The Spruce Pets Product Review Editorial Guidelines & Mission

Our Team

We’re a team of experienced writers and editors who obsessively scour the retail landscape (both online and off) to find the best products for your life. Besides being experts in our fields, having worked for brands like Real Simple, This Old House, Food & Wine, and Amazon—we’re consumers too—and we personally have a passion for products and services that make your life easier.

Our Mission

It is our mission to help our users make the best purchase decisions—it’s that simple.

The Spruce Pets

What We Do

We exhaustively research and recommend a broad range of products and ultimately make a curated list of recommendations from writers with subject-matter expertise in every product category we cover. We do receive an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products that we recommend if you decide to click through to the retailer site and make a purchase.

After we publish an article, we don’t just forget about it. Our team is relentless when it comes to updating and keeping our existing recommendations fresh, accurate, and helpful. We have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to the latest household releases, from cat trees to pet cameras and more. Our recommended products run the gamut from budget to splurge-worthy, and we’re not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. We make it a point to source recommendations from reliable companies who deliver exemplary customer service, so you can have a seamless shopping experience.

The Spruce Pets

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We, therefore, urge you to monitor any official announcements here https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/ that may be related to products you purchase.

We also know how frustrating it can be to do your research on a product only to add it to your cart and see that it’s out of stock, so we try to mitigate this by having dedicated editors check availability daily to provide you with the best user experience possible.

We are committed to ensuring that our content reflects our audience. This means showcasing brands and services owned by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other minority groups whenever possible and hiring more diverse writers, staff members, and experts. You can read more about our pledge to make our site more diverse and inclusive here.

Why You Should Trust Us

The product recommendations from The Spruce Pets are purely editorial. Our team never takes free samples for reviews nor lets retailers, public relations firms, or salespeople dictate our content and product coverage. Instead, we do the heavy lifting ourselves by tapping into our network of experts and testers to help you make smarter purchases—and to avoid that dreaded buyer’s remorse.

The Spruce Pets

How We Test Our Products

We believe in using these products just like you would—on the streets and at home—in real-life settings that put them through their paces. We buy all of the products that we test and send them straight to the homes of our thorough testers. We never accept anything for free from manufacturers.

We have over a hundred reviewers spending weeks and months evaluating everything from dog beds to litter boxes to find out if these products are worth the spend. We typically send our testers three to five products in the same category, so that they can make comparisons, which gives you real insights into how different brands and models measure up against each other. Our testers also take dozens of photos to help you see what the product will actually look like in your home or in your hands. They make sure to capture all the important angles and details to give you the most information before you buy.

The Spruce Pets

In addition to writing about their personal experiences, each reviewer fills out a comprehensive questionnaire that collects over ten data points. The testers rate their products on a scale of 1 to 5 for each factor—like value or ease of setup—to come up with a rating that reflects their overall opinion. We tailor these ratings to each category and never use a one-size-fits-all method. For instance, we rate cat trees on their design and stability but evaluate dog beds based on their comfort and durability, among other factors.

You can find our testers’ honest feedback—both positive and negative—under the “Tested by The Spruce” badge to help you make the most informed buying decision. We give you an overall star rating, pros and cons for each product, and experiences and opinions directly from our reviewers.

We want to make sure we’re providing you with the most unbiased feedback that we can.

Meet Our Team

Tory Brangham
tory-brangham

Tory Brangham is Senior Vice President of Commerce at Dotdash, having assumed the role in May 2017.

Tory initially joined Dotdash as General Manager of The Spruce, overseeing the development and launch of the site, now one of the largest home and food sites on the Internet.

She received her B.A. from Colgate University with a degree in International Relations.

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Dwyer Frame
Senior Editorial Director
Dwyer Frame

Dwyer is the Senior Editorial Director of Commerce at Dotdash. She joined Dotdash in September 2017.

Before joining Dotdash, Dwyer worked as the senior editor at Health, where she covered the latest fitness and wellness trends and products.

Dwyer started her career at Instyle magazine, where she covered celebrity homes and later worked at All You magazine, where she edited cleaning and home decor content and gift guides. Her work has also been featured on Real Simple, People, Woman's Day, Brit + Co., and more. 

 

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Chelsea Stuart
chelsea-stuart

Chelsea Stuart is a Senior Commerce Editor who works on Dotdash’s lifestyle brands. Since joining the team in May 2018, she has assigned, edited, and published hundreds of product reviews on everything from KitchenAid ovens to Brooklinen down comforters.

Before joining the team at Dotdash, Chelsea worked as an editorial assistant and staff writer at Jetsetter, a TripAdvisor company. During her years there, she drove the company’s commerce initiative writing and publishing destination-specific packing guides, travel accessory roundups, and editors’ pick lists.

Chelsea received her B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College.

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Katherine Louie
katherine-louie

Katherine is a Commerce Editor for The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, The Spruce Pets, The Spruce Crafts, and MyDomaine. She joined the company in August 2018. 

Before joining Dotdash, she worked at Men’s Health where she covered liquor, style, and gear. Katherine has also contributed to a variety of online publications including NBC Today, Reader’s Digest, Everyday Health, What to Expect, Brit + Co, and Women’s Health.

She received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Marist College.

 

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Kate Geraghty
kate-geraghty

Kate is a Senior Commerce Editor for The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, The Spruce Pets, the Spruce Crafts, and MyDomaine. She joined the company in August 2019.

Before joining Dotdash, she worked at What to Expect where she covered pregnancy products, baby gear, and toddler gear. Kate has also worked at lifestyle brands All You and Girls' Life. 

She received her B.A. in English literature from Northwestern University.

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Mallory Leibowitz
mallory-leibowitz

Mallory is the Senior Revenue Product Manager for the commerce team. She joined the company in 2016. 

Before joining Dotdash, she worked at The Atlantic magazine, where she created branded content digital experiences for brands such as Jaguar, H&M, TIAA, and National Geographic.

Mallory received her BS in Marketing and minor in Web Design from the University of Florida.

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Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com