The Spruce Pets Product Review Editorial Guidelines & Mission

The Spruce Pets Product Review Editorial Guidelines & Mission

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

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

 The Spruce

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

 The Spruce

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 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. Occasionally, brands and PR agencies will send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are our own. 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

 The Spruce

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 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

 The Spruce

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

Bronwyn Barnes
Editorial Director of the Commerce Home Group
Bronwyn Barnes The Spruce Pets

Experience in writing and editing for various publications, including People, Travel + Leisure, CNN, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly.

Founding social media editor of InStyle’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and architect of early social media brand partnerships with brands like Target, Lionsgate Films, and Essie.

Served 2 years in the United States Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Mali, West Africa.

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Andrew Whalen
Commerce Editor, Environment & Pets
Andrew Whalen The Spruce Pets

Andrew is a horticulturalist in training at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

An experienced backpacker, Andrew has hiked more than 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail. 

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Katherine Louie
Senior Commerce Editor
Katherine Louis Pets

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

Before joining Dotdash Meredith, 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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Margaret Badore
Senior Commerce Editor
Margaret Badore The Spruce Pets

Maggie Badore is an environmental reporter based in New York City. She started at Treehugger in 2013 and is now the Senior Commerce Editor of Treehugger, The Spruce, The Spruce Crafts, and The Spruce Pets. She previously served as the Web Director for National Geographic’s climate change documentary series Years of Living Dangerously. She’s obsessed with composting and solutions to climate change.

Badore's writing has appeared on Civil Eats, the New Jersey Spotlight, Mother Nature Network, and more.

She has a masters' degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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Nicole Lund
Commerce Editor
nicole lund

Nicole Lund is the commerce editor for The Spruce, which means she’s your expert on navigating online shopping.

She is committed to helping readers find the best products for their needs, whether that’s a back pain-solving seat cushion or a pet-friendly robot vacuum, and is always looking for new brands.

She enjoys organized spreadsheets, period dramas, and exploring New York City’s many bookshops.

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Lily Sperry
Associate Commerce Editor
Lily Sperry Pets

Lily is an Associate Commerce Editor for The Spruce, The Spruce Pets, and The Spruce Crafts. She joined the company in November 2019. 

Before joining Dotdash Meredith, she worked at Modern Luxury where she pitched and wrote stories for their different lifestyle titles. Lily has also contributed to a variety of print and digital publications including BOMB Magazine, INDIE Magazine, Huffington Post, and more.

Lily received a B.A. in English Literature and American Studies from Wesleyan University.

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Jenica Currie
Associate Commerce Editor
Jenica Currie

Jenica joined The Spruce Home, Pets, and Crafts in October 2020.

Previously, she was a producer for Dotdash Meredith for four years on the Quality Team.

She received an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

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Christine Colby
Editorial Project Manager
Christine Colby - The Spruce Pets

She has worked for a variety of print, digital, and audio publishers including Spotify, Discovery, Inc., Slickdeals, The Lifetime Value Company, and Allure magazine.

Christine has her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School.

She is also a Death Companioning Initiate, certified by the School of American Thanatology.

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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