Jun 242010

Dog enthusiasts everywhere have known the ins-and-outs of the best doggy toys for years now, and a happy dog is an obedient dog. Of course, for the more casual dog owner, the staggering variety and sheer number of dog toys, beds, collars, leashes and other equipment can be cause for a massive migraine. Thankfully, online ordering, reviews and the establishment of easy-to-find expert dog advice all make it possible for most dog owners to finally use the 7 most essential pieces of equipment for keeping a dog happy.

But before you run out and buy up all your doggy supplies, make sure to double check your pet insurance. Make sure you compare pet insurance quotes before you renew in order to find the best prices. Good pet car insurance protects you and your family pet in case an accident happens, and it can even cover veterinarian bills for your pets if they are injured too.

7. The Doggy Bed

Just like humans, dogs need a good night of sleep in order to stay healthy and happy. Buying a doggy bed can be unnecessarily difficult, precisely because most doggy beds are cheap pieces of fleece filled with foam. But why would any dog lover want his or her dog to sleep on a glorified cardboard bed?

The best doggy beds primarily depend on the breed of your dog, and more specifically, the position your dog normally sleeps in. For dogs that like to sleep on their belly or their sides with their legs under them, a more supportive bed will keep pressure of their joints for a good night of sleep. These beds look just like smaller versions of normal human mattresses, and may even have coils inside for added support.

For dogs that like to lounge, or sleep on their backs, the best beds are tough, but comfortable lounging beds. These are almost always round in shape, and are very pliable to the touch. The material on the onset should be tear-resistant, to allow your dog to stretch and roll around in comfort.

The best beds for dogs that like to curl up in a ball are called nestling beds. These look like big bean bag chairs, but are filled with soft feathers or foam for a warm, comfortable feeling. Paying attention to your dog when he or she sleeps can make all the difference in their health and energy levels the next day.

6. The Dog Crate or Kennel

One way to keep your dog happy is to give him or her their own enclosed space to call home. Dog crates allow dogs to keep their toys hidden, keep their beds in a warm, clean space, and simply get away from any nosy children. They also allow your puppies to be trained in a harmless way. It is important to get your dog a crate that has no sharp corners or metal, and is big enough to allow several feet of space for them to move around in.

5. The Dog Collar

Of course, probably the most important thing for an active dog is exercise. It keeps dogs happy, healthy and, most importantly, on a good sleep cycle. But when you are first training your dog to go out with you, you need to keep control of them for various reasons.

A good dog collar lets the dog know you are in control, so they will listen to you more intently. Of course, it is also important to buy a soft collar, or one without hard plastic or sharp edges. Sometimes dogs will pull as hard as they can on their leash, and you don’t want your dog to hurt himself on it. Try to buy a dog collar that has at least 4 to 6 feet of length on it, and consider getting a dog harness for your leash too. This wraps around the dogs body, protecting its throat from the normal wear of a regular collar.

4. The Dog Bath

Just like children, dogs love to get dirty. It is a fact of life that can’t be avoided, especially if your dog hates taking baths. There isn’t much a dog owner can do about that, but they can control how good a bath his or her dog gets. One way to do that is to buy healthy and correct shampoo.

All doggy shampoos should be tear free, all natural formulas that are designed not to irritate a dog’s eyes or skin. Heavy chemical shampoo cleaners can frighten dogs, making them even harder to get clean. Lighter shampoos that use natural cleaners like honey or flower extracts can make for a more peaceful bath. Pay attention to the type of your dog’s coat though, and make sure to buy the recommended product for their thickness or shedding cycle.

3. Puppy Paws

For dogs that love the outdoors, nothing is more frustrating than a hurt paw. Outdoor dogs can slip on rocks, cut their paws on trash or even get stones embedded in their paws. And if the season is winter, frostbite can become an issue too.

Doggy boots, while somewhat gaudy, can be a lifesaver for dogs who want to go outdoors in bad weather. They are sealed off from precipitation and have non-slip treads on the bottom, which act just like real paw bottoms. A happy dog has happy paws!

2. Dog Food

Every dog owner has had at least one bad experience with dog food. Whether its giving a dry dog wet food, harsh chemically treated “food”, or even just an undiscovered allergy, dog food is a tricky concept to master.

The only dog food a dog owner should ever get for their dog is what is known as “healthy” dog food. This food is not chemically treated, does not contain additives, and is general picked or harvested fresh. Dogs have no reason to eat artificial flavors or food coloring, not to mention preservatives, and healthy food leaves those out. A happy dog is a well-fed, healthy dog.

1. Dog Toys

dog playing tug of war

Dogs love toys. But some dog toys are better than others. Rawhide toys are great for chewers, as they can remove plaque and are easily digestible. Bone chew toys help dogs keep their teeth healthy, as they contain a steady supply of calcium. Plush or fur toys are great for dogs that love to chase animals, and balls of all kinds are the perfect gift for outdoor and active dogs.

Still, more important than the toys are the attention of the owner. An attentive dog owner will watch and see what kind of activities his or her dog enjoys, and will play those with them. A happy dog needs a happy owner.

1. Dog Health Care Articles and Information

Jane Smith is a freelance writer and an animal lover. She’s owned a number of different pets, but her favorite pets by far have always been dogs. She currently owns three dogs and has all this essential equipment.

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