The Most Important Accessories for Dog Owners
Looking after a dog is something that most people will do at some point in their life, whether that is our own pet dog, a family pet, or an animal you are pet sitting. Forming a bond with a dog, whether one of our own or one temporarily in our care, is a hugely rewarding thing that can have positive effects on our mental health over time.
There is just something so special about those soulful eyes and adorable noses that melts our hearts to the point that spending time with dogs can reduce our stress levels, improve our mood, and generally makes us feel good. Not only does playing with and giving affection to our dogs give us emotional benefits, owning dogs tends to be good for our health too, especially if you walk them regularly.
Of course, the benefits of interacting with a dog are more pronounced when the dog is your own and you get to know them over time and build a strong bond. If you are planning on getting your first dog at some point soon, there are plenty of good times ahead. With that said, dogs do need specific care and it can be tricky to know exactly what you need in terms of accessories and equipment.
Luckily, most dogs have fairly straightforward care needs and you can find everything you need to care for them online or in pet shops. To tell the truth, there are thousands of accessories you can choose from for your dog, but you don’t necessarily need them all. In this guide we’ll be talking about the dog care essentials and equipment that you almost definitely will need.
Whether you are adopting an adult dog or a puppy, you need to make sure they have somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep. While your dog will need a comfy bed throughout their life, it is especially important in the first days and weeks of them coming home because they are likely to be more tired and stressed than usual, and having somewhere cosy and private to retreat to can help their emotional regulation as they settle into their new home. A dog bed needs to be supportive and offer protection from hard and cold surfaces, and it needs to be big enough for the dog.
Training tools such as clickers and whistles for dogs are a great idea if you plan on training your dog in any capacity. The right training tools will make it easier for you to communicate with your dogs, usually by whistling commands and using a clicker to mark the desired behaviour. Training tools can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be, it all depends on how intensively you plan on training your dog.
Dogs get dirty and will need the odd bath now and then. Make sure you have some dog-friendly shampoo on hand for those emergency mucky days. You should also get some dog-friendly toothpaste and a toothbrush for your dog so you can keep on top of their oral hygiene. If you tend to walk your dog on soft surfaces and their nails are not naturally kept in check, you will either need to take them to a groomer for nail trims or will need to buy a nail clipper and learn how to do it safely for yourself.
Food and treats
Every dog needs good nutrition and you will have the choice of feeding wet, dry, raw or a combination of foods that they enjoy. Add some healthy treats for training and bonding, just remember to keep an eye on their overall calorie intake.
Dog walking accessories
Big or small, couch potato or boundless energy, all dogs will need to be walked at some point, even if it’s just to the car and back. These days, harnesses and leads are a popular combination because it is easier to control your dog when they are wearing a harness, and many experts believe they are safer for strong pullers because they put less pressure on the animal’s throat. A collar with a harness attached is also popular but may need some getting used to if the dog has only been on a harness. You also need a legally compliant dog tag with all the current details on it.