Dog Must Haves

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Have a dog?  Thinking about adopting a dog?  You've probably figured out by now that it's much more than buying a bag of dog food and getting yearly rabies vaccines at the vet (at least, I hope you're doing those things.)  So I gathered up a list of our most used and favorite supplies lately.  Whether you're getting a new family member or just shopping around for some new things for your best bud, hopefully there's something on this list that speaks to you.  All the products listed have been tested extensively... by Hawkeye.  She says 'you're welcome.'


Treats

Duck jerky is far and away Hawkeye's favorite treat.  She's actually allergic to chicken, which is a pretty common allergy in dogs.  So we stay away from chicken jerky and opt for the duck.  Honestly, every dog who's been over and had one of these is in love.  Just be careful to find one with just duck as the ingredients, maybe salt, nothing else is necessary. 

Bed

Hawkeye has a water bed and she loves it.  I've had it for years.  It was from Frontgate originally, but they don't seem to have it any more.  I've gotten one additional insert over the years off of Amazon.  It's cooling, which is perfect for her with all her fur.  The ideal bed for your dog will depend on how hot or cold he runs.  My mom has a little maltese who runs cold, so he prefers the cuddler beds that have a top and sides.  If she doesn't have her water bed, Hawkeye prefers flat beds she can stretch out on.

Food and Water Bowls and Food Storage

Having elevated bowls is really great - dogs prefer them, it's easier to clean around, and they look prettier.  I also put a little placemat under Hawkeye's area for easy clean up.  For food storage, I bought these many years ago on Amazon and I like the pour spout on them.  They hold an entire 3 lb bag of food, and usually up to 5 lbs.  If you have a big dog (and thus more, heavier food), you might want to get one on wheels.

Toys and Toy Storage

Hawkeye likes toys she can whip back and worth and whack herself in the face with, apparently.  I don't know why.  She's obsessed with the Flappy, I've already had to replace it once and it's about time for another.  My mom's dog loves the hide-a-squirrel, plus it's super cute.  Just wander down the toy aisle at the pet store and let your dog choose!  For storage, I have this toy box from the Martha Stewart line and it works so well.  Doesn't attract fur, which is essential, and it has the nice cut out in the front so Hawkeye can reach her head in and pull out what she wants.  I can't find it online but I have still seen it in stores recently.  I just love that I have some place to corral everything at the end of the day.  You can actually teach your dog to put their toys away.  Hawkeye only about half gets it, but I'll take it.

Collar and Leash

Hawkeye's collar and leash are an Iowa print one I got directly from a Hawkeye store, but they're wearing out and it's going to be time for a new one soon.  Etsy is my go to for this kind of stuff because it has a ton of options for patterns and style.  Most of the collars have the ID information built into the buckle, which is a great option because then the tag isn't clanging around.

ID Tag

You never think your pet will get lost until it's too late.  Always better safe than sorry so get your pet an ID tag on the collar, if it's not built in like the example above.  There's a lot that you can personalize on Etsy that have hilarious sayings on them.  And there's usually a kiosk inside Petco and Petsmart where you can design it on the spot and it'll print out right there (like an advanced version of where you got those souvenir smushed pennies at Disney World.)

Poop Bags

Where there's dogs, there's dog poop.  It's just a fact of life and you have to be a responsible pet owner and pick it up!  I don't recommend buying just any old poop bags, because plastic is so bad for the environment and we want to minimize it where we can.  These are the best because you can flush them.  They break down in water and with every purchase they donate 10% to stop puppy mills.  A cheaper option would be this brand, which biodegrades in 12 to 24 months, though they still aren't perfect - I have a feeling that those bags won't decompose if they're in a landfill buried under other trash.  The true zero waste option would be scooping the poop and composting it, but I'm so not that level of zero waster.

Portable Bowl

If you're away from home longer than a simple walk, you have to have water for your dog.  Just keep a portable bowl on you, and then you can use a fountain to fill it up.

Microchip

In addition to the ID tag, Hawkeye also has a microchip.  It's inserted at the vet under the shoulder blade and then can be scanned for the rest of her life by anyone with a microchip scanner, which is every vet, shelter, animal control center, etc.  They'll see all her information on their computer system and since it has my phone number, they can call me right away.

Anything I missed that I should pick up for Hawkeye?  Let me know your dog must haves in the comments.


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