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2AM potty breaks, constant toy rotations: there's a lot we do for our pets. The end of the year is upon us, though, and there's no better time than the holidays to splurge on the critters that share our homes (...and our beds… and our couches). From long-time TQE favorites to thrilling new discoveries, the market for DTC pet supplies is chock-full of must-haves. Dive in below for our roundup of the tastiest treats, the sturdiest toys, and a cat bed so cool I'm upset it's not human-sized.
Petaluma Dog Food, from $31.46
With non-dairy milks spreading like wildfire and the best restaurant in the world going totally meatless, the verdict is in: plant-based eating is the way of the future. Why shouldn't our four-legged friends keep up with the times? Petaluma makes it easy, with all-vegetarian baked dog food that provides a balanced diet for your pup while moving sustainability to the forefront. Not only are all of Petaluma’s ingredients organic (because you're worth it, Fido), switching to Petaluma reduces your dog's diet-related greenhouse emissions by 75%, water use by 50%, and land use by a whopping 90%. Chowing down on delicious nibs of peanut butter and sweet potato? That's some eco-activism my dog can get behind.
Sundays for Dogs, from $59
TQE readers know what big fans we are of Sundays' super-delicious, gently air-dried dog food, so we had to throw a bone to the carnivores as well. Beating out the best-tasting premium kibble in a blind taste test 40-to-0, these certified flavor bombs make your dog's every meal taste like a payload of treats. With natural ingredients as wide-ranging as USDA beef, kelp, and shiitake mushrooms -- and not a single synthetic in sight -- Sundays will make your standby kibble a thing of the past.
When my partner and I adopted a pitbull mix last winter, we were expecting a feisty old guard dog whose bark way exceeded his bite. Needless to say we were shocked when our little guy turned out to be one big ball of anxiety. (Don't worry: his bite's still nothing to worry about.) CBD products have been a lifesaver, and DopeDog's non-psychoactive and THC-free treats are the best on the market. Re-entry into the real world is tough on the COVID pups we know and love; anything that helps regulate their stress and relaxation is a win in our book.
Reggie Multivitamin Chews, from $29.99
No matter what your doggo chows on at mealtime, an extra dose of essential vitamins certainly never hurts. Inside that gorgeous packaging (seriously, paint my home in these colors) Reggie delivers in spades, with pre-formulated supplements for everything from joint flexibility and coat health to antioxidant immune defense. Designed to be given at meal times and compact enough to fit on your counter, these chews give big results without cluttering your daily routine. To those already drowning in to-dos, I say, "Hallelujah!"
Wild One Toy Kit, $36
There's a certain dissonance to a chicly curated living room covered in half-mangled plush toys and forgotten dog chews. Lucky for us, Wild One's premium toys are as gorgeous as they are durable. Made of 100% natural rubber and 100% organic cotton, the entire set draws praise from playful pups and trendy pet owners alike. Who would've thought your tug-of-war supplies would tie the room together?
Rowan Hair Bundle, $40
Just because you're still scarred from your COVID haircut doesn't mean your pooch can't have a great hair day. Meet Rowan, the pet-focused hair-care brand that gets dogs ready for their close-up. It's not just about aesthetics, though -- unlike many traditional dog shampoos, Rowan is committed to ethically sourced ingredients, cruelty-free testing, and saying goodbye to sulfates, parabens, silicones and dyes. Plus, if your pup's as bath-phobic as mine is, the brand’s dry shampoo is nothing short of a life-saver. Lather up, baby.
Toby & Ace's Buddy Bed, $149.99
The days of keeping dogs in the yard are over; today's furry friends live in the lap of luxury (or at least mine does.) If you're tired of ceding couch space, or just want to upgrade your puppy's naptime, look no further than the Buddy Bed from Toby & Ace. The #1 dog bed recommended by vets across the U.S., Toby & Ace uses an egg-crate style memory foam that soothes pressure points and improves physical health. Forget asking Lassie to hop off your bed; you might end up begging for a test drive in hers.
Wanderruff Walk Kit, $120
Ditching straws is a good start, but if we want to address our plastics problem, we'll need creative solutions anywhere we can get them. That’s why Wanderruff is so exciting: the brand’s adorable and functional dog-walking accessories are made solely from recyclable materials and ship in eco-friendly packaging as well. Available in a range of colors (I've got my eye on that Lola green), Wanderruff’s matching sets of collars, harnesses and 6-foot leashes are the perfect gift for the dog in your life, no matter their activity level.
PrettyLitter Health Monitoring Cat Litter, $22 per cat per month
Every so often a product comes around that completely disrupts the market, filling a void no one realized was there. When it comes to your litter box, PrettyLitter is that product. Made of silica gel crystals that change color when potential health issues arise, PrettyLitter can flag possible kidney disease, bladder inflammation, and even cancer before symptoms are even noticeable. If that weren't enough, the material is up to 80% lighter than traditional litter and traps odor instantly. The hits just keep coming. Not only are we fans of it at TQE, it's so good even Martha Stewart approves.
Tuft + Paw Cat Tower, $749
Have you always wanted to re-enact the climax of King Kong with your cat atop its very own Empire State Building? No? Just me? Cool, cool, cool. All I'm saying is, with this gorgeous Grove Cat Tower from Tuft + Paw, you can keep your options open. Available in small and tall versions, this cat perch shows off T+P's signature flair for design, with warm, natural wood tones that will soften up any room. Having been dubbed "the West Elm of cat furniture," the brand’s collection of minimalist stunners will please kitties every bit as stylish as their owners.
Lower to the ground in price and stature, the Canopy Bed from Cat Person still stands tall when it comes to comfort. The magic is in the details, like the circular shape designed to echo cat's naturally curled-up sleeping positions, and the adorable cushion cover that unzips for easy washing. While I love the yurt-like peak of the felt canopy, it's a cinch to fold down or completely remove, packing tons of flexibility into such a small package. Just pick your colorway and say hello to longer nap times.
Made by Nacho Cat Food, $16.62 with subscription
Having lost months of my life to binge-watching Beat Bobby Flay, when I found out the Iron Chef himself had his own cat food line... reader, I screamed. Give your cats the same pleasant surprise with Made by Nacho's culinary creations, available in wet recipes, dry recipes and stand-alone treats. Developed along with Flay's vet and his longtime cat (you guessed it: Nacho), these "cat-crafted" meals are as nutritious as they are delicious, bringing some of that Food Network charm right to your feeding bowl.
Pawzzle Cat Puzzle, $75
If you've spent even five minutes in the company of a cat, you know felines have intimidatingly fierce intellects. Put that noggin to the test with one of Pawzzle's laser-cut puzzle feeders. Though the design is (pleasingly) uniform, once treats are scattered inside, every hunting session becomes a new adventure. As your cat works to free its food, the mental stimulation becomes intrinsically rewarding, reducing boredom and extending mealtimes. Fun and accessible for cats of all ages, Pawzzle is the perfect solution for the busy owner who still wants to keep their fluffball engaged.
Modkat Litter Box, $89.99
If the smooth, sleek look of a new Apple device makes your heart pitter-patter, then have we got the litter box for you. ModKat's award-winning models share the same elegant simplicity, but they really shine in functionality too. Every feature -- from its swivel lid and custom-fit liners to its built-in walk-off mat -- was designed to keep your floors pebble-free, ensuring every rogue piece falls right back into place. With write-ups in The New York Times, The Wirecutter, and Buzzfeed under their belt, the ModKat has fans in all corners of the internet. Us included.
I'll put it as delicately as I can: most pet toys leave something to be desired on the textile front. Which is why the utterly charming and hand-crafted designs out of LoveThyBeast are such a breath of fresh air. Made of natural wool and non-toxic dyes, these Southwestern-inspired toys are gorgeously tactile, bringing plenty of pizzazz to playtime. Bonus points to the dog and cat co-owners who can shop for both furry friends right here in-house -- it's the holidays after all. Time to spread the love.
There you have it: enough pet-friendly gift ideas to get the ideas rolling like a hamster wheel. (No DTC hamster brands yet, sadly. You'll be the first to know.) With truly cutting-edge takes on design, comfort and sustainability, these brands are all the proof we need that there's never been a better time to be a pet -- or to shop for one either. So raise a glass and let's have barks and meows all around. These holidays are going to be good.