If you're here, you love to buy stuff for your dog. Yeah, I know, me too!
Last year alone the United States spent 70 billion greenbacks on their pets. But from my own bad buying decisions in the past, I'll bet a lot of the money was wasted.
Sadly, most of the dog gear out there is poorly made and nothing but “cute”. They offer no benefit to you or your dog.
That's where this post comes in! The best dog gear 2021 features high-quality gear that will benefit your doggo and delight you.
You'll find everything from all-weather leashes to strollers, treats, mats and more. So grab your favorite drink, put your phone on mute, kick off your shoes and check out the best dog gear 2020!
The Best Dog Gear 2021
Rocco & Roxie Dog Ball
I recently got my hands on one of the best balls for dogs I've ever come across.
If you know anything about me and my crew, we're obsessed with dog toys and especially balls for dogs. So to add to our already huge collection, for Christmas 2019 I bought a Rocco & Roxie ball as a stocking stuffer.
I'm very picky about the toys I offer my dogs – all toys have to be 100% safe and non-toxic. And this ball from Rocco & Roxie ticks those boxes. The ball is not only BPA and Phthalate free but also latex-free. Which is good news if you have an allergy towards latex as I do.
And it's pretty darn tough too! So tough in fact that it handles the power chewing sessions my GSD likes to have. But at the same time soft enough not to cause injury when my dogs catch it at high speed.
The ball comes in two sizes – 4″ and 2.5″ so it's perfect for big and small doggos. And I like that it's hollow, so it doubles up as an excellent enrichment toy when stuffed with treats or even food. Rocco & Roxie thought of everything so they've made sure the ball also has a smaller safety hole to prevent suction when it's being used for enrichment.
The ball is super easy to clean and does well either on the top shelf of the dishwasher or by giving it a good scrub with hot water and soap.
As you can tell, this ball really has dog safety in mind and best of all it's made in the United States, so you're guaranteed there are no questionable or unseen chemicals to worry about.
And as if that's not enough, Rocco & Roxie have high expectations for their ball offering, so much so that they offer an unconditional guarantee – if you're not happy with the ball, just return it for a refund!
Seriously?! What more could you want in a ball for your dog?
Oh, did I mention it floats too!?
Terrain D.O.G. Brahma Webb Training Leash
If you and your dog enjoy outdoor adventures, you already know that nylon and leather leashes are not ideal.
Sure, they work perfectly for trips to the dog park or regular walks around the neighborhood. But for walks in the woods, running through creeks and getting muddied up, you need something different for those adventures.
Enter the Brahma Webb Training Leash from Terrain D.O.G!
Essentially this is a training leash, hence it's the length. But because of it's design and material, it makes the perfect addition to outdoor adventures.
It's designed with leather-like material made up of a polyester webbing and PVC coating. So it wipes clean and it's fast-drying. This is a great feature since there's nothing worse than a smelly, rotting leash.
It's also waterproof and super flexible even in freezing temperatures. And it's soft enough to handle with your bare hands, which means no more leash burns for you.
Terrain D.O.G's Brahma Webb collection of leashes won't kink and they roll up easily for storage.
The leash is finished off with a snap eyelet hook, held in place with rivets. And this hardware is high-quality stainless steel, so you'll never have to worry about anything breaking apart in freezing temps.
The leash is extra-long measuring in at 12 feet. It's a great length for off-road walks in fields or woods and through creeks. Your dog will have plenty of room to explore and meander with a leash of this length.
Besides the fact that this leash has no handle loop, it's low maintenance, comfortable material makes it a must on the list of best dog gear for 2021. And it plays nicely in freezing temps.
And it's made right here in the United States! What more could you want!?
Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers
Stella & Chewy's is not new, but what would dog gear be without some healthy nutrition!?
Whether you're feeding kibble or raw or both, keeping a bag of these Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers handy is an easy and convenient way to give your dog a nutritional boost.
These are great for topping up your dog's meals and work just as well for high-value food rewards during training.
And they are suitable for dogs of all life stages – from puppy to adulthood and into senior years.
There's a lot to like about the products from Stella and Chewy's…
The first thing is they pride themselves in never using ingredients from China. This is a big plus in my books! All their products are sourced from North America, Australia, and Europe.
And the animals on these farms and ranches are grass-fed, cage-free and are not treated with hormones or antibiotics. They contain no gluten or grains and come in a variety of flavors to suit any canine pallet.
Their Meal Mixers are made in the USA, from 95% muscle meat, bone and organ so it's filled with everything your dog needs to thrive. The veggies and fruits they use are all organic too.
And to top it off, Stella And Chewy's offer a 14-day guarantee. So if you're not 100% satisfied you can return it for a full refund or replacement.
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
Ruffwear makes great dog gear. And this everyday Front Range harness is no different.
Its comfortable fit and light-weight breathable material make the Front Range an ideal option as an everyday harness.
But there's much more to this harness…
It comes with two reinforced leash attachments. One on the back and one on the front. This versatility makes it a top choice for anything from trips to the dog park and even light hiking.
But it's the front leash attachment that will make you happy. Especially if your dog is a puller because it offers more control for you and yet it's super comfortable for your dog.
Comfort is something that Ruffwear pride themselves in, and this harness has soft edges to prevent chaffing your dog. And it has padded belly and chest panels, so it's good for all-day wear.
It's also fairly easy to adjust, although, I recommend doing adjustments for fitting before putting it on.
You'll also be happy to know that this harness is super simple to put on and take off.
From my research, I've found that many owners are reporting an instant calmness in their dogs after fitting this Ruffwear harness. And what about dogs that pull on walks?
Well, I've found that several owners have benefited greatly from the front leash attachment because it reduces pulling behavior.
One thing to look out for though is the sizing. I have come across some owners who followed the size guide but ended up with a harness that didn't fit right.
I really like this harness from Ruffwear and that's why it's made it into this list of the best dog gear for 2021.
Orijen Freeze-Dried Wild Boar Dog Treats
You already know that you need high-value treats for those tough training sessions. I usually use cheese, cooked chicken or some grilled steak. But sometimes I'm ill-prepared and don't have any on hand.
Recently my vet introduced my dogs to Orijen Wild Boar Dogs Treats. He offered some to my dogs and they gobbled them up like hotcakes. Normally they refuse treats from the vet!
So I bought a bag to take home for those difficult training sessions. In fact, the nail grooming session we had later that day went quicker and needed fewer treats to complete.
It definitely looks like my dogs are willing to work hard for these treats.
These dog treats from Origen are made with freeze-dried, naturally raised wild boar. And they contain the muscle meat, cartilage, and organs so they are super nutritious.
At first, I thought they were a little expensive, but after opening them up I've found that they split in half easily.
Which means I can feed the appropriately sized treat and save money to boot. Healthy treats and saving money – that's why these treats from Orijen made it on the best dog gear 2021 list!
The treats are soft and easy to chew so there's no risk of your dog checking out of training to chew on a treat. And they're substantial enough, even when halved, for your dog to feel rewarded for a job well done.
Another reason I love these treats is that they don't crumble. So I can shove them in my pocket and head out to train. And I don't have to shake out my pockets afterward!
Okay, I wouldn't use these as everyday treats. With two dogs and plenty of training, this would cost me a small fortune. But for recall training, nail grooming, leave it training and other difficult training in 2020 I'm going to keep a bag of Orijen's Wile Boar Dog Treats handy.
Booyah Large Bike Trailer and Stroller for Large Dogs
Okay, so why would you need a stroller anyway? I can think of a few reasons…
- You have a senior dog with arthritis or hip dysplasia which keeps them from enjoying long walks.
- You might have a doggo that's sustained an injury and can't do those long walks while recovering.
- Or, your puppy is not yet through their window period after vaccinations but you still want to take them out for a stroll.
A stroller is a tricky piece of gear to buy. If you end up with a poorly made stroller, you run the risk of it breaking down while out on a walk – not a nice predicament to be in!
And finding one that's big enough for a large dog breed AND that's designed well, is much harder than you'd think.
Through my research, I've read hundreds of reviews from dog owners complaining about poorly made frames and broken plastic wheels. One poor lady was stranded 2 miles from home with a broken stroller.
That's why I was so impressed when I came across this stroller, slash bike trailer from Booyah. And so it had to make it onto the best dog gear 2021 list.
Of all the strollers made specifically for larger dogs, this one has by far the toughest frame which is well finished. Both the frame and the wheel rims are designed with tough aluminum. So any rusting is a thing of the past!
Speaking of wheels, this one comes with rubber, air-filled wheels. And in my opinion, it's the best kind for any dog stroller. Sure, there are less expensive strollers, but they come with plastic wheels – a disaster waiting to happen.
The front-wheel swivels making this stroller super easy to maneuver. One owner raved about how pushing the stroller through 2 inches of snow is a breeze. So it's the perfect stroller for your more adventurous walks or bike rides.
I also love that they have set the wheels to the back to avoid the stroller popping a wheelie. It also comes with a manual break which is placed at the back wheel. Which is great if you're going to be biking with it since there's no need for brake wires.
And if you're going to use it for biking, you have the option to remove the handlebar completely. Oh, and the handlebar is fully adjustable to suit your height.
The stroller has two entrance points – at the rear and the front, depending on what's more comfortable for your dog. And it has a fun sunroof, so your pooch can enjoy the sights, sounds and fresh air on your outdoor adventures.
This stroller has a weight capacity of 88 lbs, so it can handle larger dogs. And it's roomy enough for a large dog to lie down comfortably.
Most dog owners report that the stroller is easy to assemble. Although there was one case where the instructions were missing from the box.
But Booyah can be reached through their customer support pretty easily. And I'm sure they'll happily provide the assembly instructions in such a case.
This stroller and bike trailer from Booyah is well designed, has a sturdy construction and is comfortable enough for larger dogs.
Although, it is large at 34 inches wide, so be sure to take into account all doorways or elevators you'll be using. I've found that some owners had trouble maneuvering through small spaces.
PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
If you don't know this already, you'll be happy to learn that scent work really gets rid of excess canine energy. It gives your pooch a fun job to do and stimulates their brains. Afterall, they are working animals first and foremost.
Dogs have over 300 million receptors devoted to scent. And according to some sources, the part of a dog's brain dedicated to analyzing these scents is 40 times larger than ours.
So using this canine superpower to your advantage is a great way to train, stimulate and engage your dog. No matter their age.
And this is where the Snuffle Mat comes in. If you've never used one, both you and your dog are in for a nosey adventure!
Essentially the Snuffle Mat is made from safe and durable material, with lots of clever hiding places. You load it with treats and let your dog sniff around to find the hidden food rewards.
And it works just as well to feed a pooch that inhales their food because it naturally makes them slow down and use their nose to forage out their food.
Even if your dog is a slow eater, this mat will make mealtimes so much more fun!
It's also a great tool to use if you have a high-energy dog that you need to keep chilled out while visiting family or friends. And even at your weekend picnic.
Snuffle Mats come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And some of them can be very large and elaborate.
My favorite one, this Wooly Snuffle Mat by PAW5. It's machine washable, easy to move around and big enough to give your dog hours of fun and stimulation.
I also love that PAW5 has taken an interest in sustainably producing these mats. So they are good for the environment and safe for your dog.
And they offer a full money-back guarantee if your dog is not absolutely delighted with their Snuffle Mat. Although, I'm yet to meet a dog that doesn't love these!
If you're into DIY, make your own Snuffle Mat and give your dog more options. Check out this super easy how-to guide on making Snuffle Mats at home…
If you are a keen DIY-er like I am and want to make your own Wooly Snuffle Mat at home, check out my guide to 7 super-easy steps to making a Snuffle Mat at home.
And if you need a little more convincing as to how awesome these enrichment toys are, check out my crew “digging in” to forage for their food in the video below…
I could go on and on with this best dog gear 2021 list. And to be honest, I'll be adding to it throughout the year as I find, research, and experiment with new things.
If you have some suggestions to add to this list, feel free to drop them in the comments. I'm always interested in trying new stuff for my dogs!
For now, I hope you've found something cool to add to your dog gear in 2021!