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12 Things That Made Getting A Dog So Much Easier For Me

I tried pretty much everything, and these were my absolute favorites.

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Hey! I'm Hannah, and just about a year ago I got a puppy. 🐶 His name is Hudson, and he's a Cavapoo.

As a 25-year-old living in New York City, I'd never really had to take care of anything other than myself, so getting a dog felt like a huge (but amazing) responsibility.

To prepare for Hudson's arrival (and also after we brought him home), my boyfriend and I spent hours sifting through hundreds of puppy products online.

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

It was no easy task trying to figure out what we needed and which products were our best options. We were...very overwhelmed. So we tried out a lot of different things.


Now that I've been a mother to my very furry son for a year, I wanted to share with you some of the best dog products that made raising a puppy easier.

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed, @hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram / Via Instagram: @hudson_the_cavapoo

First, a quick disclaimer: All dogs have different preferences, but here are some of the things that were most useful for me and my dog, personally. Hopefully you and your pup will love them too!

1. A mesh Puppia Soft Harness, which lets me walk Hudson without yanking on his collar.

Puppia / Amazon, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

If there's been a single most important purchase I've made since getting a puppy, it's probably this harness. When we first got Hudson he was so tiny and a very stubborn walker, so I was always afraid of pulling on his collar too hard. At my vet's recommendation, I bought a soft harness, and it made all the difference. The Puppia Soft Harness is easy to get on and off, and the mesh material makes it super comfortable. It's also expandable, so a single harness should fit your puppy as he grows into his full size.

@hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram / Via Instagram: @hudson_the_cavapoo

When Hudson finally grew out of his first harness after about nine months, I loved the Puppia product so much I had to buy him another in a bigger size.

Available in XS–2XL. Get it on Amazon for $12.70+ or on Chewy for $12.91+.

2. This plush Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Toy that makes soothing sounds — and that, a year later, Hudson still sleeps next to every night.

Smart Pet Love / Amazon / Via, Smart Pet Love / Amazon

Before we got 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.

Via Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed, @hudson_the_cavapoo / Via Instagram: @hudson_the_cavapoo

Recently a friend (and fellow new puppy mom) texted me asking for suggestions: Her 3-month-old puppy would not stop howling when she would leave the apartment. I recommended the Snuggle Puppy. A few days later, she texted me to say the crying had stopped. Coincidence or not, this thing seems to be magic.

Today, Hudson would rather swing his Snuggle Puppy from his mouth and wrestle with him than snuggle, but he still loves the stuffed animal all the same.

Get it from Amazon for $35.70 or from Jet for $39.94.

3. A Kong Classic Dog Toy, so I have something to fill with treats that'll keep Hudson entertained for hours.

Kong / Amazon, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

When Hudson was a puppy, he had the attention span of about three seconds. Actually...he kind of still does. He constantly wants to play, and he goes through five toys per minute. The Kong is one of my go-to gadgets for keeping him entertained. You can fill the Kong toy with peanut butter or with special treats, and the quest to wrestle the treats out from the Kong's opening keeps Hudson reliably busy.

Available in XS–2XL. Get it from Amazon for $4.56+ or from Jet for $6.74+.

4. Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover, which I relied on to keep my carpet looking brand-new during Hudson's housebreaking days.

Nature's Miracle, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

During a puppy's first year, accidents happen...a lot. But who can't forgive that cute little face? This stuff was more valuable than gold in my apartment for the first three or so months of Hudson's puppyhood. You just wipe up the mess, spray the Nature's Miracle on top of the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then pat it dry. Every time I used it, my carpet would look good as new.

Get a 32 oz. bottle from Amazon for $11.39 or Jet for $12.99.

5. These Bocce's Bakery Dog Treats that come in dozens of flavors even picky eaters will love.

@bocesbakery / Instagram / Via, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

Buying treats for Hudson is a lot like playing Russian roulette. It's a complete gamble. Sometimes he'll love the treats I've chosen. Other times he'll sniff them and spit them out like a diva. Then, we discovered Bocce's Bakery, and something clicked (you can tell by the look of longing in his eyes as he waits for a Bocce's cookie). These treats have no artificial ingredients, no chemicals, and no fillers, just actual human-grade ingredients, so I feel good about feeding them to him. And they come in all different flavors, including some #fancy ones like peanut butter and bacon, truffle mac and cheese, and beef Bourguignon.

Get them from Amazon or Jet for $15.99.


6. This Bark n Bag Classic Nylon Pet Carrier, for making travel with Hudson a breeze.

Bark n Bag

Of course, not everyone travels with their pet. But we discovered pretty quickly we were the crazy dog parents who would absolutely bring our puppy on vacation with us. We also discovered that planes have pretty strict regulations about the type of bag your dog can travel in. But this bag is airline-approved, and if you're going to bringing your dog along on a plane, we found it to be extremely useful and great quality.

@hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram / Via Instagram: @hudson_the_cavapoo, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

We've had this bag for about a year now and it's still in great shape. I bought a size medium, so when Hudson weighed about 4 pounds it was definitely a bit roomy. But now that he's full-grown at 14 pounds, he stills fits snugly inside. He treats it as a little safe space whenever we're traveling.

Available in S–L. Get it from Jet for $45.40 or Bark n Bag from $50.

7. Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo, which makes Hudson's coat smell amazing and feel silky smooth.

Cloud Star / Amazon, @hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram / Via Instagram: @hudson_the_cavapoo

One of Hudson's greatest hobbies is getting dirty, and whether he's rolling in sand, mud, or even poop, he does it well. As a result, I'm constantly throwing him into the shower after his outdoor adventures. Buddy Wash is a shampoo and conditioner in one, made with herbs and oils. It smells amazing, and it leaves Hudson's coat so soft and shiny.

Get it from Amazon for $13.12 or Chewy for $7.19.

8. A Fresh Patch training pad — something that helped us keep our sanity while housebreaking Hudson.

Fresh Patch, 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.

Get it from Amazon for $20 per month.


9. Cute and disposable Pawz Water-Proof Dog Boots that Hudson wears when he romps around in the snow.

@hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram, @hudson_the_cavapoo / Instagram / Via

OK, before you judge me, know that I too once scoffed at the idea of putting my dog in booties. But then winter hit New York City, and I realized it was inevitable. Hudson LOVES the snow, but within a few minutes of playing outside he starts hopping on three paws trying to avoid contact with the frozen ground. The road salt all over the city streets also hurt his little paws. These disposable booties are easy to put on, but more importantly, they stay on. I love the fact that they're disposable and I don't have to worry about cleaning them. A pair stays intact for about four uses, and then you just toss them.

Available in XXS–XL. Get them from Amazon from $9.15+ or Chewy for $7.99+.

10. These rawhide-free SmartBones Dog Chews that Hudson begs for constantly.

SmartBones / Amazon / Via, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

Hudson goes CRAZY for these dog chews, which are an alternative to rawhide bones. You can buy them filled with peanut butter, chicken, or sweet potato. He'll sit and chew one of these babies for an hour, which gives me the perfect (and rare) opportunity for me-time.

Get them from Amazon for $8.95 or Chewy for $9.42.

11. This chic Love Thy Beast Canvas Tote, so traveling around the city with Hudson is easy and ~fashionable~.

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed, @hloewe792 / Instagram / Via Instagram: @hloewe792

I'm often going from place to place with Hudson, whether we're hopping on the subway, hailing a cab, or taking the train to the suburbs. This Love Thy Beast tote is my favorite way to bring him around with me. (And it's his favorite, too. It's the only tote bag he will willingly sit in.) It's got an opening so he can look out at the world, and it makes makes traveling with him so much easier. At first, the $165 price tag was alarming, but given the number of times I use this tote, it definitely justifies the splurge. (And TBH, I'd easily use this tote as a long weekend bag for myself without the dog in it.)

Get it from Amazon for $165+ or from Love Thy Beast for $160.

12. This Snoozer Cozy Cave Pet Bed, which quickly became Hudson's favorite napping place in the world.

Snoozer Pet Products, Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

It didn't take long for 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.

Available in S, L, and XL. Get it from Amazon for $69.95+.

What products did you find most useful during your first year of puppyhood? Let me know in the comments!