It should come as no surprise that dogs are the most popular pets in America. In fact, close to 90 million dogs are owned as pets in the US.
Thanks to this popularity, finding dog items and supplies couldn’t be easier. The problem is, there are a lot of unnecessary items on the market that your dog doesn’t really need.
So, how do you know what’s necessary and what isn’t? Check out this dog essentials guide to discover the top items every dog parent should own.
Top Items Every Dog Parent Should Own
1. Dog Bed
While some dogs can sleep on the floor just fine, the right bed can really help improve your dog’s sleep, and hopefully prevent them from trying to crawl into bed with you!
When searching for a dog bed, make sure you look for one that’s large enough for your pup to stretch out and relax on. Also, make sure you choose one that’s washable or that comes with a washable cover.
If your dog is still a puppy, then you might want to wait until he’s out of the phase of chewing up and ripping things before purchasing a bed. There are all kinds of beds to choose from, from orthopedic foam beds to thin pads. You can check out Pet Life to get an idea of the types of dog beds out there.
2. Leash and Harness
No matter how well-behaved your dog is, it’s absolutely necessary to purchase a leash and harness. Many places, such as national and state parks, actually require that you keep your dog on a leash when walking around.
So, even if your dog does fine off-leash, these items are still handy to have around. Ideally, you want to find a leash that has anywhere from 4 to 6 feet of slack. This gives your dog enough space to feel independent while still allowing you to keep them within reach of you.
When it comes to leash material, leather is often a top choice due to its durability. However, you can find leashes in nylon, cotton, or other materials.
A harness can be used in combination with a leash to help keep your dog under control when going for walks around town. The nice thing about a harness is that it puts pressure on your dog’s chest instead of its neck, which can help stop the pulling.
Why your dog needs two sturdy bowls
3. Food and Bowls
Obviously, your dog needs to eat! Every dog has different needs according to their breed, age, weight, and health conditions, so it’s best to consult with your vet about which food is best for your pup.
No matter what food you get for your dog, make sure you also purchase two sturdy bowls along with it. One bowl should be for their food, while the other one should be for their water. We recommend choosing a bowl that’s made from stainless steel or sturdy plastic.
While ceramic bowls can be quite pretty, they’re easily breakable, so we recommend avoiding these.
4. Pet Stain Remover
It’s no secret that dogs have accidents from time to time. Even the most well-behaved dog can sometimes have a fright that causes them to have an accident.
When this happens, it’s very important that you have a good pet stain remover on hand. Pet stain remover is specially formulated, so make sure you’re not just using vinegar or your run-of-the-mill carpet cleaner.
These won’t get rid of the smell that will attract your pup to go to the bathroom in the same place again. Instead, make sure you invest in a stain remover that’s specifically formulated to tackle pet stains.
While some pet owners view crates as cruel, this is a complete misconception. Crates are an excellent training tool, and they help keep your pet safe during car trips.
While you might see a crate as a confined space, your pup sees a crate as a cozy den. It’s the perfect place for your pup to curl up when it needs some security and privacy.
Of course, in order for your dog to be comfortable in its crate, you need to make sure you choose one that’s appropriately sized. Your dog should have enough space to stand up and turn around comfortably in their crate.
When shopping for a crate, it’s also important to consider the material. Some of the most popular materials are wood, metal, and plastic.
Of course, you also need a good set of dog toys to keep your pup entertained.
When selecting toys, we suggest purchasing at least one that is food-dispensing. A food-dispensing toy is the perfect thing to give to your dog when they need a good distraction, such as when you’re leaving the house.
A food-dispensing toy can also be a nice distraction for your dog when you need to get things done around the house and all they want to do is play with you!
7. Grooming Supplies
To keep your dog looking its best, you’ll need to invest in the right grooming supplies. The exact grooming supplies you’ll need will depend on the breed of dog you own. For example, the way you groom a poodle will be quite different than the way you groom a golden retriever.
In general, though, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Nail trimmers
- Dog brush and comb
- Coat clippers
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Doggy toothbrush and toothpaste
8. Collar and ID Tags
Last but not least, you need to invest in a collar and ID tag for your dog. When registering your dog with your local municipality, you’ll receive a numbered dog tag.
You should then attach this tag to your dog’s collar, which will help identify him should he ever get lost. The thing is, to the average person, these numbers don’t mean anything at all.
This is why we recommend investing in a personalized ID tag. With a personal tag, you’ll be able to include your name, address, and phone number, making it incredibly easy for someone to locate you should they find your dog.
For extra protection, you can also install a microchip in your dog. This is useful should your dog ever be stolen. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is installed in your dog’s skin. Once installed, you’ll register the microchip number with the appropriate company. You’ll then easily be able to track your dog’s location.
Now that you have this list of dog essentials, it’s time to start shopping! Comment below if you have any questions.