Being a dog owner in 2021 is great! There are so many pet food and supplies available out there today to help you keep your furry friend healthy, happy and increase his lifespan. However, this abundance of choices can make knowing which dog food and supplies very confusing.
The growing pet industry also means there is an increasing number of new dog products appearing on the market that are not as necessary for your everyday use – they are more a commodity than a necessity. But, for every unnecessary dog product there is one essential item; a must-have that you’ll need at home to take proper care of your pooch. The following is a list of the must-have dog products and supplies you and your dog can’t live without.
Collar and Leash
Research has shown that only 15-20% of dogs that get lost are returned to their home and the rest remain lost or find new owners. A collar with your dog’s identification tag is the most simple and affordable way to increase the chance of finding your dog in case it ever gets lost. So, a collar and a leash should be one of the first few items that should be on the shopping list for your pet.
For your dog’s first collar, choose an adjustable nylon type featuring a two-piece buckle. The collar should fit snugly so it won’t slip off yet shouldn’t be too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck. If your pet is a puppy, you can expect to buy several collars as it outgrows them.
The leash gives you control to walk your pet and obedience training. The leash and the hardware that attaches to the collar should be strong and well made. For your comfort, the leash should also have a loop that’s easy to grip. For a puppy, consider a shorter leash at first. For obedience control, you’ll need a longer leash.
Food and Treats
Your pet food needs should be the emphasis when considering what food or treats to get. The right balance of vitamins and minerals should be provided, particularly to growing puppies. Sporting and working dog breeds need to eat food that sustains their hyperactive lifestyle while dogs that aren’t getting any younger need low-calorie food to avoid weight gain.
It’s important that you understand that a healthy dog is reflected by the food it eats. So, make sure to pick the proper pet food and supplies. A quality dry food will provide a well-balanced diet for an adult dog. It can be mixed with water, broth or canned food. Your furry friend may enjoy cottage cheese, cooked egg or fruits and vegetables, but these additions should not exceed more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake.
Puppies should be fed high-quality puppy food. “People food” should be limited because it can result in vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems as well as lead to very picky eating habits and obesity. Make sure clean, fresh water is available at all times.
The best way to know if you are getting high-quality food is to read the label. What must be on a pet food label, you may ask? When you check the ingredient list of a certain product, you want to see high-quality, natural ingredients like meat, whole grains and vegetables at the beginning. High-quality dog foods will name a healthy source of protein like chicken or fish as the first ingredient while low-quality dog food will have any by-products or grains as the first ingredient. You’ll also want to look for potentially harmful ingredients like artificial preservatives like BHT, BHA, and sodium nitrite, all of which can be dangerous for pets. Avoid artificial flavours like corn syrup and artificial colours or dyes as these ingredients have no nutritional value.
Some people don’t consider dog treats a must-have dog supply, but it’s important to have dog treats at home at all times, sometimes even with you when you go somewhere with your fido. This is especially true if you are in the process of training your puppy. A treat is the best positive reinforcement you can use to prevent dog pee stains on your carpet. Even if you choose not to use dog treats as reinforcement, just having them on hand as a simple treat for your canine here and there is never a bad idea as well.
It’s true that dogs can sleep and live without a bed, but a bed designed especially for dogs’ needs will provide improved comfort for your pet. The first night you bring your puppy home, it’ll need a comfy bed to call his own. While housetraining your puppy, you’ll have it sleep in its crate or kennel. Smaller beds covered in fleece are a great option for this purpose as they keep the dog warm and cozy while it’s dozing away.
Once your dog gets housetrained and graduates from its crate to a real dog bed, you can choose from a wide range of dog beds – from simple to luxury dog beds. Consider the size, age and health of your pet to find out the type of bed that will be most comfortable for it. Many of the small breed dogs like beds they can snuggle in and keep warm. These beds are often called “snuggle beds”.
For the larger breeds who don’t enjoy that sinking feeling, luxury dog beds with memory foam is a great choice. Big bones need good support and a memory foam layer will help distribute the pet’s weight across the surface of the bed. Some beds even come with water and rip-resistant covers that unzip for easy cleaning.
If environmental sustainability is important to you, you can find dog beds that come stuffed with recycled materials, like repurposed cotton or soda bottles. You can also find dog beds stuffed with cedar chips for odour and insect control.
If your pup begins to chew on its bedding and ingest some of the stuffing or foam, take it away from her to prevent possible intestinal blockage. Offer her a blanket or towel to sleep on until your dog gets over its chewing phase.