Dog Care

YOUR DOG ESSENTIAL LIST- 9 THINGS ALL DOGS NEED

Bringing home a new dog or puppy can raise a lot of wonderful feelings in us. Whether it is the first time or you are adding a new one to the pack, it is important to prepare properly for them. Making sure you have the basic dog essential things will put you and your dog on the right path to a fruitful joyous relationship. Whether you are adopting a brand-new puppy breed or an old dog from the shelter. This basic list of things below will put you and your dog in on the right track.

DOG CRATE

It doesn’t matter where you want your new dog to sleep, whether you plan on sleeping with him or her on your bed, a different room, or even outside the house. It is very important that he or she gets to enjoy tension free times in their crate. A crate should be a place for your dog that is free from anxiety or stress. Your dog’s personal palace, a safe spot where he or she can get away from people in the house or even you to have a quiet relaxing time.

It is imperative to acquire a crate that is comfortable so as to make training him or her to love going into it easy.

For those that don’t have any idea what a dog crate is. This is an enclosure (can be made of metal, wire, fabric, or plastic) with a door in which a dog can stay in for various reasons (transportation, training, security, alone time, etc.). Dog crates are usually designed to imitate the features of a natural dog den. In this way, the build of a dog crate is meant to provide your dog with a feeling of safety or security. A place of ultimate relaxation and away from all forms of anxiety.

Whether you are traveling or at home, the crate is supposed to be a safe haven for your dog.

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Training your dog to be comfortable in his or her crate comes with its perks. For example, it makes it easier to potty train a puppy, it can make it easier for your dog to learn house rules and it can make it easier to manage your dog in places where they are not allowed to roam about.

Still not sure of the importance of a dog crate. Ok, just compare a dog’s crate to a baby crib. Having your baby in the crib gives you peace of mind that your baby is safe, and if the baby has access to enough interactive toys then they would enjoy most of their time in the crib.

A note of warning, prolonged use of your dog’s crate can lead to psychological and mental problems for your dog.

It is important to use in moderation.

FOOD AND WATER BOWL

Your dog would definitely need to eat food and drink water so it is very essential for your dog to be familiar with his or her feeding bowl and water bowl. Having a particular feeding bowl and water bowl for your dog is an important first step in managing your dog’s health as eating and ingestion are some of the top ways thru which our dogs can get infected by bacteria(and fall sick).

You might be tempted to pick any feeding bowl you see at the pet shop, but don’t do this. It’s surprising how many pet parents that do not understand the risks associated with the bowls which their pets feed on.

Here is a list of various types of bowls for your dog with their advantages and disadvantages.

i.)Plastic Dog Bowl:

These are the most popular and easiest of all the bowls to acquire, but unfortunately the most dangerous and riskiest to feed your dogs with. There are three major reasons for this

a.) High exposure to toxic substances

Substances such as lead, chlorine, BPA etc which are known to be harmful to both dogs and humans

b.) Lack of Durability

This shortcoming becomes more evident especially when it comes to puppies, the bowl ends up being more or less a chew toy, ingesting some of these broken parts can lead to intestinal injuries and bleeding for the puppies

c.) Easy exposure to Bacteria

Due to chewing and biting which will obviously make crevices and cracks form in the bowl. These crevices and cracks end up being good hiding places for bacteria which easily lead to health issues for our dogs.

This is not to say there are no high-quality plastic bowls, it’s just that the search might not be worth it.

ii.)Ceramic Dog Bowls:

These are a far better option to plastic bowls, they are durable and less exposed to bacteria and toxic substances. Your main concern in acquiring a ceramic bowl should be to ensure that the glaze coating used to glaze the bowl does not contain any toxic substance.

Checking the bowl from time to time is important as there are little wear and tear that can occur as the bowl gets older.

iii)Stoneware Dog Bowls:

This is a grade above the ceramic bowl, as a stoneware there is less risk of it being contaminated with lead. As a precaution, make sure you request for a lead-free stoneware. Some designs for the bowl might incorporate elements that have dangerous chemicals e.g lead.

iv.)Silicon Dog Bowls:

This is a newer alternative as compared to the other mentioned here. It is non-toxic, non-stick, and rubber-like in its properties. They are also heat resistant and do not retain stains or odor.

Silicon Dog Bowls are very good for camping and traveling due to their nonrigid property

v.) Stainless Steel Dog Bowls:

This is by far the best option currently available in the market. It is non-porous in nature which means it is rust-resistant, doesn’t house bacteria,non-leaching, and is easier to clean.

They usually are on the expensive side, but once acquired can last more than the other types of bowls mentioned above.

DOG BEDS

Even though it’s true that our beloved dogs can lay down anywhere that’s available to them. It is essential that they have their own space for sleeping at night or even a daytime nap. Some would say that a dog’s crate should be enough for the dog, and to those, we ask a simple question. How would you like a bedroom without a bed? This all boils down to the type of pet parent you want to be and the type of relationship you want to create with your dog.

Making a choice about your dog’s bed can seem like an endless loophole. However, there are very basic things to consider when trying to choose a bed for your dog. These are:

a.)Your dog’s personality

Some dogs like to curl up to sleep, some like to rest their head on things and just stretch out. Depending on the dog’s personality, a bed size and design that will suit their sleeping posture would be required.

b.)Health Issues

What is your dog’s history(if the dog is older) or the breed type characteristic (if the dog is still at the puppy stage)? Is he or she prone to sore joints, are they prone to arthritis. Do they get hot easily (due to large hair) Obviously, dogs that are prone to sore joints and arthritis would need orthopedic beds.  Do your own investigation. What health issues are your dogs prone to?

c.)Age

Older dogs would obviously require a bigger bed space than puppies. Also, teething puppies would require better bedding materials that can withstand the bites from the puppy from time to time.

d.)How it will fit with your decor

Aesthetics comes into play here, if the dog bed is going to be somewhere in the house, you would want it to look good, have some fancy design that fits the house. Even if the resting place is outside. You wouldn’t want it placed in areas where they can get spoilt easily.

e.)Bed Size

As said earlier in Age, the size of the bed matters. Depending on how big the dog(s) are, the bed sizes should be enough for them to sleep comfortably. As a rule of thumb measure your dog and give 8 to 12 more inches in order to ascertain the proper bed size for your dog.

f.)Prize

This is a personal thing. What you spend on buying a bed for your dog depends on what importance you ascribe to him or her, as a rule of thumb, buy a bed that has quality and durability to last your dogs years.

So these are the basis for choosing a dogs bed, but it is also well worth noting that there are different types of dog beds. You can acquire the

a.) Basic mat, if your dog is the kind to sleep anywhere.

b.) Get a dog pillow if your dog is the type that rolls around while sleeping.

c.) A donut bed for dogs that like curling up while sleeping.

d.) A nest bed

e.) A bolster type of bed for leaner dogs

f.) A cave style type of bed for dogs that like to burrow

g.) A hammock type of bed for dogs that like sleep above ground

No matter your choice or the type of dog bed you choose, make sure that it is one you can easily maintain.

DOG COLLAR

This is one of the most basic things you and your dog need. A dog collar is basically a piece of material put around a dog’s neck that can be used for many purposes such as, to identify your dog, control your dog, assist your dog medically, and even to make a fashion statement.

The most common use of dog collars is in conjunction with a leash to control your dog especially when outdoors or going on a walk.

As said earlier, a dog collar can be used for various purposes but the basic types of collars used by dogs are:

a.) Basic dog collars –

Is mainly made from leather, nylon webbing, etc. The main purpose here is to have a collar around your dog’s neck that can be held onto. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to slip in two fingers and hold firmly without choking out your dog.

b.) Dog Training Collars –

The main purpose of these types of collars is to train your dog, e.g obedience training

c.) Dog Medical Collars –

These types of collars can be used in managing medical conditions in your dog. Something as simple as flea control, to controlling wound areas on your dog’s body.

d.) Special Purpose Collars –

As the name implies, these collars are made for special situations eg. For hunting dogs, to protect them from being mauled by wolves, flotation collarsthat help dogs to float in water and for more special purposes.

You need to review each and decide which one suits you and your dog best.

GROOMING SUPPLIES

Whether you are adopting a puppy or an older dog, grooming your dog from time to time is essential. Also teaching them how to behave during grooming is important. Grooming is important in other to keep your dog healthier and happier.

Our dogs need regular washing, combing, and brushing of their coats. They also need clean ears, trimmed toenails, and brushed teeth.

To do this, it is important to understand some forms of grooming routine for your dog and have the necessary grooming supplies ready in order to achieve this. Find below a list of some essential grooming supplies to put you on the right path:

    Scissors

    Shampoo and conditioner

    Slicker brush

    Styptic powder

    Toothbrush and dog toothpaste

    Nail clippers

    Towels  

    Blow-dryer

    Bristle brush

    Comb

    Conditioning spray

    Cotton balls

    Ear cleaning solution

    Grooming table or grooming area

Store the above items in a plastic container or tote for easy access.

DOG TOYS

Whether it’s a stuffed bear, squeaky duck, or a kong toy. Our dogs just love their playthings. Basically, we can classify our dog toys into the following: Plush toys, these are mainly stuffed animal toys. The main purpose of these toys is to provide some warmth and comfort to our dogs. Chew toys, these toys satisfy our dogs need to chew and gnaw on objects. Critical thinking toys e.g treat-dispensing devices that release goodies for our dogs anytime they complete an expected task. Fetch toys e.g flying discs, balls, and ropes.

No matter what you choose for your dog, you must make sure that you offer him or her strong, durable quality, and well-made toys, that are appropriate for their stage in life. It’s expected that your dog would end up destroying most if not all of their toys with time. It’s your duty to check from time to time and replace the spoilt ones. Frayed ropes and damaged squeaker parts can easily be digested by our dogs and these can lead to intestinal wounds and digestive problems.

Lastly, it is important to plan ahead and purchase these toys before you bring your pet home. Most pet parents overlook this part, but you will find out soon, that immediately your dog comes home, you will be more engrossed in keeping him or her busy than in acquiring new items for them.

FOOD, WATER, AND TREATS

It is essential to feed your dog with the right food and treats. It is also important to give them the right amount of water for daily hydration. As the heading implies, you should be feeding your dog with dog food that is specially formulated and intended for dog consumption.

Dog metabolize or assimilate food into their body differently from humans, just for this reason, some of the food we eat as humans can be potentially very dangerous to our dogs.

It is easy to fall into the trap of buying cheap dog food for your dog. Grooming your dog, Veterinary bills and dog toys in themselves can be very expensive. Looking at all this expense, you might be tempted to go out and get the cheapest dog food available, but don’t do that. If there is something you should cut the cost down on, it definitely should not be dog food.

Everybody knows that a healthy dog is a happy dog, so having the right ingredients and nutrition will go a long way in helping you have a healthy dog and all the joyful experience that comes with it.

Cheap dog food lacks the right nutrients and continuously feeding your dog with it can lead to malnutrition, digestive problems some serious health conditions.

IDENTIFICATION TAGS

This comes in handy if your dog gets missing or runs off.

An Identification tag is a metal or plastic medallion that we can attach to our dog’s collar. On this medallion would be inscribed details which one can use to contact you in case your dog gets missing. You can have details like your dog’s name, your name, address, phone number, etc. For safety reasons, put minimal information, your dog’s name and a contact number is ok.

VETERINARY DOCTOR

Most of us Pet parents remember only seem to remember a vet doctor when our dogs fall sick, but it is not supposed to be this way. We should try to establish a relationship with a vet doctor even before bringing our dogs home. This way you can schedule a routine check-up for your dogs and have a go-to doctor in case of an emergency.

This also helps your dog to be more relaxed when being treated for anything, as he or she would be accustomed to the vet doctor and the environment.

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