When You Shop for Dog Supplies: Things to Consider

When shopping for dog supplies there can be a lot of confusion as to what products are suitable for our furry friends. Quite often while shopping for dog supplies – dog owners will purchase products that are unsuitable for their dogs. In my years of caring for dogs I have come across many quick fix gimmicks especially with dog training products that are ineffective.

When our dogs are eating right, getting exercise and have suitable toys and bedding – they are happy, healthy and well-behaved. Based on my years of experience with dogs of various ages and breeds I want to clarify what to consider when buying dog supplies. I will also share quality, low cost products for dogs that I have tried and have found to be of value.

I am not a veterinarian or dog trainer. I have cared for and worked with many dog breeds of various ages-majority of my dogs have been rescues. I draw from years of hands-on experience.

Understanding Your Doggo

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Understanding your dog can go a long way when shopping for dog supplies. Things to consider would include what is your dog’s energy level? What is the breed and size of your dog? What is your dog’s history? Is your dog a rescue? Health or behavior issues? When developing a care plan and shopping for dog supplies all these concerns and more should be addressed. We’ll discuss these topics further.

 

 

The Method

Patience and consistency. A lot of patience is required when training a dog. Keep in mind that his intention is to please you because you are his world. Consistency is also important. When you have that cute little cuddly puppy that jumps up on the couch to cuddle – understand that she will one day be an adult dog that will want to be on the couch.

This holds true for any dog owner whether you’re caring for a puppy or a full-grown rescue. As dog owners we always want to set our dogs up to succeed. Positive reinforcement is key. We don’t want our dogs to feel unsafe or unloved as this may cause behaviors. I have found firm and loving is the way to go.

Over the years I have been advised while training and caring for my dogs. There have been times when this advice did not feel right to me. It needs to be said that you know your dog best. If advice on the care of your dog doesn’t feel right then go with your gut and look at other options.

The Care Plan

When caring for your dog you want to have a care plan so expectations for your dog’s care is clear to all family members and significant others. If there is no care plan or routine in place this can cause unpredictability for your dog which can cause behaviors. Things to consider may include- do you plan to kennel your dog? Who is responsible for walking the dog? Will your dog eat 2 meals a day or 3 smaller meals? Who cleans up after the dog?

In our house our dogs eat 3 smaller meals a day and their exercise routine is a shared responsibility. Developing a care plan that involves the whole family is ideally discussed before getting a dog so family members can share their input and responsibilities are clear in advance.

The Truth

The truth is our dogs will not always live up to our expectations. For example years ago I owned a rescue name Laddy Girl. Laddy Girl was a Border Collie. With very little training she was a well-behaved dog. She was easily trained to washroom outside, she easily walked on the leash and she socialized almost immediately.

In 2013, I decided to care for another rescue. Archer is a German Shepherd/Bloodhound mix. He was a year old when we brought him home and he was not socialized which caused aggression especially on our walks and he was not good with other animals. Past abuse caused him to be reactive and not trust people.

While caring for Archer I found myself searching for products and information that would help with his daily care and behaviors specifically when we went for walks. Archer is a big dog-120 pounds-so I needed to make sure I had control of him during our walks. Archer would lunge at people and other dogs while on the leash.  It was like walking a T- Rex.

I spent a lot of money on different collars, leashes and harnesses– nothing worked. Eventually my daughter found a harness that had the front clip for the leash. This was a game changer for us.

Not only did the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness give me control of Archer’s body – the front clip for the leash gave me control of what direction he went. This made the world of difference during our walks. I felt more in control and at ease which helped Archer feel more relaxed.

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness can be purchased from Amazon.  Amazon also offers the PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness with padded straps.

So Laddy Girl and Archer are two very different dogs with very different needs. The key to my success with Archer was I had to let go of the expectation that he was going to be like Laddy Girl. Archer is now 8 years old and has come a long way. Archer will always be Archer and I love him for that.

My dog Archer (Shepherd cross) standing in a field of dandelions.
Archer in the dandelions.

Bottom Line

Our dogs are members of our families. They play, live and love in our hearts. We want what is best for our dogs.

In summary not all dogs are alike. As humans, we sometimes tend to generalize our dog’s needs and behaviors. I will share with you my years of experience with dogs of different breeds and ages. I will share my trial and errors so that you may benefit from this experience and purchase the most suitable and best quality products for your dog at a reasonable price.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you

Kathleen

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings

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