The pet market is a billion-dollar industry, with surveys estimating Americans spend over $55 billion on their pets each year. There are so many treats, toys, beds, dog food and supplies that it can be overwhelming to know what you need for your pet. It can be difficult to know what your dog really needs now and what can wait until later. Basics and Comfort Three things your dog will certainly need are a collar, leash and identification tags. Many cities have leash laws, so a leash and collar are necessities. There may also be laws requiring you to register your pet and prove she has all the necessary shots. Your dog also obviously needs food; though you probably donâ€™t need to buy a fancy brand. Stick with feeding your dog one type of food, whether it be canned, dry, or raw. Make your decision based on your pet's needs and consult with your vet, if necessary. Sturdy water and food dishes are also a great purchase, to save yourself clean-up from spills. Treats for your dog are a great way to reward her when she's performed a positive behavior. You may want to consider bones, rawhide chews, and other forms of dog treats. A nice bed for a dog is another important item to have. Be sure you give her a soft space to lay, whether it's on an old pillow or a bed made especially for dogs. Your dog needs a place where she can go to rest and be undisturbed. You may consider a crate or kennel as well. Toys To save yourself from inappropriate chewing, a good selection of chew toys is always recommended. Your dog will love to chase balls, so old tennis balls are a great and inexpensive toy to have. Frisbees and throwing discs are favorites of some breeds. Your dog may also love a plush toy, to throw around, play with, or chew. Pet stores generally have a wide variety of choices. Try to select a toy that is durable and won't easily tear, reducing the risk of her ingesting the stuffing. You can also buy stuffing-free toys. Kong toys are made of durable heavy-grade plastic, and great for dental reasons as well as rough play. They're available for all ages. Several feature hidden pockets to place treats, which can be fun and entertaining for your. Kong and other vendors also make durable dog-friendly rope toys, great for tug-o-war. Grooming All dog breeds require some form of grooming, and many breeds have specialized needs. When it comes to the basics of grooming, you need dog-friendly shampoos, conditioners, and brushes. Bristle brushes can be used for most breeds, and a flea comb is always a good purchase. You can purchase ear cleansers for your dog, and nail trimmers, if you're confident about performing these grooming tasks at home. Certain brushes such as a slicker brush or shedding blade may also come in handy, depending on your dog breed. You may be tempted by every cute and designer dog item you see when it comes to purchases for your dog. Remember, though, she has certain basic needs that must be met first. Use this guide to help decide what your dog needs, then buy her extra toys and treats as you are able.
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