How We Chose the Winners For Best in Show 2023
Here’s how we selected everything you’re shopping in our Best in Show guide this year.
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
At The Wildest, we’re here to help pet parents shop better for their four-legged family members. Our team of editors and reporters obsessively test new products worthy of our own pets — based on design, durability, innovation, value, sustainability, and safety. We interview veterinarians, veterinary nutritionists, animal behaviorists/trainers, and groomers whose expertise we (and you) can trust. They also regularly contribute to The Wildest and/or serve on our Expert Collective.
Best in Show 2023, our annual roundup of the best pet products of the past year, drops just in time for the holidays. Think of it as a super-sized, carefully curated gift guide, complete with the very best products for dogs and cats that earned our stamp of approval across 10 key categories:
Wear: pet clothes and accessories
Walk: walking equipment for dogs (OK, and some adventurous cats!)
Play: pet toys and puzzles, including interactive brain games
Care: pet health and well-being supplements and products
Groom: pet bathing products and grooming tools
Eat: pet food, treats, and feeders/bowls
Lounge: pet beds and furniture
Train: pet training tools, such as clickers and treat pouches
Travel: pet carriers and travel accessories
Tech: pet cameras, automatic feeders, high-tech toys, and more
What we look for and how we choose our products
We know our readers are just as dedicated to their pets as we are, and they take providing for them very seriously. So, after a full year of commerce coverage and team-testing products, we’re here to provide you with the very best for your holiday (and year-round) shopping experience.
Our team of editors selected these products based on what we, as pet parents and discerning professionals in the pet industry, think is the best quality for your dogs and cats. We only recommend a product if it is safe, and, if applicable, durable enough to last you for more than just a few months.
Outside of using these products ourselves, our experts — certified trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians, and more — have wholeheartedly recommended them to us. We also always consider information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) during our research process and urge you to do the same as you continue to research what product is best for you.
The Wildest’s writers and editors are devoted pet parents. Our Editor-in-Chief, Samantha Gurrie, has spent more than a decade working in pet care and rescue, and is especially passionate about pet wellness — both mental and physical. The rest of our editors and contributing writers are pet parents who use the products we recommend in their daily life with their pups and kitties. So, we mean it when we say that the products we recommend to our readers are the same ones we independently research, test, and ultimately choose for our own pets.
Speaking of research, we turn to both market insights and peer-reviewed studies published in science journals for the latest, most legitimate information about the brands and products we recommend.
The medical and behavioral experts that we consult are all credentialed pet care professionals who are uniquely qualified to speak to a pet care concern and/or product. On board, we have certified trainers, veterinary nutritionists and animal behaviorists, the top dog dentist in New York City, and other highly experienced experts with educations at top universities, including Harvard, Cornell University, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, and more.
When selecting them, we review their professional experience, publications, affiliations, and — of course — social media accounts. As previously mentioned, many of these people are members of our Collective, who we consult for our regularly published content. Others are experts we’ve spoken to specifically about the winners of each Best in Show.
We employ a diverse group of staff members and contributors who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other minority groups to make sure our coverage — and our considerations of the overall quality of a product — is inclusive. In our everyday coverage, and in this shopping guide, we make sure to feature brands that are owned by these minority groups; we are especially focused on giving the spotlight to small businesses. As pet parents, we know no experience is the same, which is why our diversity goals are a top priority in every endeavor, especially Best in Show.
A note on affiliate partnerships
We have affiliate partnerships with several of the vendors listed in this guide. This means we make a commission if you purchase an item from the affiliate link provided. We have selected these items independently of our affiliate relationship; they were included only after extensive research and expert consideration.