Dog Equipment

There are various items of equipment that will be needed for a dog as well as many optional items that can be considered.

Dog Bed

There are a variety of dog beds available at pet shops and it is important to provide a dog with a bed that it can consider its own territory and place of refuge in order to give the puppy or dog a sense of security.

A cardboard box with one side cut down provides an ideal dog bed for a growing puppy still in the chewing stages and is easily replaced as it becomes damaged, soiled and as the puppy grows and requires a larger bed. Newspaper with a old blanket on top will provide the puppy with comfort and warmth.

Any dog bed should allow a little space around dog once lined with soft bedding. Many pet shops sell a variety of soft beddings for use with dog beds such as padded blankets, fabric and fleece cushions, etc and many have removable covers making them easy to wash. Old blankets and towels can also be used as coverings for dog beds.

Whicker baskets are traditional dog beds although they are hard to clean and easily chewed (which can lead to swallowing) whilst plastic dog beds are more robust, less easily chewed and are easily cleaned. Both these types of dog bed will require some cushioning bedding to be placed inside to provide comfort and warmth for the dog.

Padded fabric dog beds are available in a traditional basket design and also as "igloo" style dog beds. These types of dog beds often come complete with removable and washable padded cushion and so may not require additional bedding.

Many pet shops also sell bean bag style dog beds. These provide a cozy bed which the dog can sink into and often have removable covers making them easy to clean.

Dog Collar And Lead

Pet shops stock a wide variety of collars and leads and choice is very much personal preference.

Even though a puppy should not be allowed out until its course of vaccinations are complete it is a good idea to get it used to a collar and lead whilst in the house.

Be sure not to fasten any collar too tightly and check that it does not become tight as the puppy grows. It should be possible to slide several fingers under the collar when fastened. Some form of identity tag should be fixed to the collar which can help should the dog become lost or involved in an accident.

A puppy's first reaction to the lead is often to play or chew with it so it is a good idea to attach the lead and walk around the house with the puppy for short intervals to overcome this playfulness and get it used to walking on the lead.

For large dog breeds leather, or a combination of chain and leather leads are best used as these are stronger than leads made from nylon. For smaller breeds, nylon leads are easy to wash and lightweight.

For training purposes a standard type lead is best used. Retractable leads allow a dog to explore or play whilst still being kept under control but can hinder early training.

A check chain is a training aid and not intended to be worn as a collar alone and should never be used on a young puppy as it could damage its neck.

Dog Bowls

A dog will require separate bowls for food and water with water available at all times.

Ceramic, earthenware, glass or metal bowls are best used as these are not as easily knocked over or chewed as plastic bowls.

As well as standard food bowls there are automatic dog feeder bowls which allow food to be stored in compartments, with each compartment opening at a time selected on a timer, over a period of time and so automatically serving the dog with several meals as and when required.

In the same way automatic waterers or water fountains hold a large volume of water in a plastic bottle, ensuring that the bowl is refilled with water as the dog drinks from it.

Automatic dog feeders and waterers are ideal for those owners who have to leave their dogs for long periods.

Dog Toys

Almost all dogs like to play with toys and pet shops sell a wide variety of toys.

Dog Grooming Items

Whatever the breed of dog it will require some grooming. Whilst short haired dogs will require only occasional grooming, long haired dogs will require daily grooming.

A brush or grooming mitt will be needed to prevent the hair from becoming matted and to remove loose hairs. The type of brush required will depend on the breed of dog and type of coat it has. Long Haired dogs will require a stiff brush, whereas short haired dogs will require a soft brush.

Rubber Grooming Mitts fit over the hand allowing the dog to be groomed whilst firmly stroked.

Claws may require trimming from time to time with a pair of nail clippers.

Dog Travel Equipment

There will be times when it is necessary to travel with your dog, eg vet visits and if travelling with your dog in the car it is recommended that the dog is restrained in some way either by containing the dog in a travel box or crate, by using a dog guard within the car or using a harness attached to a seatbeat.

Dog Kennels, Crates And Pens

For those owners that prefer to keep their dog outside while they are out, or for those who prefer to keep their dogs outside at night, a kennel is required to provide the dog with shelter from the weather including shade from the sun. Any kennel should be waterproof and should be large enough for the dog to lie snugly at the back away from the entrance. The roof should be removable to allow for cleaning inside the kennel and the floor should be raised slightly from the ground to ensure it remains dry.

Some pet shops sell dog kennels and many of these are wooden. It is also possible to build a dog kennel from wood or brick with a sloping waterproof roof.

A pen can be used to restrict the dog's territory in the yard or garden with a kennel placed inside. Any pen should be as large as possible and account should be taken of the size of the dog. Pens usually consist of a wooden frame covered in mesh wire.