April 13, 2024

Handling a chipped nail, pee-covered paws, a tangled coat or a trip to the vet can be a lot easier with the right gear. That’s why we tried over 100 pet care products for our first ever Best for Your Pets Awards: to see what they enjoyed the most, and what we found most useful for their needs. Find our favorite 24 pet care products below.

Find even more Select Best for Your Pet Award winners in our cleaning, food and play categories, as well as winners sold on Amazon and under $25. To see a full list of our winners, visit Select’s Best for Your Pet Awards homepage.

SKIP AHEAD Sleep | Tech | Grooming | Skin care | Health | Travel

How we chose our winners

To find our top products in our pet care category, our editors and staff put gear to the test. We tried over a dozen pet beds, eight grooming brushes, 12 travel carriers and more in order to return with our winners. Products underwent a five-week trial period before being selected as our favorite in the pet care category. We utilized our editors as shopping and trying experts, along with medical professionals, who provided us with information and advice they give their pet patients.

When we look at any products, especially pet items, we look at them comprehensively. To be our favorite in the pet care category required fulfilling a multitude of needs. We want to provide you with products that perform well, but we also want to share ones that allow you to upgrade your (pet’s) life. Among other things for this category, we specifically looked at price, ingredients and overall quality and effectiveness.

Select Best for Your Pet care winners

Sleep

Mau Cat Bed

Award: Best Bed | Pet Type: Cat

This cat bed from Mau is made of thick interwoven fabric that can be molded into many different shapes. “This is a good choice for people who want their cat’s accessories to look attractive,” says Select managing editor Leah Ginsberg. Her cat, a 2-year-old tortoiseshell named Izzy, enjoyed hanging out in this bed more than curling up for the day’s nap.

It’s less plush and padded than other cat beds we tried, but it is heavy and durable. To clean, the brand recommends cleaning with a vacuum or machine washing on delicate settings with a little detergent and zero spin.

Newton Baby Dog Bed

Award: Best Bed | Pet Type: Dog

Newton Baby’s washable, orthopedic dog bed was a favorite of our dogs, namely for its large size and tall, bolstered sides. NBC Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin tried out the Large/X-Large size with her dog Chance, a 10-year-old, 100-pound yellow lab.

“Chance is an anxious old man and he sometimes has a hard time settling down at night — it’s not uncommon for one of us to end up in his bed with him to try and help him relax,” says Malin. I’m 5’2” and I could easily curl up in the bed with Chance. I’ve fallen asleep in there with him more than once.”

Malin and other members of Select found this dog bed to be very durable. All of the dogs who tried this bed liked to dig and burrow as they got comfortable: none of the beds showed any signs of tearing.

The bed’s cover is removable and machine washable. The core center is hand-wash only. It comes in small, medium and large/x-large sizes.

Fable Dog Crate

Award: Best Crate

Our team and our dogs loved this crates’ stylish design and spacious, high-visibility interior. The wood exterior blended nicely with our apartments, and the clear acrylic front panel let our dogs easily see in and out of the crate.

Commerce social editor Sadhana Daruvuri used this crate for her dog Bandit, a 1-year-old, 15-pound Maltipoo, to great success. “Bandit enjoyed playing in this crate, and he seemed to feel more at ease because he could see out through the clear front gate.”

The medium-sized crate was large for Bandit, but dogs between 30 and 40 pounds were a more appropriate fit. The Fable dog crate comes in x-small/small, medium and large in two colors. We did not try the interior bed, which is sold separately.

Diggs Revol Dog Crate

Award: Best Crate | Type: Collapsible

NBC Select SEO editor Mili Godio “fell in love” with this crate because it’s so easy to assemble and disassemble. There are no screws to loosen, no locks to latch, the crate pops into shape and collapses flat with a simple twist of the top handle.

Godio’s dog Bella, a 5-year-old, 16-pound Havachon, was never crate trained but loves this crate. “Not only did she immediately take to the crate and lay in it on her own the first time we set it up, she now uses it throughout the day,” says Godio. She says the open mesh design helps Bella comfortably see her surroundings, and the removable bottom tray makes cleaning up messes easy.

The Diggs Revol crate comes in four sizes and three colors.

Tech

Petcube Bites 2 Lite

Award: Best Cameras | Type: Stationary View

The Petcube Bites 2 Lite is a pet camera and treat dispenser. The camera connects to Wi-Fi and can be controlled with your smartphone on the Petcube app.

Daruvuri used this camera to monitor her dog Bandit and had it running within minutes. Having used other pet cameras in the past, she was particularly impressed with this camera’s 160-degree wide-angle view. “​​I was blown away by how much of my apartment the camera was able to capture,” says Daravuri. She also enjoyed using the camera’s night vision to monitor Bandit while she was away or when he was supposed to be asleep.

The Petcube Bites 2 comes with a power adapter, USB cable and mounting kit.

Furbo 360

Award: Best Cameras | Type: 360 View

Furbo 360 is a pet camera and treat dispenser that can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to see more of your space than fixed-angle pet cameras.

NBC Select manager of editorial operations Shari Uyehara used this pet camera to monitor her dog Loki, a 2-year-old 20-pound Cavalier, when she went out of her apartment for longer periods of time. She found the app easy and accessible to use. “You can allow multiple people to monitor your Furbo, just in case you have someone helping dog-sit while you are away,” says Uyehara.

Uyehara also liked Furbo’s notification system — the app let her know when Loki was making noise or being restless. The Furbo 360 also has two-way audio, night vision, and automatic pet tracking, which keeps your pet in the camera’s view.

Grooming

Frisco Nail Clipper

Award: Best Nail Trimmer | Pet Type: Cat

These nail trimmers are what commerce page Alexis Lambert uses on her cat Mia, a 1-year-old 10-pound domestic shorthair. Mia always protests a little while getting her nails trimmed with any clipper, but with this one, Lambert was able to cut all 10 of her front nails in one sitting. “The almost scissor-like grip handle makes it very easy to hold and control, and the round blades help you to get a more precise, clean cut,” says Lambert. Using these trimmers made her more confident when cutting Mia’s nails.

Master Grooming Tools Nail Clippers

Award: Best Nail Trimmer | Pet Type: Dog

Molly Bissantz, owner and groomer at Grooming by Molly, uses both the small and large sizes of these nail clippers on her clients. The trimmers are made with surgical steel cutting blades and a heavy-duty spring for precise, strong cuts, according to the brand. Bissantz prefers scissor-style nail clippers like these over other styles, though she typically avoids clippers with guards as they block her view of the nail, “making it hard to determine if I am going to cut the quick,” she says.

Andis Nail Grinder

Award: Best Nail Grinder | Pet Type: Dog

Bissantz also uses this Andis nail grinder to file down dog nails and make edges smooth. “On dogs with regularly trimmed nails, we can just grind down the nail,” she says, skipping trimming entirely. If your dog has overgrown nails, she recommends trimming first, as grinding will be time-consuming and uncomfortable for the dog.

The Andis Nail Grinder has two operating speeds: normal and turbo. It is cordless and rechargeable. When using any grinder, Bissantz avoids using a dust-collecting cap, as it can block your view of the dog’s nails. Also: “Wear a mask while grinding so you aren’t breathing in the nail dust,” says Bissantz.

Furminator Cat Brush

Award: Best Brush | Pet Type: Cat

The Furminator cat brush stood up to its name — it was the most effective deshedding tool we tried, getting rid of excess hair easily. NBC Select editorial project associate Rebecca Rodriguez has been using it on her two short hair cats Luna and Enzo for years. “The furminator removes so much hair I could mold a whole new cat from the excess,” says Rodriguez. “Enzo loves getting brushed with it, he runs up on the couch and rolls over whenever he sees me pull it out.”

Maxpower Planet Pet Brush

Award: Best Brush | Pet Type: Dog

This undercoat brush helps to detangle fur and prevent hair mats. Godio used it on her dog Bella, who has long hair, to help prevent mats and keep her coat tidy. “The stainless steel teeth on each side are curved, so they smooth individual tangles and mats better than other combs I’ve used,” says Godio. Godio found the brush’s handle comfortable to hold but did need to remove hair from the brush manually every ten strokes.

Skin care

Earthbath Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo

Award: Best Dog Shampoo | Skin Type: Sensitive

Godio used this shampoo on her dog Bella, who has sensitive skin and has had allergic reactions to other products in the past. “This shampoo smells great, causes zero irritation and leaves Bella’s hair soft, hydrated and clean,” says Godio. In a bath, it cleans off dirt and debris easily, leaving Bella’s fur looking very white and clean.

The shampoo uses a hypoallergenic formula with colloidal oatmeal, plant-derived cleansers, organic aloe vera and more to re-moisturize skin and combat skin irritation, according to the brand. The vanilla almond scent lasts for a few days, but isn’t overpowering, says Godio.

Zoop Shampoo

Award: Best Dog Shampoo

Commerce analytics manager Amanda Smith found that this all-in-one shampoo and conditioner made bathtime easy for her and her dog Mac, a 2-year-old 27-pound rat terrier. “It spreads really well — I didn’t have to use a lot to get a good coverage on Mac,” says Smith.

Godio’s dog Bella has sensitive skin but found that this shampoo did not cause any irritation. “It did a great job at cleaning dirt, debris and sweat — she looked and smelled clean for days after her bath,” says Godio.

This shampoo primarily contains a mix of purified water, plant-derived surfactants, aloe vera, vegetable glycerin and more. It is not labeled as hypoallergenic

Earth Rated Wipes

Award: Best Wipes

Malin used these grooming wipes on her three cats and dog to clean dirty feet, dusty backs and accident-covered fur. She mostly used them to wipe her dog Chance’s paws after walks. “You could see the brown and black grime from the New York City street on the wipes,” says Malin.

The wipes come in a resealable package that keeps them damp — Malin found them just wet enough, not overly-drippy. with liquid. They are 99% biobased, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested, according to the brand. Both the lavender-scented and unscented versions contain a mix of shea butter, aloe vera, chamomile and other moisturizing, gentle ingredients.

Musher’s Secret Dog Paw Wax

Award: Best Moisturizer | Pet Type: Dog

Dog paw wax can help moisturize toe pads and is useful for allergies and harsh weather. Senior associate of commerce operations Donna Pilikyan used this paw wax on her dog Ozzy, a 3-year-old 45-pound mutt (Boston terrier golden retriever mix).

Ozzy has bad allergies and sometimes scratches himself or licks his paws excessively, causing them to get cracked and overdried. “I used the paw wax on his cracked paws and a few days later most of the redness was gone,” says Pilikyan. “The dryness also improved significantly within a day of applying.”

The brand recommends applying the paw wax two to three times a week, more if you and your dog are located in extreme conditions.

Health

Virbac CET Veggiedent FR3SH Tartar Control Chews

Award: Best Dental Chew | Pet Type: Dog

Dr. Hannah Lau, a veterinarian at Bond Vet, uses these dental chews for her pets, which are recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. These vegetable-based chews reduce tartar and plaque while freshening your dog’s breath, according to the brand.

While dental chews can be helpful, the most effective way to care for your dog’s oral health is “to brush their teeth with a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste daily,” says Lau.

These chews come in four sizes for extra small, small, medium and large-sized dogs.

Oravet Dental Chews

Award: Best Dental Chew | Pet Type: Dog

Dr. Zach Coston, a veterinarian at Dutch, an online telemedical pet care company, recommends these dog chews from Oravet. They are “firm enough to help clean the teeth and contain delmopinol hydrochloride, which helps to reduce plaque build-up in the mouth,” says Coston.

Oravet treats are made for dogs six months of age or older, according to the brand. These chews come in four sizes suited for different-sized dogs and are available in bags of 14 or 30 treats.

Feline Greenies

Award: Best Dental Chew | Pet Type: Cat

For cats, Coston recommends a few low-calorie dental chews, including these ones from Feline Greenies. These manually clean your cat’s teeth as they chew on them. “Since cats aren’t voracious chewers and can be finicky eaters, it can be more difficult to get cats to truly chew on dental treats,” says Coston.

Feline Greenies cat chews come in four flavors and in four sizes.

Virbac C.E.T. Intellident Cat Bites

Award: Best Dental Chew | Pet Type: Cat

Coston also recommends these cat chews from Virbac. Similar to the Feline Greenies, these dental chews clean your cat’s teeth and freshen their breath as they chew the treat — they do not work as well if your cat swallows them without chewing.

These treats also work to support your cat’s gums by reducing plaque and tartar buildup, according to the brand. They come in one size and one flavor, with 90 treats per bag.

Travel

Away Pet Carrier

Award: Best Carrier

Malin used this carrier to transport her cat Wanda, an 8-pound one-year-old mixed shorthair, on foot and in the car. Her favorite part of the carrier is how sturdy it is. Unlike other carriers she’s used, “it keeps its shape regardless of how you hold it or where you put it.”

The Away carrier has top and side openings, which Malin alternated between depending on Wanda’s mood. The sides have semi-see-through mesh, while the front entrance has a fully see-through mesh that can be covered with the attached fabric roll. The side pockets are generous — Malin could fit all her essentials in, forgoing her purse entirely.

Malin leaves this carrier out in her bedroom when she is not using it. “Wanda loves to sleep in this carrier — she chooses it over plenty of other comfortable spots in the house,” says Malin.

The Away pet carrier meets FAA requirements and is certified by the Center for Pet Safety, a 501(c)3 companion animal and consumer safety organization, according to the brand.

Sherpa Pet Carrier

Award: Best Carrier | Type: Affordable

The collapsible fabric and mesh carrier was a great fit for Uyehara’s dog Loki. “We use this carrier whenever Loki travels on the plane and is able to comfortably shift positions during the flight,” says Uyehara. It is collapsible but “is still structured enough for it to maintain its shape while sitting,” says Uyehara.

Both the front and top sections zip open and the sides are made of see-through mesh panels pets can easily see out of. It has shorter top handles and a longer shoulder strap or different carrying positions. It is available in medium and large sizing.

Roverlund Pet Carrier

Award: Best Carrier | Pet Type: Cat

Rodriguez used this carrier to transport her cat Enzo, a 15-pound 3-year-old domestic short hair, around her neighborhood and in a car.

Rodriguez found the carrier to be “very structural and sturdy, which is a plus when you have a big cat.” The straps are all ropes, which she found to be more comfortable and supportive than other carrier straps. The interior lining is machine washable.

The Roverlund pet carrier is available in seven colors and two sizes.

Wild One Everyday Carrier

Award: Best Carrier | Pet Type: Dog

Uyehara has used this carrier for her dog Loki ever since she rescued him, and loves how stable and structured it is. “I love that Loki’s weight remains balanced in the carrier, but he still has room to move around,” says Uyehara. One side of the carrier has a small dip, which allows Loki to peek his head out while being carried around town.

Inside, it has a machine-washable mat and a small clip leash to keep your dog secure. Outside, it has three exterior pockets to hold all doggie essentials like bags, treats and leashes.

Kong Water Bottle

Award: Best Water Bottle

Having ample water available for your pet is always important, especially for long outings and hot weather. Daruvuri used this water bottle from Kong to keep her dog Bandit hydrated while on the go. The lid also acts as the bowl — its deep shape and small handle made it “very easy to pour,” says Daruvuri. “Pouring extra water back into the bottle was a bit of a challenge, though.”

This Kong water bottle is made of stainless steel. It comes in two sizes and four colors.

Meet our experts

To ensure our product picks are more than just editor-approved, we used a panel of experts, including veterinarians, pet groomers and veterinary technicians to give buying advice for each category. When conferring with our experts, we asked them for advice they would give to their patients or clients. Some members of our expert panel recommended individual products. Other products we gave awards to are ones we use in our own lives.

  • Dr. Hannah Lau, DVM, is a veterinarian at Bond Vet, an urgent care and full-service veterinary clinic with locations around the northeast.
  • Dr. Zach Coston, DVM, is a veterinarian at Dutch, an online telemedical pet care company.
  • Molly Bissantz is the owner of Grooming by Molly, a pet grooming and boarding service based in Boise, Idaho.
  • Dr. Zay Satchu is the co-founder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet, an urgent care and full-service veterinary clinic with locations around the northeast.
  • Dr. Nancy Wilber, DVM, is the medical director at VCA Brickell Animal Hospital in Miami, Florida
  • Jess Rona is the owner of Jess Rona Grooming, a dog grooming salon in Los Angeles.

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