I'm a dog owner and I swear by these 9 essentials

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These are my dog's favorite things — but I might like them more. (Photo: Getty Images)

I’m one of those people who loves their dog more than humans. And as a result, my pampered pup is very finicky about everything from his food to his toys.

His name is Rocco. He’s a three-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix, who loves cuddles, long walks, and indulging in treats. Rocco is a small nine pounds, but he has a personality the size of a golden retriever (he’s never met a human he didn’t want to instantly befriend). He may not be the biggest pup, but he’s the best. And he knows what he likes.

As a dog parent, I’m always on the search for the best of the best, whether it’s something as simple as a flea and tick collar or a fun, interactive toy to keep his mind stimulated. After much trial and error (and countless Chewy orders), I have a go-to shopping list of Rocco’s favorite things.

Not only are these his essentials, but they’re also high-quality products that have stood the test of time (and Rocco’s pickiness). Check them out, below.

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl. (Photo: Chewy)

This funky-looking bowl may not be at the top of Rocco’s list, but it is for me. The little guy loves to scarf down his food in seconds, which would make him sick, so this puzzle-like feeder has been a game-changer. Now it takes him a couple minutes to eat his food and he’s actually chewing it, too!

Shop it: $13 (was $20), chewy.com

Wellness Core RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original Recipe with Freeze Dried Turkey

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original Recipe with Freeze Dried Turkey. (Photo: Chewy)

Rocco occasionally gets wet food, but 90 percent of the time he eats dry food. His favorite continues to be this small breed kibble, which is packed with protein, including freeze-fried bites of turkey.

Shop it: $19 (for a 4-lb bag), chewy.com

Stella & Chewy's Chewy's Chicken Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

Stella & Chewy's Chewy's Chicken Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper. (Photo: Chewy)

Naturally, Rocco gets tired of his kibble sometimes. But the trick to get him to finish his meal is a few pieces of this meal mixer. The small pieces are easy to break up and sprinkle over his food, and they also double as treats.

Shop it: $10, chewy.com

Wild One Home Kit

Wild One Home Kit. (Photo: Chewy)

No city pup’s space is complete without some stylish pieces from Wild One. The New York City-based brand makes a memory foam bed that’s Rocco-approved and has bowls large enough for a day’s worth of water. If he’s not sleeping in (seriously), Rocco’s nestled up in his cozy bed with a blanket.

Shop it: $150 (Was $175), wildone.com

Frisco Skinny Plush Squeaking Fox Dog Toy


Frisco Skinny Plush Squeaking Fox Dog Toy. (Photo: Chewy)

This is the best $4 I’ve ever spent. Whether he’s zooming around the apartment or lounging in bed, Rocco brings this flat squeaky toy along. He’s already gotten one of the two squeakers out (victory!), but there’s one more to go and it’s been months since I’ve had to buy a replacement. It’s safe to say we’re both getting my money’s worth.

Shop it: $4, chewy.com

Puppia Soft Black Trim Dog Harness

Puppia Soft Black Trim Dog Harness. (Photo: Chewy)

Rocco is a friendly little guy so he needs a snug harness to keep him from running after people to greet (I will say, he’s gotten better with training). Regardless, this harness has been my favorite because provides a secure, comfortable fit, but it doesn’t dig into his neck or irritate his skin.

Shop it: $13 (was $15), chewy.com

Nature's Miracle Spring Waters Deodorizing Dog Bath Wipes

Nature's Miracle Spring Waters Deodorizing Dog Bath Wipes. (Photo: Chewy)

After a long walk in the concrete jungle there is no doubt Rocco needs his paws wiped down. I use these daily because after all, he lounges around on my couch and bed — and no one likes to be dirty. I love that they have an undetectable neutral scent and I only need one to get all four paws clean — they last for months!

Shop it: $6, chewy.com

Whimzees Alligator Dental Dog Treats

Whimzees Alligator Dental Dog Treats. (Photo: Chewy)

Little dogs are known for having bad teeth so in addition to regular brushing, I am a huge fan of these Whimzees. They’re not only a treat for Rocco, but the textured little vegetarian gators also help reduce build-up and freshen his breath.

Shop it: $15, chewy.com

Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Puzzle Dog Toy

Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Puzzle Dog Toy. (Photo: Chewy)

I have a love-hate relationship with these squirrels. Rocco absolutely loves this interactive toy, but when he finishes this puzzle, my apartment is covered in little squeaky squirrels (I made the brilliant choice of buying an additional pack of squirrels). It’s one of those toys that brings him so much joy that I can’t bring myself to get rid of it — until I step on a rogue squirrel (just kidding, Rocco!).

Shop it: $8 (was $13), chewy.com

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