Categories
Dog Toys

The 7 best automatic dog ball launchers of 2022

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A great dog ball launcher keeps your dog entertained while saving wear and tear on your arm and shoulder. We researched many models to find the best ball launchers for dogs, evaluating them on key features like range, ball capacity, and portability.

Our top pick, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, features settings for nine distances and six angles. There’s a safety motion sensor to keep balls from hitting anyone and training sounds to announce a launch is happening. However, there are several other ball launchers that may fit you and your dog even better.

Here are the best dog ball launchers.

Best Overall

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

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Pros:

  • Setting for nine distances and six angles
  • Training sounds to announce launch is happening
  • Safety motion sensor
  • Sleep mode after 15 minutes

Cons:

  • Automatic Rest Mode doesn’t have a visible timer

There’s a lot of variability with this auto ball launcher as you choose how far the ball goes and how far it goes up in the air. You can set it for nine different distances and six different angles, which all affect where the ball is thrown. There are training sounds to let your pup know that a ball is about to be tossed so he can be ready to run. We especially like the motion sensor in the front that protects people or pets that are standing as far as 7 feet in front of the launch area.

The toy holds up to three balls at once (but comes with two) and fits most standard-sized tennis balls as well as some that are smaller. To keep your dog from overdoing it, a sleep mode kicks in about 15 minutes of continuous play. It rests for another 15 minutes before it will start throwing balls again. It’s a useful feature for dogs prone to overstimulating themselves (common with puppies), but we do wish the PetSafe Launcher had a better way to indicate when Rest Mode is occurring and when it will end—only a two-tone sound indicates the switch between active play and Rest Mode.

The launcher can be plugged into a wall outlet or uses batteries.

Best Hand-Held

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

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Pros:

  • Can pick up dropped balls with the end of the blaster
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Any tennis ball fits in medium and large sizes
  • Less expensive than most
  • Comes in three sizes

Cons:

  • Only holds one ball at at time
  • Makes loud popping noise

This manual blaster pops out one ball at a time with the flick of a trigger finger. The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster has an advertised range of 50 feet, though anyone familiar with Nerf blaster toys knows that they rarely achieve their maximum range. It’s lightweight and easy to stash in a backpack or the trunk if you’re hitting the road. You don’t need a charger or batteries to keep it working.

When (hopefully) your pup returns the ball, just pick it up from the ground with the end of the blaster, avoiding slobbery messes. The toy only holds one ball at a time, so you either have to stash a few extra somewhere or pick it up after each throw. It comes in three sizes, so choose based on the size of your dog.

Best Outdoor

Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine

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Pros:

  • Releases balls in arc pattern for safety
  • Three time settings
  • Uses AC adaptor or batteries
  • Large capacity

Cons:

  • Very loud

Sure, it’s about fun, but with an eager dog and powerful ricocheting balls, safety is a key priority, as well. The GoDogGo releases balls in an arc pattern so they aren’t shooting straight at your waiting pooch. Still, it’s a smart idea to train your dog (and people) to stand at least three feet away or off to the side.

The launcher comes with five balls, but it can hold up to 23, depending on size. And distance also varies from 10 to 60 feet, based on the size and condition of the balls being launched. In addition to setting different distances, you can alternate the ball launch intervals at 4, 17, and 15 seconds.

Best Indoor

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

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Pros:

  • Very quiet
  • Two sizes
  • Pet can load ball in launcher
  • Has “random” distance feature

Cons:

  • Balls can get wet and stuck

If your pet cooperates, this interactive launcher really lets your pup entertain himself. Drop a ball in, off it goes, and then your dog can bring it back, plop it into the launcher and wait for it to be tossed again. You don’t have to play at all once your dog figures it out. You can set the distance (up to 30 or 40 feet, depending on the size launcher) or choose “random” to keep your dog guessing.

The launcher is available in two sizes: The small comes with three ping-pong-sized balls and the large with three tennis balls. The smaller version of the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher is perfect for indoor use, but should primarily be reserved for use by smaller breeds since the small balls could be a choking hazard for large dogs.

Best Dog-Loaded

Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher Dog Toy

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Pros:

  • Fits standard tennis balls
  • Three angles to launch balls
  • Hopper for dog to return ball

Cons:

  • Very loud
  • Wet or dirty balls don’t work as well

This launcher offers three angles and can catapult balls as far as 40 feet. There’s a hopper at the top so your dog can return the ball and wait for it to launch again. The large, open hopper makes this one a particularly good pick for dogs to be trained to load the launcher themselves.

While the Franklin Ready Set Fetch comes with one ball, it also fits standard tennis balls.

There’s a loud warning noise that scares some pets, but it can be turned off. However, the Franklin Ready Set Fetch operates noisily even without the indicator, so owners of skittish dogs may want to look elsewhere. Performance may also suffer a little with soiled or wet balls.

Best for Small Dogs

Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Mini K2 Dog Toy

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Pros:

  • Can pick up balls without touching them
  • Full-size model fits regular tennis balls
  • Smaller size blaster for smaller dogs

Cons:

  • Uses a rubber band that will wear out over time

 This blaster works on manual power with a finger trigger. Load up a ball and pull back the lever to set the distance. The pull-back plunger can be ratcheted back a few notches, allowing you to change the distance a ball is fired. You can also pick up balls using the muzzle of the blaster so you don’t have to get your hands slimy with dog drool.

TheHyper Pet K9 Kannon Mini Launcher uses small balls that make it the perfect pick for smaller breed dog sizes. However, there’s also a larger version suitable for big dogs. It launches one ball at a time, but there’s storage for two more balls along the bottom of the toy.

Our one issue with the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon is its durability. Since this launcher uses a thick rubber band to fire its balls, the device will eventually wear down and become less usable.

Most Versatile

IDOGMATE Automatic Pet Ball Launcher

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Pros:

  • Internal ball storage
  • Works with slobbery balls
  • Many programmable settings
  • Wide hopper for returning balls

Cons:

  • Complicated remote control

Although there might be a bit of a learning curve to figure out the remote for this launcher, you can opt for the balls to be hurled one of four distances. To keep your pup guessing, choose the variable setting and you’ll both wonder where the ball goes. There’s also a rest feature to give your canine athlete a 15-minute break every hour.

The small version holds balls up to 1.75 inches in diameter and the large launches those up to 2.5 inches, which includes standard tennis balls. The toy has an arced mechanism inside to keep slobbery balls from getting stuck. It comes with three balls and you can store two in the machine.

What to Look for in an Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

Power Source

Some launchers work like squirt guns with the flick of a finger trigger. Just press and launch. Others are more powerful and require more juice. They use either an AC adaptor or batteries. If you plan on using your launcher outside, the power source is key. Reviewers say batteries are convenient, for example, but they don’t give the same boost as when the launcher is plugged in.

Portability

Heading to the park or the beach? You may not want to lug around a launcher that weighs 8-10 pounds or more. Those bulky machines don’t fit easily into a backpack or might take up too much room in your trunk. Instead, you might opt for one of the manual blasters that are lighter and easier to carry.

Range

Depending on your pup’s athleticism and the size of your playing area, you can choose a launcher that can catapult a ball as short as just a few feet or as far as maybe 50 or 60 feet. Reviewers caution, however, that few of these launchers consistently deliver the maximum distance, and often the condition of the ball (wet and dirty) can make it fly less far.

 Ball Capacity

Most of the blasters only hold a ball or two, but if your pup is obsessed, you might want to consider one with a larger capacity. There are some that can be loaded up with almost two dozen balls for non-stop play.

Categories
GPS Dog Tracker

The 4 best dog gps trackers in 2022

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Your sense of smell is not as sharp as your dog’s, so to help you follow their path you can equip your dog with a GPS tracker. Whether you let your dog roam free, take them camping, or just want an extra level of protection against your pet running away, a GPS tracker is a great way to know where your canine is currently exploring.

We tested seven of the most popular GPS trackers in our New York City Lab to gather useful data and insights that can inform your selection. While some are exclusively location-focused, others allow you to receive updates on every move, nap, and pat your dog experiences. We also took into consideration the size of the tracker, its battery life, the tracking range, and if it requires a subscription to properly function.

With a dog GPS tracker, you can tag along on your pup’s adventures from your mobile device, and these trackers are designed to comfortably and securely fit on your dog around their neck with a collar or as an attachment to their favorite collar.

Whether it’s for napping in another room or splashing around in a local pond, here are the best dog GPS trackers.

Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker

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Pros:

  • Completely waterproof and can even withstand swimming
  • Attaches to most collars with widths up to 1.1 inches
  • Compact design
  • Ability to ping device and turn on multi-colored light from app

Cons:

  • Tester experienced a loss of connectivity for short durations of time

For dogs who don’t hesitate to dive in, this completely waterproof GPS tracker is designed to seamlessly integrate into their daily activities. This collar attachment tracker is designed to slide onto your dog’s favorite collar, so there is less new stuff for them to get used to. “Tiny and lightweight,” observed our tester. “It’s easy to put on and take off and it looks aesthetically pleasing.”

With the subscription, you’ll be able to observe your dog’s activity in real-time, access a map overview of their location history, setup virtual fences, and receive alerts if your dog leaves a designated area—very helpful if they tend to be an unwelcome visitor in your garden or your neighbor’s pool. While the range for the device is unlimited, our tester did experience a few momentary losses of connectivity, but real-time updates were back within minutes.

Apple AirTag

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Pros:

  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Easily pairs with Apple devices
  • No charging required and replaceable battery life is approximately 1 year
  • Water resistant

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Apple devices
  • Not recommended for remote locations

If you want a streamlined way to monitor your dog’s location from your go-to Apple device, then the AirTag is the dog tracker for you. “Everything is controlled from an iPhone so there was little to no effort in setting up the AirTag,” noted our tester. “It’s super small, lightweight, and doesn’t need to be charged.”

The battery lifespan of this water-resistant tracker lasts about a year, and your connected device will notify you before a replacement is needed, so it requires less daily maintenance than other trackers on our list. Through Apple’s “Find My” app, you can locate your dog’s AirTag, play a sound to help you locate your dog, and receive a notification when you are home but your dog is not (or vice versa). You can also turn on Lost Mode and if someone with an Apple device finds your pup, the AirTag will send a notification to them with your preferred contact information.

Our tester recommends this tracker for people and pups that reside in populated areas where they are more likely to encounter other Apple device users. “As someone who hikes a lot, I’d want to be able to track him if he ran away from me and chances are another Apple device users won’t be nearby.”

A collar is not included, but there is a plethora of sleeves and collars available (some that increase the level of water resistance) that are designed to hold the Apple AirTag securely around your dog’s neck. We like this collar from Albion and this slip-on holder from Etsy.

PETFON Pet GPS Tracker

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Pros:

  • No subscription required
  • Compact design
  • Attaches to collar with a durable rubber band so can fit on most
  • Ability to ping device and turn on multi-colored light from app
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Shorter battery life (8-16 hours) than other trackers on our list

Slip this streamlined GPS tracker onto your furry best friend’s collar and head out together to explore the great outdoors, hit up your local dog park, or go for an off-leash walk. “The rubber band to attach the tracker to the dog collar is very strong,” observed our tester who found the compact design of the device appealing and it did not seem to bother their dog. While the device is priced higher ($220) than others on our list, it does not require a subscription plan.

From the app on your mobile device, the tracker allows you to view your dog’s location in real-time, define a safe area, and get notified instantly if they wander outside of that predetermined space. You can also activate a built-in light in a variety of colors and ping the device to help you locate your dog. It’s waterproof so if you get caught in a sudden downpour, you don’t have to worry about the integrity of the tracker. However, the battery life is only 8-16 hours, so it’s not recommended if you plan to be far away from a power source for a long duration of time.

Cube Real Time GPS Dog & Cat Tracker

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Pros:

  • Real-time notifications and tracking
  • Ability to program geofences
  • App-controlled ping is loud
  • Waterproof
  • Battery life of 10-60 days

Cons:

  • Bulky design not recommended for smaller breeds

If you’ve got a ruff rover on your hands that loves to roam free, then this waterproof tracker is the one for you. It’s built to keep up with your pup and easily attaches to a collar. “It is sleek and attractive,” noted our tester, but they wouldn’t recommend it for smaller breeds due to its size and weight.

A subscription is required for use and includes the ability to view your dog’s location from your mobile device, program geofences, and get real-time notifications if your dog crosses a boundary. “I like the location history feature on the app. You can see the route the dog took, kind of like you would see in a runner’s app.” To help you locate your dog, you can use the app to ping the device. The sound is 100 decibels and it startled our tester’s dog on the initial use. We recommend introducing this feature to your dog in a secure space so they can gradually associate the sound as a signal that you are looking for them.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Dog GPS Tracker

Location

Dog GPS trackers and smart collars use a combination of technologies to pinpoint the location of your dog over time. For example, Apple AirTags use Apple’s “Find My” network, which tracks networked Bluetooth signals to triangulate the location of the AirTag on your dog’s collar based on other Apple devices in the vicinity.

The Global Positioning System, more commonly known as GPS, is a navigation system that uses a network of satellites to pinpoint any GPS receiver—so long as they’re visible to enough satellites in the network. While the GPS network established by the United States uses 28 different satellites, there are other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) that can also be used for real-time geolocation.1

Some devices are able to increase their accuracy by receiving signals from multiple GNSS. For example, our favorite overall GPS smart collar for dogs—the Fi Series 2 dog collar—uses European, Russian, and Chinese satellite networks in addition to GPS.

GPS connectivity depends on line of sight with at least 4 satellites in the network. This means you’re most likely to lose up-to-date location information in dense urban areas and mountainous terrain.

Subscription

Most GPS trackers designed for pets require a subscription to activate the GPS tracking capabilities and increase the range of coverage, which is typically unlimited. Subscriptions also provide additional information about your dog that you might find useful, such as sleeping habits and the number of steps they took.

For example, The new Fi Series 3 has a $19 per month subscription, with discounts for committing to a 6-month, year, or two year subscription period. Several other GPS tracking collars we recommend have cheaper subscriptions, such as the Tractive, which starts at $13 per month. However, you have to purchase the GPS tracking collar attachment separately, whereas a FI subscription comes with the tracker, collar band, and a charging station.

Durability

If your dog roams freely, the tracker you select should withstand the elements and their playful tendencies. Depending on your dog, a tracker’s ability to hold up against water, pawing and gnawing, and dirt should be a deciding factor.

The level of a device’s waterproofing protection is generally determined by an Ingress Protection Rating, more often known as an IP code. This international standard reflects how much protection is offered against solid particles like dust and against water. Our favorite overall dog GPS tracker, the Fi Series 2, is coded IP68. The first digit after IP is in reference to dust, and a device is considered “dustproof” if it’s labeled with a “6”—the highest rating. The second digit describes waterproofing, and a rating of 8 indicates that the dog collar is capable of complete submersion for more than 30 minutes (at a depth of 1 meter).

Battery Life

The battery life for GPS trackers varies widely. Some are meant to be used on an event basis, with a battery life designed to last few hours during a hike or day out. However, there are also smart collars and trackers with a battery life that can extend into weeks or months. Accounting for battery life before purchase involves, in part, some reflection about your routines. If you anticipate using a collar similarly to a smartwatch, then it may be reasonable to develop a habit of putting it back on the charging dock at at the end of each day. However, if you’d like your dog to wear a GPS tracker or smart collar at all times, then a longer-lasting battery should be a major priority. All of the GPS trackers on our list, except for the Apple AirTag, come with a charger.

Categories
Dog Travel Bowls

The 10 best travel water bowls for dogs, tested by our experts

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Whether you’re going on a road trip or a hike in the woods, your dog needs to stay hydrated, just like you do. Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, travel water bowls and bottles are more convenient than lugging along your pet’s normal bowl.

We tested and researched dozens of containers to find the best travel water bowls, evaluating them on durability, material, portability, and ease of cleaning. Our top pick, the Leashboss Splashless Water Bowl, features food-safe silicone, a broad lip to keep it from spilling, and a geometric design to prevent tipping.

Here are our picks for the best travel water bowls.

Best Overall

Leashboss Splashless Travel Dog Water Bowl

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Pros:

  • Mostly splashless
  • Doesn’t bend when you pick it up
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Not recommended for flat-face, bearded, or giant breeds

The Leashboss Splashless has an interesting geometric design to help keep the bowl from tipping over in the car or even when a rowdy pup is stepping on it. The lip on the bowl helps keep water from sloshing out when you’re on the move. It doesn’t tip easily when you pick it up filled with water or when dogs are drinking. We’re not so sure the Leashboss is utterly splashless as it promises, but it does a pretty good job.

Made of soft silicone that is BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free, it has high sides and a tapered lip to keep water from spilling. It also has a skidproof base and holds more water than some of the other portable options. It’s dishwasher safe, but you might still have trouble cleaning out some of the slime that gathers in the pointy corners, so be sure to clean it regularly. This is one of the more attractive bowls, our testers thought.

Volume: 40 ounces︱Materials: Silicone︱Colors: Gray

Best Collapsible

Bonza Large Collapsible Dog Bowl

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Pros:

  • Large capacity
  • Has hook for water bottle
  • BPA-free
  • 1-year guarantee

Cons:

  • Heavier than some collapsibles

Collapsible bowls are so convenient, just clip one on your belt loop, keep it in the pocket of your car, or stash it in your backpack. They’re just so easy.

We tested so many collapsible silicone bowls, and they were all fairly similar. They looked the same except for different colors, but many appeared to be made by the same company. This one stood out because of its large capacity and several other key features. The packaging says the silicone is food-safe and BPA-free, whereas we’re not so sure with some of the others we tried.

It’s bigger than the rest, so you don’t have to keep filling it if your dog is big or particularly thirsty. (But that also means it won’t fit in your back pocket like some smaller products.) There’s a carabiner plus a silicone tab that can hook around a disposable water bottle to make it easier to keep everything together. The bowl is backed by a one-year guarantee and is dishwasher safe.

Volume: 40 ounces, 50 ounces︱Materials: Silicone︱Colors: Navy

Best for the Car

Valterra Water-Hole Pet Dish

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Pros:

  • Hard to spill or splash water
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Lid can be hard to snap on and off

This is the one water bowl that didn’t spill or splash water in the car, even around curves or on bouncy roads. The top ring has an inner lip that keeps water from sloshing out. That lid can sometimes be difficult to pry on and off for cleaning, but once it’s on, you know that it’s very secure. Both pieces of the bowl are top-rack dishwasher safe.

The bowl is made from hard plastic and comes in either light blue or beige. One tester who often drives with dogs in the car said this has long been one of her favorites on the road.

Volume: 32 ounces︱Materials: Plastic︱Colors: Blue, beige

Best for Car (Runner-Up)

Kurgo No Spill Dog Travel Bowl

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Pros:

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Wedge bottom to stay flat on car seat

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to empty of water

This colorful silicone bowl is angled like a wedge to keep it flat on a car seat. It also has a wide lip to prevent water from sloshing everywhere. It works pretty well, although water might splash out on bumpy roads or sharp turns. The soft silicone makes it easy to cram into a backpack or tuck into a suitcase.

Interestingly, because it’s splash-free, it can be hard to empty when your dog is done with it. Water keeps filling up inside the lip. But it is dishwasher-safe, so you know it’s easy to clean, and grime won’t collect inside the edge.

Volume: 24 ounces︱Materials: Silicone︱Colors: Blue, red

Best Bottle

MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle

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Pros:

  • Fits in car cupholder
  • Can use it one-handed
  • Unused water goes back into bottle

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher-safe

Our testers were surprised they liked this bottle so much. It’s easy to use just one-handed and fits in a cupholder, which makes it convenient in the car. When your dog is thirsty, just turn the bottle on its side, press the button, and fill the lid with water. If your pup doesn’t drink it all, press the button again and let the water pour back down into the bottle.

There’s a lock to prevent water from spilling out and a strap for carrying. This is made of BPA-free plastic and can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher. It comes in two sizes, but the smaller one is really only useful for small dogs or very short trips.

Volume: 12 ounces or 19 ounces︱Materials: Plastic︱Colors: Blue, pink

Best Bottle (Runner-Up)

KONG H2O Insulated Dog Water Bottle & Travel Bowl

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Pros:

  • Insulated
  • BPA- and phthalate-free
  • Water pours easily back in the bottle

Cons:

  • Needs two hands to use
  • Hand wash only

This water bottle is insulated, so it keeps your pup’s drink cool on the trail or in the car. But the stainless steel also makes it heavier than the other bottle, so it’s a trade-off. The screw-off cap doubles as a bowl. Just pour water from the bottle into it, and if your pup doesn’t finish it all, it’s relatively easy to pour it back in.

Unlike the MalsiPree bottle, this one requires two hands to use, so it’s a little more unwieldy. The whole set is BPA- and phthalate-free and can be recycled. There’s a carabiner clip to attach to your backpack, and it comes in four colors. One tester with a large dog said her pup had trouble getting enough water out of the small lid-bowl.

Volume: 15 ounces︱Materials: Plastic, stainless steel︱Colors: Black, blue, orange, red

Best Budget

Outward Hound Port-A-Bowl Collapsible Bowl

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Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Folds flat
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Will leak if left with water too long

This lightweight, foldable bowl is easy to tuck in your pocket. It takes up very little space, and it’s incredibly affordable. Because it’s made out of nylon, it’s only meant to hold water for short bursts, not to sit out in the car or your campsite as a water bowl. Leave the water to sit too long, and the wetness will just seep through.

You can spot clean it or machine wash it in cold water if it gets gross, but it takes some time to dry out. (You might not want to put it right back into your pocket.) It’s not incredibly rugged, and the bowl will collapse if a dog plays or pushes it too much. But for the price and the convenience, it’s useful to have on hand.

Volume: 48 ounces︱Materials: Nylon︱Colors: Green/gray

Best Splurge

Yeti Boomer 8 Dog Bowl

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Pros:

  • Made of heavy stainless steel
  • Lots of colors
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • More expensive than most

This sturdy and heavy stainless steel bowl is definitely a splurge. But people who own them think they’re pretty impressive. The bottom has a solid, recessed nonslip ring, unlike others that have small or too easily removed rubber feet. The bowl comes in all sorts of colors, in addition to just stainless silver. It’s dishwasher safe and easy to wash by hand.

Although the bowl isn’t insulated, it seems to keep water cooler than some other bowls. It’s definitely more expensive than most, but it seems like it’s durable and long-lasting. It’s not necessarily for in the car (water sloshes) or for hiking (too heavy), but some fans like to take the sturdy bowl on trips for when they arrive at a campground or final destination because it holds up and is easy to clean. Others use it in the car but just fill it up on stops. “If this had a lid, it would be absolutely perfect,” says one tester who travels all the time with her pups.

Volume: 32 ounces, 64 ounces︱Materials: Stainless steel︱Colors: Black, pink, red, coral, olive, orange, navy, green, seafoam, stainless

Best Fabric Bowl

Ruffwear Quencher Dog Bowl

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Pros:

  • Machine-washable
  • Light and packable

Cons:

  • No carabiner, just a hook

Made by outdoor gear company Ruffwear, this collapsible square bowl is made out of rugged polyester fabric with a waterproof lining. It’s easy to fold up and put into your backpack or pocket when you’re out and about. And if your dog is messy, you can throw it in the washing machine.

There’s an integrated loop for carrying the bowl but no carabiner to attach it to your gear. The flexible bowl holds up pretty well when filled but can be tipped over by very eager pups. It doesn’t take too long to dry out. It gets added points for the attractive, rich colors.

Volume: .75 liter (25 ounces), 1 liter (34 ounces), 2.5 liters (85 ounces)︱Materials: Polyester fabric︱Colors: Blue, brick, teal

Best for Messy Drinkers

LumoLeaf Dog Water Bowl

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Pros:

  • Deters spills and splashes
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Slows down fast drinkers

Cons:

  • Ring sometimes snaps off
  • Water seeps into floating disc

The LumoLeaf has a floating disc that controls water flow, which helps keep it from spilling but also prevents your pet from gulping down loads of liquid. Instead, he has to lap it up slowly as the top refills. Dogs might need a second to figure out how this works because only a little water is visible at the top of the bowl.

The floating disc keeps water levels mostly even, even on rocky surfaces or in the car. The bowl is top-rack dishwasher safe. The rim can get grimy, and the floating disc can trap water, so the manufacturer recommends it be washed about every three days. That includes taking the floating disc apart to wash it. That’s pretty high maintenance for everyday use.

Volume: 35 ounces︱Materials: Plastic︱Colors: Gray, white

What to Look for in a Dog Bowl for Travel

Material

Most collapsible bowls are made out of either silicone or fabric. Sturdier bowls can be crafted of plastic or stainless steel. Look for food-grade materials that are BPA- and phthalate-free. Know that if your dog likes to chew and play with his bowls, the allure of silicone and fabric (and even plastic!) can be tempting.

Portability

Some travel bowls are all about portability. They’re lightweight and either fold or collapse, so you can tuck them into a backpack or your pocket. They often have carabiners or loops so you can clip them onto your gear. Bowls designed for the car don’t have to be quite so lightweight or easy to carry.

Splash-Free

Bowls that are meant to be used in the car typically have a rim or special lid that keeps water from sloshing out. Some of these work better than others, and it all depends on how much water you put in the bowl, how eagerly your dog drinks, and how bumpy your travel is.

Capacity

Travel bowls often can hold less water than the bowl your dog uses at home, particularly one you’d use on a hike or in the car. The bowls we tested held from 12 to 64 ounces. If you have a small dog, the lower capacity should be convenient, but you might have to refill it several times for a larger dog. Also, check the size of the opening to make sure your dog’s snout isn’t too big for a tiny bowl.

Cleaning

You might not be able to pop a bowl into a dishwasher when you’re on the road, but be sure to clean it as soon as you get home. Not all bowls are dishwasher safe, and some might have rims or corners where slime can accumulate. If a bowl isn’t dishwasher safe, be sure it can be washed by hand thoroughly and easily.

Categories
Dog Health Supplies

The 6 best dog breath fresheners of 2022

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The best step you can take to combat your dog’s foul breath is regular teeth cleanings. Severe halitosis in dogs can be indicative of serious health problems, so schedule a veterinary appointment to check for periodontal disease if it’s becoming a struggle to stomach kissing your pooch.

“A lot of people just believe that dogs just have bad breath,” Dr. Stephanie Livermore, a veterinarian specializing in dog dentistry at New York City’s Pearly Bites clinic, explains. “They don’t have great breath, but if an owner is smelling a really foul odor that is starting to get more foul, there is a really good chance that there is disease below the gum line.”

But if your dog’s dental health checks out, then dog breath fresheners can present an effective way to take the edge off their doggy breath. The best dog breath fresheners don’t just cover bad breath but also have positive dental health benefits. Our top pick dog breath freshener combats plaque and tartar, the most common culprits when it comes to periodontal disease.

In addition to breath-freshening treats, our other recommendations include water additives, pastes, and dietary approaches—all of which have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) through clinical trials.

Here are the best dog breath fresheners.

Best Overall

Greenies Regular Natural Dog Dental Care Chews, Fresh Flavor

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Pros:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Adaptability for different sizes of dog
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals to promote immune health

Cons:

  • Can’t think of anything

These all-natural chews are vet favorites, battling tartar and plaque and supporting gum health while giving dogs long-lasting and minty fresh breath to improve their owner’s day-to-day experience. Shaped like tiny toothbrushes, the chews are designed with multiple textures to hit different parts of the mouth. They’re also slightly flexible, so they conform to the gum line for a deeper clean.

In addition to protection against standard dental problems, Greenies treats are heavy on vitamins and minerals that strengthen dogs’ immune systems and improve their overall bodily health. Plus, they’re formulated to be as widely useful as possible, with highly soluble ingredients that most dogs should have no problem digesting, with wheat flour as the primary ingredient.

While regular Greenies Dog Dental Care Chews are best for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds, Greenies also makes products suited for every size of pup. There are even varieties customized to address specific health issues like weight management.

Flavor: Mint︱Shape: Treat︱Application Type: Chewed︱Recommended Frequency: Once a day

Best Budget

TropiClean Dental Health Solution for Dogs

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Pros:

  • Low price tag
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds
  • Long-lasting

Cons:

  • Odor sometimes puts off dogs

TropiClean’s slate of dog dental health products is in that rare sweet spot of affordability and veterinarian-recommended. Their Fresh Breath Dental Health product is not only our favorite budget option but our vote for the best water additive. If you’re looking for a breath-freshening option for a puppy who is too small to handle chews and harder treats, this is a no-brainer. All you need to do is add a tablespoon to the little one’s water bowl, and you are on the road to a guaranteed 12 hours of fresher breath.

TropiClean also offers options catered toward a variety of puppy health issues, including their Hip & Joint, Digestive, and Skin Care additives.

Flavor: None︱Shape: Water additive︱Application Type: Drinking︱Recommended Frequency: Every time you refill your dog’s water bowl

Best Chew

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Fr3sh Tartar Control Dog Chews

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Pros:

  • Healthy ingredients but hardy
  • Superior teeth-cleaning functionality
  • Offers digestive support

Cons:

  • Not good for dogs who eat quickly or have chewing difficulties

C.E.T.-brand chews, toothpaste, and other products tend to earn top ratings from veterinarians across the board (including Dr. Livermore, who regularly gives out their products to patients). The co-signs from professionals are largely due to the numerous benefits that the treat’s all-natural ingredients offer for dental health.

These Z-shaped chews are designed to cover every nook and cranny of your dog’s mouth, breaking down tartar and plaque. Thanks to an infusion of prebiotics, they also work to counteract digestive problems that can be at the root of bad breath.

Flavor: None︱Shape: Stick︱Application Type: Chewed︱Recommended Frequency: Once a day

Best Diet Option

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Great overall bang for your buck
  • Highly recommended by veterinarians
  • Benefits for skin, coat, and immune system

Cons:

  • Won’t work for dogs with chewing difficulty or periodontal disease

With this line of kibble products from Hill’s, your dog’s daily meal can become a means of counteracting foul breath and dental problems. Hill’s is a consistent winner for veterinarians’ favorite brand of dog food because it has been carefully engineered to combat a wide variety of canine health issues. The fiber, omega-6 fatty acid, and antioxidant content in the kibble help promote a healthy gut, skin, and coat.

Rather than break apart in the dog’s mouth, the kibble is also designed to scrape against dogs’ teeth to remove plaque and tartar. Despite this toughness, however, it has proven to go down easy for dogs of a variety of breeds and sizes, provided that they don’t already have significant periodontal disease.

Flavor: Chicken, rice, and barley︱Shape: Kibble/dry dog food︱Application Type: Chewed︱Recommended Frequency: Once a day

Best Toothpaste

Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste

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Pros:

  • Multifunctionality against a variety of dog dental issues
  • Multiple flavors
  • Also suitable for cats

Cons:

  • Expensive

A consumer favorite among the shortlist of VOHC-approved pet toothpaste, Petsmile’s Professional Dog Toothpaste has a strong antibacterial functionality that justifies its price point, which is only slightly higher than other dog toothpastes in its weight class. Available in three very dog-friendly flavors, it wards off cavities and gingivitis and dissolves proteins that become breeding grounds for plaque and bacteria. If you’re so inclined, it is also perfectly safe to try some Petsmile out on your cat as well.

Flavor: Beef, chicken, or cheese︱Shape: Toothpaste︱Application Type: Can be applied with either a swab or toothbrush︱Recommended Frequency: N/A

What to Look for in Dog Breath Fresheners

Dental Health Benefits

According to Dr. Livermore, more than 80 percent of dogs have some form of periodontal disease before the age of 3. In other words, your favorite canine’s gross breath is not something to be taken lightly. Don’t overlook regular treatment of minor dental issues that can develop into something very serious and painful in your dog’s older age. Make sure that when selecting a breath-freshening product, you look for ones that are tackling plaque, tartar, and other detrimental bacteria within your dog’s mouth. Treating bad breath in dogs isn’t a matter of making quick fixes but instead about consistent dental hygiene.

Safety

As with anything that is coming into contact with your dog’s mouth, it is crucial that you make sure the treat or product you are using is suitable for your size and breed of dog. Be sure to check the intended weight range for the product you choose. If your dog has struggled with or been put off by specific snacks or additives in the past—whether due to texture, hardness, flavor, or another reason—avoid any product that might have a similar taste or toughness.

Ingredients

Most of the breath freshener options we’ve included here contain natural ingredients, and their VOHC endorsements demonstrate that there aren’t many risk factors to speak of with these products. But definitely check out the ingredient list to make sure there’s nothing that you know will disagree with your pup.

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Dogs Food

The 7 best dog food toppers of 2022

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Dog food toppers are tasty add-ons that you pour or sprinkle over your dog’s regular food to make it more appetizing. They have a variety of uses. Sometimes a picky dog might need a little encouragement to eat. Dog food toppers are also useful when acclimating a dog to a new food, or trying to get them to take medication. Or, a dog food topper can just be an exciting treat.

“I would recommend something to encourage eating if a pet’s appetite is temporarily decreased because they have been sick or stressed. I feel like if you need one on a daily basis then the food that you are feeding your dog may not be the best choice for them,” says Kathy Baker, DVM, of Lucy’s Veterinary Care in Smyrna, Georgia. “I find many times if they don’t like their food, or seem to like it for a while and then decide they don’t like it repeatedly, it may be because they have sensitivity to one or more of the ingredients.”

Toppers are usually meant to be a supplemental food and rarely should be fed every day. They can be stews, meaty crumbles, wet food, or broths, in all sorts of flavors and nutrient profiles. We researched some of the many dog food toppers, asking veterinarians and pet owners about them, and testing a variety of options.

Our favorite dog food topper is Honest Kitchen Pour Overs. They’re a meaty mix of broth and chunks with limited ingredients and no additives or fillers. They’re also easy to pour and store. But there are several other dog food toppers that may fit your dog’s diet even better.

Here are the best dog food toppers.

Best Overall

Honest Kitchen Pour Overs

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Pros:

  • Mix of broth and chunks
  • Limited ingredients and no additives or fillers
  • Human-grade food
  • Made in the U.S. with global ingredients
  • Easy to pour and reuse

Cons:

  • Cartons can be hard to open

A cross between broth and chunks, these stews are meant to be poured over your dog’s food to make dinnertime more appetizing. Honest Kitchen says it was the first to offer human-grade ingredients for pets and these stews do smell tempting. They’re made with limited ingredients and no fillers, GMO ingredients, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

There’s a pretty impressive selection of nine different flavor combinations from single proteins like chicken or turkey to meats mixed with pumpkin for digestive health. The stews are slow-cooked and can be warmed up to make meals even more alluring. Each box contains at least two servings. They can be tricky to open, but can easily be closed up and refrigerated until the next meal.

Honest Kitchen also has fortified meal boosters for more nutrients, as well as dry kibble and pate-style food that all can be mixed in with less exciting dinners. Everything is human grade with whole, limited ingredients.

Type: Pourable stew︱Volume: 5.5 ounces | Flavors: Chicken, turkey, lamb and beef; turkey and pumpkin stew, chicken and pumpkin stew, beef stew, turkey and salmon stew, chicken stew, salmon and pumpkin stew

Best Wet Food

Portland Pet Food Company Meal Pouch

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Pros:

  • Human-grade ingredients
  • No preservatives, byproducts, or additives
  • Sourced and made in the U.S.
  • Ready to serve; no adding water or thawing first
  • Five different proteins

Cons:

  • Pouches aren’t resealable

Rip open a Portland Pet Food meal pouch and it smells like something you might consider putting on your own plate. Made with human-grade all recognizable and natural ingredients like chicken, eggs, yams, kale, salmon, and carrots, the food is sourced and made in the U.S. (Many other companies make them domestically but gather ingredients from different spots around the world.) There’s no artificial anything, including preservatives, colorings, or additives, and no meat byproducts in the mix. There are five different proteins available so you can avoid allergies or complement your dog’s diet.

Because it’s basically wet food, you don’t need to thaw it or add water. Just scoop a spoonful or two on top of your pup’s normal dinner. Store at room temperature until opened and then refrigerate for up to five days. We only wish the pouches were resealable so we didn’t have to clamp them closed or store them in a zippered plastic bag.

Type: Wet dog food︱Volume: 9 ounces | Flavors: Beef and rice, turkey and yams, chicken and yams, pork and potato, salmon and rice

Best Freeze-Dried Raw

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers

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Pros:

  • 95% meat, organs, and bones
  • Organic fruits and vegetables and responsibly sourced meats
  • Can be used dry or wet

Cons:

  • Sometimes pieces are crushed

The ingredient list is pretty impressive with these toppers. Made in the U.S. with global ingredients, Stella & Chewy’s food doesn’t include grains, gluten, hormones, or artificial preservatives or colors. Meal mixers are made of 95% meat, organs, and bones from proteins that are grass-fed, cage-free, or wild-caught. Fruits and vegetables are certified organic.

Sprinkle a few pieces of the freeze-dried raw chunks as-is on dog food or add water to rehydrate the soft chunks. Some trainers suggest breaking them into pieces to use as high-value treats when you really want to motivate your dog. There are lots of proteins to choose from and several sizes.

Type: Freeze-dried raw︱Volume: Many sizes (3.5 ounces, 8 ounces, 18 ounces, 35 ounces) | Flavors: Chicken, beef, lamb, salmon and cod, turkey, duck and goose, pork

Best Sprinkles

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze-Dried Dog Food Topper

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Pros:

  • Responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Nothing artificial
  • Resealable bag
  • Made in the U.S. (with international ingredients)

Cons:

  • Can be powdery if not stored or transported well

There’s nothing artificial in these freeze-dried raw bits. They can be used whole or crumbled, dry or moistened. There are three individual meat proteins and there are additional versions the company says is targeted toward skin and coat, gut, or immune health, as well as better mobility.

The mixers are made in the United States with international ingredients, including responsibly sourced proteins like cage-free chicken and grass-fed lamb. There’s no grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, or artificial colors or preservatives. Each bag is resealable for convenience and to help preserve freshness.

Type: Freeze-dried raw︱Volume: 6 ounces, 14 ounces | Flavors: Chicken, lamb, beef

Best Broth

Solid Gold Bone Broth

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Pros:

  • Can be served as-is or warmed up
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Lasts 7 days refrigerated after opening
  • Resealable pouches

Cons:

  • Might spill when opened

 

Pour a little bone broth directly from the pouch or warm it up first before serving. The aromatic liquids are made with just a handful of human-grade ingredients including meat proteins and vegetables. Bone broth is high in collagen which may help decrease inflammation. There’s also added turmeric which may have similar benefits.

Potential health benefits or not, bone broth can certainly make a bowl of dry kibble much more appealing to picky eaters. Pouches can stay refrigerated for about a week once opened, or can be frozen if it takes you longer to use up. The twist off containers can be resealed, but may leak if you don’t keep them upright.

Type: Bone broth︱Volume: 8 ounces | Flavors: Beef, turkey, chicken

Best Premium

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Responsibly sourced and organic ingredients
  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Six different proteins

Cons:

  • More expensive than many others

Open Farm is all about natural, responsibly sourced whole ingredients. These freeze-dried raw kernels are from humanely raised meats and wild-caught salmon combined with organic ingredients like carrots, blueberries, and squash. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives.

Use them as a dry sprinkle topper or hydrate with a little warm water before feeding. Open Farm also has chicken, turkey, and beef bone broth to pour into otherwise-boring food. They feature human-grade ingredients and no additives and have easy to seal and reuse cartons and pouches.

Type: Freeze-dried︱Volume: 3.5 ounces, 13.5 ounces, 22 ounces | Flavors: Pork, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, surf and turf

Best Fortified

I and Love and You Meal Enhancer

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Pros:

  • No fillers, preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Fortified with omegas, minerals, and vitamins
  • Meat is first ingredient
  • Made in U.S. (with global ingredients)

Cons:

  • Pouches aren’t resealable

There are three flavors of these wet meal toppers, which are fortified with omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The extras, they say, are to promote a healthy skin and coat, to aid digestion, or to just offer up some superfoods. Meat is the first ingredient on each one and there are no fillers, by-products, flavors, colors, preservatives, or carrageenan.

They come in a box of a dozen pouches that is easy to store in the pantry. The pouches are easy to open, but too bad they aren’t resealable. They can be kept in the refrigerator for several days if you don’t use the topper all at once.

Type: Wet food︱Volume: 3 ounces | Flavors: Beef, chicken, duck

What To Look For

Ingredients

Toppers typically feature one protein like chicken, beef, or seafood and often have added fruits, vegetables, or other foods. You can choose something different than your pet normally eats or feed something that is a tastier version of their current protein. Always consider any health issues. “If your pet has a dietary sensitivity, make sure there is nothing in the topper that is going to aggravate their gastrointestinal tract or skin,” says Baker.

She suggests avoiding unnecessary additives, like artificial coloring. “Pet food doesn’t need to be ‘pretty,’” she says. “Things that are brightly colored usually have a dye in them and some pets can be sensitive to those just like some humans.”

Some toppers say they are “human grade.” The definition by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a food where “every ingredient and the resulting products are stored, handled, processed, and transported in a manner that is consistent and compliant with regulations … for human edible foods.” So the food has to be manufactured in facilities that are licensed to make human foods and are regularly inspected.

Human-grade foods may not be healthier than other pet foods, but they usually have recognizable ingredients and many pet owners like the idea of a pet eating food that might (almost) be something they’d eat.

Types

Dog food toppers come as freeze-dried chunks that can be broken up or sprinkled whole on foods. Those nuggets can be added dry or soaked in some water or broth to reconstitute them. There are also stews and broths that can be poured on top of regular food and mixed in. Some other toppers are moist, like wet dog food. You can add a spoonful or more to your pup’s meal and mix it all together.

Storage

None of the toppers here have to be refrigerated before opening. Just stack them in the pantry or a cabinet until ready to use. The broths, stews, and wet foods have to be kept in the refrigerator once you’ve started using them. Most have to be used after a few days or can be frozen. Resealable packages make storage much easier so you don’t have to put them in a secondary container.

Serving Size

To entice your dog to eat, you should just need to add a spoon or two of a topper to normal dinner. Some packages suggest larger serving sizes and some of these foods can be fed as a complete (but expensive) meal. Always remember that whenever you change a pet’s food, you should do it gradually, so start off with just a very small amount at first. “Remember it is an ‘extra’ and is not the primary source of nutrition,” Baker says.

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Dogs Food

The 6 best budget dog foods of 2022

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While premium dog food brands have proliferated, it’s still possible to provide a nutritionally complete diet to your dog without exploding your grocery budget. While there are great dog foods available from boutique manufacturers and subscription services, it’s often best to turn to bigger brands when shopping for dog foods on a budget.

“My recommendation is for a national brand because there are more states monitoring whether the pet food companies are obeying the rules,” says Richard C. Hill, PhD, DACVIM (medicine), DACVIM (nutrition), associate professor and board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the University of Florida. “I also recommend a large manufacturer because they have the resources to check their supply chain and test their foods more than smaller companies.”

We’ve looked at a wide range of brands for dog foods that are complete, balanced, and won’t require you to wear a monocle or take out a second mortgage. While it’s always advisable to speak with your dog’s veterinarian before making a dietary change—especially if your dog is older or has a sensitive stomach—our reasonably-priced picks are a great place to start your own research.

Our overall favorite is Purina ONE, which offers comprehensive nutrition while providing a wide variety of formulas. Plus, it includes both crunchy kibble and chewy pieces of meat, so most dogs love it. But we also have several other dog foods to recommend that your dog might like even more.

Here are the best budget dog foods.

Best Overall Dry

Purina ONE Smartblend Natural Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Real meat first ingredient
  • Trusted brand, with many of the same advantages as premium line
  • Prebiotic fiber
  • Multi-textured food with both chewy and crunchy textures
  • Wide range of formulas and sizes

Cons:

  • No probiotics

Purina Pro Plan is one of our most recommended dog foods, and we especially like their puppy formula, but you can get many of the same advantages with Purina’s budget line, Purina ONE. Purina ONE is available for as little as $1.26 per pound (for a 40-pound bag), while Purina Pro Plan costs closer to $1.70 per pound.

Real chicken is the first ingredient in Purina ONE Smartblend Natural Dog Food Chicken & Rice Formula (just as lamb is the first ingredient for the Lamb & Rice formula, etc.). It’s made without fillers, and has prebiotic fiber designed to foster a healthy microbiota. It also has glucosamine, which is commonly recommended by veterinarians for joint health (hard evidence demonstrating glucosamine’s connection to joint health is limited so far, but it’s a safe addition to your dog’s diet while research is ongoing).

But Purina ONE doesn’t just offer complete nutrition, it’s also likely to be a hit with your dog, thanks to its combination of crunchy kibble and tender meat morsels.

Purina ONE doesn’t have probiotics, unlike Purina Pro Plan. While probiotics have been demonstrated to have some benefits, they’re probably not necessary for healthy dogs, and data on their efficacy is still fairly limited. Purina ONE also has slightly less fiber and fewer natural ingredients. If you’re just looking for a basic dog food for an adult pet without specific dietary needs, you’re saving money without giving up too much by opting for ONE over Pro Plan.

Purina ONE Smartblend Natural Dog Food is available in Chicken & Rice, Beef & Rice, and Lamb & Rice flavors, in addition to tailored formulas for puppies, senior dogs, large breeds, sensitive stomachs, and more. It’s also available in a wet food formula.

Life Stage: Adult︱Available Flavors: Chicken & rice, beef & rice, lamb & rice, and more︱Nutritional Specs: 26 percent protein, 16 percent crude fat, 12 percent moisture

Best Overall Wet

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken and Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food

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Pros:

  • High quality meat ingredients
  • Whole vegetables
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Wide range of flavors

Cons:

  • Medium-small dogs may find small breed portions are not enough, while the full-size can portions are too much

Chicken, chicken broth and chicken liver are the first three ingredients in Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle Recipe “Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables” formula, but you can actually see chunks of carrots and peas too. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is a pate-style wet food that contains zero corn, wheat, or soy.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe also offers a wide range of flavors, including Turkey Meatloaf, Fish & Sweet Potato, Lamb Dinner, and more. There’s also specialized blends for small breed dogs, which come in smaller, 3.5 ounce portions, compared to the standard 12.5 ounce can.

Life Stage: Adult (also available in large breed formula)︱Available Flavors: Chicken, turkey, beef︱Nutritional Specs: 8.5 percent protein, 5.5 percent fat, 78 percent moisture

Best for Puppies

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food

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Pros:

  • Available in several formulas including large breed
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Available in smaller kibble size for little breeds

Cons:

  • Larger bags more cost-effective but can go stale quickly with small breeds

Puppies are growing fast and have about twice the energy needs of an adult dog of the same breed, and this vet and breeder-recommended brand has everything your growing pooch needs. Puppy blends are typically higher in fat content and protein content to help them grow. It also contains ingredients such as DHA for brain and vision development.

Purina Pro Plan Puppy is also available in several variants, targeting specific young dog age ranges and needs.

Life Stage: Puppies︱Available Flavors: Chicken, lamb, beef︱Nutritional Specs: 28 percent protein, 18 percent fat, 12 percent moisture

Best Bulk Buy

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Readily available
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • First ingredient listed is corn
  • Kibble is too large for very small dogs

If you’ve got a big eater, then Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition is a bargain bulk buy, available in bags up to 44 pounds. It’s complete and balanced, containing no artificial flavors or added sugar. The kibble comes in three different sizes, offering a varied texture for your dog.

Life Stage: Adult︱Flavors: Steak, chicken︱Nutritional Specs: 21 percent protein, 10 percent fat, 12 percent moisture

Best for Seniors

Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Small size nuggets easier for older dogs to chew, especially if they have dental issues
  • Also available in large breed formula

Cons:

  • Sometimes difficult to find

Senior dogs need protein to maintain muscle mass and also may benefit from food that contains supplements for brain and joint health. Iams Proactive Health Healthy Aging Dog Food has real chicken as the first ingredient and contains nutrients to support aging joints and fiber for healthy digestion. This may help senior dogs more regular bathroom habits.

Flavors: Chicken︱Life Stage: Senior (age 6 or older for large dogs, 7 to 10 years for small dogs)︱Nutritional Specs: 24 percent protein, 10.5 percent fat, 10 percent moisture

Best Grain-Free

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food, Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

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Pros:

  • Reasonably-priced for grain free food
  • Real chicken is first ingredient
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin are easy on digestion

Cons:

  • Sometimes difficult to find

Grain-free diets are meant for dogs who have been diagnosed by a vet with dietary sensitivities, not for the average dog. Despite the increased availability of this food in recent years, it’s not recommended to give your dog a grain-free diet because it has been associated with an increase in cardiac disease, or dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. However, if your dog is on a grain-free diet as recommended by your vet, this reasonably-priced brand is a good option.

Life Stage: Adult︱Available Flavors: Chicken, salmon, lamb︱Nutritional Specs: 25 percent protein, 12 percent fat, 10 percent moisture

What to Look for in Budget Dog Food

AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, identifies safe ingredients and recommends nutrient profiles for pet foods based on the most recent research in pet nutrition. However, they do not inspect, approve, certify or regulate pet foods. Instead, the organization provides a standard for each state’s feed laws. But in order to be marketed as “complete and balanced,” foods must meet nutritional standards outlined in AAFCO’s minimum requirements.

Complete and Balanced

“The label should state that the food is ‘complete and balanced’ for the life stage the diet is designed to feed,” says Richard C. Hill, PhD, DACVIM (medicine), DACVIM (nutrition), associate professor and board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the University of Florida. “Many dog foods meet the bill.”

Life Stage

Pet foods are developed for specific stages in your dog’s life. Diets are formulated for Growth and Reproduction (puppies and pregnant dogs), Adult Maintenance (adult dogs), or All Life Stages. In addition, a puppy’s breed also plays a role in what life stage food is recommended. For example, large breeds, based on an adult weight of 70 pounds or more, can be more susceptible to excess calcium in their diets as they grow.

Therefore, “It’s important to feed large or giant breed a diet which has fairly constrained amounts of calcium throughout growth,” says Hill. Look for packaging that specifically says “growth” and is specified for large breeds.

Dry Versus Wet

Dry foods contain 10 to 12 percent moisture content, while wet foods contain 75 to 78 percent moisture. Dry foods, which are typically less expensive, prevent tartar buildup because your pet has to chew them, while wet foods may be more appealing to picky eaters, senior dogs, or dogs who have difficulty chewing due to tooth loss. It’s fine to mix types, too. More importantly, consult your vet for your dog’s calorie needs so you don’t overfeed. As with people, obesity can affect your dog’s health and lifespan.

Categories
Dogs Food

These ‘dog beers’ let your pooch join the game day and tailgate fun

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Get the tails wagging at your next tailgate by cracking open a beer made for dogs. No, these “dog beers” aren’t really beer—they are all 100% alcohol-free. Instead, they’re flavorful snack broths that come in aluminum cans, so you and your pooch can crack one open together.

We’ve rounded up our top 3 hop-inspired beverages specifically formulated to quench the thirst of our canine companions. They mirror the look of beer in conveniently packaged bottles and cans, so you can stock up your cooler and fill up your refrigerator with a special meat-flavored treat.

Anything is pawsible before the start of a game, so snag a few brews for your devoted dog, and get ready for a good time. Treat and drink responsibly.

Best Domestic

Busch Dog Brew

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Huddle up on the sofa with your dog and crack open a Dog Brew! This canine creation from American brewer Busch launched in 2020 and is made with vegetables, herbs, spices, water, and pork broth. Each pack contains four 12-ounce cans of bone broth. You can pour it over your dog’s favorite dry food or serve it straight in their bowl as a refreshing beverage.

Ingredients: Bone-in Pork Butt, Whole Corn, Celery, Basil, Mint, Turmeric, Ginger, and Water | Serving Size: 12-ounce can

Best Trio Pack

Bowser Beer for Dogs

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Bowser Beer is a family-owned business specializing in brewing beer for dogs, and when it comes to flavor, they never fumble. The 3-pack of their signature product contains one bottle of each classic brew—beef, pork, and chicken. They are all made with human-grade USDA meat for a flavor that no dog can resist. The brothy treat has been delighting dogs for years and can be served in a bowl, over kibble, or mixed with pumpkin.The bottles are resealable, so you can serve a small portion to your dog and refrigerate the rest for up to a week.

Ingredients: Water, USDA Beef or Chicken or Pork, Malt Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate | Size: 12-ounce bottle

Best Ale

Pet Winery Bark Brew

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Once your dog gets a whiff of BarkBrew, they’ll start doing their signature touchdown dance! This beef-flavored beverage is brewed in Florida by Pet Winery, and is inspired by a classic amber-colored ale. Each 8-ounce bottle is made with organic ingredients and has a resealable lid, so you can treat your dog to a beef-flavored topper on their food at mealtime, or as a chilled drink to lap up at half-time.

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Beef, Organic Salmon Oil, Glucosamine (HLC), Malt Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 80, Citric Acid, Natural Coloring | Size: 12-ounce bottle

If you are having a hard time picking which beer to try first, we recommend a pro-athlete-approved approach—a classic coin toss to kick things off! And remember, the packaging isn’t paw-friendly, so you’ll have to pop the top for your pup.

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Man City complete £42m Kalvin Phillips transfer as Leeds midfielder joins Premier League champions

Although the summer transfer window is just under four weeks old, it has already been a period of change and transformation for Manchester City.

Fresh from winning their fourth Premier League title of the Pep Guardiola era, they have wasted little time in making the necessary additions for what they think will be enough to help them win them their fifth this forthcoming season. The club has landed one of the world’s most exciting talents in Erling Haaland, sourced a replacement for Fernandinho by bringing in Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips has signed a six-year contract at City, which will tie him to the Premier League champions until the summer of 2028.ESPN reported that Premier League champions City will pay an initial £42 million to the midfielder with another £3m due in add-ons.

Spotting danger and having the intelligence to dictate attacks are two of the most important attributes that Guardiola requires, and Phillips showed he has both of those during his time under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds and while playing for England.

He faces a fight with Rodri for a starting spot, with the Spain midfielder becoming a crucial member of Guardiola’s squad.

“I am absolutely delighted to have joined Manchester City,” Phillips said. “City have again proved to the best team in the country with an amazing squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered to be the finest in the world.

“To be able to play under Pep and learn from him and his coaching staff as well as be part of a such a fantastic squad is a prospect that I am incredibly excited about.

“Now I can’t wait to get started and to look to try and help the team to go on and achieve more success.”

Phillips is the second major target of the summer through the door at the Etihad Stadium – and oddly enough, the second to hail from Leeds, given that Norway forward Haaland, secured in a £51 million ($63m) from Borussia Dortmund, was also born in the West Yorkshire city.

With that pair now on board, City are expected to turn their attention to sealing a successful pursuit of Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella, with the champions tipped to beat out Chelsea and Tottenham for the Spain international.

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Uncategorized

Man City complete £42m Kalvin Phillips transfer as Leeds midfielder joins Premier League champions

Although the summer transfer window is just under four weeks old, it has already been a period of change and transformation for Manchester City. yierooemht

Fresh from winning their fourth Premier League title of the Pep Guardiola era, they have wasted little time in making the necessary additions for what they think will be enough to help them win them their fifth this forthcoming season. The club has landed one of the world’s most exciting talents in Erling Haaland, sourced a replacement for Fernandinho by bringing in Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips has signed a six-year contract at City, which will tie him to the Premier League champions until the summer of 2028.ESPN reported that Premier League champions City will pay an initial £42 million to the midfielder with another £3m due in add-ons.

Spotting danger and having the intelligence to dictate attacks are two of the most important attributes that Guardiola requires, and Phillips showed he has both of those during his time under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds and while playing for England.

He faces a fight with Rodri for a starting spot, with the Spain midfielder becoming a crucial member of Guardiola’s squad.

“I am absolutely delighted to have joined Manchester City,” Phillips said. “City have again proved to the best team in the country with an amazing squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered to be the finest in the world.

“To be able to play under Pep and learn from him and his coaching staff as well as be part of a such a fantastic squad is a prospect that I am incredibly excited about.

“Now I can’t wait to get started and to look to try and help the team to go on and achieve more success.”

Phillips is the second major target of the summer through the door at the Etihad Stadium – and oddly enough, the second to hail from Leeds, given that Norway forward Haaland, secured in a £51 million ($63m) from Borussia Dortmund, was also born in the West Yorkshire city.

With that pair now on board, City are expected to turn their attention to sealing a successful pursuit of Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella, with the champions tipped to beat out Chelsea and Tottenham for the Spain international.