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Must-Have Pet Supplies for Dogs

By Jenna Stregowski, RVT, About.com Guide

There are so many kinds of pet supplies available for dogs that we may wonder what is really necessary and what is extravagant. Realistically, there are multiple factors that contribute to a happy, healthy life for your dog. You start by meeting your dog's basic needs and practicing responsible dog ownership. Then, you move on to the details, like choosing pet supplies for your dog. To avoid going over the top, you should determine what kinds of pet supplies your dog really needs in order to complete her life. For your consideration, here's a rundown of the top kinds of pet supplies available for dogs today.

Dog Collars
Every dog should have a collar or harness, period. This collar or harness should ALWAYS be equipped with your dog's current identification tags. Microchips are a great way to supplement identification tags, but they are not acceptable replacements. Beyond identification, collars or harnesses are used with leashes in order to walk and restrain your dog. Plus, they are a great way to show off your dog's personal style (and your own, too)!

Dog Leashes
Every dog needs a leash, and each should be trained to walk on it. Chances are your dog will be subject to leash laws at one time or another, even if there are no leash laws in your area. You may even want to keep multiple types of leashes around the house for multiple uses. For fun, you can coordinate your dog's leash and collar to maximize style.

Dog Beds
Your dog should have a special place to go and snuggle up, whether it is an old pillow that is just right, or a specific style of dog bed. Dog beds come in many designs to fit the needs of all kinds of dogs. Try to get a bed for each dog in the house, plus one extra. Or, you could get a larger bed for dogs who like to share.

Dog Kennels
Dog kennels, or crates, can be a wonderful thing for most dogs. Similar to a dog bed, having a kennel can give your dog a place to retreat and feel secure. Kennels are an integral part of housebreaking and can also play a role in other types of training. Additionally, kennels can really come in handy for travel.

Dog Toys
There are very few dogs that do not enjoy their toys. Some prefer a nice loud squeaky toy, while others want to play fetch or tug-of-war. Toys are an important part of your dog's development they often mimic activities dogs would perform in the wild, such as chewing or retrieving. Plus, they help keep your dog active and stimulated.

Dog Grooming Equipment
All dogs need some degree of grooming, a task that requires some equipment. You will need to find grooming tools that suit your dog's overall grooming requirements. Choose brushes, combs and shampoos based on your dog's coat type. For some types, you will need hair clippers and scissors. All dogs need nail trims, but the size of your dog will determine the type of nail trimmers needed. Other miscellaneous grooming tools may be helpful depending on your dog's individual needs.

Dog Bowls
Obviously, food and water are necessary for your dog to survive and remain healthy. Your choice of bowls or dishes is important as well. Plastic bowls may not be ideal for some dogs, while stainless steel bowls are economical and durable. Ceramic bowls come in various designs, adding a little personality to mealtime.

Dog Food
The type of food you choose give your dog has a major impact your dog's overall health. With so many choices out there, picking out the best foods can be a daunting task. Think twice before you reach for the economy dog food off the grocery shelf do some research so you can make an educated choice. Finding the best varieties of dog treats is also a part of this process.

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