The pet accessories market has expanded significantly in recent years, making it confusing for pet owners to decide which accessories are essential or optional.
Enlightened consumers usually break down their purchases into three categories:
Â· Must have
Â· Nice to have
Â· Can have, provided it doesnât break the budget
We can apply the same rule when buying accessories for our dog. The guiding theme should be: purchase only those accessories that will keep your pet clean and healthy. Unless you take your pet to dog shows regularly to show him off, you need buy only those products that will help him stay clean and healthy.
We have selected dog accessories that fall under the âmust haveâ category:
Your dogâs bed should provide adequate body support. Make sure that materials are hypoallergenic and that no toxic elements were used in the manufacturing of the bed. Choose a brand that will prevent bunching or shifting so that your dogâs comfort is ensured 100%.
A suggestion for a dog bed is one that has an exterior made of eco-friendly recycled cotton which is more gentle on your dogâs skin and is machine washable. You can also check if the product or brand has been endorsed by reputable veterinarian associations or dog health organizations.
If you like to take your dog outdoors during extremely hot and cold weather, a portable tent that can be used outdoors, indoors and inside the van will come in handy and will protect your dog from the elements. It is an umbrella-like mechanism that props up at the flick of a button. A dog tent serves as an extension of your dogâs house or bed; most dog tents come with claw-proof windows made of soft mesh material and a âporchâ in the front. This makes travelling with your dog easier, particularly when your car breaks down in extreme weather conditions and youâre waiting for help to come.
If you have an older dog, their joints and muscles can suffer from pain and swelling. Obesity, seniority and a sedentary lifestyle can trigger arthritic symptoms. Note that young dogs can also have pain symptoms. Choose a product that is made mostly of natural ingredients and which has been tested for effectiveness.
A pain relief product for your dog is your âfirst aidâ chest. Select a product that also has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Use it when your pet is injured and is bleeding, has swollen joints or itchy skin.
If your pet is suffering from even the most minor of skin irritations, use gentle coat shampoos that will not have an abrasive effect on skin. You can choose a shampoo that not only cleans but also disinfects your pet against flea dermatitis or infestation including hives, hot spots, odours, ringworms, thrush, wounds and sunburn.
Thousands of pet owners prefer natural oatmeal preparations for their petâs shampoo because it does not irritate dry skin. You may also buy shampoo and body wash products that will untangle hair and give it a good shine.
You want a stripping comb that will cover large areas of hair to quickly remove loose and falling hair especially if your dog has a thick undercoat. You may also want to consider a lava stripping stone which helps eliminate dead hair to improve the look of your dogâs coat.
Ear and Mouth Wipes
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to dirt and wax build-up in their ears. There are ear wipes that are made with non-allergenic ingredients so that you need not worry about whether the wipes are safe and natural. You need a brand that is hypo-allergenic, is free from soap ingredients and by-products, contains no parabens, sulfates or artificial colours and are bio-degradable.
And dogs, like humans, can also have bad breath. Pet owners tend to overlook this; they become worried only when they kiss their dog and smell a foul odour. Enter mouth wipes. Choose mouth wipes that have been pre-moistened with botanical ingredients to keep your dogâs gums healthy and to give him or her fresher breath. Most mouth wipes are flavoured with peppermint for long lasting freshness.
Reflective Dog Collars
If your dog likes to wander around at night and has a dark coat, reflective dog collars are true life savers. Dog collars are inexpensive and are a good investment. Choose brands that are soft to the skin so they donât hurt your dogâs neck, and collars that are odor-resistant.
Given recent innovations in pet products, you can now buy dog collars that are made with a special kind of material. There are some materials that have tiny invisible chamber holes to absorb water and to provide proper airing, preventing the formation of mildew.