to them when she sees them pull out the bottle.
Dog Bowl Water Bottle, $15, Uncommon Goods
Pouring water from your own water bottle into your dog's mouth is one of the best ways to waste water. This 20-ounce bottle, designed specifically for dogs, is a smarter alternative. The top is a bowl which fills with water when you squeeze the bottle. Leftover water even drains back into the bottle so you don't have to waste a single drop. Of the 183 customer reviews, 92 percent of reviewers say they'd recommend this product to fellow dog-owning friends.
My Petsies, $199, Etsy
Petsies are really a toy for the owners. These custom plush animals are handmade using soft, fur-like fibers and then airbrushed to look identical to the photos of your dog you submit. You'll definitely want to take video of the first time your dog sees, and sniffs, their mini-me because it's highly entertaining. Finally, Petsies make the best memorials so you can remember (and cuddle with) your dog long after they cross the rainbow bridge.