As of 2022, 70% of American households (that’s 90.5 million!) own a pet, according to an American Pet Products Association survey. Of those 90.5 million homes, 69 million own at least one dog. As Dean Koontz once said, “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished,” and it’s no surprise that many families in the U.S. share this sentiment.
Owning a dog not only comes with its share of laughter and love, but with several newfound responsibilities as well. Some of these responsibilities include:
- Physical and emotional health
- Hygiene and grooming
- Proper diet
- Exercise and training
Let’s take a look at each of these categories and some of the great products that can help you with them.
1. Physical & Emotional Health
Just like vitamins and supplements can help us live a healthier life, they can also help your dog do the same. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help your pooch maintain good bone and joint health while a product like Fido Vitamins can give them a beautiful coat and healthy skin.
If your fur baby experiences separation anxiety, try a Comfort Zone plug-in. This product mimics a pheromone that is given off by nursing mothers and can help comfort your dog while you’re gone.
Keeping your dog busy and entertained is important to their mental and emotional health. Interactive toys that dispense treats, like Busy Buddy toys, can help keep your dog entertained and reward them for interaction. You don’t like to sit around and do nothing all the time, and neither does your pooch.
Don’t forget that a bored dog can quickly become a destructive dog. So many dog behavioral issues, like excesives, barking or digging, resolve themselves when your pup gets enough exercise, attention, and mental stimulation.
2. Hygiene & Grooming
Depending on what breed of dog you own, monthly grooming visits may be part of your fur baby’s hygiene routine. Breeds that grow hair (a coat that keeps growing), as opposed to fur (a coat with a pre-determined length), require regular upkeep. If you don’t brush them at least once a day, you may soon see mats and knots, and this can become very uncomfortable for your pooch. A comb or a pin brush tends to be the best option for these breeds.
If your dog has a fur coat, you may not have to worry so much about knots and tangles, but you may face a daily battle against shedding. In these instances, grooming tools like a shedding blade and a slicker brush may soon become your new best friends (next to your dog, of course!).
Another aspect of hygiene is keeping up with your dog’s dental health. A teeth-cleaning treat like Greenies is a great option that your dog will love. Busy Bones, crunchy biscuits, and rope toys are also options that can help reduce build-up. Dog toothpaste (in pup-friendly flavors like venison) and a toothbrush that fits over your finger are other dental hygiene nust-haves.
3. Proper Dog Diet
Making sure your fur baby is getting everything they need from their food is vital to them having a long and healthy life. You may see store-brand foods boasting “21% protein” or “24% protein” on their bag, but the important question is where that protein is coming from.
Proteins are not all created equal. Meat protein has essential amino acids that dogs need (and can’t make on their own), whereas plant protein (like corn or soy) do not. Dogs are omnivores, so plants are needed for a well-balanced diet, but meat protein is a must.
Foods like Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and Wellness are all yummy brands that offer a wonderful nutritional balance and excellent protein sources for your pooch.
4. Exercise & Training
Again, our fur babies are not so different from ourselves. Just like we need regular exercise to maintain optimum fitness, so do they. Having a well-fitting harness that is comfortable and easy to use can make getting that exercise a little bit easier. You also want to make sure you have a high-quality leash that is appropriate to the size of your dog. Coastal brand offers leads, collars, and harnesses for all sizes of pooches, and the quality of their products is wonderful. You won’t have to worry about your large dog pulling too hard on its leash and breaking the handle or latch.
When training your dog, a training leash is a very helpful tool. With lengths from 10 feet up to longer than 30 feet, you can teach your dog a variety of commands without having them off-leash—an important safety aspect if you aren’t able to work with them in a fenced-in area on a regular basis.
Keeping a happy and healthy pet is the biggest responsibility of facing any pet owner. With brands and products like these, finding ways to keep up with that responsibility may not be as difficult as you expected.
We strive to keep up with the latest products from the most trusted brands in pet care and to keep you informed about those products. If you have any questions about a specific brand or item, please contact us and let us know. We work hard at being the one-stop-shop for all your pet care needs.