When you’ve got a dog, there are certain items that you’ll need to bring into the fold. They range from required to just plain convenient.
A lot of them are easy to overlook, however, so it’s always a good idea to make a list. If you’re looking for things to put down for your new venture into dog ownership… well, read on!
Must-have Items for Dog Owners
Harness and Leash
Paired together, these are the most important things you can own for your dog. Collars should mostly be used for identification purposes, not walking the dog. While a well-trained dog is unlikely to hurt themselves with a leash and collar, harnesses just come out ahead.
Harnesses are even more necessary for dogs that haven’t been heavily socialized. It means you’ll be able to yank on the leash to control the dog without choking them since the pulling force will be located around the chest instead of the neck.
Your leash should be long enough that you’re comfortable with it and made of strong material. A six to eight-foot leash made of leather is enough to control even the strongest dog, but smaller dogs can use a longer, lighter leash. It’s up to you, but they’re the number one must-have item for you and your dog.
Crate training dogs often leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. It doesn’t have to, it’s actually a great way to help your dog feel secure.
In the wild, dogs have their dens. In your home, you can allow your dog to have their own piece of territory by teaching them that their crate is a safe place. Crate training is outside of the scope of this article, but it’s easy to do.
The crate should be big enough for your dog, a food bowl, and a water bowl. Your dog should be able to stand up and stretch out a bit in it as well.
In the end, crates are one of the best ways to avoid serious incidents while you’re not at home. Every owner should look into it.
Some form of automatic waterer is a great way to help your dog during the day. Some people prefer the gravity-fed models, while others like fountains.
The best, however, are those which are hooked to a hose. Afloat controls a gate and back pressure on the hose keeps it from overflowing. They allow your dog to have an unlimited amount of clean water.
They’ll save you time around the house but their real use is while you’re away. Don’t just go with a bowl, make sure your dogs have exactly what they need with a great waterer. Hydration is just as important for your canine companion as it is for you.
Couch covers can help save your furniture from more than just stains. A sturdy one will also protect from claws and the general energetic playing that a dog puts in.
Of course, they’re also great for keeping stains off. In the end, they’re simply necessary for anyone with a dog who wants to protect their furniture. A dog will eventually wear down even the sturdiest couch and those with long hair? Well, your couch will end up with more hair than fabric by the end.
Just make sure you choose a good one. Some of the cheaper ones will tear apart too quickly to be worth using.
Your dog deserves a decent bed. While many will happily sleep on the floor, it’s not good for them. Large dogs, in particular, will suffer over time, and a bad bed can increase the chance of arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Look for something with memory foam. A couple of inches of memory foam may cost a bit more than you’d think, but the money saved on vet vills and your dog’s improved quality of life are more than enough rewards.
If you really can’t afford a memory foam dog bed, then look for something with sturdy poly-fill to make sure they’re getting the best doggone rest they can.