I think most of us would agree that having a dog is hands down one of the most rewarding luxuries available to us. All of those noisy nights of crate training, laundry loads of towels and blankets, and clumps of dog hair on everything we own are absolutely worth the unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship that we share with our fur babies.
What if I told you that this past year, I purchased five incredible items that have made my experience of being a dog mom so much easier? No, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest bit. Now that these useful innovations have found their ways into my life, I could never picture living without them. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
Did you ever see the video that made its way around Facebook a few years ago about the device that lets you talk to your pet and shoot treats at him or her when you’re not home? The video was posted to promote the IndieGoGo fundraiser for the Furbo, and it was successful because the Furbo is now an accessible product for everyone. From my experience, I’ve concluded that this is the kind of technology that you have no clue you need until you truly get your hands on it. My boyfriend was sweet enough to give this to me for Christmas last year, and it’s completely changed the way we run our household.
To give you the rundown, the Furbo is a device that allows you to see your dogs through a wide-angle camera, talk to them through your smartphone’s microphone, take pictures/videos of the live feed picked up by the camera on the Furbo, and the most exciting part is that it launches treats on demand at the push of a button on your smartphone. The video above demonstrates exactly how it works.
Before the Furbo, we would have to leave our dogs locked up in their crates when we were both at work because we weren’t quite sure if we could trust them to be loose in the house. In the handful of times that we decided to trust them and leave them out of their crates, at least one of them always ended up chewing something important up or digging into the trash. Once we set up the Furbo in our living room, we decided to let them sleep unsupervised in the living room because we were able to spy on them from our bedroom on our phones. Once they earned our trust by showing that they could behave in the living room at night, we started leaving them out of their crates during the day again when we were gone.
There was one instance when I got to work and randomly decided to check the live feed to my living room on the Furbo app to see how they were behaving, and sure enough, Banjo and Scout were chewing up a magazine. I live two minutes away, so I rushed back home and caught them in the act. I scolded them and took the magazine away. Since then, we haven’t had any issues with the dogs chewing anything up while unsupervised.
The Furbo is a great tool to use when we are away on vacation and have a dog sitter stop in three times a day to let them out in the backyard and feed them. The Furbo alerts us on our smartphones when our dogs are barking, when there’s a person in the living room, and when the dog is sniffing at the Furbo (probably looking for some treats). Because of this, we can always check in when we miss them to see what they’re up to and we can also make sure that everything is running smoothly.
The Furbo is around $200, and you can purchase it here.
Robot vacuums have been around since 2002, and although there are many different brands to choose from, the DEEBOT has earned itself a special place in my heart. If you’ve never owned one or seen one in action, it may just sound unnecessary and excessive. I thought so, too, until my boyfriend brought one home (he really seems to be solving all of the problems I didn’t even know I had).
We live in a house with three dogs, and just one dog alone can cause an insane amount of dog hair and dirt to be tracked into the house and built up over time. The DEEBOT has minimized both stress and chores in my home by sucking up all of the dust bunnies; the air feels cleaner and the house smells less like… ya know, dog.
All we have to do is press a button and open all the doors in the house, and our DEEBOT finds its way into all of our rooms and around the dogs, shoes, bags and whatever else we accidentally leave on the floor. The best part is that it’s flat enough to fit under most of our furniture, which is a huge relief. Our floors have never been cleaner, and we don’t have to do anything!
The DEEBOT is around $280, and you can purchase it here.
I’ve known about BarkBox for a long time thanks to all of the podcast and YouTube ads, but I never actually gave in until a few months ago when I saw that the Super Chewer box was an option, and because my dogs ruin every toy I give them within five minutes, I was intrigued.
If you live under a rock and have never heard of BarkBox, it’s a monthly subscription box for dog owners that includes themed toys, treats and rawhide sticks/other chew treats. You’re probably thinking the same thing that I was when I first heard about this… “It would probably be cheaper for me to just go to the store and pick out these items myself if my dog really needed them.”
This is a totally valid thought. However, subscription boxes always give you something to look forward to at the beginning of each month; it’s like a present to yourself, and who doesn’t like presents? I’ve also appreciated receiving exotic treats and toys that I wouldn’t be able to find at my local pet store.
If you have ~super chewers~ like I do and are wondering if they’ve managed to destroy any of the toys yet, the answer is no! The pups seem to love them, and they’ve been very durable.
The BarkBoxes range from $20-$30, depending on which subscription you choose, and they can be purchased here.
Scout GPS Tracker
Our beagle-pit mix, Scout, is the ultimate escape artist. We have a huge yard, but it’s just not enough for her after 20 minutes of being outside. A few months ago, she figured out a way to escape the fence, and we still have no clue how she’s doing it. My boyfriend thinks she’s just running and jumping it when she’s overly excited.
To fix this, I attached a Scout GPS Tracker to her collar whenever we let her outside. Now, I can check the Find My Scout app on my smartphone when I want to see exactly where she is at any time. I have also set up a Scout “zone” on my app to cover my backyard. The second she leaves the designated zone, I will get an alert notification on my smartphone or Apple Watch from the Find My Scout app.
Our dogs also wear their Scouts whenever we go on hikes in unfamiliar cities. The trackers give us some peace of mind so that we can let them off of their leashes on trails that don’t have any restrictions against animals off leash. They love being able to sniff around, explore, and splash in the water while still remaining in our view. If for whatever reason we do get separated from them, we can search for their exact locations on our smartphones and follow on the GPS map to see exactly where they wandered off to.
After our hikes, we love to check the Scout map to see our route and how far/long we walked.
Scout GPS Trackers are a great idea if you have a dog walker who stops in while you’re at work. If you set up a zone to cover your house, you will be notified when your dog and his or her walker leave the house, and then also when they get back. You will also be able to go back and see exactly where they walked and what time they were at each location.
The Scout GPS Tracker for pets is $99 +monthly service charge ranging from $10-15, and you can purchase it here.
Does cutting your dog’s nails give you anxiety? Have you ever accidentally cut the nail too short and made your dog yelp/bleed? If you have, you know this is the worst feeling in the world. All you were trying to do was be a responsible dog owner, and now your pup doesn’t even trust you (although it’s nothing treats and pets won’t fix).
You might notice that if your dog ever has a negative experience with nail care, he or she will not be very patient when you try to cut his or her nails in the future.
My chihuahua, Lucy, wants NOTHING to do with getting her nails cut. Whenever I take her to the vet to get it done, she screams bloody murder and everyone thinks something way worse is wrong with her. At first, I thought that maybe she had extra sensitive paws or something, but the reality is, she probably had a negative experience before I adopted her, and now she won’t trust anyone to cut her nails without putting up a fight.
The main mistake that most people make when cutting dogs’ nails is accidentally cutting the nail too short. When you’re cutting your dog’s nails, it’s important to pay attention and make sure that you don’t cut the dog’s quick. The quick is the piece of flesh that is under the dog’s nail. You can see it by looking at your dog’s nails from underneath. If you clip the quick, it will hurt your dog and he or she will bleed quite a bit.
One way to make sure that your dog’s quick never accidentally gets clipped is by using a Dremel. If you’ve never heard of a Dremel, it’s basically just an electric nail file. It’s what most vets use to make sure your pup’s nails are nice, short and filed down.
All you have to do is choose the power setting, and the device will turn on. The nail filing part will spin in circles, so all you have to do is carefully but firmly hold your dog’s nail against it, being cautious not to let his or her paw touch the file.
The dog nail Dremel is $26, and you can purchase it here.