Your pet might like their natural scent (there’s nothing like that new puppy breath), but you certainly don’t. Here are shampoos, toothpaste, litter — everything you need to keep your pet feeling soft and shiny (and free of itches and odors).
On any given day, your dog likely prefers to smell like stale Fritos, and while you want your pup to achieve all their dreams, you might prefer their odor comes across as a little less Frito-forward and a little more, uh, clean. Your cat would probably like you to do as little as possible to change their environment — and definitely stay away from them with that water and shampoo. Unfortunately, every pet eventually needs a bit of a spruce, even if they don’t want one.
Your bathroom probably can’t compete with a full-fledged spa, but these products will make your pet feel as if the Wash & Brush Up Company people in The Wizard of Oz are attending to their every need. With natural ingredients, an eco-friendly focus, and many of the brands offering discounts on products that take care of your pet from head-to-toe, you two can begin to find that happy medium between constant chip stench and freshly scrubbed, trimmed, wiped, brushed, etc.
Lotus has been adopted, but you can meet more adorable cats like him on Adopt a Pet.
Best Dog Paw and Nose Balm
“Paw balms are helpful for dogs who are covering a lot of territory, like in the summer — hiking, rugged terrain — it can help to keep their really thick paw pads from drying out or callusing,” veterinarian Dr. John Iovino tells The Wildest. “Dogs who are doing a ton of pavement walking in cities, too. They tend to wear down their paws.”
When it comes to soothing puppy skin, you can’t go wrong with Nonipup, a new brand formulated by the Insta-famous Doug the Pug. The brand’s all-natural, sustainably sourced products have helped keep Doug’s skin healthy — and now they’re available for your pup, too. The Nonipup Boop Butter is designed to keep your dog’s paws and nose moisturized; it removes crust, helps hair growth, and relieves inflammation and dryness. —Sio Hornbuckle
Best Puppy Shampoo
If you’ve ever tried to bathe a puppy, you know it can be, well, a challenge. But if you’ve got a good shampoo, like Skout’s Honor, you’re already in good shape. This Happy Puppy Shampoo + Conditioner is super gentle on your puppy’s skin (especially if it’s sensitive), which will make bathtime that much easier. Founded in California in 2015, Skout’s Honor makes science-backed products that keep pups happy, itch-free, and smelling fresh. What really sets them apart, though, is their probiotic line, which boasts a live, colony-forming probiotic kefir culture, which has been shown to help ease and prevent common skin problems in dogs and cats.
When you’re grooming your puppy at home, celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona says it’s important to have all your supplies on hand before you get them into the bath, “so you aren’t juggling too much when your dog is all wet and acting like a loon.” —Maia Welbel and Madeleine Aggeler
Use code THEWILDEST at checkout for 20 percent off your purchase.
Best Pet Grooming Wipes
If you can’t wait for bath time, these wipes, made with coconut water, aloe vera, and eucalyptus, will help moisturize the coats of both dogs and cats to minimize dander and, yep, the amount of fluff left behind on your couch. They’re also hypoallergenic and free of paraben, sulfates, alcohol, and chemical detergents.
“These are great for paws, face, and tush refreshing,” celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona says. She also advises: When in doubt, wash your dog — even if that just means a wipe down with a grooming wipe: “Honestly, if your dog is stinky or looks dirty, wash ’em!” —April Long and Hilary Weaver
Use code THEWILDEST at checkout for 15 percent off your purchase.
Best Pet Toothpaste
Do you really need to brush your dog’s teeth? “The short answer is only the ones you want to save!” says Dr. Daniel T. Carmichael, a veterinarian and board-certified veterinary dentist. “But a more complete answer is periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs, affecting 85 percent over the age of three.”
That’s why you should reach for Vet’s Best, a veterinarian formulated toothpaste that freshens breath, removes tartar and plaque, and soothes the gums with aloe, neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes. It’s celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona’s favorite choice for cleaning those puppy pearly whites. “Checking and brushing your dog’s teeth regularly (a few times a week) is so important,” she says. “Always use an enzymatic toothpaste.” —Marisa Meltzer
Best Pet Dental Kit
Take it from veterinarian Dr. Lori M. Teller: “Cats are very prone to gingivitis and periodontitis, which can be caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar.” That’s why it’s important to brush our pets’ teeth daily.
For a natural option that gets the job done, go with this human-grade dental kit by Oxyfresh. Backed by vets and hundreds of five-star reviews, it is as comprehensive as the brand’s climate responsibility and sustainability plan. Plus, it’s flavor and scent-free, so even the pickiest of pups will approve — that is, if they even notice that you’ve sneaked a few drops of the water additive into their bowl. —Rebecca Caplan
Best Pet Brushless Toothpaste
Celebrity dog groomer Jess Rona tells The Wildest that grooming shouldn’t stop at bathing. “Checking and brushing your dog’s teeth regularly (a few times a week) is so important” she says. Unfortunately, not all dogs can tolerate a regular toothbrush, especially recently rescued pups who might be more fearful. If that is true for your dog, we recommend Ark Naturals Breath Bursts.
The texture of these chews helps clean the grime off your pet’s teeth, while the cinnamon flavor leaves them with super fresh breath. For pups who won’t take to a toothbrush, these chews might be the thing that keeps them from becoming a statistic. ”Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs, affecting 85 percent over the age of three,” says veterinarian Dr. Daniel T. Carmichael. ”The best treatment is preventing the bacterial plaque from accumulating on your dog’s teeth.” —RC
Use code THEWILDEST at checkout for 10 percent off your purchase.
Best Cat Litter Box
Certified animal behaviorist Ruby Leslie recommends thinking like a cat when it comes to choosing a litter box. “It is very important for cats to have boxes with an easy-to-access entrance,” she says. Well, Modkat’s XL Litter Box has not one but two entrances. Created by a cat dad and his industrial-designer partner, Modkat is exactly what you might hope for when design and practicality collide. The top-and-front-entry model is sensitive to individual cat preferences with a three-position lid: closed, half, or all the way open. And if you’re worried about your and your cat’s eco-footprint, Modkat is a certified climate-neutral company.
Influencer and pet advocate Katie Beth Miedaner (aka @cappybears) uses the Modkat litter box for her disabled cat, Lele, and she can’t recommend it highly enough. “This box serves ‘cool cat parent’ vibes,” Miedaner says. “It is easy to clean, comes with reusable liners, and is the perfect size for LeLe. Plus, it looks great and is very durable.” —Cory Turner
Best Cat Litter
It’s no secret that cats are experts at hiding when they’re not feeling well. That’s where PrettyLitter’s unique formula comes in. “Most owners don’t realize their cats are coping with an illness unless the disease has significantly progressed, making treatment more difficult,” says the brand’s in-house veterinarian, Dr. Geoff DeWire. PrettyLitter aids in the guessing game that is caring for your cat by using color-changing silica crystal litter to alert you to potential health problems, such as super-common UTIs. It also eliminates litter box odor by trapping moisture, is up to 80 percent lighter than most litter, has zero dust, is delivered directly to you, and requires less scooping than other brands. PrettyLitter also offers a 30-day guarantee, so if you and your cat aren’t immediately sold, you can say you gave it a fair shot, risk-free. —Avery Felman
Best Cat Litter Box Deodorizer
Your cat feels about a smelly litter box the way you do about a dive bar’s restroom. The scent of poop will send them running in the opposite direction. “The most important thing to a cat is the cleanliness and smell of a litter box,” veterinary behaviorist Dr. Niwako Ogata, PhD, tells The Wildest. But don’t try to mask odors with perfumed litter — you won’t be fooling anyone. That’s where Rocco and Roxie’s Litter Box Odor Eliminator comes in. The family-founded brand focuses on making products that are made from 100 percent plant-based ingredients that are safe to use in your home and help with the smelliest parts of pet parenthood. This odor eliminator is made of corncob granules that help knock out the odor left behind by the special gifts your cat leaves you. —Jodi Helmer and HW
Best Dog Calming Shampoo
Bath time should feel like spa time for your pup. Nonipup aims to make that happen with their lavender shampoo that’s formulated with olive, jojoba, and coconut oils. “Not only do they smell absolutely incredible and are made with all-natural ingredients, but they lather so well and leave Doug’s coat so soft,” Leslie Mosier, Nonipup founder and mom of the one and only Doug the Pug, tells The Wildest. “We get compliments all the time on how soft he is. The lavender shampoo is very soothing, and the lemongrass is incredible for protection against outdoor pests.”
Mosier adds that once she tried natural products with the ingredients in Nonipup on Doug, his health and skin immensely improved. “Once we saw how well these formulas worked on our Dougie, we knew we had to share them with the world and give people a clean and trustworthy option.” —HW
Best Dog Deshedding Shampoo
Approximately one-billion shampoos (okay, probably not that many) claim to help reduce shedding, but South Bark’s Blue Shed actually puts its blueberries where its mouth is. Utilizing calming, anti-inflammatory active ingredients like Manuka honey and Aragan oil, this shampoo works by releasing your pets undercoat to help curb shedding at the source.
Celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona says baths are one of the best ways to reduce shedding, while frequency of baths varies from breed to breed. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), long-haired and curly-haired dog breeds generally require more regular bathing, at least once every four to six weeks, to keep their coats from matting, with regular brushing between baths to maintain the coat. However, no matter the breed or breed mix of your pup, this blueberry shampoo is the ideal choice for all breeds in the fight against fly-away fur. —RC
Best Cat Waterless Shampoo
Not all pets thrive in water, especially those of the feline persuasion. If your pet is one of them landlubbers it probably means bath time isn’t the most fun time in your house. Luckily, waterless shampoos can help keep your pets clean in between baths- and none do it better than the vet-formulated Vet’s Best Waterless Bath. Designed to condition fur using aloe-vera and vitamin E, this foam also keeps your pet smelling fresher in between showers. With versions available for both dogs and cats, now all your pets can smell shower fresh, minus the shower part.
Of course, for dogs at least, a waterless bath isn’t always going to cut it. In that case, celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona has some tricks — or at least some treats. “There are strategies you can use to reduce your dog’s bath anxiety such as getting an extendable shower hose and, of course, rewarding them with treats.” —RC
Best Pet Brush
When it comes to grooming recs, you won’t find a more trust-worthy source than celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona. The author, actor, and HBO Max’s Haute Dog judge is pretty much the best in the game, with clientele including Tegan and Sara Quin’s dogs and Katy Perry’s pups. She swears by the Tiiiinyyy K Pro Slicker brush. It’s extremely versatile, working for multiple coat types — and it’s small enough that your cat can get in on it. “This tiny brush has soft pins that are great for removing and preventing tangles on medium, long, and curly coated dogs,” Rona says. “It’s also great for armpits, paws, and tight areas on larger dogs.” —SH
Best Pet Deshedding Tool
A lot of fun things come with having a dog, but shedding is not one of them. That’s why we love this deshedding tool, aptly named the FURminator, that boasts over 30,000 five star ratings on Amazon. Between its unique design that allows you to collect and eject the shedding hair from your dog’s coat and its curved, safety guarded edges, this tool turns a quick brushing into an efficient groom.
Per one five-star review: “I purchased this tool skeptically because I have had a few dog grooming tools that do not effectively remove the undercoat. This tool DOES work. Our Great Dane sheds a lot and normal brushing and bathing does not remove the hair adequately.” Especially when dealing with high shedding breeds, this tool is perfect for staying on top of fur maintenance in between grooms. And the fur-covered cherry on top of all this? The FURminator is also designed to work on high-shedding cat breeds. —RC
Best Luxe Pet Grooming Kit
Launched in 2020, Pupwell designed its signature Ultimate Grooming Kit with the learning curve in mind. But, before we get into that, let’s get the big thing out of the way: This thing is expensive. However, despite that $450 price tag, the Pupwell Kit is careful to err on the side of necessity rather than extravagance.
Each kit comes with 14 different grooming tools, all of which work together to cover the holistic experience of dog grooming (i.e., distraction licky mat is included). For beginners, most tools are specific and straightforward: one for ears, one for dematting, one for nails, etc. Once you have mastered those, you can move onto the specialty shears that will allow you to give your pup some pizazz. —Rebecca Caplan
Best Pet Refresher Spray
Mud is your dog’s favorite moisturizer, but they can’t smell like that forever. This hypoallergenic, veterinarian-approved body spray by Merci Collective is friendly to canine, feline, and human noses alike. Mild enough to not irritate your pet’s sensitive schnoz, this Japanese cherry blossom-fragranced mist also comes with a healing crystal of your choice, so it’s perfect for refreshing and relaxing your dog or cat in between baths. What’s more, Merci Collective is committed to making cruelty-free and eco-friendly products. —RC
Use code THEWILDEST15 at checkout for 15 percent off your purchase.
Best Pet Ear Cleaner
As much as the thought of it might make you squirm, you can clean your pup’s ears at home — with the right product. “While there’s no way to truly prevent an ear infection, cleaning your pet’s ears once a month with an antibacterial or antifungal solution can stave off mites, yeast, and bacteria,” veterinarian Dr. Sarah Dougherty tells The Wildest.
Like TikTok has taught us, when it comes to self-care and hygiene, it’s all about sorting through the many products out there to find the best one — and nothing beats Skout’s Honor’s probiotic ear cleaner. The solution is made to gently clean and soothe dry, waxy, and irritated dog and cat ears. The non-medicated cleaner helps restore microbial balance in the ear and uses aloe vera to quell itchiness. Using probiotics to serve as a natural barrier against environmental factors, the natural ear cleaner is ideal for even the most sensitive of pups. —AF
Use code THEWILDEST at checkout for 20 percent off your purchase.
Best Pet Eye Wipes
If your dog is prone to tear stains, these mess-free eye wipes by Natural Rapport are the perfect solution. Made using only human-grade and plant-based ingredients, these eye wipes get glowing reviews and are safe for dogs and cats for 12-plus weeks and up. Not only do Natty Rap’s eye wipes remove buildup and stains caused by tears, saliva, and mucus, but their formula is gentle for even the most sensitive pet. Because they’ve cut out all harsh chemicals, you can safely use it on your pet’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
Keep in mind that while “a little gray eye booger in the morning is normal, green or yellow eye discharge can be indicative of an eye infection” and you should see your vet, veterinarian Dr. Shea Cox tells The Wildest. —RC
Best Basic Cat Scratching Post
Simple and to-the point, this cat scratching post is a classic for a reason. More than one, actually. First of all, it’s sturdy, which makes it safe for cats of all scratching styles and intensities. It’s also 32 inches tall, which means it is great for larger cats that want to get a good stretch on while doing their daily claw maintenance. “Our cat is a fairly-large boy,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “He’s long bodied and over 15 pounds [but] he's able to reach up and stretch out on this the way cats really like to do. Even with his weight pulling on it, it's very stable and doesn't tip, wiggle, or rock at all.”
If your cat has been digging its claws into your carpet or furniture, you need to get them a scratching post. “Cats will always need to scratch for good claw maintenance and territory marking,” veterinarian Dr. John Iovino tells The Wildest. You can train them to use a scratching post, or watch your living room get shredded. It’s your choice. —Charles Manning
Best Cat Scratcher
District 70 was born out of the desire to make pet products that fit into the homes of people whose preferences are a little less big and bright. “Those bright-colored items which you often see online or in pet shops can be a thorn in the side of their styled interior,” District 70’s brand marketer, Geena Fase, tells The Wildest. “Our goal is to inspire interior lovers with cats and dogs to help create a home where details make the difference.”
This sardine scratcher is the perfect mix of subtle and conversation-starting — and when your cat gets bored of scratching, they can lounge inside. The scratcher is made of eco-friendly corrugated cardboard — which is a big plus, according to veterinarian Dr. John Iovino. “If cats start to get their claws stuck in a material, it may turn them off to that texture, and if they get their claws caught, it may cause damage to the nail,” Dr. Iovino says. “Bark and cardboard have been good textures that a lot of cats seem to like.”—SH
Best Pet Nail Clipper
Your pet’s nails require regular trimming to prevent them from cracking or tearing, which can be painful and lead to infection. “Ideally, you should start trimming your [pet’s] claws when they are young and more open to new experiences,” veterinarian Dr. Lori M. Teller says.
These Gonicc Clippers will be great addition to your at-home tools. They come with a nail file and are equipped with a safety blade to prevent accidentally cutting nails too short. Unlike cats, who have an innate need and desire to scratch, dogs suffer an even greater risk of overgrown nails. “Some dogs have clear nails, which allows you to easily tell how far the tip of the nail extends beyond the quick — that pink-to red-colored, blood-filled cavity that runs down the center of the toenail. If the nail extends well beyond the quick, it’s time for a pedicure,” Dr. Nancy Kay says. Be aware that dogs with chronically overgrown nails may also develop lengthy quicks, so trim small amounts often. —Kellie Gormly
Best Pet Nail Grinder
It might not be the easiest task we have as pet parents, but it’s totally possible to trim your pet’s nails at home (without stressing you both out). If clipping your pet’s claws is too tricky, another option is filing them down with a nail grinder. The only caveat is that the noise and vibration from a grinder may take even more getting used to. “The first few times you trim [or file] your cat’s nails, you may only get to do a few nails before your cat has had enough. And that’s okay; try a few more the next day,” veterinarian Dr. Lori M. Teller says. The same goes for dogs, who might be uncomfortable with mani-pedis to start.
The Dremel 7350 offers a safer alternative to nail clipping; grinders reduce the possibility of cutting your cat’s nail too close to the quick, causing them to bleed. With low noise and vibration, this model is their quietest yet, making it easier for your pet to unwind for spa day. —KG
Best Pet Shower Attachment
How often you groom your dog just depends on the dog, celebrity dog groomer and The Wildest Collective member Jess Rona says. If you’re on a budget, and a full salon visit isn’t in the cards every month for you, you can follow this plan: “One month, do a bath and a short-ish haircut, then the next month do just a ‘bath and tidy,’” Rona advises. But sometimes (or all the time, if you skip the groomer), bathtime needs to happen at home. You want to be sure to have the right tools at hand, especially if you’re dealing with an impatient pup who’d rather be dry and far away from that sink or bathtub.
This shower attachment allows you to wash and brush your pet at the same time — perfect for scrubbing away post-playtime muck. With two pressure settings, it’s comfortable for large, small, sensitive, and extra-muddy dogs alike. You can attach it to a shower spigot or garden hose, so you’re free to choose the most ideal spot to set up your puppy spa. —HW and Liza Darwin
Best Pet Drying Towel
Before you get a dog, no one tells you how big a role towels are about to play in your life. Whether it’s after a sudsy bath or a muddy walk, your dog will somehow always need drying off. Especially because many dogs are fearful of noisy drying apparatuses, like the blow dryer. That’s why, to avoid chasing your terrified dog around with what they believe to be a loud hot air murderer, we recommend this towel by Pride and Groom.
Specifically designed for dogs, this towel might be the last you’ll ever need for your pup. Made of a quick-drying, super-soft microfiber, it also has hand pockets on either end to make it easier for you to dry your pup. This towel is so efficient, you can finally throw that loud hot air murderer in the trash (or at least save it for your own hair). —RC
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
Photography: Felisha Tolentino
Styling: Lindsey Hartman
Hair: Phoebe Seligman
Makeup: Jessie Bishop
Art Direction: Hannah Huffman
Production: Hyperion LA
Producer: Adam Cohen
Models: Angelica Yeleshwarapu & Lotus
Special thanks to Stray Cat Alliance
The U.S. has a long way to go when it comes to ending what Gov. Gavin Newsom calls “cruel and unnecessary testing.”
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