The Whole Dog Journal’s 2019 Gear


If there’s one thing that drives us crazy, it’s spending our hard-earned money on something that appears useful to our dogs – but breaks or delivers nothing special within a few uses. In contrast, the elements here are all tested and true. These are things that are worth the time, expense, and hassle.

Clawguard Scratch Shield $ 26

Charlotte, NC

We were overwhelmed by the simplicity and effectiveness of this product when we first discovered it at a pet product fair – a durable plastic film that hangs on the handle on the inside of your door and covers both your door and the door frame. Prevent your dog from scratching the door or frame. Brilliant!

Clawguard is supposed to hang on the inside of doors; This assumes a dog is in the house scratching to get out. As such, it doesn’t interfere with opening a door inward. But if you were looking for a solution to protect the outside of an inward swinging door (as in the case of a dog that was trapped outside and trying to get in), you’d have to take the claw guard off the door before opening it.

One side of the clawguard sheet is smooth and the other has small ribs. Rotate it however you want: when a dog scratches its side with its burrs, its claws make a loud “scratch”! Noises enough to discourage many dogs from scratching again. If you’re more averse to noise than your dog, just flip the claw guard.

Clawguard comes in two weights (strengths): normal and heavy. The doors would be well protected from smaller dogs and dogs that are not heavily invested in scratching with the regular claw guard. However, the heavy duty is recommended for separation anxiety dogs who have a habit of breaking doors.

The company includes a piece of adhesive-backed Velcro that can be used to secure the underside of the sheet if necessary. In reviews, some buyers have mentioned that they need to buy more strips of similar material to really hold the sheet firmly in place – a small price to pay to protect your home.

Clawguard can be purchased direct from the company or, for a little less, from online retailers like and The company does not take orders over the phone but does respond by email.

Doggie paper 50 sheets: $ 12

Doggie paper
New York, NY

Reducing plastic usage is an ongoing goal for many of us, but when it comes to poop bags, owners may draw the line. Biodegradable bags made things a little better, but still contained plastic – an incomplete solution.

Here is the first product we found that is good for picking up and disposing of dog poop that does not contain any plastic. Doggy paper A large sheet (approx. 30 x 30 cm) of recycled, non-chlorine-bleached, coated paper – similar to wax paper. It’s strong enough to grab even large or mushy piles of droppings without breaking or running through. Once you have it in, simply flip up the edges and carry it by the top of the bundle until you find a convenient place to dispose of it. And it really is completely biodegradable and compostable.

People who are used to picking up dog litter and then carrying it a little way will no doubt miss the handles of their environment U.Nfriendly plastic bags. But when the poop you need to pick up doesn’t have to be carried far, you’ll find this paper more than enough to keep your hands and the earth clean alike.

Pooch Paper comes in a box of 50 folded sheets for $ 12 for most consumers. Dog daycare or animal shelters might be interested in a box of 4,000 flat sheets for $ 450. Online purchase in the manufacturer’s Etsy shop (

“Raising the Worst Dog Ever” $ 20

“Raising the Worst Dog Ever”
DDTA Publishing, 2019

Books that were written to inform do so best when they have a story to tell. The new book from dog trainer Dale M. Ward Raising the Worst Dog Ever: A Survival Guide (DDTA Publishing, 2019) illustrates this term. To begin with, this book is a thorough, interesting, and progressive-minded guide to puppy rearing, written for owners who want to “do everything right” with their new family member. Second, it’s a personal and touching reminder of Ward’s life with dogs in general, and with one dog in particular, her Labrador Retriever Wylie (aka “The Best / Worst Dog Ever”).

The book begins when the author moves to a remote area in the Northwoods area of ​​Wisconsin with her new husband. Isolated and often alone in an unfamiliar community, Ward decides to bring a new dog into their life – enter Puppy Wylie. Ward tells the story of Wylie’s journey, which is tied into her personal story, through a series of events and adventures they shared during Wylie’s life. This engaging approach is exciting and fun – and an incredibly helpful teaching tool. Each vignette has a section at the end that provides relevant advice on dog breeding. In addition to providing great information about dog training (and the science that supports it), Ward is a wealth of information about dog behavior, the importance of daily routine, dog exercise and enrichment needs, safety, and responsible ownership Dogs and Health – all things new owners need to know and benefit from.

While Ward directs her advice to new puppy owners, the breadth and depth of dog training and behavioral information in this book will be helpful to everyone from the seasoned dog owner to the professional trainer. Ward and Wylie’s personal stories are poignant and adorable, and the author’s message is uplifting. I fell in love with sweet Wylie and revisited many of my cherished dogs from years past. This is a book where you can curl up next to your dogs, hug them tightly, and follow Wylie and Dale’s journey.

The added benefit is that you’ll also learn a lot about reward-based and dog-centered training methods along the way. Ward is the owner of Dale’s Dog Training Academy, LLC in northeast North Carolina. Dale is a certified Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT), a fearless certified professional dog trainer, and a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator. Readers will benefit from Ward’s dog training experience and knowledge – and will be entertained and moved by their life stories with Wylie. – – Linda P. case

“Dog Enrichment for the Real World” $ 20

“Dog Enrichment for the Real World”
Dogwise Publishing, 2019

I am a huge fan of making dogs’ lives as enriched as possible, full of opportunities for them to engage in very canine-like activities, train their bodies and brains, and overcome challenges that are within their abilities to solve (but not too easy). . Still, I wondered how anyone could imagine enough enriching activities and toys to fill a small book, let alone a 230-page book!

Silly me; This is far discussed from all of the book; It’s not just a list of games and food puzzles your dog might enjoy. The authors explain that enrichment doesn’t just give our dogs things to do or create an environment that looks good to us. Rather, they say, “Enrichment means learning what our dogs really need and then structuring an environment for them that will allow them to meet those needs as much as possible.”

They add: “If we don’t understand who dogs are as a species or what their needs are, the enrichment process won’t get very far. If we rely on myths, misunderstandings, and romanticized notions about dogs, we will fail in trying to enrich them. Because of this, this book covers a much wider range of subjects than most people would expect from a book on enrichment. This is not just about toys and games. It’s about who dogs are, their full spectrum of physical, behavioral, and instinctive needs, and how we can meet those needs as part of our daily routine. “

The authors have been fully and passionately able to describe what dogs need to be behaviorally, mentally, and emotionally healthy, and how we can make these things available in a practical and easily accessible manner to the companions we love so much .

The writers are well trained animal behavioral counselors (they have CDBC, CPDT-KA, and SBA certifications, respectively) who work with all types of pets and have extensive dog training resumes. They make the behavioral science on which their recommendations are based accessible to beginners and fascinating even for very experienced trainers. From now on, I will send copies of this book home with each foster dog or puppy I place. – – Nancy Kerns

BreezeGuards $ 260 pair

Mutt manager
Woodinville, WA
(866) 653-5631

Have any of you ever brought your dog in your car? Naturally! Don’t we all? But it’s getting more and more worrying, especially when we park the car and leave our dogs inside for even the quickest assignment. If we leave the windows cracked just a little, we run the risk that our dogs are either too warm or that people (mistakenly) think our dogs are too warm – and if we lower the windows too much we run the risk of that someone does reach in and steal our dog, or have our dog jump out!

Enter BreezeGuards: bespoke cage plates or “screens” made of welded steel wire mesh to fit the window opening of your car. They are sold in pairs to ensure a slight breeze in your car and installed from the inside of the vehicle to allow the window pane to move freely so you can leave it in place when you switch back up in the car Turn on the air conditioning and close the windows.

They’re also strong enough to take in a large dog, motivated to get out of your car, too. If you are concerned about this, check out the installation instructions video on the manufacturer’s website. You will see how these are mounted not just by the pressure of the window, like the inexpensive plastic screens that are sold elsewhere. BreezeGuards are tailor-made for your exact vehicle model (so that they fit completely and precisely into the window opening) and have anchors that slide into the door between the window pane and the door frame. You can leave them in place and drive with the windows open or closed and open and close the car door normally.

BreezeGuards are made in Washington state and arrive approximately three weeks after ordering. Everyone we know who already has them says that without them they will never have another car.

Ventlock $ 20- $ 36

Would you like to increase the airflow in your parked car even further – without someone reaching into your securely packaged dog or other object and stealing it? Then you might be interested in this ingenious little product that can help you open the tailgate, tailgate, or even a side door of your car while preventing the locked door from opening wide enough for anyone to reach in and take things with them.

The ventlock is a steel bar connected to both ends of the locking mechanisms that lock and lock your vehicle hatch or door. It is available in lengths from 4 inches (for use with dogs without a crate in cooler weather) to 24 inches (only for dogs in large crates, otherwise they could escape and small crates could be stolen).

Clean run
South Hadley, MA
(800) 311-6503

The Clean Run website has photos that show how the Ventlock is used in many different ways and with many different types of cars and trucks. Also, watch the demonstration video so you can see how the tool is used and how easy it is to put on and take off (as long as you have the keys to the car!).

Using an appropriately sized ventlock on the tailgate of a car in combination with BreezeGuards will allow as much air as possible to flow through the car and provide as much safety for your dog as possible. Sounds like a great tactic for anyone who travels a lot with a dog.

PetAmI waterproof dog blanket $ 21

If you have dogs, it is handy to have a couple of waterproof blankets around, especially in winter. Waterproof blankets can keep your car seats dry and clean even if your dog lays down in that huge puddle just before leaving the dog park. You can help your dog get warm and dry after returning home from the potty – without your sofa smelling like a damp dog. And if you have an older dog with occasional urinary incontinence or one who leaks urine while sleeping, waterproof blankets are a godsend because you don’t have to wash bulky dog ​​beds or your own comforter – just put the blanket in the washing machine.

But when recommended by a friend This Cover for us as a potential Gear of the Year entry, we honestly were dubious. One side of the blanket is fluffy; the other is smooth. It just doesn’t look like a blanket that is waterproof. Most of the waterproof comforters and blankets we saw weren’t very inviting fabrics. they mostly looked like a canvas. This blanket looks fluffy and soft!

PetAmi waterproof dog blanket

We expressed our skepticism – to which our friend responded with a video in which she poured a glass of water over the ceiling so we could see the water basin above and then immediately ran away if she held the ceiling up. Alright!

Our friend has a 70 pound dog that sometimes suffers from urinary incontinence while sleeping, and that blanket, our friend says, has contained the whole problem more than once. In the nine months our friend owned it, she’s washed the blanket multiple times and says she’s still fending off the occasional accident – and demonstrating!

Available in at least a dozen colors and patterns. Our only bone: the waterproof PetAmi blanket is only 30 “by 40”.

Zee.Bed $ 90- $ 120

Have you ever bought one of those space age mattresses that are tightly wrapped – a heavy, dense roll of compressed foam that expands to several times its size when you cut it out of the box? If so, and if you love sleeping in this bed, then maybe you will love this similar bed for your dog too.

The core of the Zee.Bed is a “visco-elastic foam” – a type of memory foam that your dog breathes and adapts to him regardless of his resting position. It’s shaped in a rectangle, with a raised edge that doubles as a pillow for dogs with an extended sleeping style, or gently holding dogs sleeping curled up in a ball. The base of the bed has non-slip rubber knobs that hold the bed in place, and the cover has a circumferential zipper that makes it ridiculously easy to remove and replace after washing. The Zee bed is available in two sizes: The Small is 22 x 25 inches; The big one is 28 x 32.

According to Zee.Dog, it takes about three hours for the bed’s foam, which has been maximally compressed for shipping, to reach its final, pillow-like thickness. Less than an hour after the expansion process began, our test dog checked the bed. After some exploration and circling, he thought it was better than any of the other beds in our office and wouldn’t get off until dinner.

Raleigh, NC

Zee.Dog offers a Watershield duvet for $ 40 to $ 60 as an accessory. It’s a thin synthetic ripstop fabric that is intended to be used to cover the foam core of the bed under the microfiber cover of the Zee.Bed to prevent liquid from getting into the foam (the memory foam is like your own memory foam- Mattress not intended to be washed).

The company does not take orders over the phone but does respond by email.

Lakse Kronch Pocket Trainer $ 6

Look, we know that treats made entirely of freshly roasted meat or fragrant cheese are what dog trainers mean when they suggest using quality treats. But sometimes you need a treat that smells very interesting to your dog but that you can carry in the pocket of your jeans or skirt – a dry treat that is nonetheless of good enough value for training in a very distracting environment. This is where Lakse Kronch Pocket Trainers stand out!

Kronch USA
Sanford, NC
(866) 457-6624

These treats are made with salmon (76%) and potato flour (24%) – that’s all. The manufacturer calls them “pocket treats” because many dog ​​owners enjoy putting the dried treats in their pockets for walks with their dog without worrying about the smell of salmon that lingers on their clothes. But believe us: dogs can smell the delicacy.

According to Kronch USA, the salmon in the treats is fresh, never-frozen Norwegian salmon that is processed within 24 hours of being caught. The treats do not contain ethoxyquin or other preservatives and are made in Denmark. They make great behavioral treats or very healthy supplements for your dog.

Note: We bought from

Lotus ball $ 12

Treat Hugger $ 9

The lotus ball isn’t really a ball – it’s so light that you can’t throw it very far. It is more of a toy for giving out goodies.

But it’s not the kind of food puzzle you give your dog to spend their time doing while you do something else.

The lotus ball (and treat hugger) fall into a category of their own: toys that contain food but are used to train lures and / or rewards. The toy aspect reinforces some dogs the most – and when they find that they contain delicious treats, that makes the toy even more rewarding. Dogs motivated by food are drawn to the aroma of the treats you hold inside, but they have to work a moment to get to the treats – and most behavioral experts agree that the anticipation for the treat is almost stronger is as the treatment itself!

An added bonus is that you can toss these treat-laden toys to give your dog a treat some distance away – very useful for exercise training!

The lotus ball is designed a bit like a flower, with three stuffed net leaves that are connected at their edges with a Velcro fastener. The net makes the aroma of the treats inside very accessible, irritating your dog and motivating him to open the toy with his paws and mouth in order to reach it.

The Lotus Ball is available in three sizes: Mini, Small and Medium. Clean Run also sells a braided fleus-fleece tug ($ 15) – a fleece lotus ball with an 18-inch fleece-braided “tail”.

Clean run
South Hadley, MA
(800) 311-6503

The Treat Hugger works in the same way, but does not have a Velcro strap to slow down the dog that deserves the treat. Instead, the treat is held in a crack in the center of the toy. It is much easier to get it out, which makes this toy better for puppies or dogs that do not have strong foraging skills. Some dogs are also averse to the “tear sound” that Velcro fasteners make when they tear. The Treat Hugger has no Velcro-like fasteners, which makes it more ideal for these sound sensitive dogs. It also contains more filling than the lotus ball and therefore appeals to more dogs who particularly like stuffed animals.

If your dog gets bored or easily distracted from the same old treats or toys quickly, these toys might be just the ticket. They are great tools to keep your dog sharp and focused – keep an eye on the prices!

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