Dog Essentials and Product Recommendations

When I first found out I was finally going to be able to take Etsu home, I searched the internet over and over with the hopes of preparing for her as much as possible. I looked through all kinds of products, tried to see which are budget friendly, which are a priority, and of course, which ones fit our aesthetic. This list is meant to transparently share what I use, while helping you find a starting point for your puppy or as you continue on your adventure with your dogs.

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Here's a complete list of (mostly) budget friendly products I recommend. I own all, but one (Nikon d5500), of these products and will only recommend the ones we continuously use. Therefore, not all products I have tried are on here.

Since we are constantly learning and finding more dog related products, we will continue to update this as we find more items we love and enjoy. It may be a good resource to bookmark so you can check them for updates.

Some may contain affiliate links to help feed Etsu, the curietsu, as well as keep the blog running.

Crate, Beds and Essentials

You may notice that I have two beds here, one for the crate and one as a cot. Etsu loves this bed, but I don't recommend it until you are done potty training your pup. The elevated dog bed, on the other hand, is what we use to train Place. At first, I wanted the Coolaroo, which I would recommend if I had purchased it. But we decided to go with this because of the handles, how it folds and how portable it is. My goal was to use it indoors and outdoors without hassle.


Tools and Training

The double ended backup is the perfect addition to your slip lead. My main reason for purchasing this was because Etsu was able to slip out when I was still learning how to properly use the slip lead. The slip lead is safe and most are ok, but since it was a learning curve for me, I didn't want to take the risk while re-adjusting it.

Please make sure to work with a trainer before using the e-collar tools and to only use it after your dogs already understand foundations.

I do use a prong. but only prefer to use the ones from the official Herm Sprenger website, 2.25mm x 16in. If getting a prong, please make sure to get the ones with martingale chain, as the other ones work differently.



I highly recommend taking the time to counter condition your dog with all grooming supplies.



I was unsure how cleaning would go, until I got both of these products. The ChomChom roller is essentially a reusable lint roller with a bin for dust or fur. Perfect for my clothes, since I mostly wear black, and the couch.

The Shark SZ362 isn't cordless, but it's fairly light and powerful. I actually got it used instead of new so I could save a little and it works just as well.


Food and Treats

Truthfully, most of the food, treats, and other supplements we purchase are from small businesses or local stores that you won't find on Amazon. But these bully sticks work really well with Etsu and last us a while. I subscribed and 20 pcs usually last us about two months.

Full disclaimer, Etsu is now fully on fresh raw as opposed to freeze dried, however, I still recommend Stella & Chewy's for anyone who doesn't have time to feed fresh but would like their pup to eat raw. Quickly prep the freeze dried patties by hydrating.


Photography and Content Creation

I've had a few people ask what I use to take my photos. Honestly, if you have an iPhone 12, it may be just as good. I know plenty of people who use it and take great photos. I only switched to my Nikon DSLR because it's an opportunity for me to play.

I have also considered switching to a Sony Alpha and I probably will in the future. The main reason for this is because I wanted something smaller while maintaining quality. But since I already had my equipment for years and it works wonders, I don't need to switch anytime soon.

Disclaimer: I have an older version, the Nikon D5100; but since it's no longer available, I added its successor.


Small Business Product Recommendations

Litto Howler

I mostly use the Litto Howler products when we're going on an adventure, traveling, or going on a hike. But I can honestly say I never go on a walk, even around the block, without my adventure pack, at the very least. Their collar has also become my go to collar for almost any type of day. The Kobe Multi-traffic lead combined with the Milo grab tab has also been the perfect leash set up for my needs. I ordered the Kenzo 2.5 with traffic handle as part of the Kobe since I'm only 5'2 and love having Etsu next to me. This gives her just enough room to lay down without the leash touching the ground.

Etsu and Me dog product essentials with Litto Howler
A few of the Litto Howler Essentials

Sage Design Co

We all need dog tags for our pups. Sage Design Co has plenty of affordable designs to match your pup's personality.

Dooyoo Play

Etsu absolutely loves nosework, and will have the most fun when she can play with her Dooyoo Toys while combining it with 'find it'.

Etsu & Me Dog Product Favorite Dooyoo Play Nose Work Cake
use ETSU15 for 15% off

use code 'ETSU15' to get 15% off and let us know or tag us so we can thank you!


I was eyeing these paw balms for the longest. It was perfect when I found out another small business sold these and that I could purchase it from them.



There's tons of products out there, and at the end of the day, you have to purchase for the dog in front of you. So this is just a starting point to see which budget friendly products you enjoy and need. Take into consideration your lifestyle and always work with a trainer when working with new tools. Enjoy and of course, if you've gotten this far, tag me on instagram and let me know what you think!


Etsu & Me

Creating clarity, confidence and developing effective communication with the dog in front of you, one day at a time. Eat, train and play with Etsu & Me. 

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