Dog owners may realize there are certain musthave supplies to keep their four-legged friends healthy and happy. The American Pet Products Association reports that about two-thirds of American households own pets, and spending on pets is increasing. Millennials also are now the primary pet-owning demographic, and they’re likely to spend big bucks on their animals.
Apart from bowls, food, toys, and treats, there are plenty of extras that can make owning a dog that much easier. Consider these custom-tailored products that can help address particular behaviors and needs.
Lick mats: Dogs who suffer from anxiety, nervous behavior or just need a little distraction from destructive behaviors may benefit from a lick mat. Lick mats are small, flat mats that can be spread with peanut butter or another treat. According to the pet resource DogLab, because of the flat design of the mat, dogs cannot lift the food with their teeth. It can take quite a while to get every last bit, entertaining dogs for up to 30 minutes. Using a lick mat also can be a calming activity and a point of redirection for dogs who are anxiety-ridden. It also can keep dogs calm while grooming or bathing.
Interactive dog bowls: Similar to a lick mat, interactive bowls (also called “busy bowls”) can be a source of entertainment for dogs. The primary purpose of these bowls is to slow down eating for dogs who are prone to inhaling their food, which can lead to digestive issues. The bowls have channels and posts where the dog food goes so dogs cannot gulp down food.
Head collar: Pulling on the leash is a common complaint from pet parents. There are many different collars and harnesses designed to alleviate the problem. One such product is a head collar known as a Gentle Leader®. According to Gentle Leader® Canada, the product is a non-punishing collar that fits around the muzzle. The attachment point of the lead to the head collar is beneath the muzzle. It provides the handler maximum control over the dog and gets the dog to focus on the handler. It is important to note that, for most breeds, the head collar is not a muzzle and does not impede on breathing or the dog’s ability to open its mouth.
Nail grinder: Many dog owners are understandably skittish about cutting their dog’s nails because the nails contain a sensitive blood vessel known as the quick. Cutting too low can be painful and also result in bleeding. Instead of traditional nail trimmers, an investment in a nail grinder can make the process more comfortable. The grinder slowly files away the nail, which also can be smoothed and rounded. The Animals Network says a nail grinder can be a safe and efficient tool.