Pet Products Part 1

Ever wonder what products you really need for your new dog? The pet industry is a multi million dollar one so there are definitely lots to choose from! I’m going to break down, from a trainer’s perspective, what are some great and necessary pet products for your new dog in this guide. 

(Disclaimer: I get zero kickback from any of these companies and am only reviewing items I use and love.)

Harnesses, collars and leashes

We all know these are must haves for any dogs. But which ones are best and can make your life easier? I always recommend a front clip harness. When a harness clips in the front it changes where the force of your dogs pulling is applied. It actually ends up pulling you instead of them. My favorites are Sensation (http://www.softouchconcepts.com/product/sense-ation-harness) and Freedom (https://freedomnopullharness.com). They adjust in multiple places to change as your dog grows and comes with lifetime guarantees. 

For collars it is best to use a cloth buckle collar or martingale. A martingale collar is great for dogs who regularly try to slip out of their collars or breeds whose necks are larger than their heads (greyhounds, daschunds). I avoid any chain or prong collars entirely.  

For leashes the two main things to consider are length and material. For length I like to use a 6ft leash. It gives you enough leash to let them explore but not too much so that it is uncontrollable. Shorter leash may seem easier but they tend to get everyone tangled up. 

There are different materials as well like leather, cotton and nylon. Leather will hold up longer but I find them to be a bit bulkier. Cotton and nylon are lighter but you also run the risk of getting leash burn if your dog tried to pull you and it slides through your hand. Avoid retractable leashes. They break easy and can cause injury to you and your pet. They are also much less easy to control than they seem. 

Water and Food Bowls

There are a ton of options, right? Well plastic is always out! Unless it’s BPA free. I prefer ceramic dishes because they are heavy, so your dog doesn’t knock them over and they are easy to clean. Second best would be metal. Having your dishes in a stand is helpful for large dogs because they do not have to strain their neck to reach their bowl. 

Crates

There are a ton of options for these as well. Depending on the size of your dog you could use a small playpen or something up to a very large, highly secure crate. There are plastic travel crates, wire crates and fabric crates. So what to choose? You can’t go wrong with the old standard, a wire crate. If you travel a lot then you might want an FDA approved plastic travel crate. Or you could use a fabric crate, if you’re sure your dog won’t put a hole in it. 

What’s important to note when buying a crate is the size. Your dog should be able to stand up, move around and lay down comfortably. If they can’t then your crate is too small. If you have a puppy you’ll want to either get small crate for their size or one that is adjustable, as they are being house trained. Most wire crates come with a movable panel to close off the excess area so your puppy doesn’t pee there. 

There’s tons to talk about when discussing pet products. Hopefully today’s blog will help you pick out the necessities for your new dog. I’ll be back again soon to discuss more of my favorite pet products! In the meantime, if you have questions about products you’re planning to buy, contact me!

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