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The best dog care and the accessories necessary to provide it

The best dog care and the accessories necessary to provide it

Humans and dogs have been developing a symbiotic relationship for the last 20,000 years. Modern science tells us that dogs not only get food, shelter, protection and a job to do from humans, but that their overall wellbeing is dependent on our ability to bond with them. Similarly, humans not only get herding, hunting and protection assistance from dogs, but they too provide us with companionship and improve our overall wellbeing.

Bonding with dogs keeps us active, lowers our anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, and makes us more resilient. We as pet owners need to use some handy and necessary accessories to make our pets’ lives easier and to facilitate this all-important bond.

1. Dog bed and blankets

While it may be tempting to share your bed with your furry friend, there are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t. Every dog deserves his very own dog bed – a quiet place he can retreat to, burrow under his blankets and get some well-deserved rest. And when he gets older and experiences pain from arthritis and tired joints, a memory foam mattress can provide that specialised soft spot for him to rest and recover.

2. Dog food and water bowls

Dog domestication began when hunter-gatherers shared their food with hungry wolves (that’s an over-simplification, but the point stands). Modern dogs are still enjoying scraps of human food, but thanks to dieticians and pet food specialists, humans are providing dogs with their very own food. And for their very own food, dogs need their very own food bowls. They also need a consistent supply of fresh water… and a bowl or drinking fountain from which to drink it!

3. Dog toys

After 20,000 years of domestication and (in many cases) hundreds of years of breed development, dogs’ instincts are still very much intact. Some dogs are natural chasers, swimmers, chewers and retrievers. And while most domesticated dogs are happy to coexist in your house and your back garden, their instincts are still alive and well. This is where dog toys make a wonderful substitute for your dog’s natural propensity to bite, chew, retrieve, catch, nip, etc. And if you need help in this regard, use our handy guide for how to choose the right dog toys for your dog.

4. Walking accessories

Even though your dog is domesticated, he might want to act like his wild wolf self some days… especially in public. Fortunately, dog collars, leashes, harnesses and muzzles give you a little more control over your enthusiastic canine. A dog leash is not a tool to be used by your dog to pull you around, though. It’s important to train him sufficiently to walk calmly by your side with the leash a little slack – a walk around your neighbourhood is the perfect bonding exercise!

5. Grooming tools

Dogs’ fur coats need to be carefully maintained based on their length, thickness and density. Another consideration is how much and how often they shed, and how frequently they need a bath. Don’t for a second think you need to share your hairbrush or comb or your shampoo with your dog. The variety of dog grooming tools can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Use our comprehensive guide to choose the most appropriate tools to groom your dog.

6. Doggy wardrobe

Sometimes those fur coats don’t do an adequate job of keeping your pup warm and comfortable with changing weather and climates. Fortunately, there’s a solution for that too, and it comes in the form of dog jerseys and other types of apparel to suit your circumstances. Too much rain in your area and you can’t take your dog for a walk? Of course you can! Just get him a raincoat. Concerned about the effects that rough terrain will have on his feet? You get dog boots for that!

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