Genius Products Under $30 That Can Help Make Your Pets So Much Better Behaved – Bustle

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Training your pet is easier than ever thanks to the help of a huge array of toys and resources that are available at the click of a button. The items on this list focus on the physical energy your furry friend needs to work off, all while engaging their mental energy, too. There are things to encourage a daily play or exercise routine, which is a great step towards maintaining a well-behaved pet. The second part of the puzzle is toys and tools that help keep them focused and exercise their brain.
The picks here include tried-and-true favorites, as well as items with ringing expert endorsements. Because understanding the “why” behind your pet’s behavioral quirks helps set you both up for a successful future together. So scroll on and start planning for a more peaceful life with your fur buddy with a selection of toys and training tools that help your pet behave, and help you be happy.
This treat-dispensing ball is an upgraded twist on the typical treat puzzle. Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM at WeLoveDoodles, explains, “Some of the most common dog behavioral problems such as excessive chewing and barking usually come from boredom.” She continues that by offering an engaging item like this, “you’re most likely to keep these kinds of behaviors at bay.” Made from high-quality rubber, it’s practically indestructible from endless chew time.
Some dogs have an instinct to hunt, which can be channeled toward positive outlets. Alexandra Bassett, owner, lead trainer, and behavior specialist at Dog Savvy LA, recommends this play wand to fulfill those needs while strengthening your relationship with your pup. She explains, “Play-training helps to build a person’s bond with their dog because they are having fun together while their dog gets to run around and ‘catch the prey,’ fulfilling their desire to hunt and catch things.”
Your cat will likely go bonkers for this creamy cat treat that is perfect for lapping from your hand. Individually-packaged servings allow you to squeeze out small portions a bit at a time, which can help skittish cats get closer. And you can feel confident letting your buddy indulge in this treat as it is recommended by Molly DeVoss, a certified feline training and behavior specialist, a Fear Free certified trainer, and the founder of Cat Behavior Solutions. She adds, “This treat moment notches up your value with your cat and they will seek you out more.”
DeVoss informs Bustle, “Cats are naturally drawn to high places so indulge your kitty with lots of opportunities for climbing. Doing so will help to keep him off counters and shelves with your breakable keepsakes.” These wall-mounted cat stairs act as a perch all their own, or can be doubled up or paired with a standard shelf that’s just for kitty to create a dedicated spot with a view. Crafted from wood, they’re built to last.
If your cat is of the persnickety sort (who may seek out, erm, places besides the litter box to go), it may be because the box is too small. DeVoss informs, “Litter boxes should be: uncovered, at least one-and-a-half the length of your cat, and kept in [a] quiet, but not confined, area.” This jumbo litter box hits the marks, earning a 4.7-star review overall. One happy buyer described it as “perfect for my super-sized kitty.”
If it’s not the size of the box prompting potty misbehaving, DeVoss shares, “Cats are fastidious by nature and will often boycott a dirty litter box. Scoop at least daily, and completely replace the litter once a month.”
If you have a larger dog with a strong bite, this durable puzzle ball is a perfect place to direct those chops. Aaron Rice, a dog trainer and co-owner of the dog training resource Stayyy describes this as “tougher and thicker than standard chew balls,” while still being safe for teeth and gums.
“[Suitable] for medium to large breeds,” Rice says, “ You can also stuff the product with treats for your pup by stretching the rubber and inserting his or her favorite treats.” As an added bonus, you can also tuck in small toys, which helps “boost your dog’s IQ by helping them learn how to solve minor problems,” according to Rice. Occupied teeth and brain — total win.
Rather than a plastic bottle-loving pup digging around in the recycling for playtime, this trio of plush bottle covers makes the bottles into a dedicated toy. DogSavvy LA’s Bassett informs, “These plushy and plastic covers go over plastic bottles which are easily replaceable – just use your recyclables!” It’s a great way to repurpose those disposables.
And when you purchase these cute, furry bottle covers, you’re helping a rescue dog in need as the company donates a toy for each one sold.
If your pooch loves those plastic water bottles but has more serious jaw-power, they’ll jump for this durable silicone bottle cover. A recommendation of Bassett, the stretchy and flexible cover is designed with a honeycomb pattern for the ultimate chewing pleasure. The silicone material withstands pups that are more chew-aggressive, and that may prove too strong for the fuzzy toy covers above.
Getting your dog something like this silicone lick pad is a great way to keep them occupied. Instructs Bassett, “This giant lick mat has suction cups and 4 different compartments to help keep a dog engaged while taking a bath, relaxing in a pen or crate, or just to alleviate boredom throughout the day.”
She recommends topping it with tasty treats like “cream cheese, baby food, and wet dog food […] and then freezing it to make it last longer.”
Teach your pooch a game of hide and seek with this treat pocket toy from Kong. It’s made from a sturdy canvas material that will survive countless uses and multiple playtimes. Stuff the different pockets with treats that will help your dog engage their brain and snout in a positive direction. Close the pockets for an added level of difficulty.
It’s a recommendation of Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert with Rover — and she informs, “I wouldn’t give it to a strong chewer, but for the small-to-medium crew and puppies it’s a huge hit!”
Ellis also recommends this interactive treat puzzle because it “is very versatile and adjustable in complexity so it will occupy the mind and paws of a beginner as well as a canine puzzlemaster.” That makes it the perfect toy to grow with your dog through many stages of their life, and helps keep their minds sharp as they get older, too. Pop a few snacks inside when you’re getting ready to head out and keep the pup engaged while you’re away.
You can never have too many interactive treat puzzles to keep your dog entertained. As Ellis explains, “physical exercise is great and necessary for a dog, but it’s only half of the equation. Your dog, an intelligent creature, also needs mental exercise.” Having different options of puzzles that can adjust their difficulty levels will help burn off that mental energy that can cause them to act out and misbehave.
Not all dogs enjoy being pet by strangers or having their personal space invaded — and doing so can invite fearful or aggressive behavior. If your furry friend is such a dog, use this Ask To Pet patch so people know to give them space and help prevent misbehavior before it happens. Because sometimes it’s the people who need training.
Pulling while on a walk can be stressful and quite tiring, depending on the size of the pooch. This no-pull harness is purposefully designed to assist with walk training. You can attach your leash to the clip at the chest to correct pulling, while the traditional shoulder clip is great for playtime — it’s equipped with a shock-absorbing bungee for less-jarring chase and fetch. The harness is also designed with reflective properties so people and cars will spot you and your pup on adventures in the dark.
If your pet tends to gobble down their food too quickly for comfort, consider switching over to a slow feeder bowl. The inside of the bowl is fitted with a pattern of raised obstacles that purposefully cause your pet to have to slow down while eating. The puzzle also encourages some mental stimulation, which is great for enrichment purposes.
Enjoy greater peace of mind when you buckle pets in while using this pet car harness. One end clips directly onto your pup’s collar, while the opposite end is designed with a buckle to fit into the seatbelt clips of your car. You might not be able to control how the people around you drive, but you can control keeping your pup secure in the car.
Your furry messy-eater — or, more likely you — will rejoice over these stainless steel bowls in a food-grade silicone mat. Holders secure each bowl in place, while the raised lip around the edge of the mat catches excess food or water that may spill while your pet is chowing down. The bowls and mat are both dishwasher safe for the easiest of cleanups.
If you have a pet who’s getting older, having a difficult time getting around, or needs to be near you to travel, this reversible pet papoose can help you transport them with less stress, fuss, and scratches. Plus, it lets you keep your hands free to do what you need while your pet is snugly and safely tucked away in the deep pouch.
Invest in a simple laser pointer and you’ll wind up with endless amusement for yourself and even the most rambunctious of cats. It’s also a great way to ensure they get daily exercise as they run around and chase the light. This pointer has a few fun shapes to choose from, though one of the best features is the fact that it’s battery-free— recharge it with the built-in USB port when needed.
There is a reason the classic Kong has been a long-time favorite toy for dog owners. It is made from a natural rubber material that is capable of withstanding years of chewing. They are also great for stuffing with peanut butter or cheese and tossing in the freezer — a great way to distract your dog with a long-lasting snack when you’re out of the house.
Gifting your pet with a snuffle mat is an excellent way to add daily enrichment to their routine — and for pups who like to dig, it can serve as a dedicated place to indulge. The felt snuffles provided a puzzle for your dog to sniff and find their food or different treats, which makes them use their brain, as well as slow down while eating.
Some dogs just love scavenging the litter box for “treats” (unfortunately). You’ll love the privacy your cat and their litter box can now get when you attach this holder latch to the door. It simply wraps around the door handle and then hooks into the latch closure. It gives your cat about a 4-inch opening to walk through but is small enough to prevent the doggo from barging in.
Pets who delight in upsetting their water bowls will now delight in the fresh, already-flowing water of this pet water fountain. It’s capable of holding up to 92 ounces and has a clear, vertical window that displays the current water level so you know when it needs refilling. It has two modes (waterfall and gentle fountain) to entice pets and encourage them to drink more often.
If you want to keep your fur friend from chewing places, plants, or things it shouldn’t, invest in a bottle of this Bitter Apple spray. Simply point the nozzle and it will spray an even coat on whatever needs to be protected from your pet. It’s also made from all-natural ingredients that are safe for your dog or cat to be around, so you have peace of mind when using it.
Let your cat enjoy the view from their favorite window with the help of this hammock window seat. It installs in no time thanks to the ultra-durable, extra-strength suction cups, and helps your cat express their climbing and keen watching instincts. Your kitty can enjoy the sunshine, birds, and people, or just get in a good, long nap in this comfy hammock perch.
If your pet has developed an inappropriate but favorite “spot” in the house for potty time, this No More Marking spray from Nature’s Miracle is the cleaning spray you’ve been looking for. Not only does it help remove old, deep-set stains and fight against lingering smells, but it prevents pets from future marking as well with a lemongrass and cinnamon scent.
There are many reasons cat owners are loving this twisted kicker toy by cable cat celeb Jackson Galaxy. It is designed to activate cats’ natural stalking and prey drive and is sizable enough for them to hold onto and get those back-leg kicks in. Catnip pods inside the toy attract your feline friend and add some extra pep to their step. Enjoy watching them play and engage with this toy for hours at a time.
Know a dog that loves to chew — but also seems capable of destroying every toy they own? Check out these durable rope toys for even those most aggressive chewers out there. They are perfect for playing tug or simple solo chewing action. There are several knots that will keep your pup occupied for hours on end, on something other than your shoes.
Let your cat scratch to their heart’s desire, in an appropriate setting, thanks to this cardboard scratch pad. The textured surface entices your kitty to knead, scratch, and drag their claws along it instead of your carpet or furniture. It’s small and lightweight enough to easily move it from room to room if your kitty tends to change up where they like to play.
Some dogs are more food-motivated than others, and if that happens to be your dog, use that to your advantage. This dog treat training pouch lets you easily bring your pup’s favorite snack with you while training or out and about. As an added bonus, there’s also a pouch to hold onto poop bags so you can pick up after them quickly and easily.
House training your new or rescue puppy has never been easier than with the help of these clever, grass-scented pee pads. These disposable pads attract your dog with the scent of the outdoors and entices them to go to the bathroom there, rather than in more undesirable places. Build up their confidence and routine around potty training in no time.
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