I am often asked about the "stuff" I use for my dogs; from shampoo, food, clothing to leashes etc. I don't use a lot of different things; I have my favorites and try to keep it simple. I'm not into putting clothes on my dogs other than to keep them warm if they get a haircut so they have one coat each, just in case. There are a few things that I have discovered over the years that I LOVE; then there are the things that I think are great but I won't use because I like to keep it simple and lastly there are the things that I consider to be utterly useless and a waste of money.
So the first thing that is a constant in my car, garage and wherever I happen to be with my dogs is my leashes. Cotton webbed, 5/8" wide ranging from 6 feet - 10 feet. Usually black but I did get my hands on a few reds a couple of years ago. I like the red ones because I can see them if I drop them into the grass much easier than the black.
I use a collar only to attached ID tags mostly but if I do happen to forget my harness somewhere I only walk the dogs on a 2" wide collar that I get from Dogs in Style The owner made me some really great martingale type collars with a cotton leash attached recently. They are great and I keep them in my car for those "in case" moments.
My harness of choice is a couple of different styles. For walking it is the Easy Walk Harness made by Premier.
But our recent test and review harness has me and my husband loving the Onmijore System by Ruffwear for running. It is made to encourage pulling and fits Elsa like a glove.
As far as dog bowls go I use only stainless steel. I like the heavy ones that have an attached rubber bottom. I have a square one that I bought for Tilley years ago that has a slanted top line to it which is still my favorite. I would love to find a few more but have yet to see another. I'm in no hurry so I will keep my eye out at Homegoods which is where I got this one.
All of my dog beds are purchased from either HomeGoods or Costco. I do not spend a fortune on them as they are frequently replaced. I do the comfort test before buying anything and the fancy ones with are hugely fluffy but don't hold their fluff do not come home to my house.
Crates are the airline type. They are easy to wash out and don't have moving parts on them. You can pick them up often at garage sales. Disinfect and you're good to go. I also love exercise pens. I have the four foot high ones so they are heavy but come in handy always.
Now, how about toys? We've been through a ton of them; waves of soft ones, then hard ones, indestructible types, educational etc. etc. Elsa's very favorite toy ever is a Bumi from West Paw Design. It was very tough and durable, that is until Luke put his mind to wrecking it. It is now a half of a Bumi but it is still her favorite. The company that makes the Bumi is a very cool one and we will be looking at getting more of their toys and "stuff."
I like Kong toys as well but they can be boring without the ever popular filling. But the black ones are without a doubt one of the toughest toys in our house. They are amazingly useful for bored dogs when filled and great to occupy new puppies. When and if I purchase stuffed toys I try to make sure that they were either made in the US or Canada; or anywhere other than China.
As far as food goes you all know that I feed real food; meaning food that we eat......real type food. Meat that is raw or cooked, fish, veggies, ground egg shells, you name it. If and when we do feed dog food it is Horizon Amicus. I change it up with DNA but both last a long time being that both Luke and Elsa eat mostly real food.
Poop bags? Must be biodegradable.
Shampoo? I find a lot of my shampoos for the dogs at HomeGoods as well. I like the organic type if I can find it but I also use whatever happens to be in my shower.
My main clipper for the poodles is an Andis two speed and my trimmer is a Wahl Bravura.
I have to admit that I love anything to do with dogs, especially if it makes my job as a dog Mom easier. I am willing to give anything a try on my guys; that is if it looks like I might like it and is safe. I love nothing more than finding new cool things for the dogs that are really useful.