I’ve had my dog Luna for about 8 months now. We’ve had our ups (nighttime snuggles) and downs (chewing a hole in my linoleum), and I’ve learned a lot about raising a puppy. Through a series of trial and error, I’ve nailed down a few pet accessories that have 100% made my life easier! Here are the five dog accessories that I can’t live without.
1. A Crate
I have been crate-training Luna, and I 100% recommend it. When I first got her, I decided straightaway that she would sleep in her crate, not with me. I love her to pieces, but I value my sleep too much to deal with waking up every three hours with a restless dog. Besides, having your dog in the bed is all well and good when she’s young, but what about when she gets old and can’t control her bladder? I also work full-time, so crate-training means I know both Luna and my apartment are safe while I’m away. The linoleum incident? Yeah, happened the one time I experimented with letting her roam free. The crate I use (and love) is the wire crate from Hollywood Feed. It has an adjustable divider so you can change the size as your pup grows!
2. A Good Leash
My puppy obedience class instructor recommended a non-retractable leash. Actually, he forbade the retractable kind! Everyone has their own preference, but I love my non-retractable Lupine lead in Puppy Love. It’s a very sturdy leash, and I love the fact that it has a padded loop to slip around my wrist. If I have the loop around my wrist, I know that Luna can’t take me by surprise chasing a squirrel. One big plus with the Lupine brand is that they are 100% guaranteed for life, even if they are chewed! Luna chewed through two leashes and a harness before I switched to Lupine. Lesson learned. Also, get you a clip-on poop bag carrier. Be a good pet owner.
3. A “Walk Your Dog with Love” Harness
My obedience class instructor recommended the Walk Your Dog With Love harness on Day 1, but I didn’t listen and got one that would match my leash better. I should have listened to the professional! This harness clips in the front, and with some kind of voodoo magic, it makes a HUGE difference in how much Luna pulls on the leash. I can’t explain it, but it was remarkable. Basically, Go.Get.You.One. If you’re in Huntsville, I bought mine at Goin’ to the Cats and Dogs in Five Points.
4. An I.D. Tag
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If (God forbid) your little one escapes, an I.D. tag is essential to make sure she’s not picked up by Animal Services or inadvertently dog-napped. When I adopted Luna from A New Leash On Life, she had already been microchipped. So when I ordered my personalized tag from MJLeatherwork on Etsy, I put my number on one side and the fact she’s microchipped on the other. My number is there, I just blurred it for privacy and all that. I love this tag- it’s exactly what I wanted and so cute!
5. A Good Toy
I’m sure you’ve gathered that Luna is a chewer. BOY is she a chewer. I timed it once and a brand-new stuffed animal toy lasted 8 minutes before its fluffy guts were all over the place. You can even see the proof in that photo up there ^; that little purple toy had no chance. The two toys that I have the most confidence in are her Kong and her Tuffy donut. Stuffing her Kong with a Kong Ziggies keeps her entertained for a good long while, and her Tuffy donut is the only soft toy that she hasn’t ripped apart. She’s had it for a few months now, and I would 100% recommend them. They’re a bit pricey, but totally worth it. If I added up all the toys I bought that got destroyed before this, it doesn’t even compare to the cost of a Tuffy toy.
Having a dog is so fulfilling, but it can be stressful and expensive. Hopefully you’ll learn from my mistakes and save your money for things that actually work, like the products I mentioned above! I love dogs, so if you ever want to send me a photo of your pup, tweet me at @katieactually_!