Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

It’s Pet Week part 2! If you missed part one, see this post.

For those who have never read this blog before (or haven’t read for long), let me introduce you to the other major character in this DIY adventure: Charlie

Charlie 2017

Both she and my decorating habits have changed a lot over the years…

old IKEA rug with puppy Charlie

When she’s happy and relaxed, our life at home is pretty quiet:

Charlie relaxing in bed with me and my laptop

More often than not, this is a more realistic picture of her:


Over the years, I’ve had to make lots of adjustments to keep her happy and me sane. At times when I worked in an office, it meant turning down jobs that would make me travel so much that she would be boarded all the time. Now that I work from home as a full-time blogger though, you would think it makes everything easy — but while it is nicer for a dog in many ways, there are still obstacles we have to work on together:

  • I do conference calls with brands while at home. Which is usually right when the UPS guy decides to deliver something and send my dog to DEFCON 3. Not even working in a home office with the door closed makes this ideal.
  • DIY projects, tools, and related dangers are all around, and she likes to be directly in on the action (and even sometimes underneath my ladder).
  • She’s a the medium-to-large size, which means my family likens her to a GIANT and don’t always know how to deal with her size compared to their smaller dogs.
  • Her size also means heavy bags of food to carry around, larger spaces on the couch (someday I hope to get a decent picture of her thinking she can fit when she totally doesn’t), pet beds that can’t be neatly hidden, easy counter and table access, etc.). Luckily, she is well trained enough not to climb on things and understands unattended food does not mean her food, so it’s mostly just her climbing the fence that I worry about.
  • Lots and lots of dirt and fur tracked into the house (to think, I used to want this to be a no-shoe house… HA!)

Adjusting to having a new puppy in the house meant a lot of changes right away when I first adopted her, but after a few years, I learned about those super awesome pet-related things that I had no clue about for a long time: new products, new websites, and other things that make maintaining a busy life with an active dog even easier. So, as I promised earlier, here’s that list! If I ever find other things, I’ll continue to add to this same post (for easy bookmarking later). And there’s also a giveaway from one of my sponsors, Swiffer, below — so be sure to enter with a comment this week and in the widget at the bottom of this post (if you don’t see it in your reader, click over to the post in your browser here).

*some links contain affiliates*

My DIY elevated feeder — I already explained how my DIY project from last year fixed Charlie’s habit of tossing over her food bowl, but it’s worth repeating! Since having built it, there has been far less food on the floor (not zero food, but she’s still a dog… still a messy eater, but she usually keeps it in the bowl now instead of turning over the bowl and eating it all directly off the floor).


Charlie likes to turn her food bowl onto the floor


easy to build DIY dog feeder with full instructions

Microfiber floor mats — I have two microfiber floor mats, one at the front door and one in front of the patio, that are specially designed for catching mud and fur whenever Charlie enters and exits the house. It’s not fool-proof, but it does make a significant difference for me whenever it’s a rainy/muddy/dirty day outside and I don’t want her tracking the muck into the house. I find that since having used them, I am spending less time and effort trying to wipe each of her paws with wet wipes, and my floor doesn’t stay in a constant state of nasty. And their gray color ties in enough with my décor that I don’t hate them.

Charlie and front door microfiber dirty dog mat

Grooming wet wipes — Of course, now that I’ve got my new block print rug in the living room (and as a fan of lighter colored rugs in general), I still have to wipe their feet. Even though I could use a cheap paper towel, I like the dog wipes for paws. These anti-itch wipes are great for treating Charlie’s allergies (if you’ve ever seen your dog licking or chewing their paws after coming inside, you know what I’m talking about) and I like these grooming wipes as well for when Charlie has a dirty playtime at the park — Georgia red clay is no joke! I buy the bigger containers for savings.

Rinse-free/waterless dog shampoo — Charlie is an anxious dog. And when it comes to regular grooming, it was a LONG process just to even get her to take a bath. She’d freak out to the point where groomers won’t even take her, so I had to re-train her at home. I started with this rinse-free shampoo to keep the time in the tub to a minimum, and it made a huge difference. Over time, I’d use the same shampoo, but incorporate water so she’d get used to it, eventually graduating to deeper cleans. She learned to love the massage and being brushed, and now we can get through it without trauma or me getting soaked to the bone from trying to keep her in the tub. The rinse-free alternative truly did give me some relief (and still does if she needs a quick bath but I don’t have the time or energy for a longer one).

Oatmeal shampoo — if your dog is itching a lot from allergies or fleas (even if you use good flea treatments, they can still get bitten and itch, especially when warm summers like this year mean more summer fleas!). This one is highly rated.

Swiffer — There’s a reason I fully embraced working with this brand as a sponsor of the blog! I use Swiffer all the time. Charlie is a shedder — a massive, unrelenting shedder. Even after first using a good floor vacuum that can pick up her tumbleweeds of hair, I still have to go back through with a Swiffer Wet Jet to take care of all of her paw prints and use their dry cloths to take care of lots of other surfaces. Whenever one of my friends gets a new house or pet, Swiffer products are a very welcome gift (and you can get your own gift by entering the giveaway below!). Oh, and I forgot to mention in the last post: they actually reformulated their wet jet so that it no longer leaves streaks on laminate floors like mine. It used to be my biggest gripe with their products, and their development team took that feedback from lots of folks reporting the same thing and went looking for a better solution (pun-intended).

Food delivery — After discovering the mud mats mentioned above, I went searching for other smart solutions on pet-related websites. I found my answer in the form of automated dog food delivery. I try to give Charlie the best food I can afford, and I order the BIG bags. And since I also subscribe for steady delivery, I get another 5% off. The end result is that it actually beats the price I was paying to drive to a store like PetSmart, but I don’t even need to put on pants or feel guilty that I forgot her food during my last errand for groceries (which sometimes means she gets people food when I run out, but it’s not great for her digestion).

A rolling food bin — I haven’t finished the pantry makeover, but an improvement I made several years ago was a simple investment in a rolling bin that was large enough to fit an entire large bag of dog food. Given that the cheapest price per pound of food is in the large bags, I would buy in bulk, but when I was using a smaller bin, it meant that I could only store a small amount each time in the previous plastic container and had to keep the rest elsewhere (which is a quick way to clutter). I think I only spent $20 on a new bin that also had rolling wheels and a flip-up top, but the mileage and convenience I get out of it is night and day. It just goes to show, once again, that investing in the right products for your house (even if it costs a little bit more than what you were using before) is a smart move because it can save you time, money, and square footage.

“Tough” stuffed dog toys — There’s unfortunately no stopping the gutting of a stuffed toy sometimes. Even when they’re labeled something akin to indestructible, I look at the claim and laugh, because Charlie will eventually find her way inside the stomach of that toy if it contains a squeaker. I’ve learned to just embrace it, but buying “tough” toys instead of the cheap ones still mean she usually hangs onto them a little longer, and that added time is easier on my costs long-term (I pay more upfront, but she hangs onto them long enough for break even or better). Sometimes she’ll have a favorite and keep them intact for months, and others will last just a few weeks, but less cleanup and a happy dog who is quiet during conference calls is a win-win for me!

A decent deshedding brush — While I have used a number of them over the years, there are two deshedding tools that pretty much tie for me as the best: the FURminator and the SleekEZ. The first I picked up in store (it’s a little pricier than most, but it was worth it for me!) and the second was part of a swag bag from a pet conference I went to a few years ago. Charlie loves getting brushed from the FURminator and I personally love the MASSIVE amount of deshedding the SleekEZ one does… it’s like brushing a horse (I only comb her outside with that one, though… it basically creates a whole new dog’s worth of fur. I just also saw through grabbing these links that there’s a deshedding shampoo, too, so I’m going to try that out next!

Bully Sticks — Charlie got a gift from Best Bully Sticks a few months ago and she LOVES them. Her pal Stella (the bf’s dog, who visits frequently) adores them too, and she is really picky (she normally refuses most other treats, while Charlie will happily gobble any food you hand her… even cantaloupe… ew). Charlie’s favorite are the extra large braided ones. I like them because they keep her occupied when company is over. Stella’s favorite, on the other hand, are the ones we call “the cigar” — they are tightly wound and have a very distinctive smell. They have tricked us on more than one occasion with other guests thinking we were giving cigars to dogs. Ha!

mini dachshund - Stella

Honestly, that’s all I can think of for now, but I’ll add more as I think of it! It’s also a great question in terms of a special giveaway:

Giveaway question: What products or services have you been grateful to discover in caring for your pet? Giveaway is now closed.

Leave a comment on this blog post for a sweet goodie box from Swiffer! Be sure to also update the Rafflecopter widget too. I actually just asked them as I was writing this post if they would throw in something for you guys (another reason why I like working with them — they really have an awesome and super flexible team), so I don’t have details on precisely what you’ll wind up with, but the box is generally this size (photo is of my sister modeling one of her housewarming gifts):

Emily housewarming gift box Swiffer new mover

Full giveaway details:

  • Prize: a sweet goodie box from Swiffer to help you & your pet keep things fresh & clean (any package I’ve gotten from them includes ample refills to last a while)
  • Number of winners: one
  • Geographical restrictions: U.S. only (that’s usually how it goes, but if that’s not the case I’ll open it up further!)
  • Ends: Friday, June 23 at 11:59PM
  • To enter: leave a comment on this blog post answering my giveaway question & update the embedded widget (if you have trouble with the widget, please let me know, and if you don’t see it, make sure you’re clicked over to my site directly!)

Ready? Go! And thanks in advance for your tips and recommendations on other items… I hope Charlie and I discover something in the process!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway are sponsored by Swiffer, but as always, all text and opinions, embarrassing stories, and bad jokes are 100% my own.

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  1. We adopted our dog, Jetpack, last December and she is a hyper handful with a bit of separation anxiety (Lots of improvement over the past 6 months, but she’s still not a huge fan of her crate). The best things for us have been a Kong toy that gets stuffed with a spoonful of peanut butter when we leave and a pile of cheap, easy to wash blankets that can be swapped out of her crate if she has an accident. Oh and Swiffer products are a must for any pet owner! We love our pup and can’t even remember what our home was like without her :)

  2. Covers for furniture and car seats. I’ve improvised my own (my couch has a sheet the color of the couch on it) and the back seat of my car has two beach towels (that I sewed together and added straps to hook it to the head rests). Both have made clean up of the tracked in dirt and other gross things much easier. And it helps to keep the smell down as well.

  3. We just adopted a Chihuahua last Saturday and despite being about 3 years old he came with nothing (not just a collar or a toy, but no shots and no neutering). So far I’m most excited about having an open bed for him as well as a kennel, a retractable leash, treats for training and a friend who’s a professional dog groomer ????

  4. Over the past two years with my Labrador, everything has been a learning process because he’s my first dog. I started buying baby crib sheets for his beds about a year ago, therefore I don’t need to remove the removable cover sheets, I just take the crib sheet off and wash them. I’ve gone through many toy companies, but none have beat West Paw Design, their toys are pricy, but are very durable. I love my dog, therefore I also buy him Paw Protector for his paws so they stay safe with hot pavement during the summer & as well always follow up with some paw soother every night. Deshedding tools are a must in my household, we probably have around 10 brushes + gloves for him!

    1. I like the crib sheet idea! Charlie has a bed in almost every room. She likes to be right by my side, even in messy projects!

  5. For Mimi, my 50-pound lab mix, I couldn’t live without my furminator and anti-shed shampoo (I use Earthbath). She’s a hairy old lady.

    For Edie, my 50-pound pit mix, I couldn’t live without Zignature dog food (actually they both eat it) because in true pittie form, babygirl has insane allergies.

    For both, I love their slip leads (I urge anyone that has a retractable lead to do a little research about how dangerous they are and replace yours with a more traditional lead!), the sling I use to protect the back seat of my car from their insanity and the dremel tool I use to trim their nails.

  6. My daughter gifted me with a 3 month old Havanese, best birthday present ever. I purchased puppy potty bells that hang on my exterior doors. My little guy Cooper was potty trained within one week. I highly recommend this potty training product. Havanese dogs have long, silky, wavy hair. My favorite grooming tool is a metal comb. I also recommend Fromm dog food. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. My dog loves her Snoozer Cozy Cave! She’s tiny so often cold, and it’s nice that she can burrow in the cave whenever she wants.

  8. The biggest thing that makes life with our dog easier is also the priciest — a doggie door! Our old house had a homemade one. In this house, when we had to replace the slider to the deck, we found one with an integral dog door. The slider doesn’t open quite as wide… but it also doesn’t open 42 times a day now.

    After reading your post, I’m thinking of getting a microfiber mat for in front of it.

  9. I’m loving the idea of taking my dog to Petco for a few hours to get him a bath. This is especially wonderful during the Winter months. We have a lab/ hound mix, and he needs bathed quite regularly.

  10. I was happy to discover deshedding brushes because I have a long-hair cat and they help keep the shedding under control.

  11. i love my dog trigger but sometimes he is a poop head! lol. I love my dog shedding brush so there is less fur over the house. If there is fur, i love my shark vacuum to pick up all the mess.

  12. I’ve got to say my local Vet. When my cat got deathly ill last month she was there for us and we’re very thankful that his sickness didn’t kill him and he’s well now.

  13. With 2 50 lb pups, we really love the big dog food bin. Also, a dog door really works for us & allows more flexibility with our work & commute schedules (I’ve got one of those infamous ATL commutes). To help provide continued socialization, we take them to daycare about twice a month. They have fun, play, & get worn out. The added bonus is that the daycare also does overnights, so the dogs are already comfortable with the facility & the staff- which means i worry less when we go out of town. Dogs are great!

  14. I have a Pomeranian that we adopted from a man whose wife passed away. It was initially her dog, and I don’t think they really spent time training her. I have been thankful for puppy pads and easy to wash blankets, as well as her crate, while we get her house trained.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  15. The amount of fur is crazy in our house with two dogs… if I don’t sweep or vacuum every day, it’s a mess!! Does the microfiber mat lock it in, or do you still have to sweep it all up often?

    1. I still have to sweep and vacuum, but the mats have made a HUGE difference in how much dirt she tracks in from outside. Without them, I probably never would have dared to get a light rug for the living room!

  16. My little tiny cat Smudge sheds so much – I have no idea how there is any fur left on his body. Even the Furminator doesn’t seem to make an impact. Best thing I’ve found for getting cat hair off carpets/couches/fabric is a rubber glove moving in circles.

  17. I use a product called Douxo Micellar ear cleaning solution. My chocolate lab Wally got a couple ear infections in a row and the vet recommended this for routine cleaning and infection prevention and he hasn’t had an ear infection for 2+ years!

  18. We live in the country so we have people dump dogs and cats off near our house, we can’t bear to take them to the dog pound, so we have 9 dogs and 12 cats, so I would have to say the best thing we have is good fences and a wonderful vet. Also lots of good quality pet food. Really going to find and purchase the microfiber mats. I also use a swiffer constantly.

  19. A basket to keep all the dog toys in is essential. Now if I could only get her to put the toys back in the basket when she’s done with them…

    1. Yes! Charlie has a special toy basket at my parents house and as soon as she gets settled in, she drags EVERY toy out of that basket, one by one, until she’s decided which one she wants and leaves the rest for my mom to pick up.

  20. Im grateful for the doggy daycare. I take my fur baby 3 days a week so he dies bit get lonely

  21. I want another dog but I’m not sure if my wife would be happy. I was thinking if I introduce her to your blog then just maybe it will change her mind. Cute dog btw too!

  22. I have two dogs over 50 pounds, and I am totally on board with the toy thing you mentioned. They destroy toys in a matter of minutes. I discovered the kong football with a squeaker ball inside it. It usually takes my dogs a month to destroy it, which is not bad because they’re only like $10 on amazon with prime!

  23. Our dog can be high energy, especially when we take him out for a hike as there are so many new people and dogs and smells to discover! Getting a backpack for him and adding in some weight we water and treats for him seems to be just enough to slow him down a little bit and helps combat his excitement – which makes the hikes easier and more enjoyable for everyone!

  24. Car seat protectors and a ramp into the SUV (our Jake is getting older). Also, a raised food dish holder helps a lot.

  25. Great tips Sarah, thanks! I adore Swiffer products! I have the dry and wet wiping systems as well as the dusters. I’m going to try those microfiber mats also.
    Once upon a time I had 4 Rottweilers and a Great Dane…. not many guests as you can imagine but they were huge (135 to 167 lbs) love bugs. And all shed with gleeful abandon. Fortunately, they also loved to be vacuumed and would follow me when I cleaned waiting for their turn.
    Fast forward, I have a cat I received from a neighbor before she moved. A 15 lb. love bug orange tabby named Chad. He does not shed a whole lot but that golden hair shows up on every dark piece of fabric. :)

    1. I really wish Charlie would get on board with the vacuuming idea. I tried it once and it freaked her out, so I’ve never been allowed to get close enough to try again. :)

  26. An electronic training collar has been a great training tool for our now almost 3 year old golden retriever, Tug. Young goldens are so interested in EVERYTHING, it’s hard to get and keep their attention. The tone and vibrate mode gets their attention, and in a serious, life threatening situation, the shock levels can save their lives…we never thought we would own one, but have found it to be very helpful.

  27. I haven’t gotten a dog (yet), but I have to swiffer frequently because I shed as much as my mom’s retriever mix.

    When I was around 11 years old, we had to get childproof latches for the lower kitchen and bathroom cabinets. No, I don’t have a sibling 11 years younger than me, nor did I just suddenly regress to the mental age of 2.

    We had to get the childproof latches because our dog, a smartass Brussels Griffon, figured out that if he smacked the cabinet doors hard enough with his paw, they’d bounce enough he could stick his face in there and get into whatever was in the cabinet. And eat it. Even if it wasn’t edible. Like laundry detergent. And anything he didn’t eat, he’d scatter EVERYWHERE just to show that he was Displeased, with a capital Dis.

    Those childproof latches really did the trick in stopping his antics.

    1. That’s hilarious! I’m sometimes glad that Charlie is a little bit of a doof. She’s smart, but also dumb enough to believe a lot of things (like that any food that goes on the counter or coffee table is not hers to eat, but if it’s on the floor, fair game).

      1. That dog was such a little s**t. He’d also get into trash cans, until we got ones with lids. And one problem we never could solve was the toilet paper: he would grab the end of the toilet paper in his mouth, dart across the hall, and crawl under the bed–leaving this unbroken, bouncing strand of toilet paper in his wake. We’d have to tear the paper off as close to him as we could, and either attempt to wind it back onto the roll, or just give up and have this misshapen TP wad sitting on top of the main roll.

        We’re lucky more guests never questioned us why our toilet paper was so often a total disaster.

        1. Haha… and here, I thought Charlie hiding her bones in my dirty laundry (which I have thankfully managed to get every time before they wreck my washer) or crawling onto the roof was winning the “weirdest dog behavior” award! Thanks for the stories! If you ever post a pic of this dog to Instagram, be sure to tag me @uglyducklingDIY so I can get a glimpse at “the little shit”. :)

  28. I have a Blue Heeler (Hemi) who sheds puppies every day! I can’t live without my swiffers and my Shark and Dyson Animal vacuum cleaners (yes, I have to have both of them)! But I would not trade my girl in for anything, she is our first dog we have ever had and the best companion one could ask for.

  29. Pill Pockets have been a lifesaver for our family. Our dog takes Benedryl year around for allergies and our cat has a thyroid problem and must take pills twice a day. Even though my dog is older, I have really enjoyed your dog posts.

    1. When I took a bunch of new photos for that Barkbox post I did a few weeks ago, I wondered WHY on earth I haven’t been posting more of her over the last year or so. I guess with so many messes going on in the background, nothing ever felt “good enough” for today’s Instagram standards, ha! But I’m glad to hear the feedback that you’ve been enjoying seeing her more!

  30. Totally can’t do without doggie gates. My pup learned to beg from my youngest child feeding her his food, and now sits behind a gate at the kitchen door.

    1. I have this picture in my mind of that… and I hope its even cuter in real life (although I get that it might be annoying too)!

  31. The Dremel for pets is the one thing I couldn’t do without. It’s rechargeable and the only way I can get any where near our male dachshund Tate. He was a rehome and the first time I attempted to trim his nails he freaked out. It took several weeks of working with him until he was OK with it. His nails are black so I don’t have to worry about cutting into the quick.

  32. I’ve been thinking about getting a new pet now that my nest is empty. Going back and forth between wa noting and something new to have to taske care of.
    One of my favorite pet stories is Charlie up on your roof. I can only imagine the panic when you first saw him up there.

    1. Heart. JUMPED. out of my chest. Especially the moment I thought she was going to leap off the edge. I’m still so glad I grabbed the camera despite my panic. A memory I’m glad I saved!

  33. Our dog, Batman, is a 63lb lab/pit mix and he is insane when it comes to energy. Like Charlie, he was very calm (read: sick) when we first got him and once he regained his health he started growing and generally exploding around our home. He’s eaten the floor of the porch, our carpet, my underwear (that was a time consuming habit to kill, especially because my husband thought it was/is funny to see Batman running around the house with my underwear), our mattress, our pillows/blankets/sheets- everything.

    The save all for us was somehow finding him toys that he didn’t immediately destroy. Anything fabric (even fire hose) is not going to last, and he just eats rope , but the plastic balls with dulled spikes that they sell by the checkout counter at petsmart have lasted him forever, and the hard plastic toys have as well.

    I’ve been looking into swiffer because you recommend it so much and we have all wood floors, but do you have a recommendation for making dog food bins more decorative? We need to get a bigger one, bad, but I can’t stomach spending the money on something that is just going to be an eyesore.

    1. I’ll probably add a facade on mine once I really start on the pantry makeover, but since the plastic gets tucked into the pantry, it hasn’t been an issue worth resolving for me yet. There are people who also build wooden bins for food (I think That’s My Letter might have built one that was a feeder AND food storage, but I can’t remember specifically which blog friend made one off the top of my head). Only tip I’ve heard about the wood bins is to still make sure you use a plastic insert for dog food since you want to avoid parasites. I like the rolling function and for $20, it’s an easy fix until I get back around to doing the pantry (bathroom makeover is taking priority!).

  34. We have 2 cats and purchased a Spot Bot for hairballs and such. It is much easier to haul out the smaller Spot Bot versus the large carpet cleaner (or needing to rent a carpet cleaner) for only a couple of spots. Also works well for messes from our 4-year old son!

    1. At the pet conference I was asked to go to a couple of years ago, the BIGGEST complaint to the rug company there was about hairballs. Apparently it’s like trying to get caulk out of your carpet (no easy task!). I’m glad you found something that works!

  35. Love dog posts, and Charlie! I use a shedding blade on my dog (always outside of course), and find that it’s much quicker and easier to deshed him than the furminator was. Moving into a new house soon and hoping to establish better cleaner habits… I think some kind of sofa cover and regular washings is in the books.

  36. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats….. soooo a Neato vacuum was the best thing we ever invested in for hair control. I found grain free, limited ingredient food to be helpful for my itchy, anxious dog as well.

  37. One of our favorite pet products has been the Big Barker Bed that we got for our aging Great Dane (Loki). It was very expensive for a dog bed, but we have seen a huge change in how she moves. She doesn’t seem as stiff or sore.

  38. The “Puppies from Hell” – the name should explain everything. Part jack russell/part schnauzer they are very protective. The groomer says that as soon as I leave they turn into the sweetest little dogs. Riigghhtt! I built them a window seat in my bay window and they rule our circle daily. Nothing gets by them – especially birds. They are brothers though you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. Ozzie looks like Tramp of “Lady and the Tramp” and Angus looks like a black lab that somebody cut off at the knees and gave rabbit ears. My whole house revolves around them and I love them dearly. If I didn’t have them I would have loads of money and a very clean house. I would rather have my “boys”.

  39. Your dog is ADORABLE!!! I think the medium-to-large size is the best size for a pet dog!

  40. We have 2 loving pups who go with us everywhere we can take them. One is super fluffy she is a half husky half german shepard and the other is a german short hair, to say the least they are complete opposites, haha! For keeping the house clean with them, we use a similar microfiber door mat then also use a paw plunger (look on amazon) they look ridiculous but work wonders! I just put warm water in it dip there feet wipe and they are perfectly clean! I use a mix of things to keep our floors clean, we have dark wood laminate through the whole house so foot prints and Jackie tumble weeds show so badly, Ick! I have a Neato (BotVac 85) that runs the house every morning and does general floor up keep, then I use a swiffer XL to get whatever it misses, lastly every couple days I run a steam mop (Hoover twin steam mop) quickly to get any paw prints, drool drips cleaned right up. Now to keep the dogs themselves clean *sigh *eyeroll is a challenge in itself, we live on 16 acres and boy do they find dirt to get into! I use a Furminator to shed then shedding shampoo + conditioner, don’t know if it really slows shedding but makes me feel better to think it does! haha. Lastly, for their paws I use Mushers Secret, I highly recommend it, keeps them conditioned and protected! Whew, I guess I had a lot more to say about the pups than I thought!

    P.S. Auto food delivery is the best! We use a Amazon Dash button!

  41. mobile vet services for vaccines and *sob* end of life care

    we had a vet come over and do a wellness check on our dogs and then stayed for a beer! It was awesome

    1. And I’m sorry about the end of life care, but I’m glad you found a way to make things a little easier on you <3.

  42. I’m grateful for the furminator dog brush, it works really well to get to the undercoat on a lab!

  43. My fiance and I just bought a house and integrated our two cats. My cat is on special hypoallergenic cat food, and we just discovered a matching treat so my cat doesn’t have to watch sadly while his cat gets treats galore. Hurray for treat parity!

    1. Whenever Charlie has her friend Stella over, it’s the same deal. Can’t give one a treat without that sad stare from the other.

  44. Love your Charlie posts. My favorite purchase for my 70 lb yellow lab “Sage” is her Easy Walk Harness. I got it when she was around 1 yr old because she pulled so much on our twice daily walks that I had a sore elbow and shoulder most days. Her trainer recommended it so I tried it even though it was pricey. BEST MONEY I SPENT! We call it the PARALYZER because when we first put it on her she acts like she can’t move. Then once she goes outside she forgets all about it.

    1. Charlie has a harness, too! Total lifesaver (but if she sees a rabbit, we’re still working on that).

  45. For me, pet insurance has been a lifesaver! I adopted my dog Ralphie last year and he needed emergency surgery last week. The insurance company approved my claim a few days later without any issues. It’s nice to know that I don’t need to worry about finances when deciding on necessary care for my beagle.

  46. We have two dogs, a boxer-bullmastiff cross and a French bulldog- Boston terrier cross. They both have short hair what can be hard to brush with some dog brushes. A friend suggested a horse brush, they have really tight bristle one on side and rubber numbs on the other. A bonus is the large size makes brushing out 100+ lbs boxer-mastiff much quicker

    1. That’s why I like that one brush I mentioned! It was created by a person who had horses and realized the brushes could be used on pets too. They make different sizes depending on the size of the animal, but the brush is basically the same design!

  47. I have a golden retriever and just had hardwood floors installed. I used to mainly use my vacuum for pet hair but doesn’t work well on the new floors. Swiffer has been my new life saver.

  48. I love my Vittles Vault for storing dog food for my schnoodle. It’s lightweight and holds 20+ lbs of kibble (Wellness Core).

  49. Sleekez, has been a life savor for my pup. He sheds an insane amount on a weekly basis :) Our home is fur nation but we love it!

  50. Sir Winston just turned 8. A car cover for our back seat has kept it look new – and it’s 10 years old! The black carpet still gets a ton of hair but when the car gets detailed once a year, everything comes CLEAN, even the tan upholstery to the back seat. has been great to get food delivered. It gets to us in about 2 days.

    Banana bones (mashed banana and yogurt stuffed in a hollow bone and frozen) have been a great treat that keeps him occupied for a while – and uses up too ripe bananas.

      1. Ah I did that too with peanut butter and banana it was a life/nerve saver for my previous dog with separation anxiety. I also love your Charlie posts and I’ve read through all these comments and learned so much! About the mats? Do you make him stay on the mat or does just a step or two get cleaned off that well? My dogs paws are soaked after a walk and need to be squeezed (gently of coarse) to get dry!

        1. Charlie has short hair so she doesn’t get soaked, but her BFF Stella (my boyfriend’s dog who visits during the day frequently when he’s at work) is a long-haired dachshund and her fur definitely gets wet! I see a big difference just from them running over the mat when they come back inside — but it doesn’t clean them 100%. Just enough where most of the dirt doesn’t wind up in my rugs. If it’s a muddy day or Stella has been digging, I still have to clean up by hand, but for dry days where they run in and out, plus all of the dog hair she sheds, I have seen a difference that is worth the $ for me!

    1. Stacy, congrats!!! You were the winner picked at random by Rafflecopter! I’m sending you an email and will need your contact info. Enjoy your prizes!

  51. i am grateful to have gotten amazon prime, i get all my fun pet products off their and at good prices too

  52. I have two large expensive dog beds for my 2 big dogs but they only sleep in my bed or the couch but the cats sure do appreciate the dog beds.

  53. I’ve been grateful for the orthopedic beds because my dog is older and she can’t get comfortable on a regular pet bed.

  54. I think that the essentials and a little extra make life easier with a dog! We love our elevated food dish, food and water mat, retractable dog leash, led dog collar, toys, dog bed, and dog house!

  55. I’m grateful for Clorox bleach, arm and hammer baking soda to absorb some nasty smells and febreze to freshen up everything!

  56. We have this life saving. Took and setting on our vacuum that is perfect for pet hair lol and my sister in law is a pet groomer so she’s handy to have around lol

  57. I have invested in clippers but she sheds and I think swifter might work our really good for my home.

  58. I’m so happy I found a long handled dustpan to sweep up cat litter around the litter boxes!

  59. Weather Tech back mat for our SUV my husband is a car detailer and it saves him so much time on cleaning the car..

  60. I would have to say without a doubt it would be Pet Fresh Febreeze! with 2 dogs and 3 cats, some days it is harder than others for our house to smell fresh as a daisy

  61. I would have to say our vet. He is so dedicated that he will meet you at his clinic in the middle of the night for an emergency.

  62. My Litter Genie makes it so much easier to keep my cat’s litter pan clean and save me trips out to the trash.