One major part of my life (after my husband of course) is my dog, Dolly. Dolly is a 4 year old English Bulldog, that we absolutely adore and as I have mentioned in my bio, is admittedly spoiled rotten. Over this past weekend it dawned on me that I haven't really taken the time to write about the one subject I have learned a great deal about over the past four years- dog care! There are so many aspects to caring for a pet, but for today's post I wanted to focus on sharing a few of my favorite products. These items play a huge role in the everyday care of Miss Dolly and have helped to keep both Dolly and my home, healthy, happy and in overall great shape. While this isn't a list of every essential pet care item, these are certainly items at the top of my "Must-have" list and you can rest assured that there will be plenty of future pet care posts coming to the blog featuring more of my favorite products and pet care tips.
Do you remember those dated rake pet brushes (the ones you would have to use outside because pet hair would always go flying with each brush stroke)? While the rake brush did remove dead hair from your pet, they were awfully messy and I'm not sure how effective they actually were. Enter the FURminator!....
When we first adopted Dolly, I spent a lot of time researching proper dog grooming practices. During my search I came across this one youtube video on dog grooming that featured the FURminator. After watching the video I was sold and immediately had to have this fantastic grooming tool. The FURminator is a grooming brush that collects dead hair from your cat or dog with each brush stroke. The FURminator can potentially reduce shedding by up to 90 percent and if nothing else, it certainly reduces shedding more than any other grooming tool on the market. The FURminator is offered in a variety of sizes and styles based on the size and hair length of your pet. I absolutely adore this tool and have found it to be extremely effective with reducing shedding and keeping my dog's coat super soft.
Douxo Maintenance Shampoo
Everyone who meets Dolly always comments on how soft her coat feels. I am constantly asked to divulge the specifics of Dolly's grooming routine. Well here it is- we bathe her once a week, FURminate her weekly and use Douxo Maintenance Shampoo. This shampoo is actually a 2-in-1 (shampoo plus conditioner) gentle cleanser that preserves the lipidic film in a dog's coat, while still nourishing, hydrating and cleansing the dogs coat. In addition, this shampoo is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, making it an ideal shampoo for almost any type of dog.
Nail Clippers & Styptic Powder
Nail care is very important aspect of pet grooming that needs to be maintained even as frequently as monthly depending on the breed. For the first three years of Dolly's life, we would clip her nails ourselves (*note- do not clip your pets nails until you receive proper training from a vet). She has white nails so it was easy to identify the location of the quick and avoid having any adverse experiences (my preferred nail clippers are here and here). Every time we clipped her nails we always made sure to have a jar of Styptic Powder (blood clotting) on hand in case we accidentally clipped a quick. Luckily this only happened once in three years of clipping, but thank goodness we had that powder on hand. Around age 4, Dolly started rebelling against our monthly nail clipping sessions so we now take her to a local groomers at a cost of $18/clipping. She is in and out of there in 5-10 minutes and happy as a clam every time. So honestly, I say it is money well spent!
Regardless of the weather conditions, a dog still has to go to the bathroom. Hurricane Sandy, Snowstorm Jonas, etc… Dolly still had to go outside to alleviate herself. While a little snow on my dog isn't the worst thing in the world, a rain soaked dog is not fun. Not only does the rain give her that malodorous stench of wet dog, but then she comes inside my nice clean house and shakes off the rain….EVERYWHERE! To minimize the effects of rain on Dolly while out for her "business time," we have invested in a raincoat (and OMG what a lifesaver!). I found this adorable rubber ducky poncho at Unleashed by PETCO for $12.99. Unfortunately Dolly is too thick for the size that fits her length and too short for the size that fits her girth. To remedy this situation since the coat was just so darn cute, I purchased the size that fit her girth and then had it hemmed for $8. I know that sounds ridiculous to have a dog's raincoat altered. However, for a grand total of $20.99, I have a raincoat that fits my dog perfectly and keeps her dry when it rains. Totally worth it!
Dogs enjoy chewing. Some more than others and the degree of chewing power ranges. As you may have probably guessed, Dolly is a very active and powerful chewer. As a puppy, she went through many plush toys and even developed a habit for door stoppers and electrical wires (it was exhausting and had me constantly on edge worrying about her safety). What we found over time was that the more difficult projects (very hard toys) kept her occupied the longest and away from chewing on things she shouldn't. I have to be honest, I have purchased too many toys for Dolly over the years (and am way too embarrassed to show you her ridiculous toy bin). However, through my extensive toy research I have found that the best/safest toys on the market for dogs would have to be the Nylabones and Naturally Shed Antlers. These toys cost more than the average toy, but they last exponentially longer. Giving dogs plenty of projects (high quality toys) will keep them entertained and out of mischief.