So you've decided to get a dog. Congratulations! No creature will ever love you more fully and unconditionally and you're in for a lot of fun! We are well aware, however, that first time dog ownership can be a little daunting, especially if you're diving in at the deep end and choosing a dog as your first pet. Of course, it will depend very much on the breed and personality of the pooch you decide to welcome into your family, there are a few traits that most dogs share, one of which is their neediness. Indeed, if you're the kind of person who prefers to just sit back and let your pet take care of itself, you probably should have gotten a cat!
Thankfully, there is an entire industry built around helping dog owners with their prima donna pooches, and whilst many of these accessories are a bit silly and unnecessary (dog costumes being a particularly asinine example), many could genuinely help you and your family assimilate your new member into the fold with a minimum of fuss. Here we've selected just a few of our favourite accessories, from Car Boot Protectors for Dogs to harnesses and tracking chips, all of which we genuinely believe will help make dog ownership an even more joyful experience.
Harnesses – For first time dog owners, “Walkies” can be a task fraught with potential disaster, especially if your pooch is young and enjoys pulling on their lead. For these dogs, we suggest investing in a harness, which will slip effortlessly over their bodies and attach to the lead so that it's not pulling at their throats and choking them. Whilst they might seem reticent to try it at first, it's actually far better for them, and eventually, it will become part of their walking routine. Dogs are all about routine, so once the harness becomes a part of it, and they associate it with going on a walk, you shouldn't have any problems.
Micro Chips – Losing a dog can be a painful and traumatic experience, especially if it's a young pup who hasn't been properly trained yet. As such, we recommend installing a micro chip on your dog, which can be used to track its movements. Anyone who finds your dog will see the tag on your dog's collar which will let them know it's been micro-chipped. They can then both ring the number on the collar and be put in touch with you that way, or can take your dog to a local vet, who will be able to scan the chip and bring up your contact information.
Dog Tags – This should go without saying really, but once you've brought your new dog home, the next thing you should so is buy a dog tag with your name, the dog's name, and your phone number engraved on it. Not only does this let people know that the dog has an owner, but if the pooch should go missing, whoever finds them will know who to get in touch with.
Car Accessories – If you own a dog and you own a car, sooner or later they are going to meet, and the results could prove messy, especially if your dog is a shedder! Thankfully there are a variety of accessories you can install in your car to pooch-proof it ahead of your pet's arrival. The first thing you're going to want to do is make sure it's safe. You can buy specially fitted cages for the boot that will keep your dog secure for this, or (if you're dog's small enough) even a bespoke dog seat. To keep the boot clean, you can fit waterproof covers and liners. There are even liners built for specific brands and models, so, for example, if you need VW Boot Liners specifically, a quick search online and you should be in business!
Treats – If you are planning on training your new pet, you're going to require some incentives. As far as which treats your dog will work for? It's all a case of trial and error. One dog's treasure will be another's garbage. But one thing we've noticed is that all dog's seem to adore biscuits (dog biscuits that is, not cookies).
Leads – That's right, leads, plural. You generally have a choice between traditional leads or extendable leads, with traditional leads also available in metal for stronger dogs. You'll want one of each though, as a conventional lead is great for training, but eventually you're going to want to ease your dog into the idea of walking off the lead. The extendable lead is a great middle-ground for this.