Category: General

Dog Equipment and Supplies Checklist for New Dog Owners

There’s something very comforting and loving about having a dog be a part of your family. While bringing a new pet into your home can be a lot of fun, it can also be a little stressful. 

If you’re planning on welcoming a new dog into your family, and you want to do so as effectively as possible, keep on reading for our must-have list of dog equipment.

Collars and Leashes

A good quality collar and leash are two of the most important items on the list.

The collar should be comfortable for the dog to wear and sturdy enough to hold up to daily wear and tear. The leash should be the proper length for the dog and also be made of durable material.

Collars like martingale leashes combine collar and leash into one. An article on a martingale leash said that this works best for dogs that usually chase other dogs, are not being walked, are pullers, or dogs suffering from ADHD.

Crate or Kennel

Crates are dogs’ safe place where they can go to relax and feel secure.

The crate or kennel should be large enough for dogs to stand up or turn around in, but not too big. It should be made of strong material that will not collapse if the dog bumps into it or jumps on it.

It should have a soft and comfortable bed or mattress inside for the dog to lie on. The crate or kennel should be placed in a safe, quiet place in the home.

Bowls for Food and Water

When choosing a bowl, make sure it’s the right size for your dog and is made of durable material.

You may also want to get a separate bowl for water and one for food, or choose a bowl that has dividers to keep the two separate. You’ll also want to make sure the bowl is easy to clean.

Toys

Your puppy must have different and interesting toys to play with, if not, they might chew on your belongings. Chew toys also help keep your dog’s teeth clean while they exercise their jaws. They also provide mental stimulation for your fur baby.

Dog Equipment for Grooming

Quality dog supplies like shampoo, conditioner, and de-shedding tools are essential. You will also need a brush, comb, and nail clippers.

This also includes items for cleaning, such as a vacuum cleaner, steam mop, paper towels, and waste bags. It is also important to have the proper shampoo, conditioner, and grooming tools, such as a brush and comb. 

Proper Preparation

These are some essential items every new dog owner should have on hand. Proper preparation also includes research.

New dog owners should take the time to learn about their dog’s breed and specific needs. As a new dog owner, it is important to be prepared with the proper dog equipment and supplies. 

By taking the time to properly prepare, new dog owners can set their furry friends up for success and provide them with a loving, forever home.

For more information on what it takes to raise a new happy, healthy pooch, take a minute to check out the rest of our blog.

5 Toys for Destructive Chewers

Chewing on toys and bones is important for a dog. Not only can it help relieve mild anxiety, frustration, or stress, but it can also help keep your pup’s jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing is a great outlet for extra energy as it can keep them focused and release endorphins which can increase the sense of well-being and pleasure.

However, if your dog chews through toys like they are nothing, it can make it more difficult to ensure they have this outlet. And while you may want the right toys for your tough chewer, the wrong type won’t last long and can even be dangerous to your dog. That’s why it’s important to find special dog toys built for destructive chewers.

Here are a few of our top picks and some tips for finding the best toy for your canine pal:

Top Recommended Toys for Tough Chewers

The ideal material that will stand up to your dog’s tough teeth will be durable, but not dangerous. While no toys will be 100% destroy-proof, some toys are made to last longer than others, such as those made from rubber.

Generally, look for toys like chew rings, heavy duty toy balls, and chew bones. These different products offer a range of stimulation and entertainment, as well as physical and mental exercise. And, they are designed to withstand tough teeth.

A few of the top toys to check out for your pup include:

  1. West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Tough Dog Bone: Not only are these toys made in the U.S.A. and easy to clean, but they are also 100% damage free guarantee. So, if your dog does destroy the Hurley, you’ll get a new one sent to you. These dogs are great for chewing and playing fetch, even in water since they float. However, they aren’t hard enough to damage your dog’s teeth.

  2. Kong: Just about KONG products are designed for chewers, including the KONG Extreme Rubber Ball, Classic KONG, KONG Extreme Goodie Bone, and KONG Flyer. They are tough and durable, made out of natural, non-toxic rubber that is soft on your dog’s teeth but made to withstand chewing. These toys are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and are easy to clean. Plus, they are reasonably priced. Some KONGs can even be stuffed with treats or peanut butter for extra stimulation.

  3. Goughnuts: Checkout the Original, MaXX, or Buster for a toy that’s tough but fun to play with. Plus, it has a built-in safety net – in the MaXX 50 ring, the outer later is black and the inner layer is red. As long as you don’t see the red, the toy is safe to play with. If you do see red, send it back for a free replacement. These toys are thick, heavy, and durable, but they are gentle on teeth.

  4. Reinforced plush toys: If your dog likes plush toys but is ripping out the stuffing within seconds, try a plush that doesn’t have stuffing and may be reinforced with tougher material to stand up to your pup’s teeth. Squeakers can also help keep your dog’s interest, and if they do destroy the toy, clean-up is quick and easy. Try this Squeaky Wild Forest Raccoon or Speedy Fox from RexiPets.

  5. Nylabone or Benebone: If you want to give your dog an actual bone to chew, your best options would be Nylabone or Benebone chews. Be sure to choose one that’s for your dog’s correct weight and only let them chew while supervised, because pieces can break off and be swallowed. However, these brands design their toys out of a durable nylon material that most dogs enjoy chewing. Grooves and shapes can be perfect for your dog to hold and clean their teeth, and yummy flavors can make the bones even more fun to chew.

Tips for Finding the Best Toy for Your Destructive Chewer

Shopping for the best toy for your dog can be tricky, especially if they seem to destroy everything you buy. While starting with the recommended toys above, there are a few other tips to follow to find the best for your pet:

  • Choose one for your dog’s weight. Not all chews are made the same. Many toys are marketed as “suitable for dogs that weigh up to XX lbs.” Make sure you don’t buy toys that are made for small dogs if yours is 80 lbs., or vice versa. Not only will it likely be destroyed quickly, but it can also be dangerous.

  • Choose hard toys with caution. Really hard chew toys, like antlers, bones, and hooves, are great in moderation and long-lasting. However, these chews can chip, fracture, or break your dog’s teeth, or they can splinter and cut your dog’s tongue and gums. Swallowed pieces can cause internal issues. If you buy your dog a hard toy, be sure to supervise the chewing and only let them chew a little bit at a time. Also, inspect the toy prior to your dog chewing it.

  • Shop for durable materials. Rubber is probably the material that’s firm enough to stand up to serious chewing but has enough give that it won’t hurt your pet’s teeth or mouth. It is also easy to clean, and many rubber toys float if your dog likes to play in the water.

  • Check the “chewing style” on the packaging. Many toys will list on the packaging what type of chewing style that toy is made for. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, look for “power chew” or “extreme chewing style.” Depending on how much of a destructive chewer your dog is, you may also be able to consider “strong chewing style.” Choosing the best style will not only help your toys last longer but can also help keep your dog safe.

5 Signs Your Pet Should See a Vet

No pet parent wants their furry friend to be in pain or feel uncomfortable for longer than necessary. However, it can be difficult to tell what’s normal pet behavior and what means a pet needs to go to the vet — after all, pets can’t tell their owners when they need to visit a vet. You should be looking out for a few common signs that may require a veterinary appointment. Here are five signs you should make an appointment with a vet.

1. Difficulty Breathing or Rapid Breathing

In general, labored or rapid breathing is a sign that there may be a problem with your pet’s health. Of course, if you’ve just been outside or your pet has just played around, that’s completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if you notice that your pet regularly seems to be wheezing or breathing rapidly, it’s a good idea to book a veterinary appointment to make sure everything is okay.

2. Problems Eating or Drinking

One of the first signs many pet parents notice is a change in eating or drinking habits. This may be a refusal to eat or drink, or it may be eating or drinking significantly more than normal. Either way, if your pet has started eating or drinking differently than normal, it’s a good idea to check in with a veterinarian to make sure that change isn’t related to illness.

3. Changes in Normal Behavior & Movement

When pets are in pain, they’ll often move in different ways to avoid triggering the pain. For example, they may stop going up the stairs, avoid jumping up on the bed or couch. They may try to find ways to get down from the furniture without landing too harshly. If you notice that your pet is suddenly being “more careful” than normal with their movements, it might be because of pain issues.  Booking an appointment with a veterinarian can help figure things out.

4. Red, Cloudy or Weeping Eyes

Changes in the way a pet’s eyes look may indicate an infection, issues with vision, or something else entirely. The difference in how a pet’s eyes look from healthy to not can be very different from how a human’s eyes look. However, if you spend time with your pet, you can likely tell the difference between normal eyes and eyes that may indicate health concerns. Pet telehealth is a great option to ask a veterinarian quickly about your pet’s eye condition and to get advice on how to resolve it.

5. Unexplained Aggression or Behavioral Changes

Stress or aggression from other animals may trigger completely understandable behavioral changes. However, behavioral changes can also come from less obvious sources like illness. Think about it: When you’re in pain or unwell, you’re probably a bit grumpy, right? It makes sense that you would see a similar type of behavioral change in an animal that’s experiencing pain.

Understanding Your Pet’s Behaviors Better

All five of these behaviors are signs that you should book an appointment with a veterinarian to make sure everything is okay. Telehealth solutions like Vetster with a free mobile app, make it easy to book a licensed veterinarian and get advice on your pet’s health issues from the comfort of your own home.

The Beginner’s Guide to Managing a Multi-pet Household

There are several reasons why you might think it’s a good idea to add another pet portraits to your household. Some animal lovers simply adore the possibility of having several four-legged friends underfoot. Meanwhile, there are pet parents who think their fur babies might be lonely staying at home all by themselves and believe that it would be good for their beloved pets to have a playmate.

Whatever the case, if adopting a new pet is something that you’re giving some serious thought to, it’s also important for you to remember that doing so requires a bit of planning. For one, even if your pet might be the sweetest, friendliest creature in the world, it’s impossible to guarantee how they’ll get along with the new addition. They’ll more than likely need a bit of prep before they’re ready to share stomping grounds that they’ve had sole dominion over this whole time. Having multiple pets also means addressing different sets of needs for each fur baby. Finally, you’ll probably also have to go through personal adjustments of your own.

Fortunately, by establishing a few ground rules and getting ahead of certain common situations, you and your new pets can all co-exist peacefully under one roof. Here’s our practical beginner’s guide on how to manage a multi-pet household:

Provide Each Pet with Their Own Supplies

Animals can be extremely territorial, not just about certain spaces in your home but also about the things that they use and feel that they own. One dog simply won’t appreciate having the scent of another on their bed, blanket, or favorite soft toys. They also won’t take too well to another pet sniffing around their food or water bowls. Maintain the peace in your home by giving each pet their own beds, playthings, and accessories. You can also invest in custom dog collars and leashes to make it easier to differentiate each pet’s items.

Stay Calm and Compassionate, yet Authoritative

Your pets will inevitably take their attitude cues from the way you conduct yourself. To assert control over the situation from the beginning, you’ll need to project a sense of firm yet considerate leadership. You’ll want to make it clear to your fur babies that you have full control over all the resources they need or want, such as food, toys, access to certain areas of the home, and even your attention.

This means establishing ground rules and making sure that your pets follow them. Generally, you’ll need to reinforce good conduct and ignore actions you don’t want to see repeated. If they’re polite and patient, reward them. If they’re unnecessarily noisy or rowdy, you may have to deprive them of games, toys, and other forms of interaction.

Introduce Your Pets to Each Other Properly

One of the most common mistakes that anyone can make when bringing a new dog into their fold is failing to properly introduce them to the existing pet. It’s a simple process that can help ensure a lifelong friendship between the two pups, though, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to do.

First, you’ll want to pick a neutral spot where the two fur babies can introduce themselves to each other. It should ideally be outdoors and fully-fenced, but one that neither dog has already claimed by having visited or walked through it frequently. It’s also a good idea to pick a quiet place where there aren’t any other people or animals about. Keep both dogs leashed and allow them to get familiar with one another.

You’ll know that the dogs will get along fine if they exhibit signs of positive body language, such as wagging tails and a genuine interest in one another. From there, you can allow them to interact with each other off-leash, rewarding and praising them for their good behavior the whole time. If either of them seems tense or frightened, comfort them and give them some time to calm down before giving it another try.

Feed Pets Separately and Supervise Them While They Eat

We’ve already mentioned how territorial pets can get in a general sense, but they can become even more aggressive when there’s food involved. To prevent your fur babies from getting all worked up and causing accidents, your best bet is to separate your four-legged friends during mealtimes. You can do this by following a certain schedule or simply establishing different feeding areas for them in the house.

Don’t prepare as you serve, either—instead, put an assembly line together so that everyone gets their chow at roughly the same time. Puppies, senior dogs, and those who suffer from certain health conditions may do better when fed in a crate or a closed-off space. This will allow them to eat in peace without experiencing hostile behavior from another pet.

You can live happily ever after with multiple pets at home, as long as you provide them with a reasonable amount of choice, control, and predictability over their lives. It can be challenging at first, but you’ll soon be thanking yourself for making such a great decision.

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