Dog ownership carries with it the burden of a number of other purchases. In order to properly care for a dog and to comply with certain local laws, the owner must have a number of dog accessories in his or her arsenal. Some of these items are necessary, others are merely conveniences. It is important to know exactly what you'll need to properly care for your dog.
Most of the truly necessary items for dog care are fairly obvious. If you've got a dog you'll need bowls for the dog's food and water. Mid size to large dogs have a habit of moving their food bowls around the room as they eat. This can make a lot of noise and have the frustrating result of requiring the owner to hunt around for the bowl at feeding time. The problem can be solved by using a heavy ceramic bowl that is difficult for the dog to move around. A sturdy plastic bowl with a rubber lining on the bottom can be useful as well. The rubber on the bottom prevents the bowl from sliding around as Rover enjoys his meal.
For taking the dog on walks you'll need a leash and a collar. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like, but of course you'll want to take the size and strength of your dog into account when selecting them. The collar can (and should) be adorned with a license tag or at least an ID tag that provides your name and contact information in case your dog is lost.
If you live in a big city like New York (Manhattan), Chicago, or other urban area, you'll need to purchase that miracle of modern doggie convenience the "pooper scooper." Most cities have laws against owners simply allowing their dogs to "foul the footpath" or leave little Poodle Bombs all over the city park. In some cities there is a hefty fine for such crappy behavior.
There are literally thousands of optional items available for people to purchase for use with their dogs. Some of these items, like the gravity refillable water dishes and food bowls, serve a very useful purpose, others - the dog bandanna comes to mind - serve no real purpose and are merely decorative or just plain silly.
One item that some owners do find very useful, especially those that live in a hot climate, are "dog booties." While they may seem like a simply precocious and relatively useless item, they do a good job of protecting the sensitive pads of a dog's feet from rough terrain, rocky areas, and hot pavement. Those in cooler climates may not understand, but in some places, particularly the desert environments of cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque, the summer pavement can literally become hot enough to fry an egg. You wouldn't walk barefoot on such a surface and neither should your dog.
by Kirsten Hawkins
Kirsten Hawkins is a dog lover and animal expert from Nashville, TN. Visit www.doghealth411.com/ for more information on dog health, the care of dogs, and dog travel.