When I finally convinced Dubbs that we needed a dog, neither of us had the slightest clue on all the things needed aside from the actual dog! We set out to make the best choices focusing on quality ingredients and earth conscious pet brands where we could.
We went with the Revol Crate from Diggs. It’s a little bit more attractive than your standard metal dog crate. It comes in 3 color ways and has diamond-shaped mesh pattern and a solid, single-piece frame which helps prevent injury to jaws and paws.
Diggs says they were inspired by the products in the baby industry. This crate:
- is collapsible
- is transportable
- comes equipped with a carrying handle and wheels
- has a standard front door opening as well as a “garage door” on the side that slides up and down and you can lift the top up if needed
The Revol crate is made of materials that don’t rust and are toxin free. It’s easy to use and clean. All the little door options helped us with training and helped him to associate his crate with positivity. We use the garage door to make it easy for him to get in and out of during playtime and hand him treats from the top.
We started with Farmers Dog. I loved the concept; fresh, human grade food. It’s a subscription model and comes frozen and takes a day to thaw. We ended up going with a different brand for a few reasons:
- it takes up a lot of room in the freezer
- you have to make sure you have some thawed each day
- it’s hard to send him with the raw food that must be in fridge when he goes to daycare for the weekend
- some ingredients I’d rather skip if possible and it’s kind of inconvenient
Eventually we landed on a brand called Sundays For Dogs and have been really happy with it. It is air dried and human grade (no fridge needed). The company is founded by a Tory Waxman, VMD and her husband. They have a great comparison tool on their site and explains the difference between their food and others. We like this food because of:
- founded by a Vet and approved by our Vet
- Disco likes it (and eats it slower so he throws up less)
Two things to note, sometimes the squares are a little big for Disco (15lbs) so we will just break a few of them up. Because of increased demand for the brand, it took a few extra weeks for the food to come to us. However, once we got into the subscription rotation, we have had no issues.
We get a handful of our pet products from Wild One. They are a brand that focuses on quality, consciousness, and design. Their toys are super durable and we have the 3 piece toy kit . Their toys are made with 100% natural rubber, 100% natural cotton, and designed so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics or functionality.
The other brand where we get his toys from is P.L.A.Y. The toys are really cute.. chicken and woofles & avo-doggo toast – are you kidding me? They hold up well and are made with recycled materials. P.L.A.Y uses minimal packaging and the tags are made from paper that is certified safe by the Forest Stewardship Council. Recycled plastic bottles are used for crinkle filling and their HQ uses 100% renewable energy. All of these efforts have resulted in them becoming a certified B Corp and Certified by Green America’s Green Business Certification program. (!!!!!!!!!)
You may find cheaper dog toys from other places. First, they usually don’t hold up. Second, find me another pet toy company that makes such an effort for quality and consciousness.
We also use Wild One for treats, they are made with minimal ingredients and are organic. They pride themselves on avoiding opaque sourcing, weird ingredients, fillers and preservatives. There are three options for the baked treats, PB&J, Veggie, and Fruit Salad. Considering Disco will eat cigarette butts off the sidewalk, he isn’t picky, and likes all the flavors. They have a sampler pack if your pup is picky.
For training purposes we usually give him some plain rotisserie chicken, turkey, a fingertip of peanut butter, or Jerkey style treats.
We started with a leash and collar from Wild One, and honestly were not thrilled with the quality or material. But since we were so happy with everything else, we gave the harness a try when he was pulling on his leash a ton. The material for the harness has held up well and we are really happy with it. We also have the travel bag and are happy with that as well (material is similar to the harness).
You only know there is a difference between quality of poop bags when you have a bad one, and it crumbles and tears in your hands as you’re using it. These bags from Wild One are legit. They are thick, biodegradable, and made from plants.
Wipes were one thing that I didn’t think we needed. It felt unnecessary and I thought a hand towel would do the job. Turns out, city streets really take a toll on paws and dog hair. We usually use one for the front paws, one for the back and an extra if his hair is long around the tail and belly. The ingredient list is great. The only ingredient I wanted to double check was the Sodium Benzoate. It’s a preservative commonly found in beauty products. It can be harmful when combined with ascorbic acid, which then forms Benzene. Benzene is one you want to avoid as its a known carcinogen. Note that there is no ascorbic acid in the wipes.
They have a bundle of treats, poop bags, and wipes here if interested!
Pet Shampoo / Conditioner
I have used Dr. Bronners concentrate on Disco with warm water and it’s worked totally fine. We purchased this pack from Rowan and while it does work and it is 99% cleaner than most there are a few things that give me pause.
In the shampoo they have “essential oil blend” and I wish they would disclose exactly what is in that. Blends can be sneaky in any product ingredient list and companies can get away with being less transparent about some things by using the term blend – so I don’t love that.
In the Dry shampoo there’s “fragrance (parfum)”. Synthetic fragrances are endocrine disruptors, so the brand not breaking down the fragrance isn’t ideal. It’s an ingredient I try to avoid in my self care products. I will be reaching out to Rowan on both of these items to get more information and will report back with any updates.
I mentioned this company because it’s a great example of a better option than most but there are better ones out there, like Aleavia Pet. We aren’t going to waste the products we have, but we will use them and then I’ll look for others.
Not every single purchase and decision for your pet needs to be 100% non toxic and organic. You guys know being a purist is the last thing I want to talk about or promote. But I do want you to be able to make informed choices.
Getting Disco has been one of the best things for me personally and for our relationship. Since getting a dog we go for daily walks, the overall amount of love and cuddles has doubled, and having a pet has brought a sense of family to our home, more than I ever thought it would. We also met one of our close friends here at the dog park.
The challenges aren’t deal breakers, but are worth mentioning. The early chewing, potty training, and shoe eating days? Draining. Trying to brush his teeth is still a 2 person job and rarely successful. Unexpected vet bills can be hard to navigate. But we’ll forgive him for destroying our brand new CB2 rug.
Share your favorite pet products and any rugs that have lasted with your pets below!