International Dog Day 2021: 3 things I’ve bought my dog that we now can't live without

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Whether you’re a new puppy owner, or searching for a little something to treat your beloved dog with, there are endless gadgets, toys and training tools up for grabs. So much so, that the choice can feel overwhelming.

My dog, Gus, is not a pandemic puppy (he's seven), but he has still felt the impact of the past year and a half.

On the downside, he is now more reliant on us than ever, but the plus side? He's seen an influx of parcels containing goodies for him arrive, as my online shopping orders flooded in – and don't pretend yours didn't, too!

Though there have been many toys that are now sadly decapitated, their stuffing spilling out in the corner, there have been some big successes, which are now staples in our lives.

Here's the keepers:

3 things I've bought for my dog that we now couldn't live without

1. LICKIMAT Buddy Treat Mat | £5.39 from Amazon

LICKIMAT Buddy Treat Mat
LICKIMAT Buddy Treat Mat

Ideal if you want to give your dog treats that last longer or if you feel you've got a particularly anxious pup, a Lickimat will keep your pet entertained throughout the day.

Simply spread your dog's favourite soft treat (think yoghurt, peanut butter, gravy etc.) over the mat's surface and leave them to lick it off.

The licking action will sooth and calm your pet and also stimulates saliva to aid digestive health.

2. WEASHUME Calming Dog Cat Bed | £26.99 from Amazon

Other calming bed options can be found here

WEASHUME Calming Dog Cat Bed
WEASHUME Calming Dog Cat Bed

I held off getting an anti-anxiety bed for a while, but now I can't believe I didn't take the leap earlier.

Gus is a rather fussy dog (that's what years of sleeping in our king-size bed will do to a dog), and so I wasn't sure if he would sleep in it, but he loves it so much that we're about to invest in our second.

The raised rim creates a sense of security and provides head and neck support, while the super-soft filling offers joint and muscle pain relief and eases anxiety, which helps Gus calm down faster and sleep well.

3. Lily's Kitchen Dog Treats Chomp-Away Chicken Bites | £2.50 from Lily's Kitchen

Also available from Amazon

Lily's Kitchen Dog Treats Chomp-Away Chicken Bites
Lily's Kitchen Dog Treats Chomp-Away Chicken Bites

If you're a Labrador owner, or admirer, then you'll know they're a breed that loves food, so it's little surprise that Gus has piled on a few lockdown pounds (he's in good company in our house, that's for sure).

These Lily's Kitchen bites were an impulse purchase as we'd run out of others, but Gus loves them. Unlike his casual behaviour with other treats, he sits immediately when he sees the bag come out of the cupboard, and they're easy to break into smaller pieces for a longer-lasting snack.

There are all sorts of different options, but these chicken bites are made with proper meat (they're 80% chicken), and use natural ingredients as part of a grain free recipe, and so are suitable for dogs with sensitivities.