The dog next door has a lovely new outfit. Its human just bought it a bright red leather harness that’s just right to give a black Labrador a touch of glam. If you have a canine companion, you’ll want them to have the best, and there’s a lot to choose from.
First and foremost a dog needs a good collar and leash. Dogs often outgrow their collars, so check the fit. A quick-release clasp helps ensure your dog’s safety, and you’ll want a sturdy ring to attach the leash. If you walk your dog after dark, neon or fluorescent collars will also keep him safe.
You might also consider swapping the collar for a harness. Dog harnesses are becoming more popular, as they transfer the pressure of the leash to the dog’s front quarters rather than pulling around its neck. They also look real smart.
A sturdy leash is another necessity; of course, how sturdy it needs to be depends on your dog; a chihuahua has less ‘pulling power’ than a Great Dane! Extendable leashes are much liked, but for urban walks a double handled leash with a loop half way down gives you tighter control in crowded situations.
The jury’s out on whether dogs need raincoats, but some short haired dogs aren’t well protected in low temperatures, while raincoats can also prevent shaggy and long haired dogs getting matted, dirty hair.
Dogs are energetic creatures, so dog toys are important to use up some of that excess energy. Kong toys are fun; they’re made of strong rubber, so when you put food inside your dog will spend hours trying to extricate it. Rubber balls, balls on a rope, and chew rings will also keep a dog interested. Make sure to read the reviews and buy long lasting toys that other dogs couldn’t destroy!
Necessities for the home include a dog bed, and a dog crate if you want to ensure your pup is kept out of trouble overnight. Messy eaters will need a silicone food mat to protect the floor from spills, and other messes can be avoided by using a litter tray or even a “dog doorbell” which lets your dog easily signal that he needs to use the outdoors. You might also need poop bags for when you go out.
But crucial to living with a dog is a good dog brush and a good brush for defurring your sofa, carpet and clothes. The FURminator brush comes recommended for giving your dog a really efficient grooming.
There are a couple of genius products available, too. For outdoors types, a dog water bottle which squeezes water into an integral drinking bowl is a great way to keep your mutt hydrated. And for indoors dogs and their owners, the Furbo is great. This electronic gizmo lets you spy on your dog all day, has a barking alert, and lets you toss treats on command, wherever you are. It doesn’t come cheap, though, at $170 or so.
Even if you don’t buy a Furbo, dogs can be expensive. So do yourself a favor and track down the best deals on Vipon. You can always split the saving by giving your faithful companion a few more dog treats.