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Pets: They’re our furry babies, our cuddly best friends — and our homes wouldn’t be the same without them. So just as we would for any family member, we put a lot of thought into what we buy for our dogs and cats, including food with safe ingredients, durable toys and carriers with the necessary visibility and comfort.
SKIP AHEAD Best dog products | Best cat products
At Select, we love our pets, too — in fact, the majority of our staff are pet parents. And since we shop for a living, we’ve tried numerous products and talked to experts about how to ensure you’re making great purchases for your furry friends. Below, we rounded up some of the pet products our cats and dogs love the most.
Our top picks
The best dog and cat products, according to Select staffers
Below, we rounded up some of our favorite pet products for dogs and cats, including harnesses, carriers, pet cameras and treats. Since every pet is different, we highlighted each of our pet’s approximate size and age to give you a better sense of the products’ benefits and limitations.
Select picks: The best dog products
Editorial operations manager Shari Uyehara’s 1-year-old, 18-pound cavalier King Charles spaniel, Loki, wears this harness from Wild One on a daily basis. Uyehara loves that the harness is stylish, fits well and it comes in several trendy colors, including cocoa, blush and spruce. You can also upgrade to a Walk Kit with a matching leash and poop bag carrier. But there’s one thing to note, according to Uyehara: The harness has to be slipped over the dog’s head instead of clipped around their body. “It takes a little wiggling at first, but it’s easy to slip on and off once you do it a couple times,” she says.
Whenever Uyehara takes Loki with her on trips, she always puts him in this Sherpa Pet Carrier. Mesh windows allow ventilation and visibility, and the faux lambskin liner is removable and machine-washable. “It meets airplane guidelines and comes with zippers at the front and top of the bag, so we can easily let him out while going through security, or give him a little water or a treat on the plane,” Uyehara says. The carrier is available in three sizes, the largest of which is suitable for dogs up to 22 pounds, according to the brand.
Updates editor Mili Godio uses Wild One’s travel carrier to take Bella, her 5-year-old, 16-pound Havanese/Bichon Frise mix, on the plane when she visits her family in Florida. The carrier has breathable mesh panels that let Bella see what’s going on around her, as well as a pass-through sleeve on the back so Godio can sit the carrier on top of her suitcase. “It also has a thick cushion on the inside that folds out to form a travel mat, so it can double as a dog bed when we’re waiting at the airport or traveling in the car,” Godio says. The carrier is suitable for dogs up to 16 pounds, according to the brand.
Several Select staffers use a Furbo camera to keep an eye on their dog when they’re not home. “It has been a game changer for me since I’m able to monitor Loki while at the office or out at dinner — it gives me peace of mind knowing I can check in on him if he’s barking by the front door,” Uyehara says. “And I love opening the app to him sleeping on the couch.” In addition to its video capabilities, it has two-way audio so you can both hear and talk to your dog. You also can also dispense treats from the device using the Furbo app.
Godio’s favorite treats to help train her dog, these Pet Botanics Bacon-Flavored Treats are just 3 calories each and made with real pork liver. “These have worked so well when teaching [Bella] new commands and rewarding good behavior,” Godio says. “Bella loves the bacon flavor and they come as super small, low-calorie pellets, so I can give her multiple at a time without worry.”
Bella uses these dog stairs to climb into bed with Godio at night. “She has little legs, so she needs these stairs to get on any elevated surface,” Godio says. “I love them because they’re super lightweight and they fold, so I can store them away easily when they’re not in use.” Godio also loves that they have non-slip pads on each step for safety. The stairs can accommodate dogs that weigh up to 50 pounds, according to the brand.
Social editor Sadhana Daruvuri uses this crate with her 1-year-old, 10-pound maltipoo Bandit and he “took to it immediately,” she says. “It lets in a good amount of light so Bandit can still see, but it’s dark enough that it feels more like a den.” Daruvuri also noted that the crate is easy to break down and rebuild if you ever need to travel with it.
“This Frisco bed is by far Bella’s favorite item we’ve gotten her — she loves resting her head on the bolsters and burrowing her face in the deep crevices,” Godio says. In fact, Godio even bought an extra to keep at her parents’ house for when Bella visits. “It’s also cushioned with a soft, faux suede outer, so it’s a warm, cozy spot for her to rest throughout the day,” she adds. The bed is available in a neutral khaki green or brown color, and in three sizes: small (measuring 6.5 inches high), medium (9 inches high) and large (10 inches high).
Select picks: Our favorite cat products
“Because I am a sucker for an Instagram ad, I bought this within seconds after seeing it on social media,” says associate updates editor Zoe Malin. She says it’s the best toy she’s ever bought Wanda, her 1-year-old tabby cat. “It’s also been a gift for me — watching her play with it never fails to make me laugh.” The toy comes with a base that you stick on to any flat surface, and it holds a wire that suspends a bird toy in the air. The toy comes with five birds, each of which have bells on them, which will come in handy: “If your cat is a hunter like Wanda, those birds are going to get hit around a lot. Over time, you’ll definitely need to replace them,” Malin says.
Editorial director Lauren Swanson’s 7-year-old black cat Wonton, loves this interactive laser toy. “It keeps his hunting skills sharp and entertains him for nearly 10 minutes,” she says. You can change both the speed and the angle of the laser. “Wonton likes the slower speed for about three minutes until he gets bored,” Swanson says. “I have to say, all this training has made him really good at catching flies, which I really appreciate.”
Editorial projects associate Rebecca Rodriguez’s 2-year-old short-hair cats Enzo and Luna — who weigh 14 pounds and 8 pounds, respectively — love this tower from Necoichi. “It’s not an eyesore like most cat scratchers and towers tend to be, so it works perfectly in our room,” Rodriguez says. The cardboard panels on each level of the tower are reversible as well as replaceable — with two cats, Rodriguez says she’s made good use out of the replacement pads.
Izzy, Select managing editor Leah Ginsberg’s 2-year-old, 10-pound tortie, loves to both scratch and sleep on this cardboard lounger. “I wanted a cardboard scratcher/lounger that’s not horribly ugly, but the attractive ones can be expensive. This one costs around $35 for two pieces,” Ginsberg says. Though Izzy is “a tiny menace who destroys everything,” according to Ginsberg, the set held up for about a year and a half before she needed a new one. “Izzy’s lucky she’s cute,” she adds.
Malin says this 20-inch long snake toy is one of Wanda’s favorite things to wrap her paws around and “bunny kick.” It includes a pocket where you can add catnip and has a soft, plush feel, according to Malin. Wanda also drags this toy around Malin’s apartment and brings it to her when she wants to play.
Photo editor Vivian Le has gone through several carriers with Lola, her 5-year-old, 10-pound domestic short-hair cat, and says this is the only one that hasn’t broken after she traveled with it. Recommended for dogs and cats up to 15 pounds, the mesh carrier is TSA-approved and has doors on the front, sides and top for multiple points of entry.
Swanson never grew up with cats since she’s technically allergic to them. So when her now-husband moved in with his black cat, she was “insistent that we were going to make sure the cat’s stuff was cool and didn’t clash with my design style.” To that end, she found this modern litter box and says it works perfectly in their apartment since “the litter doesn’t track and it is easy to clean.”
Nandog Pet Gear Pineapple Bed
Malin says Wanda tends to be picky about cat beds, but this pineapple-shaped option has withstood the test of time. “It’s the only bed she has consistently loved,” Malin says. “She feels cozy and safe inside the dome, and it’s a fun piece of home decor that looks cute in my apartment.” The bed has a soft pillow inside for cats (or small dogs) to cuddle, and it’s removable so you can throw it in the washing machine. Malin says she’s bought this bed for a few of her friends’ pets because of how much Wanda loves it.
Ginsberg’s Izzy “loves to play” — however, she also tends to tear apart her toys. For that reason, Ginsberg prefers not to spend a lot of money on them. These Skitter Critters are less than $2 for a pack of three and Izzy loves them so much that Ginsberg has them on “Subscribe and Save” on Amazon. “Izzy makes me play fetch with them all the time,” Ginsberg says.
Swanson says her cat loves these treats “more than he loves us.” Wonton screams at Swanson and her husband every time they walk past where they are kept. “We are working on his manners,” she says.
“The moment I brought Wanda home, it became very clear she was a climber,” Malin says, recalling how her cat would —and still does — climb up and sit on her shoulders. “I bought her this cat tree, which has now moved with me across the country and is a permanent fixture in my home,” she says. The cat tree has three spots for cats to sit at different heights, and includes two 12-inch wide napping platforms and a cheese wheel with jingle balls inside. There are also three scratching posts and two dangling mouse toys for cats to play with. The cat tree is covered in soft carpet, and Malin says it’s easy to clean with a small vacuum cleaner attachment or her Uproot Cleaner Pro Pet Hair Remover.