About six months ago, I brought home my Chihuahua mix Barney and joined the ranks of the many millennials who became pet owners during the pandemic. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me: 10 pounds of happy, hilarious, attention-seeking love, and I can’t remember life before him. Not to mention he gets me outside every day and has done wonders for my anxiety. And although I had the support of great dog-owning friends who shared their tips, I picked up a few things simply through experience, including some items that have made day-to-day dog care much, much easier—and, at times, surprisingly stylish.
Whether you’re a current dog owner, bringing a new pet into your home, or getting a gift for a pup-obsessed friend, keep scrolling for 15 products Barney and I love and use all the time. And don’t worry—there are also a few photos of my sweet boy. What kind of dog mom would I be if I didn’t share photos when no one asked?
Zee.dog Hands Free Leash
This leash has been a game changer. You can adjust the strap to be handheld or hands-free (worn crossbody), and it’s great for bringing along to restaurants or coffee shops because it has a genius clip that can be attached to chair or table legs for security.
Lifekey Fetch Smart Pet Id Tag
This smart tag keeps your pet’s info, including vaccinations and vet, right in your smartphone and can locate them in case of emergency.
Haute Diggety Dog Lick Croix Plush Dog Toy
The first thing I bought Barney was this cute little squeak toy, mostly because it was the cutest of the bunch at my local store. Maybe it’s because it was his first, but it continues to be his favorite—to the point where I’m about to replace it with an identical one.
Kiehl's Cuddly-Coat Cleansing Spritz
I think of this as Barney’s dry shampoo. Between baths, I’ll spritz it on, brush it through his coat, and enjoy the fresh, slightly bougie scent.
L.L. Bean Dog Flotation Device
Although Barney hasn’t gone out on the water yet, several of his puppy pals have while wearing this functional (and extremely cute) safety vest that comes in sizes XS to L.
Ruffwear Singletrak Pack
This buy was inspired by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who posted an Instagram story a while back while hiking with her French bulldog, Deco, who had his own teeny backpack for the trek.
Wagwear WagWellies Dog Boots
To state the obvious, these booties are just about the cutest thing ever. But they also protect doggy feet from hot pavement as well as rain and snow come winter.
Wild One Poop Bag Carrier
One day, you wake up, and you have a favorite poop bag dispenser. But with four chic (yes, really) colors to choose from and a roll of the Insta-famous brand’s compostable bags inside, you’ll be a fan of the discreet container too.
Pride + Groom The Shedder Box Set
I first brought Barney home during a literal blizzard, so I didn't think he was a shedder. Cut to his hot boy summer, and there’s fur all over my apartment. But bathing him in this nontoxic shampoo—which has coconut oil, vitamin E, aloe, and more—has done wonders while the conditioner keeps his coat extra shiny and soft.
Maiting Uproot Lint Cleaner
Fun fact: I went through my lint remover so fast I needed to find another solution. Enter this TikTok-famous tool. Until shedding season comes to a close, I’ll be using this lint remover daily.
Slowton Calming Dog Bed
Mr. Peanut's Dog Carrier
A fellow Chihuahua mom recommended this reasonably priced carrier, which has a removable fleece bottom, side pockets, a leash tether, and seat belt buckles for safekeeping in the car.
Baggu Canvas Crossbody Bag
BB (before Barney), I had downsized to a tiny crossbody bag, and I learned very quickly that I needed something new for walks. I thought about getting a belt bag but instead found this durable and surprisingly spacious crossbody that I throw on as I’m heading out the door.
Waggo Canvas Dog Bag Carrier Tote
For smaller trips—i.e., those without a security line—a tote bag keeps Barney safe and sound. He can keep tabs on things by resting his head on the little cutout, while the soft interior and leash clasp keep him comfortably inside.
Boots & Barkley Collapsible Dog Bowl
These little silicone bowls fold up so you can carry them anywhere for a food or water break. I have one clasped to just about every bag I own.