5 Dog Accessories You Need--And 3 You Don't
When adding a dog to your home, it's important to have the right
dog accessories waiting for him when he arrives. This will help
ease the transition for both you and the dog.
Necessary Accessory 1: Collar with Tag
If your dog escapes
from his new home, a collar with a tag increases the likelihood
that he will be returned. Include your cell phone number and
home address on the tag.
If your dog is already microchipped, be sure to call the
microchip company as soon as possible to have that information
transferred. Regardless, it's still important to have a tag.
Necessary Accessory 2: Leash
Your dog needs to leave the
house every day for fresh air and a chance to explore. Get a
6-foot leash for every day walks. If you have goals of off-leash
control, a 30-foot leash is your bridge. Once your dog has
learned to come when called, put him on a 30-foot leash and call
him from a longer distance. Once he can be called off
distractions, he is ready for off-leash.
Necessary Accessory 3: Crate
Your puppy should have a place
that is all his. Add a comfortable bed and yummy bones to make
it more pleasant. If your dog isn't potty trained yet, a crate
is crucial. It can also be used for timeouts when your dog is
out of control or overly anxious.
Necessary Accessory 4: Treats and Interactive Toys
don't want to become reliant on treats, they are a great
beginning point to training. They make training fun and are an
excellent way to motivate the dog and demonstrate a behavior.
While your dog is learning to entertain himself in your
absence, interactive toys are important. Regular toys are great
for interacting with your pet, but when you aren't home, toys
aren't that exciting. Instead, stuff hollow toys or marrow bones
with food, treats, peanut butter or cream cheese and freeze. Buy
a toy that spits out kibble when pushed. Stuff regular toys with
treats and sew them shut so your dog can tear them open again.
Necessary Accessory 5: Seatbelt
If you are in a car accident,
your dog will become a projectile, endangering you and your dog.
Protect him with a seatbelt harness that can be purchased at any
Unnecessary Accessory 1: Choke Chain or Prong Collar
pieces of equipment are not the most efficient way to achieve
loose-leash walking. It must be taught. If you are having
trouble controlling your dog, try something less aversive such
as an Easy Walk harness, which is available at every pet store.
Unnecessary Accessory 2: Flexi-Leash
expandable leashes, are unsafe because they break easily. They
also encourage pulling because they teach your dog to move away
from you to get more space on the leash. A 6-foot leash is
better for teaching your dog to walk politely.
Unnecessary Accessory 3: Food Bowl
When you first get a new
dog, don't waste training opportunities by feeding him from a
bowl. Handfeed him for two to four weeks while training him to
do basic behaviors. Feed him the rest of his food in interactive
toys so that he must think and work. This provides exercise and
improves training success.
When adding a new dog to your home, it's important to be
prepared. Obtain the necessary accessories before you bring your
dog home to decrease the stress for both you and your dog.
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