In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time.
Dog Owner Essentials: 11 Must-Have Products for Every Pet Parent
As a new or experienced dog owner, there are a few essential items and habits that you need to keep in mind to keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and comfortable. From food and water bowls to chew toys and grooming tools, these essentials will make your life easier and your dog’s life more comfortable. In this article, we’ll cover 11 essentials for new and experienced dog owners. So, get ready to wag your tails and learn about the must-have items for every dog owner!
Choosing the right type of dog food
When it comes to caring for your furry friend, one of the most important things you can do is provide them with is high-quality dog food. Providing your dog with high-quality food is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of food available for dogs and why it’s important to choose the right one.
Types of Food
There are several different types of dog food available on the market today, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. These include:
Dry Kibble: This is the most common type of dog food and is available in a range of flavors and formulations. Dry kibble is convenient, easy to store, and can be left out for your dog to eat throughout the day.
Canned Food: Canned dog food is a good option for dogs who have trouble chewing or who need more moisture in their diet. It’s also a good option for picky eaters as it often comes in a variety of flavors.
Raw Food: This type of food is becoming increasingly popular among dog owners. It’s made up of raw meat, bones, and organs, and is often supplemented with fruits and vegetables. Proponents of raw food argue that it’s more natural for dogs and can improve their overall health.
Home Cooked: Some dog owners prefer to cook their dog’s food at home. This allows them to control exactly what goes into their dog’s diet and can be a good option for dogs with allergies or other dietary restrictions.
Semi-Moist: This type of food is a cross between dry kibble and canned food. It’s often higher in sugar and preservatives than other types of food, so it’s important to read the labels carefully and cater it to your dog’s specific dietary requirements.
Regardless of the type of food you choose, it’s important to look for high-quality ingredients and to avoid fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best type of food for your dog’s individual needs.
We Feed Raw
We Feed Raw is a company that offers raw food options for dogs. They believe that a raw diet is the healthiest way to feed dogs, as it closely mimics the diet of their wild ancestors. We Feed Raw’s products are made with human-grade, locally sourced ingredients and are free from artificial additives and preservatives. They offer a variety of options, including raw meat, bones, and organs, as well as complete meals and supplements.
Use code PRIYA25 to get 25% off your first purchase
Food and Water Bowls
You’ll need two bowls – one for food and one for water. Dog bowls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Stainless steel bowls are durable, easy to clean, and last a long time. Ceramic bowls are heavier and can be decorated with your pup’s name or design. Silicone bowls are lightweight and collapsible, making them great for travel. Plastic bowls are inexpensive and can easily be replaced if damaged. Raised bowls are great for larger breeds and help keep your pup’s posture in check while eating. No matter what type of bowl you choose, make sure it’s the right size and type for your pup as well as being easy to clean.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT BOWLS
Look for a bowl that is the right size for your dog’s breed.
Choose a bowl that is easy to clean, preferably one that is dishwasher safe.
Consider a bowl with a non-skid bottom to prevent your pup from pushing it around.
Look for a bowl that is made from safe and durable materials such as stainless steel, ceramic, or silicone.
Make sure the bowl is deep enough for your pup to eat without making a mess.
To keep your dog’s water and food bowls clean and hygienic, it’s essential to clean them regularly. Ideally, you should clean your dog’s water bowl daily and food bowl after each meal. Use warm water and dish soap to clean the bowls, and make sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue. You can also sanitize the bowls by placing them in the dishwasher or by using a mixture of water and vinegar.
The Benefits of Using a Dog Crate for Your Pet
Crate training is by far the most suggested type of training any dog trainer will suggest. Crate training provides a variety of benefits for your pet. Here are some of the benefits of using a dog crate for your pet:
Provides a Safe and Comfortable Space: Dogs, by nature, are den animals and feel safe and comfortable in enclosed spaces. A crate can provide them with a place to retreat to when they need some alone time or want to feel safe and secure.
House Training Benefits: Crate training can be an effective way to house-train your dog. Dogs naturally avoid soiling in their sleeping area, and a crate can help them learn to hold their bladder and bowels until they are taken outside.
Aids in Travel: A crate can also be used as a safe and secure way to transport your dog in a car or airplane.
Protects Your Home: A crate can keep your dog safe and contained when you’re not able to supervise them. This can help stop them from chewing on furniture or other items in your home as well as prevent the intake of any hazardous materials around the house.
Keep in mind that you don’t use a crate as a form of punishment. This turns their safe space Ito a negative space.
HOW TO SIZE YOUR DOG for the perfect crate
When choosing a crate for your dog, it’s important to select the right size. The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so big that they have room to go to the bathroom in one corner and sleep in another.
To determine the correct size for your dog, measure them from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail and add 2-4 inches. Then measure their height from the floor to the top of their head and add 2-4 inches. The resulting dimensions will give you the minimum size crate your dog needs.
The different types of crates
There are different types of crates available, including wire, plastic, and fabric crates. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Wire crates– By far the most popular and available crates in the market. They can be folded down for easy storage. I personally do not recommend these crates, since they are less likely to stand up and pass a safety test. I have heard numerous horror stories of dogs’ paws getting stuck in the crate, so in my opinion, they’re not a great choice.
Soft-sided– These are the alternative to the wire crate, they’re also pop-up and are a great option for traveling. On the downside, these crates are not as durable as metal crates and bigger dogs can collapse them from the inside.
Plastic carrier crates– This is a good combo of both metal and plastic as they have three sides that are plastic and the door as metal. After using these crates for Atlas, I found that he was not a fan of them. My biggest downside for these crates is the lack of user-friendly usage of the door. When crate training Atlas it was a struggle to get him in the crate and I didn’t appreciate having to put my dog in there and then struggling to find the little latch to close the door.
Heavy duty– These crates are extremely durable and are great for dogs that are heavy chewers and destructive. The best heavy-duty crate I found on the market were from Impact. The downside is that they are a bit more of an investment.
Furniture dog crate– Great option for anyone that is looking for a crate on the more aesthetic side. These crates blend into the environment and look less like a cage and more like furniture.
Impact crates are a bigger investment but with the ability to use a puppy divider, they come with the benefit of just having to buy one crate in a dog’s life and be done with it. They have a lifetime warranty, amazing airflow, are lightweight and are escape-proof, making them the perfect choice for Atlas or any strong, destructive dog. We have the collapsable 48″ crate which came with a bed to go inside. We have not bought another crate since getting that one.
Use code ATLAS to get an additional 15% off your first order.
Choosing the Right Dog Bed for Your Pet’s Comfort
Just like humans, dogs need a comfortable place to sleep. Choosing the right bed is crucial to ensure that your furry friend gets the rest they need. Here are some tips to help you choose the right bed for your dog:
Consider your dog’s size: It’s important to choose a bed that’s the right size for your dog. A bed that’s too small will be uncomfortable, while a bed that’s too big may not provide the support your dog needs.
Look for orthopedic options: If your dog is older or has joint issues, consider an orthopedic bed. These beds provide extra support for your dog’s joints and can help reduce pain and discomfort.
Choose the right material: Dog beds come in a variety of materials, including foam, cotton, and fleece. Consider your dog’s needs and preferences when choosing a material.
Think about washability: Dogs can be messy, so it’s important to choose a bed that’s easy to clean. Look for beds with removable covers that can be thrown in the washing machine.
Don’t forget about style: While comfort is the most important factor, you also want a bed that looks good in your home. Consider your decor and choose a bed that complements your style.
Essential Dog Toys for Mental and Physical Stimulation
Dogs are playful animals, and providing them with toys is essential for their mental and physical stimulation. However, not all toys are created equal, and it’s important to choose the right toys catered to your dog’s needs. Here are some tips for choosing the right toys:
Consider your dog’s size and breed: Larger breeds may require toys that are sturdier and can withstand their strength, while smaller breeds may prefer slight toys that are easier for them to play with.
Look for toys that are durable and safe: Avoid toys that can easily break and become a choking hazard. Additionally, make sure the toy doesn’t have any small pieces that come off which could be prone to be swallowed by your dog.
Choose toys that match your dog’s energy level: High-energy dogs may need toys that require more physical activity, such as balls or frisbees, while lower-energy dogs may prefer toys that are more interactive and mentally stimulating, such as puzzle toys.
Variety is key: Dogs can easily get bored with the same toys over time, so it’s important to provide them with a variety of toys to keep them engaged and entertained.
Some examples of essential dog toys include balls, frisbees, tug toys, puzzle toys, and chew toys. By choosing the right toys for your dog, you can help promote their physical and mental health and keep them happy and entertained.
Choosing Healthy and Nutritious Dog Treats for Your Pet
Choosing healthy and nutritious dog treats is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. Here are some tips to help you select the best dog treats for your furry friend:
Look for natural ingredients: Choose treats that are made with natural, whole-food ingredients. Avoid treats that contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Check the protein content: Look for treats that are high in protein and low in fat. Protein is essential for your dog’s health and helps keep them full and satisfied.
Consider your dog’s dietary needs: If your dog has any food allergies or dietary restrictions, choose treats that are appropriate for their needs. For example, if your dog is on a grain-free diet, choose treats accordingly.
Avoid fillers and by-products: Treats that contain fillers like corn, wheat, or by-products like chicken feet or pig ears, should be avoided. These ingredients provide little nutritional value and can be difficult for your dog to digest.
Look for dental benefits: Choose treats that help promote dental health, such as those that are designed to clean your dog’s teeth or freshen their breath.
Limit the quantity of treats: While treats are a great way to reward your dog and provide them with a little extra nutrition, it’s important to limit the amount you give them. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Choosing the Right Leash for Safe and Enjoyable Walks
Choosing the right leash is essential for ensuring safe and enjoyable walks with your furry friend. There are different types of leashes available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some common types of leashes to consider:
Standard leash: A standard leash is the most common type of leash and typically ranges from 4 to 6 feet in length. It offers good control and is suitable for most dogs.
Retractable leash: A retractable leash can extend up to 30 feet in length, allowing your dog more freedom to roam. However, they can be dangerous if not used properly, as the leash can become tangled, or your dog could wander into a hazardous area.
Adjustable leash: An adjustable leash allows you to change the length of the leash, making it suitable for various walking environments.
Martingale leash: A martingale leash is designed for dogs that tend to pull or slip out of their collar. The leash tightens slightly when your dog pulls, preventing them from escaping while also providing gentle feedback.
When choosing a leash, consider your dog’s size, behavior, and walking habits. Make sure the leash is comfortable for both you and your dog and is made of high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Dog Collar and Harness
When choosing a collar or harness for your dog, there are several things to consider to ensure that you select the right one. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Size: The collar or harness should fit your dog properly, not too loose or too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar or harness and your dog’s skin.
Material: Collars and harnesses are available in a range of materials, including nylon, leather, and neoprene. Consider the durability of the material and your dog’s comfort.
Purpose: Think about the purpose of the collar or harness. Is it for everyday walks, training, or to control pulling? Different types of collars and harnesses are designed for specific purposes.
Safety: Safety should always be a priority when choosing a collar or harness. Avoid using collars with prongs or choke chains, which can cause injury to your dog’s neck.
Fit with leash: Consider the type of leash you plan to use with the collar or harness. Some collars and harnesses are designed to be used with specific types of leashes.
Everyday collar– This is typically called a flat collar and it’s the most common type of collar known to a majority of dog owners. This collar is great for well-behaved dogs. This is not suited for dogs that have behavior problems such as pulling and tugging.
Chain slip collar– Also known as choke collar, they are meant to tighten the hold on a dog should it need it. This collar needs supervision by a watchful dog owner at all times, since the risk of strangling is high.
Prong/Pinch collar– If used properly, I believe this is a great tool to have. Keep in mind these collars require supervision by the dog owner and are not recommended to be left on the dog for longer than 4 hours at a time. Look for the brand Herm Springer, this is and should be the only type you use on your dog.
Front clip collar – This is a great option for dogs that need redirection. This is a harness-like collar with a clip in the front allowing you to easily change directions when your dog starts to pull.
Head collar– Similar to a horse’s heather, this collar slips over the dog’s snout and attaches behind the ears. Great for dogs that are working on distraction control.
Martingale collar- This is a mix between a flat collar and slip collar. The only difference is that the martingale collar has limits as to how far tight the collar would get on your dog at a given time.
Electrical collar Primarily used for dogs that are off leash and are at a distance E collars allow you to give corrections to your dog even if it is far away. Every dog owner should always consult a professional dog trainer before using an e-collar.
Harness encourage a dog to pull as they build frustration. Harnesses are not recommended for any dog that can not walk on leash without pulling. Even the no pull harness provides frustration for your dog, so before working with a harness, I suggest teaching your dog to not pull by using a slip lead collar, or a prong collar.
Front-clip harness: This type of harness has a clip on the front of the chest, which helps pulling. It’s great for dogs that have a tendency to tug on the leash.
Back-clip harness: This harness has a clip on the back and is great for dogs that don’t pull. It’s also great for dogs with neck issues or breathing problems.
No-pull harness: This type of harness is designed to prevent pulling and is usually made with a front-clip design. It’s great for dogs that tend to yank on the leash.
Step-in harness: This type of harness is designed to be easy to put on and take off. It’s great for dogs that don’t like items going over their heads.
The Importance of Regular Grooming for Your Dog
Regular grooming is crucial to maintain the health and appearance of your dog’s coat, skin, ears, nails, and teeth. Here are some types of grooming supplies that you’ll need to keep your dog looking and feeling great:
Brush and comb: Depending on your dog’s coat type, you’ll need a brush and comb to remove tangles, mats, and loose hair. Long-haired dogs may require a slicker brush, while short-haired dogs may benefit from a bristle brush.
Shampoo and conditioner: Use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner to keep your dog’s coat clean and soft. Avoid using human shampoos or conditioners, which can irritate your dog’s skin.
Nail clippers: Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to prevent them from overgrowing and causing discomfort or injury. Use nail clippers specifically designed for dogs, and be careful not to cut the quick (the blood vessel inside the nail).
Ear cleaner: Use a dog-specific ear cleaner to remove wax and debris from your dog’s ears. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can push debris further into the ear canal and cause injury.
Toothbrush and toothpaste: Regularly brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste to prevent dental problems and bad breath. Avoid using human toothpaste, which can be toxic to dogs.
Why Dog Training is Important for a Happy and Healthy Pet
A good dog trainer can not only help you to better understand your dog, they can also aid you in training your dog to behave in a way that fits in your home and lifestyle. A good trainer can also help to resolve behavior problems in your dog and provides you with information on how to properly care for your best friend. Training your dog will help it be its best self and help you have the best friend that everyone looks for. A well trained dog is a worthwhile investment.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
What kind of training methods do you use?
How long have you been a dog trainer?
What kind of experience do you have working with dogs similar to mine?
Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients?
Do you offer private or group training sessions?
How long are the training sessions?
What is the cost of your training services?
What kind of follow-up support do you offer after the training sessions?
What kind of results can I expect to see after the training?
How do you handle behavioral issues that may arise during training?
Using ALL of the four quadrants of operant conditioning: Positive-reinforcement, Negative-reinforcement, Positive-punishment and Negative-punishment
Listens to the dog owner and helps both the dog owner and the dog feel like they have a safe space.
Asks questions about your dog, from what they eat to medical history
Has formal education or certification in dog training or behavior.
Allows you to observe or participate in training sessions.
Has experience working with dogs of your breed or age group.
The trainer provides ongoing support and follow-up after training sessions.
Only uses positive reinforcement
Uses words like pack, alpha, dominant,
Isn’t transparent about the tools they use
Gives you a 100% guarantee they will “fix” your dog.
Bends the rules for you, because if they did it for you they have done it for others and their word doesn’t mean much.
The trainer uses physical punishment or aversive methods such as shock collars or prong collars.
The trainer is not certified or has no formal training in dog behavior.
The trainer does not allow you to observe or participate in the training sessions.
The trainer promises immediate results or a “quick fix” for behavioral problems.
Audax K9 Academy
They offer a variety of classes that are perfect for the type of commitment you have.
How Pet Insurance Can Save You Money in the Long Run
Pet insurance is a type of coverage that can help pet owners cover the cost of veterinary bills when their pets get sick or injured. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, pet insurance can actually save pet owners money in the long run by providing financial protection when unexpected expenses arise. In this section, we will discuss the basics of pet insurance and why it is important for pet owners to consider.
UNDERSTANDING PET INSURANCE
Pet insurance works similarly to human health insurance, in that pet owners pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage of certain medical expenses. Depending on the policy, pet insurance can cover a variety of expenses, including accidents, illnesses, and preventative care such as vaccinations and annual checkups.
Types of pet insurance policies
There are different types of pet insurance policies available, including accident-only policies, illness-only policies, and comprehensive policies that cover both accidents and illnesses. Some policies also include coverage for routine care, such as dental cleanings and wellness exams. It is important for pet owners to carefully review their options and choose a policy that best fits their pet’s needs and their budget.
Factors to consider when choosing a pet insurance policy
When choosing a pet insurance policy, there are several factors to consider. The first is the type of coverage offered by the policy, as discussed above. Pet owners should also consider the deductible, or the amount they will need to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Additionally, pet owners should look at the policy’s reimbursement rate, or the percentage of the veterinary bill that will be covered by the insurance company. Other factors to consider include annual limits on coverage and any exclusions or restrictions on coverage.
We found that Pets best has the perfect coverage for Atlas. I have already saved over thousands of dollars on random injuries or visits to the vet. Here is a great example of how much one of his visits costed us. Total billed: $1285.10. Copay of $112.71. Pets best refunded us $1014.59.
Pet insurance is a great way to get the help your dog needs without thinking of the cost too much. With the insurance we opt for extra screenings and x-rays and make sure that Atlas gets the best possible care.
To sum up, owning a dog can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its challenges. The 11 game-changing products highlighted in this blog post can make life easier and more enjoyable for both new and experienced dog owners. From training aids to grooming tools and everything in between, these products can help ensure that your furry friend is happy, healthy, and well-cared for. By investing in these essential items, you can build a strong foundation for a long and fulfilling relationship with your canine companion. Comment below and let me know what your must have tools are in your dog kit.
Dog Owner Essentials: 11 Must-Have Products for Every Pet Parent
In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.
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