Top 10 Essentials for Dog Owners
Getting a new pet dog is probably one of the most exciting yet worrying things to do. On one hand, we get excited over the bond and companionship we will have for the next 10 years. On another, we are not entirely sure if we have what it takes to provide for our dog in the next 10 years. It’s the emotions every dog owners know too well at the start.
Getting a pet dog is a tedious process. Not only are you bringing back a new family member, you are also bringing back all the necessities that the dog needs. If you don’t have the basic needs for a pet dog, how will your dog be able to survive, let alone live happily with you? This means that there is a list of things that you must get before actually getting the dog. Wondering if you have what it takes? Here are the 10 essentials that you will need for your dog.
Probably the first thing that you would need to get is a leash. Without it, it is impossible to walk your dog and to train it. A leash also makes sure that your dog will not get out of control around other people or animals. It puts you in command and in position as the dog’s owner which is extremely important to establish from the start.
Before getting one, research on what type of leash best suits you! There are many variations. Some with different lengths, different materials or designs. Know which type is best suited for your dog. Getting the wrong leash can be uncomfortable for both you and the dog, making training or walking more difficult that it needs to be!
In terms of the length, the standard length would be 6 foot. Since it’s longer, it’s more flexible. You can use it as a 4 foot or lower if needed. However, if you get yourself a 4 foot leash right off the start, you have less flexibility. Unless you are completely sure that 4 foot is all you need, go with the 6 foot!
In terms of materials, there are various options to choose from. Each with their own pros and cons. Generally, you’ll need something that is durable, tough, and it feels good in your hands. Leather, if well-maintained, can last you a lifetime. Provided if it’s well taken care of. It can also be quite expensive. But, not only is it durable, it also feels comfortable in your hands. Unlike nylon, though it is on the cheaper side, can cause a rope burn effect in your hands if your dog pulls. Biothane is usually a good start since its feel is similar to leather, but it is cheaper. The only downside to it is that it can get slippery when it’s wet.
Learn how to use the leash! Handling the leash is not as simple as holding it and pulling your dog with it. There are techniques that you are required to learn. Train yourself to train your dog!
When getting a dog, one of the needed necessities is to get a crate. Some do not crate train but most do up to a certain age. Crate training definitely has its pros. Especially if you’re getting a puppy, crate training prevents the dog from causing any damage to your house or the dog itself. However, you would need to get a cage big enough for your dog. If the size of the cage is too small, it’ll be very uncomfortable for your dog to stay in. This is not only suffocating the dog, but it would make crate training more difficult as well.
Get a crate that is large enough for the dog to defecate and urinate. Prepare some water as well for your dog. Place a bed or a few sheets of towel for your dog to sleep comfortably in.
3. Dog Collar
A dog collar is necessary for various reasons! Some may argues that it suffocates the dog, making it cruel. However, that’s a false claim! Unless you get it in the wrong size, then it is completely fine for your dog to wear a collar. In fact, it is very much needed!
Collars make training easier. It also functions as a form of emergency if your dog ever gets lost. Without a collar, you are also unable to walk your dog using a leash which can be a big problem. Getting a collar is definitely necessary!
Like the others, do your research before buying the collar. Know which collars suit best for your dog and which one you like the most. There are various dog collars with different sizes, designs and materials. Preferably, get something that is easy to release, yet it also stays on firmly. Most importantly, make sure that is it the right size for your dog! Make sure that it’s not too loose nor too tight.
4. Airtight Food Container
Another necessity is a container to store your dog’s food! It’s no secret that dogs can be mischievous. Don’t be surprise to find yourself coming back home with a floor filled with dog food and a half emptied bag.
That’s all the more reason to get an airtight container to put in your dog food. Place it somewhere where your dog can’t reach it. Not only does it prevent your dog from committing thievery, it also prevents the food from going bad quick!
5. Soft Bed
When your dog gets bigger, he will have to sleep outside his cage. This means that you will have to get a bed that’s comfortable for your dog to sleep in. Make sure that it is big enough for your dog to fit too! If your dog chews a lot, you might also need to get a chew-friendly bed. Don’t be surprise if you have to change beds for your dog!
Another thing you have to get is shampoo for your dog. Generally, you should bathe your dog once a week. Some people bathe their dog once every two weeks. So it depends on how you see fit! If your dog has thicker fur than a once a month bath would be great, if not necessary.
With this said, get a shampoo that’s suitable for your dog! Some dog owners prefer organic shampoos while some are fine with the regular shampoo. So do your own research. Some shampoos come with added functions too like flea prevention or smooth fur.
In any case, a regular shampoo would do if you are unsure. Sometimes, finding the right fit requires trials and errors. So don’t be afraid to shift it up!
Especially if you are considering to get a dog breed that has thicker fur, a brush is always a necessity. Brushes have two functions; to shower and to groom. Get one for each and preferably, one that’s chew proof.
While you can use your hand to shower your dog, using a brush is much efficient and less energy draining. In terms of grooming, how what you want as well. If it’s for regular grooming, a regular brush would be enough. But if your dog has fleas, you might need to get a flea comb to get rid of the fleas.
You would also need a comb if your dog has thicker hair. Start with the brush then end it with the comb. This would ensure that your dog would have a healthy layer of coat. If your dog has a thinner layer of fur, then using only a brush would be enough. So know your dog! And get only what your dog needs.
8. Nail Clippers
Another essential of grooming is the nail cutter. Like us, dogs’ nails need to be taken care of as well. If it’s left out to grow for too long, it’ll get uncomfortable for the dog and painful for the owner when the dog scratches. If it gets too long, it is also a health hazard as the nail can break. If it does, it may damage the tissue and nerves, causing infection. So cutting your dog’s nails is extremely important.
While there are different variations of the nail clippers, most of them work the same. So just get one that works best for you.
Who doesn’t love snacks? Some people would go crazy over snacks, let alone dogs! Snacks are essential in training your dog. Without snacks, it is really difficult to get your dog well-trained. It is always known that snacks is to be used to get your dog to listen you. To get your dog to learn, snacks are used as the reward system for your dog to remember the commands. So getting treats is definitely essential to teach your dog tricks!
10. Kong Toy
The Kong toy is a lifesaver for many! It is a toy for dogs to chew on. The game changes when the toy can store food as well! It is designed to store food so that your dog would have to dig out the food from the toy. This helps a lot especially if you have a chewy dog. It would also keep them extremely busy. If you have no time for your dog, getting this toy would be great for you. Plus, there are various recipes online to fit into the toy that’s healthy. This could benefit your dog a lot. It would also make crate training easier by simply placing the toy in the cage. If you want to keep them occupied longer, you can also place the toy in the freezer. The frozen food would keep your dog’s attention for much longer.
The Kong Toy comes in different variations. Some that’s thicker or bigger and some that’s just normal. Get one that is best suited for your dog!