By Allen Brown

Sharing your life with a canine companion is a remarkable adventure. Dogs are great companions and provide enjoyment and warmth to a home. If you’re a new dog owner, you may be considering all the extra things you need to buy to ensure you care for your new friend properly. Here are some essential items that you’ll need to invest in: 

Leads and harnesses

Selecting the correct gear for walk times is challenging with so many products on the market. Start by considering the size of your dog. If you have a small breed, something lightweight is the best option. Smaller dogs don’t tend to pull too much, and if they do, it’s easy to pull them back as they aren’t that strong, so a lead that fits around the neck is fine. If you’re getting a puppy, a harness is a safer option. 

For more muscular dogs with a tendency to pull, you will need a lead/harness that is durable and secure. Thick leather and a metal chain are perfect and will help you feel more in control; they’re easy and unlikely to break. It would also be wise to use a harness – dogs that pull can hurt their throat with a lead that gets too tight around the neck. 

If you’ve rescued a pooch, you may need to be a bit more cautious when out walking. Dogs from abusive backgrounds can often be unpredictable, so it’s wise to prepare by choosing a muzzle from a reputable company. You may be apprehensive about using a muzzle on your dog, but for their safety and others, it will give you peace of mind and help you to enjoy your excursions with your new friend. There are several available and some more comfortable than others, so do some research to find the best fit. 

Adding an identity tag to a lead or harness is crucial in case of emergency. Sometimes dogs escape or run off during walks. Placing a tag with your dog’s name, address details, and your phone number will enable anyone who finds your escapee to return him to you; this can be the difference between being reunited with your beloved pet or losing him forever.  

Beds and food bowls 

Providing your new pet with a comfortable and warm place to sleep will aid the settling process. If you are getting a puppy, a sturdy, well-made bed will minimize the damage from chewing incidents. 

If you have a large dog that enjoys sleeping like a ninja, choose a bed that will allow him to stretch out comfortably. Choose materials that are washable in case of accidents. Alternatively, you might decide upon a plastic & stable bed and add blankets or pillows for comfort. 

Place the bed where you want your dog to sleep at night; this may be the kitchen or an area that is quiet and warm. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll allow your dog in the bedroom for mutual company. There are no hard and fast rules, whatever works for you. 

There are a variety of feeding bowls on the market. If you have a large dog, choose durable material, such as stainless steel. If your dog is food-driven and inhales his food in an excited frenzy, you may need a heavy ceramic bowl that will stay in place and prevent your dog from pushing it around the floor during meal times. There are also slow feeders available to help reduce digestive problems if you have a food-oriented canine. 

Grooming equipment and toys 

If you have a long-haired pooch, you must invest in some grooming tools to ensure that his coat stays smooth and tangle-free. It isn’t just for ascetic purposes that grooming is essential; it also helps your dog’s skin breathe and prevents dirt from causing skin irritation or infection. If you find it difficult grooming your pet, or he isn’t very cooperative then using a professional groomer might be the best option; they’re trained to deal with nervous doggies and have the latest equipment. 

Toys are as crucial for a dog’s development. In a world where many dogs are kept as pets and not getting stimulated out in the wild, we are responsible for keeping our dogs entertained; this helps keep their minds and bodies healthy and prevents them from getting bored. Ball games, puzzles, food-finding toys and, tug of war help dogs burn off energy and keep their minds active. Many dogs will favor a specific toy, so experiment with different ones to see what provides the most enjoyment. 

Dogs are part of the family. Caring for ‘man’s best friend’ is an honor that will provide mutual benefits for us and our dog. They are loyal and loving companions that will return our love and care for many years to come. 

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