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    12 Game-Changing Products Every Pet Owner Needs To Know About

    Tried, tested, and approved by BuzzFeed editors/pet parents!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. NoBowl, a feeding system designed to satisfy your beloved kitty's hunting instincts.

    Mallory Mower / Via BuzzFeed

    Sometimes I worry that the only reason I adopted my cats was so I could justify buying adorable cat products. Don’t get me wrong, I love my emotionally unstable feline family, but sometimes only half as much as I love the products I get them to show my love. Which is absolutely the case when it comes to the NoBowl feeding system. NoBowl was designed to give indoor cats a hint of the natural predator that is, in essence, them. It helps satisfy their instincts without going outdoors and leaving you decapitated birds as a present, which (oddly enough) I seem to prefer. With the NoBowl feeders, you can make sure your cat is having fun while eating the right amount of food via small meals throughout the day.

    The NoBowl kit comes with tiny mice feeders, designed with a spoon specifically made to easily fill each mouse with exactly one serving of food. After pouring dry cat food into each mouse, you then hide them in different parts of your home. This gives your cat a chance to “hunt” for their food, thus helping to eliminate boredom that can cause depression and over-sleeping in many house cats. After your little critter has found a mouse, they’ll use some sweet cat-action instinct to tip the mouse over and spill its guts (dry food), so your kitty can munch on its reward. Each mouse is designed to hold enough food to fill your cat up for one meal. Because cats should be eating multiple small meals a day instead of a few large meals (you and me both, Fluffy), this is designed for one mouse to satisfy them.

    I’ve found with my own cats that along with healthier portion control, their behavior has also become more playful and less sedentary since we started using NoBowl. It’s even eliminated bad habits. We bought ours after struggling with one of our cats not always peeing in the litter box. I talked with our vet and was told that it could be happening because of stress or boredom, so we got our hands on these. And for us, it worked! My cats took to the system immediately. For any cat owner interested in helping your critter embrace their wild side, get the NoBowl. It’s gonna be purrrrfect. —Mallory Mower

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $40.

    2. Douxo pads, which help to wipe away any bacteria that may be causing irritation in allergy-prone or sensitive doggos., Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

    When I first adopted my dog and noticed he was frequently licking his paws until they were raw and red, my vet recommended buying these Douxo pads and using them daily on his paws, behind his ears, and anywhere else I noticed redness or irritation from scratching or excessive licking. Sometimes skin allergies can be caused by a secondary bacterial infection, and these chlorhexidine wipes basically help to remove bacteria. They've proven to be quite effective at providing temporarily relief, and my dog even looks forward to getting wiped down with them. Seriously — his tail starts wagging once he sees the container!

    Get a 30-pack from Amazon for $14.30.

    3. A Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Toy that makes calming sounds to help soothe pups dealing with separation anxiety or loneliness.

    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    Before we got our dog Hudson, someone recommended this funny-looking stuffed animal. It's super soft, and it comes with a battery-powered "beating heart" insert. Hudson was immediately obsessed with the Snuggle Puppy. He slept with it by his side every night, and I think the sound of the beating heart made him feel comforted when we had to leave him home alone. It's still his absolute favorite toy. —Hannah Loewentheil

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in eight colors).

    4. A Scheppend Adidog Pet Sweatsuit, for the most positively adorable way to keep your doggo (and their legs) toasty all winter long.

    Francine Hendrickson / BuzzFeed

    My pupster Lily is 10 years old now, and she has some arthritis in her legs and knees. She is very small and gets cold easily, especially during the New York winters. She has some pretty supreme winter coats, but neither one of them covers her little legs all the way. So I got her a sweatsuit to cover her up, as a base layer to wear under her heavier coats.

    I wanted to get her a pink one, but they were sold out, so I bought the bright yellow sweatsuit with green stripes. This worked out well because now I can see her when she runs around like a wild animal of the night. I wasn't sure what size to get her based on the reviews, so I just went off of her measurements (11 pounds, about a foot long). I bought her a large, and it fit perfectly. I put this sweatsuit on her all the time now, under her coat and in place of her regular hoodie on days when it isn’t that cold. Covering up her little legs seems to help — she isn’t as stiff when walking around now. I am going to get her another one of these in pink, for adorable 'gram pics and also because she dirties up her clothes so quickly and could use two of these. —Francine Hendrickson

    Get it from Amazon for $8.69+ (available in sizes S–9XL, in eight colors).

    5. The Chirpy Pets brush, a tool for de-shedding that'll resolve the constant layer of hair enveloping everything in your home, because pets are objectively the best, but pet hair getting everywhere is not., Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

    Pet hair was not an issue I had to deal with until this past year, when my roommate adopted an adorable lil' snuggler named Mona Lisa. I love Mona Lisa. She's a great cat; she's affectionate and loving rather than aloof and asshole-y. But...she sheds A WHOLE LOT. And that's not exactly my favorite quality of hers. My roommate and I have tried a few strategies for dealing with Mona's shedding — gloves with rubber tips to catch hair, various brushes, and adopting a posture of indifference toward the cat hairs blanketing the apartment. The last one is easier said than done. But nothing really seemed to get hair off successfully without annoying the cat so much that she ran away after a few seconds. That's when the Chirpy brush came into my life. The first time I used the brush on Mona, I was shocked to see that not only was she not squirming her way out of the situation, but she was actually purring! enjoyment!

    It didn't take much to get the hair off — just a gentle brushing motion — and boy, did it get the hair off. Use this thing for five minutes and you've got enough excess hair to sculpt an entire new cat. Now, is it going to get every single hair? Probably not, especially if your pet is a heavy shedder. But looking at all of the hair I was able to remove from Mona and thinking about how the alternative would have been to have all that hair stuck to my clothes instead, I was quite pleased. From now on, we'll be using the Chirpy Pets brush any time Mona (aka Momo aka Mo) looks to be shedding a lot. Which, frankly, is all the time. We love her anyway! —Adam Davis

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    6. Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Kit, a DNA test to trace your mutt's ancestry and shed some light on potential health issues.

    Emmy Favilla / Via BuzzFeed, Emmy Favilla / Via

    Two summers ago, I adopted my dog Tico from the local Animal Care and Control shelter. The only things I really knew about him were that he was a pit bull mix, he was about 3 1/2 years old at the time, he'd been an owner surrender, and he was great with other dogs and with kids. With his big floppy ears and thin frame, I wondered what the "mix" part could possibly comprise, so I did what any curious new dog mom would do: I ordered a doggie DNA kit! I decided to go with the Wisdom Panel 3.0, given its glowing reviews and reasonable price ($75).

    The process is super-simple: The kit comes with two swabs that you rub around your dog's gums to get them full of doggo DNA (okay, this part may or may not be simple, depending on how patient your pup is), then you just stick 'em back in the box and mail it in. Easy as pie. You activate your account online with a code you'll find in the kit, and results are emailed to you within two to three weeks.

    As it turns out, Tico is indeed mostly American Staffordshire terrier (aka a breed that falls under the pit bull umbrella), with seven out of eight of his great-grandparents (aw) likely being one. As for the one mystery ancestor, evidence was not found that definitively linked him to any one specific breed, but the other 12.75% of his ancestry is most likely in the terrier, herding, or sighthound family — with rat terrier being a strong contender. (Which would explain his tendency to chase rats and sniff them out from nearly halfway up the block.) The test also screens your dog's DNA for multi-drug sensitivity, or a genetic mutation that's sometimes found in mixed-breed dogs and a handful of specific breeds, which limits their ability to absorb certain drugs. I'd definitely recommend the Wisdom Panel test to any dog parent with a mutt. Not only will it satisfy your curiosity, but it could also help you stay ahead of potential health issues! —Emmy Favilla

    Get it from Amazon or Walmart for $74.99.

    7. The Cozy Cave pet bed, a plush hideaway that just might become your pup's favorite new napping spot.

    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    It didn't take long for my dog Hudson to discover that he (like many dogs) loves small, cozy, dark spaces. In fact, his favorite spot in my apartment is under my bed. So when I came home one day with the Cozy Cave pet bed, he pretty much went apeshit. Hudson has tried out a lot of beds (including my human bed and a Casper dog bed, which is now used as storage space for his toys because he refuses to sleep on it). I think the Cozy Cave is officially his favorite napping spot in the world. He nuzzles up in the Sherpa-lined bed and pokes his little head out. I'm honestly a little bit jealous of this comfortable nook and wish one existed for humans. —Hannah Loewentheil

    Get it from Amazon for $69.95+ (available in sizes S, L, and XL and in seven colors).

    8. The Pet House Candle, a candle available in several scents specifically designed to effectively eliminate those pesky ~pet smells~ you may know all too well.

    @royalnuggetcleo / Via, Amazon

    Despite her adorable face, friendly demeanor, and scrumptious rolls, my roommate's dog Cleo is a canine through and through — and that includes her distinctly doggy smell. However! I've found this amazing candle that helps me get rid of that "distinctly doggy smell." Having a nugget run around your abode leaves a wake of dog hair (no matter how much you brush) and a lingering smell, especially in the summer. It's a constant struggle, even when you're vigilant about cleaning. (I'm not always vigilant about cleaning, though.) Sometimes the dog smell can make me feel like the mopey version of Cleo (especially when it's hot outside), and most odor-neutralizing candles smell like you dumped a jug of fabric softener into a load of towels. Not this one. Cleo clocks in hours luxuriating on the couch on the reg — so I light this bad boy to make the joint smell nice and eliminate any dog smells.

    Sure, regular candles help some. But this candle acts fast and I don't have to keep it lit for long, which is safe/good because I'm terribly forgetful. It comes in so many ~regular~ candle smells like Fresh Citrus and Pumpkin Spice — not just the de rigueur odor-neutralizing Clean Laundry or Fresh Air. And in case you're wondering, Mango Peach smells divine. It's also worth noting they're made of 100% natural soy wax and without dyes, and the company supports nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue groups. Win-win for the furry friends! —Elizabeth Lilly

    Get one from Amazon for $21.95 (available in 15 scents).

    9. The Dapper Dog Box, a subscription box for dogs that includes treats, toys, and wearables to ensure you'll indeed have the most dapper dog in town.

    Natasia Hanratty / BuzzFeed, Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed, Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

    There seems to be a new doggie subscription service popping up every other week, but this one gets bonus points in the creativity department, since every box comes with a bow tie or bandana, which, aw. Each month's box includes a total of five treats, toys, chews, and accessories with an average value of $60. Although my dog isn't a huge fan of wearables, how adorable does he look in this aloha-print bandana?!

    I especially appreciate that for just $5 a month, you can upgrade your subscription to a "heavy chewers" box — and if you have a dog that's anything like mine, who seems to constantly be in competition with himself to beat his last time for how long it took to destroy a new plush toy (currently: six minutes), you'll want to take advantage of that option. The toys are super-durable (four months later, his hippo chew toy is still completely intact, to my astonishment!), and all of the box's superb treats are made in the USA and are organic or grain-free, and always free of wheat, soy, and corn. They can also be customized for common allergies, and fi your pup's allergies aren't listed on the site when you sign up, you can email customer service and they'll be happy to accommodate. Plus, you can feel good knowing that Dapper Dox donates a portion of sales to a different rescue organization every month. —Emmy Favilla

    Get it from The Dapper Dog Box for $29.99 per subscription box or $34.99 for a one-time gift box.

    10. Or KitNipBox, a subscription box filled with all-natural treats and high-quality toys to give your kitty something fun to look forward to every month too (including a brand-new cardboard box to sit in).

    Jason St. Angelo / BuzzFeed

    This subscription box has some of the highest-quality toys of any cat subscription box I've tried (yes, there are others, and you can find a full review of 'em here), all of which were a hit with my cat Mouse — especially the very sturdy "Professor Teddy" that's weighted and stands upright, wobbling back and forth as your cat paws at it. The regular box comes with about four items (including treats), while the multi-cat option includes at least six. (I also appreciate the items' commitment to a theme, like "kittergarten" for the back-to-school box.)

    The boxes come with a solid assortment of toys, some of which say they've actually been handmade by local artisans. One of my favorite things about this box is it makes an effort to disclose that, in addition to being organic, none of its treats are made in China, which in the past has been notorious for lax standards when it comes to pet food. The subscription is also super customizable, with "no-treat" KitNipBoxes as well as bimonthly and quarterly subscription options available, and the company supports a handful of charities, including cat shelters and trap-neuter-return efforts. —Jason St. Angelo

    Get it from KitNipBox for $19.99/month for a single cat, or $29.99/month for a multi-cat box.

    11. A Fresh Patch training pad, so you can maintain your sanity while you're in the throes of housebreaking a new puppy., Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    I live in Manhattan in a fourth-floor walk-up apartment, so you can imagine that taking the dog out to pee at midnight is no fun. So when my boyfriend saw this product on Shark Tank, he ordered it immediately. Fresh Patch sends you a real-grass training pad every month, for inside your home, on a rooftop, or on a patio. It was our saving grace when we were house-training Hudson and he had to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. It also taught him to go on the grass instead of our carpet (major win). Fresh Patch is a great idea for people who work long hours, don't have a backyard, or are just looking for a great way to housebreak their dog. —Hannah Loewentheil

    Get it from Amazon for $19/month.

    12. Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief shampoo, to soothe any itchiness that may be plaguing your poor pupper.

    Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

    I had noticed that my dog's allergies had been acting up even more after I bathed him with certain shampoos — even ones labeled for "sensitive skin" — so after sifting through tons of products and customer reviews online, I decided to give this this one a try. It's made with oatmeal, tea tree oil, citronella oil, and other essential oils, and has a light, refreshing citrus scent. Not only does my dog smell like he just rolled around in a lemon merengue pie afterward, but the shampoo has also seemed to calm any irritation and reduce scratching in days following his bath. Woohoo! —Emmy Favilla

    Get it from Amazon or Jet for $9.99.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides here!

    Ryan Pattie/BuzzFeed

    Dapper Dog Box and KitNipBox were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge but we were not obligated to positively review them.