Going into a dog shop (or browsing an online one), can be overwhelming with all the options and choices, but before you spend your doggie dollars on an entire seasonal wardrobe or a bunch of extras, make sure you cover the basics. Doing that shouldn’t break the bank unless you really want the most extravagant options.
Take Care of Comforts
Beds. Does your dog have a place of their own to rest and recuperate, or just comfortably watch their world going by? A dog bed can be a drawer or a short cardboard box outfitted with plenty of soft blankets or towels. That’s ideal when your dog is young and still being trained. But once they are established, you might want to look for something a bit more suited. Basic dog pillow/beds are not too expensive, but you can also go whole hog if you are of a mind and give them a kingdom of their own to recline and enjoy.
Booties. Okay, who hasn’t gotten a little giggle from watching a Facebook video of a dog when they first try walking in booties, but they have a valuable purpose to your pup, especially if you live in a place with lots of inclement weather. They are also invaluable to smaller or less furred breeds. Consider these water-resistant booties currently $35.99. They protect your dog’s paws from both cold and hot, wet and muddy ground. They have an anti-slip sole to help if your dog has been injured or is in their advancing years.
Harness or Collar. These provide several forms of comfort and security. First, others can identify your dog and contact you if separated from each other. Harnesses can also provide a sense of comfort and security to your furry friend if they tend to be somewhat nervous. A harness gives you control over your dog if he’s not used to being around other people or animals and may not react well to them. Just make sure that the harness or collar is not too tight. A collar should allow for you to fit a few fingers comfortably between the dog and the collar. Looking for a great harness, check out this one for under $25.
There are all kinds of toy options for your best friend. You might consider getting a new one every month or so until you’ve collected several of them. After that, you should have a good idea which ones appeal most. Options include plush and fuzzy toys, throw toys, chew toys, and interactive ones that might even hide a treat or two for your dog to figure out how to hit the buried treasure.
Keeping your dog, your home, and the outdoors free of your dog’s junk, smells, and otherwise also is a good basic to cover with items from your favorite doggie store. You’ll want to make sure you keep a good enzymatic cleaning solution that is also pet-friendly on hand. A Poop-scoop can save your back. Consider one, especially if you are getting older or have ongoing back problems. Poop bags, maybe even ones especially fitted to the scoop, so you can load the scoop up with the bag and the poop slides right in for you to then tie the bag off. But if your budget is tight, any plastic bag can do, just put your hand inside the bag, grab the poop, and turn the bag inside out, so the poop is safely enclosed.
Also while you are at it, you might look at a good grooming brush, one that helps remove the undercoat once warmer weather arrives is good. Pair that with some rinseless shampoo that you can use between baths and your dog will be good to go. Finally get a toothbrush and doggy toothpaste and some good nail clippers.
If your dog has problems walking, here’s a dog lift and support harness. If your dog has been injured, is aging, or had trouble with stairs or jumping up to get in the car, this can be a great help to you and your dog.