There are many different items and pieces of equipment available on the market for dogs these days, but what are the must-have items?
Take a look at our list of must-haves below, to see if you have everything your hairy friend may need.
This is perhaps the most important and probably the first thing you should ensure once you get your four-legged friend.
One should put more thought into what food and drink bowls to buy your pet, as there are pros and cons to every type. There are many different types of bowls, each made from a different material. Choose which one best suits you and your dog’s surroundings.
Ceramic bowls are very heavy and durable. They are also very porous, meaning they require daily cleaning. Plastic bowls meanwhile are very strong and tend to last a long time. Plastic should be avoided when your dog is a pup, or even when it is an adult should it still like to chew everything. This could spell danger if your dog ends up chewing and swallowing pieces of plastic.
Stainless steel bowls should be the number one priority. They are the number one choice amongst vets and trained professionals, due to their durability and ease of cleaning. Bowls with a rubber bottom are preferred, as they prevent the bowl moving.
Another important one as dogs love to sleep, maybe even more than humans!
Dogs enjoy the comforts of a good bed just as much as we do. Although some dogs like to sleep in their master’s bed, they should also have their own. This gives them a sense of security and belonging.
Beds come in all shapes and sizes and one should be chosen, firstly based on your dog’s size. There is no point buying a huge bed for a teacup dog! When sourcing a bed, try not to skimp out. If possible try to source one made from natural materials as synthetic materials can be dangerous to dogs and are extremely flammable. If your dog has a skin condition or allergies then a natural material bed should be made a priority.
Any bed chosen should also have rubber on the bottom, to ensure it doesn’t slip. This helps prevent injury to your lovable friend and also prevents injury to you yourself!
There are many different shapes of beds and again you should choose what is best suited to your dog’s size. Watch how your dog likes to sleep, based on this you should be able to choose the most suitable bed. Some dogs like to curl up in a ball, making a donut-shaped bed suitable. Other dogs like to stretch out, meaning a longer bed would be the best option.
Choosing the right bed can go a long way to ensuring your pet feels safe and secure at home.
As you well know a dog needs exercise on the regular and not all of us are blessed at being able to let our dogs roam free during the day, Therefore choosing the correct and most comfortable equipment is important at ensuring your dog is not only comfortable and happy but safe as well.
Every dog should be microchipped now, but there is still a lot to be said for a collar with an ID tag/your name and number on it. If you ever do, hopefully not, lose your pet then this may be the key to its return.
When choosing a lead, a rule of thumb is to pick a wider collar, so if your dog pulls against the leash the force will spread across the trachea and not just one area. There is a variety of different collars on offer, from leather to nylon. Choose the material based on the activities of your dog. For example, if your dog is a mucky pup and likes all things water, then a leather collar wouldn’t be advised.
Next is Harness, depending on whether you use one or not. Harnesses have become increasingly popular as of late, as they seem to be a lot more comfortable for the dog. Do not skimp out when buying one, as if you get a cheap one and your dog goes to pull away it may snap open. Harnesses which close at the front are generally the best. Harnesses are used for energetic animals who like to explore and frequently lunge forward in excitement. Harnesses are preferred for small dogs, as they are more fragile than their larger cousins.
Leads meanwhile would be more suited to quieter or older animals. Long leashes can also give your dog more freedom to explore on their walk.
Another key piece of kit, especially as dogs tend to love the car or jeep, is the pet seat belt or safety harness. The seat belt is literally a belt which clips onto your dog’s lead and clips into the belt buckle.
It may seem a chore, but every dog needs regular brushing and grooming. Bristle brushes are a good type to start with, although if your animal has sensitive skin then maybe start with softer bristles. If your dog has longer hair, choose a brush with longer, widely spaced bristles. Curly hair works better with wire-pin brushes, but should never be used on dogs with shorter hair.
If your dog is a tangler, then a bristle brush with very fine bristles is recommended. If your dog sheds a lot, then a de-shedder is a must!
This is a very important one, not only for your dog’s comfort but yours as well. An owner should regularly check their dogs for signs of fleas, ticks or worms. Regular washing with medicated shampoo can help prevent a flea attack.
While you should always check for ticks when brushing your pet. Medicated collars can be got to prevent tick attacks, while tablets can be purchased in most stores for worms treatment. This is administered simply by placing a tablet into a knob of butter and giving it to your pet.
There are other preventative measures now available to stop these pests in their tracks. These can be obtained by asking your local vet or even visiting your local pet store.
How could we forget about the ever important toys! Every dog is similar to that of a child, they need to be entertained. Toys are a great way for you to bond with your pet and for it to entertain itself when you are not around or busy.
There is a range of different toys available now, in all shapes, sizes, and colours. There are now even toys which dispense food and treats! Toys not only stimulate your pet’s brain but also helps them burn off any excess energy. It can’t be stressed how important a toy can be. They stimulate your pet both physically and mentally, but ultimately keep them as the bundle of joy you have become very fond of.