Spoiling our animals is something that is very easy to do. It's rewarding to come home with a new item for your dog to see. It's instant gratification to see their excitement, even though they may not know what exactly what it is. The thought of having something new sends them into a frenzie!
I have compiled a list of items that are good to have around the house for your little fur-ball.
Keep in mind that the items listed below are just a mere suggestion. Helpful information in the case that you are a first time dog owner or are looking for dog related suggestions.
Although there are a ton of products out there that will benefit the life and well being of your dog, the items listed below are key items that would be useful to have around your home.
Food / Food Bowls
Your dog needs food to survive, but feeding them to live shouldn't be your only goal. Take some time to research brands and food quality so you can pick which food is best for your dog. Don't feed your dog generic foods that have a tenancy of being recalled or can be purchased at a dollar store.
Placing your pets food at eye level will preserve the muscles in their neck and limit injury, especially for smaller breeds. Using a stand is great for that purpose.
Based on the size of your dog, find a bed they can easily and comfortably fit into; a bed to relax in and call their own. However, this may not stop them from wanting to share your couch or bed!
Pet beds come in all shapes and sizes. Flat, Round, puffy, soft, firm, memory foam... If you don't want your dog sharing yours, make sure you pick a good quality bed they won't want to get out of!
Every dog needs a leash. This is an obvious necessity that will enable you to walk your dog. You will attach your leash preferably to a harness or a collar. You can even use it to attach your dog to a specific location.
Extender leashes are commonly used for walking your dog, if you need to keep your dog on a short leash you can retract it, and if you want to give them extra space in a larger area, you can release length.
Fixed leashes are known to be safer on a dogs joints. The choice is yours.
This is one item that I highly recommend, especially for small breeds. When you walk your dog using a collar you run the risk of injuring your dog. If they run while leashed, or you tug at the collar, you are pulling at their neck.
For smaller breeds, there is a much higher risk of injury due to their size and small bones. A harness helps keep you in control of your dog when taking them for a walk, and also prevents serious injury as their entire body is harnessed.
Often times, if a pet owner doesn't use a harness, they use a collar. When using a collar for walks, they are best suited for a large breed dog with a larger neck. When using a collar, always be careful and mindful of yanking or choking your dog. As mentioned above, the chance of injuring your dog is higher with a collar.
A collar is best used as an ID holder. Always keeping a collar on your dog can be a great method of identification should they accidentally leave the house or get away from you.
Having an ID tag attached to your dogs collar or harness gives you peace of mind and a better chance at retrieving your pet should they get away. If your dog isn't chipped by a vet, the chance of your dog being found and returned is dependent upon an ID tag, so make sure your information is always up to date.
ID tags can be purchased at pet stores, often times your local vet, and online. If you're looking for something extra special, check out: 'Tags For Hope.'
When bringing home a puppy, you should always be equipped with a crate. Many people use crates to puppy train, but it can also become a safe place for your dog to go to when they want comfort. Many owners will have the crate accessible throughout the dogs lifetime.
When purchasing a crate, make sure the size is large enough for your dog to move around in, you don't want them confined to a small space. Allow room for a bed, as well as food and water bowls.
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
This may sound trivial, but often times dogs suffer from plaque build up which can lead to periodontal disease, this is especially common for small mouthed dogs. It may seem like a daunting task, but always try to brush your dogs teeth at least once a day. At first it will be difficult and they may try chewing the brush, but eventually they will establish a routine and the experience will be quick and painless for the both of you, maybe even enjoyable. Toothpaste for dogs comes in a variety of flavours, the taste gives them something to look forward too.
A designated blanket for your dog is great to have around the house, especially if you find your pet lounging on the furniture. Because dogs are outside daily, they attract dirt and often times a smell onto their coat, keeping a blanket just for them will protect your surfaces. It will also enable them to associate the blanket as 'their' place to lay, just as they do with their bed. A designated blanket is also great to have when taking trips in a car or as a liner in their cage.
Nail Clippers are a definite must have. Because dog nails grow long and round, if you let them grow too long it can become quite painful for them to walk. Always keep your dogs nails trimmed.
Some dogs will have clear nail-beds and some will have black. When a dogs nail-beds are clear, their cuticle will be visible, it acts as a guideline, never clip the white. With black nails, the cuticle will be hard to distinguish. Often times a good quality trimmer will have a nail-stop, its the best way to steer clear of the cuticle.
Treats can be used in a variety of ways, the most popular being as a training method. Rewarding your dog with a treat and positive reinforcement when they listen to a command or do something good, will overtime teach them the rules in which they need to abide by.
However, sometimes it's just nice to give them a treat to make their day. Look for good quality treats. The ingredients listed on the packaging will dictate that. Many are all natural, and some even contain dental properties (Greenies).
Play Toys / Chew Toys
You dog will come with a tremendous amount of energy and a desire to chew; toys will help them satisfy the craving. By purchasing a toy to play with or a toy to chew on, you will help to stimulate those desires.
If you play with your dog and their toy of choice, your bond will grow even larger. Certain toys will even help to exercise your dog, mentally and physically.
Even if your dog isn't a fan of car rides, you will at some point need to bring them into your car, especially when it's time for their annual checkup. Dog Safety is important for all sized breeds. A harness that locks into the seat belt clip is a great safety tool. Small breeds can also use bucket seats, which will allow them to look out the window, preventing motion sickness for some. There are also seat covers for dogs who shed or get carsick. Safety belts also prevent your dog from sitting or jumping on your lap while your car is in motion.
Brush / Clippers / Grooming
If you have a log haired breed, you may want to invest in a grooming brush or a set of clippers if you feel comfortable trimming your dogs coat. Often times dogs with a long or thick coat can run the risk of developing knots in their fur. If their coat mats up, it can become quite painful for them to move around. Always brush or groom your dog. The cost of clippers can be quite expensive at first, especially if you invest in a quality pair, however, in the long run, it will save you a tremendous amount of time and money. We all know how expensive each grooming visit can be.
If you plan on restricting your dog to or from a specific area of the house, a dog (or baby) gate will do the trick. Very cost effective and easy to use, it will help you set boundaries for your furry friend.
A lot of dog gates incorporate a small door for you you and your furry pal to walk in and out of -- This eliminates you removing the gate from the wall each time someone needs to pass.
If you have a large breed dog whom spends a large amount of time outside, you may want to invest in an outdoor dog house for them. This will give them opportunity to get out of the extreme heat or cold as the seasons change. Don't forget that dogs feel the change in temperature just as humans do, so be considerate!
Dog houses come in all sizes. Some smaller breeds will also spend a great amount of time outdoors, especially when their owner is outside as well.
Articles of clothing such as a sweater, jacket, winter boots, etc... is necessary for certain breeds. Small / toy breeds often feel the change in weather, especially extreme temperatures. Since they are sensitive to climate change, it's best to keep them comfortable and most importantly safe during these times.
Dogs can develop frostbite and heatstroke just as a human can.