Whole Dog Journal’s 2022 Dog Gear of The Year

The most exciting and useful dog products you can use in the new year.


LickiMat textured dog bowl

If there is something I can hand my dogs that will keep them happily occupied on a day where I have two Zooms in a row, I want it. Enter the LickiMat Wobbler. Essentially a rubber bowl with the now-classic “Licki” textured interior, the motion offered by the bowl represents a leap in the company’s pioneering concept.

LickiMat burst onto the scene a few years ago with their natural-rubber squares that had just enough of a raised design to make it time-consuming for dogs to remove the peanut butter, yogurt, or canned food owners smeared on there. 

While my dogs like the regular LickiMats, there was variation in their devotion to the task. Some dogs stay on the job until every bit was cleaned off, but others give it a quick swipe and are done. The beauty of the Wobbler is that – it wobbles! Suddenly there’s more to this activity than just cleaning out the crevices, which means that even my dog who gave up on the flat LickiMat is all-in as the Wobbler flips and slips out of her grasp. “Hard-to-get” is a good thing for a dog toy! 

lickimat splash and lickimat wobble
We don’t recommend the Lickimat Splash; it’s meant to suction onto a shower wall or smooth floor, but the suction doesn’t hold even its own weight, much less the pressure of licking. We love its sibling, however, the Lickimat Wobble.

The Wobbler comes in four colors, is freezer safe (in fact, freezing is encouraged!), dishwasher safe, and even microwave safe if you want to warm up the experience. 

Initially, we were more excited by LickiMat’s Splash – another new bowl-shaped toy with a textured interior, but designed to suction onto a smooth surface. We found that the suction was too weak to hold the bowl in place on a shower wall or even a smooth tile floor; it didn’t provide the holding power for keeping a dog occupied in the bath (as just one of its suggested uses). For now, skip the Splash and buy the Wobble. – K.C.


  1. Do these harnesses control dogs who pull? I generally find harnesses that attach to the leash from the front give somewhat more and easier control than those that attach from the top and it is not clear to me how these harnesses attach to the leash. Thank you!!

    • The Baumutt In.Line Harness has a unique attachment point on the front of the harness, making it perfect to manage dogs who are still learning not to pull. If has an extra attachment point on the back of the harness for when they behaving better 🙂

  2. The Heyday beds look nice and practical. That said, for BIG dogs (mine is 100lbs) I’d like to recommend the Big Barker line of orthopedic beds specifically made for the needs of big/heavy dogs. WDJ please check them out!

    • I got both of my dogs Kopek’s orthopedic beds even though they are still young. I bought one for Ramses when he was 12 and should have bought one much sooner. Not only is the foam great but it has both an outer microfiber cover that washes beautifully and in inner waterproof liner that is also washable. I originally got Ramses a DogBeds4Less for the bedroom and that was also very good and fit quite well next to the bed. Also with both a cover and liner and good foam mattress. He had that in the bedroom and his Kopeks in the living room. When I got Freyja I bought her a round Kopek’s and this morning when I woke up she was sleeping in it. She hasn’t done that for months but I guess with the cold weather she wanted a bit of warmth and to be closer to me. Diana is still sleeping in the bed so she has an Olympic Queen Serta or Sealy or whatever it is with a memory foam topper. Her Kopek’s is in the living room.

  3. I think both Diana pawPrints and Freyja Grey are in Kurgo, Freyja inheriting the harness Diana grew out of. I bought both because they were so highly rated for the car. I can put them in any harness for walking but for the car I want a harness that is the best rated in case of accident. They don’t like being buckled in but who does? It’s for their own good and I don’t want them flying through a windshield because a quick release buckle broke. I research from time to time but every time, those quick release buckles no matter what the design fail in car accident tests. I believe Diana’s large Kurgo has an infinity loop to secure her. Freyja’s smaller harness has metal tabs that go through metal loops to secure her. Sure it’s more difficult as she is a spinner, but it is a small price to pay for their safety.

  4. It’s so nice to see Otto modeling again. I’ve been an Otto fan since first graced WDJ’s pages. I just adore him.
    About doggy seat-belt harnesses, traveling in a crate has been proven to be much safer. Having said that, I admit to using a harness more often because I’m an inconsistent human being. Rufus, too, is a spinner. We get around that problem by attaching the harness to the seatbelt with a rotating hook cut from an old leash.

  5. As a professional trainer that routinely utilizes harnesses and recommends that my clients do as well, I have observed a lack of choices when it comes to harness, including this one as described. Yes, there’s tons on the market, but when looking for correct sizing (almost impossible to find for dogs under 10 lbs), that ALSO have a neck adjustment and release and a front buckle attachment for the leash, the choices are very, very few. More harnesses need to have the neck adjustment and release because there’s many dogs that are fearful of equipment going over their head. I’m at the point where I think I need to design my own just to offer these options. Currently the 3 n 1 harness accomplishes this but is limited for use in smaller breeds.

  6. Vêtements de tailles pour petits et grands chiens dans une variété de styles et d’imprimés
    Ne vous contentez pas d’habiller votre chien, habillez-le avec style avec les vêtements et accessoires de Dog Love Design…