Let's take a look at the top 5 best-selling feeding items on Amazon. It's interesting seeing what other pet parents are choosing and exploring how each item may/may not be beneficial for your dog or puppy and in which ways. let's take a look!
#1. Dog Lick Pad with Suction Cups
A great addition to your bag of dog items! Especially great for travel or when you want to take your dog on a road trip and want to make sure they can have a break licking the mat. Licky mats can be great to help keep your dog distracted when grooming, but they're not going to guarantee that your dog feels comfortable with every aspect of grooming and handling so keep that in mind!
You can freeze and keep a couple of these in your freezer ready for when your dog or pup is having a hard time relaxing. I wouldn't recommend this as an activity for a bored/high-energy dog as they may not make much use of it or they may just try to chew it instead of licking. I like to use licky mats mostly to help young puppies settle and relax after exciting fun play or training activities. #2. Slow Feeder Bowl Perfect for slowing down a fast eater for sure! It'll also add a little extra fun to feeding time that regular feeding bowls don't provide. Are there better options available though? Is this a good solution for all dogs?
If you've just brought home a really young puppy, this slow feeder can be a fantastic solution to encourage slow eating AND provide some mental enrichment. But there are definitely far better options that'll both slow down your dog's eating and help them burn some extra calories through a mental enrichment challenge! Particularly as your pup gets older, you might want to consider swapping this slow feeder for a combination of snuffle mats and food puzzles.
#3. Food Puzzles
Speaking of which! This is by far my favourite item on this list, as it shows us that pet parents are more and more interested in providing enrichment toys and mental stimulation outlets for their dogs at home.
Puzzles are AMAZING at providing a light and fun outlet for your dog to get to use his or her brain to find each piece of their kibble (or even raw food!) while also slowing down how fast your dog eats which is a plus. Puzzles come in different types and levels of difficulty, but my tip would be to start with a more difficult one for your dog because you can always make it easier by helping your dog out. If you have a food puzzle that your dog finds too easy, you can always try wrapping it around in a towel to make it more engaging for your dog to find, and even in a box, for some extra snuffling fun!
#4. Water Dispenser
A water dispenser can be a great idea if you have a busy schedule and want to make sure your dog doesn't miss out on a single drop of water at home!
There's one particular instance, however, where I would advise against using a water dispenser. During puppyhood! At this young age, you want to not only make sure that you're very closely monitoring your puppy's water intake to better manage potty training. But even more importantly, providing your puppy with food and water should be something that you get to do as they need it as a way to further bond with them and have them do amazing things with you!
#5. Food Storage Container Combo
There's nothing better than being organized in your life, AND in your pup's! Keeping your dog's food and treats in labeled containers can make it really easy for you (or someone dog sitting) to access.
One more thing you can do is keep your dog's food in its original bag that it came in, to further keep it fresh and smelling stronger. When it comes to puppy training, you may also want to consider keeping some additional treats in jars and small containers located in different, common areas of your home so that you can easily reward good behaviour!