• Winston

What to Buy – Not to Buy for your Dog at Dollar Tree

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

You never know what you’re going to find when you go to Dollar Tree.

In one trip, you’ll find a healthy mix of amazing deals, things that smell weird, questionable-but-acceptable knockoffs, and mini versions of your favorite products.

There are some things for my dogs I would never get from anywhere else EXCEPT from Dollar Tree.

There are some things I’ll pick up in a pinch to save a few bucks that will “get the job done.”

And then there are things I would never, ever let my dogs have, even if I were given them for free.

Here’s my list of top dog picks from Dollar Tree, and things you should keep out of your shopping basket.



Remember when over 1000 dogs died after eating chicken jerky treats sourced from China before a recall was ever issued? The treats were sold under a few different popular brands, including Waggin’ Train by Purina.

I’m still wary of any chicken jerky treats, some of which you’ll find at Dollar Tree. I’m not saying these treats will kill your dog, it’s just that it’s tough to confirm that treats like these are not only made in the USA, made with USA sourced ingredients… and yet jerky treats are so easy to make at home.

Canine Carryouts in the blue bag are also found at Dollar Tree. I’ve seen a ton of stories circulating on Facebook about dogs who went into liver failure and/or died after eating them, but no reports of recalls, or any obvious reason as to why they’re rumored to be so deadly. They are, however, made with sugar, artificial colors, and preservatives, so just skip them.



Kids’ toys are a NO for use as dog toys because they may have beads or hard eyes and noses that your dog could choke on. Since they’re also not designed to be chewed, they may have a flame retardant coating.

Rubber vinyl chew toys contain phthalates, an additive that makes them soft and chewy, and that has also been linked to liver and kidney damage. Painted toys may be contaminated with lead, which is linked to neurological damage. So, it’s best to just STAY AWAY from those colorful squeaky bones.

Soft, fluffy toys from the pet section are made of polyester, a form of plastic. It’s unclear to me if they’re very different from the soft toys you’d find at a pet store, and whether or not the fluffy fabric or polyfill stuffing can contain TOXIC additives.

Naturally, dollar store toys break quickly, so your dog has more of a chance of swallowing or CHOKING the polyfill stuffing or squeaker.


Collars, Harnesses and Leashes

Walking gear from Dollar Tree isn’t so bad. They can also be kept in your car as spares or to use if you find a loose dog in the street. This is also a good way to save money if your puppy is just going to outgrow their gear in a few months.


Poop Bags, Poop Scoops

You can get rolls of poop bags at Dollar Tree, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you’re better off with biodegradable bags that break down in landfills after a few weeks to 6 months, as opposed to the many years it takes for most plastic bags to break down.

You can find poop scoops at Dollar Tree, at least the ones you’d use to clean a cat’s litter box, but if you use two scoops, you can pick up even the stickiest of deposits. Then, you can yeet the poop directly into the trash, forgoing the poop bag altogether.


Food and Water Bowls.

As for food and water bowls, try to steer clear of plastic. As noted above, plastics can have harmful additives that could leach into food and water. Also, plastic bowls tend to get scratches that harbor bacteria. Go for their stainless steel or ceramic bowls.

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