Sam’s Must-Have Products For All Dogs
While not necessarily designed as training tools (some are; some aren’t) the following are products that – in my opinion – all dogs should have. Some of these do make the training process easier and quicker and others are products that enhance your relationship with your dog and/or make them more comfortable, safer and yes, happier.
- Crash-Tested Car Safety Dog Harness: Like children, dogs should be safely harnessed while in moving vehicles. If not, your dog is likely to be propelled out of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Therefore, it’s imperative for you to have a safe and convenient harness for your dog, whether they join you on long trip or runs to the grocery store.
- Stainless Steel Dog Bowl with Rubber Base: I like these bowls for several reasons. First, they’re not plastic, which can leech into your dog’s water. Second, they’re sturdy and aren’t easily knocked over. And third, they’re a good size for most dogs. I like these so much that I have 3 or 4 for my dog. I use one for water, one for food, and when two are in the dishwasher I have two more ready to go.
- Strong Durable Dog Leash Lead: I prefer these leashes because they lightweight and flexible, come in a variety of sizes and colors (so they’re easily identifiable); and work well for most dog breeds. We’ll use these during our walking exercises.
- Martingale Collar with Quick Snap Buckle: These no-slip training collars are a must-have during the process. In fact, some of my clients use these exclusively. They’re gentle but do a much better job of keeping young, untrained and/or easily distracted dogs attentive. Even better, dogs cannot “back” out of these collars, making them a very safe alternative to others.
- Floor Protection Mats For Dog Food Bowls: Have you ever noticed that in addition to being very sloppy eaters and drinkers, many dogs make a slippery mess around their food and water bowls? If so, you’re not alone. It’s one of the biggest pet peeves my clients have. And while there isn’t much you can do about the drooling and “leaking” you can put a good, sturdy rubber mat under your dog’s bowls. Not only will this prevent slipping accidents, but it will also save your floors and rugs and cut down on nasty odors.
- FURminator Nail Clippers: These nail clippers are simply awesome. In my opinion, all dog owners should have them and use them. Some are better than others and you want to make sure you get a decent pair; otherwise you risk tearing your dog’s nail beds and causing them pain. Also, many dogs aren’t thrilled about having their nails clipped so you want to make this as quick and painful as possible.
- Memory Foam Orthopedic Pet Bed: I’m a stickler on this one. Hard floors are no more comfortable for dogs than they are for humans! Still many pet owners reprimand their dogs for jumping on soft sofas, human beds, and chairs, which I believe is counter-productive (not to mention, awfully sad for Fido). Please, please get your dog a comfortable bed of their own… then you can ask them to stay off the furniture!
- Dog First Aid Kit:Let’s face it, in spite of how careful we are, our dogs get into things… and things get into them. And, depending on the time of day and your location, it’s not always easy to locate an emergency vet. That’s why you should always have a specialized first aid kit handy. They are even more important for dogs who play in wooded areas, visit dog parks, go on boats, have food or other allergies, or just have a penchant for getting into mischief. Oh, and if you’re not certain how/what to use in your kit in the event of an emergency, I suggest you purchase the American Red Cross Pet First Aid Book to go along with it.
- Stainless Steel Step Trash Can: To put it bluntly, dog poop should always be discarded in a closed container, outside and away from “people” trash. Not only is it safer and more sanitary, but it keeps away the flies! I’ve used several different kinds and I always come back to this one.