If you’re the proud parent of a new furry friend, you probably have an idea of just how much preparation is needed before a dog ever sets paw in your house. Kennel, collar, leash, toys, treats, brush, bed, pee pads, food and water and the storage for everything to boot – it can all be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. And with no shortage of options ranging from budget-friendly to downright eye-watering, it can be hard to know what’s really worth the investment and what’s just fluff.


To make your adventures in dog ownership just a little easier, AY About You asked for recommendations from a few of the most trusted names in the business. Groomers, trainers and doggy daycare experts have all weighed in with their must-have items, saving you the trouble of wading through a sea of product reviews and comparisons. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s definitely one that owners of all stripes can appreciate. 

Pawsh Park is a high-quality boarding and daycare option known for its superior supervision, comfortable accommodations and customized activity packages for meeting any pup’s needs. Pawsh Park’s trainers are experienced in a variety of positive and proven methods so they can bring out the best in any canine companion, and they can’t recommend the martingale collar highly enough for its perfect combination of comfort and control.


What separates this collar from the pack is a loop design that tightens as the dog pulls, preventing escape without choking or injury. Especially useful for breeds with slender heads, it’s also a must-have for any dog that tends to back out of a traditional flat collar. Made for a snug fit without causing discomfort, the martingale collar is a gentle but effective training tool – and one that the experts at Pawsh Park use with all of their own training dogs.


After you’ve picked up your pup’s new favorite collar, be sure to take advantage of the free training evaluation Pawsh Park offers to new customers.

Pawsh Park

11740 Maumelle Boulevard

North Little Rock, Arkansas 72113

(501) 404-8862



With an array of themed luxury suites, in-room televisions and the option for a private doggy door and play area, Chenal Pet Palace is bound to feel more like a second home than just another daycare. The folks at Chenal Pet Palace are experts when it comes to keeping your dog comfortable and content, and they recommend a cooling mat to help your pup beat the Arkansas heat this summer.

Don’t be fooled: this product isn’t just for the spoiled spaniel. Along with other hot-weather necessities such as adequate water and shade, this mat can be an effective tool in helping your dog avoid the serious health risks that come with overheating.


“My dogs absolutely love theirs,” Chenal Pet Palace owner Ashley Trentham said, and for good reason. Whether you’re camping, grilling out or just enjoying those late summer days outdoors, this mat is sure to keep your dog happy.


Once your warm-weather adventures are over, be sure to stop by Chenal Pet Palace and treat your pup to a much-needed spa day as well.

Chenal Pet Palace

14309 Kanis Rd.

Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

(501) 223-2688



Bentonville’s CoolWag is part daycare and boarding, part training and enrichment and all guaranteed fun for your furry friends. On CoolWag’s five acres, your dog will enjoy large indoor and outdoor play yards, certified trainers on staff daily and a wealth of activities and enrichment options.

For the active breeds, CoolWag also offers an array of programs in its sports facility, from agility and lure chasing to scent work and even dog football. CoolWag even hosts official NADD (North America Diving Dogs) dock diving events.

Even if your dog isn’t the sporting type, CoolWag separates dogs by size, age and personality to make sure your canine will find a few like-minded companions of his own to have fun with. Tuckered pups can relax on comfy couches and furniture reminiscent of home, and those staying overnight enjoy a slumber party with the staff at bedtime.


Stave off the boredom of a day at home or in a crate, and let your dog enjoy a fun-filled day (or more!) at CoolWag.


210 Prairie Lane,

Bentonville, Arkansas 72712

(479) 273-3553


As the state’s first off-leash dog park and restaurant, Little Rock’s Bark Bar is the perfect place to eat, drink and hang out with fellow pups and their people.

Be on the lookout for special deals and events like trivia, book clubs and Twofer Tuesday. If all the fun has you feeling snacky, Bark Bar serves up an assortment of tasty treats for both humans and dogs, as well as a number of “Cockertails,” beer and wine offerings.


After scoping things out with a day pass, be sure to snag a monthly or annual membership – not for you, of course, but for your dog! Additional dogs can be added to any plan at a discounted rate. And don’t miss Bark Bar’s sixth anniversary pawty coming up on National Dog Day, August 26!

Bark Bar

1201 South Spring Street

Little Rock, Arkansas, 72202

(501) 295-3989



From doodles and dachshunds to long-haired chihuahuas and Siberian huskies – and every mixed-breed beauty in between – your dog’s coat is as unique as their personality. And while some level of at-home maintenance is a must for keeping your dog’s look up to scruff, it pays to defer to the experts when it comes to a whole host of grooming needs.

The experts at The Doggie Spa in North Little Rock have been keeping all manner of four-legged friends looking and feeling fresh for three decades now. Whether it’s a nail trim, bath and blow dry or a full-on haircut and dye job (if you’re feeling adventurous, that is), The Doggie Spa has the tools and experience to make your pup the envy of the local dog park.

The Doggie Spa

11827 Maumelle Blvd,

North Little Rock, AR, 72113

(501) 753-2211



READ ALSO: Bucket List: Favorite Dog-Friendly Places Across Arkansas