Since the lockdown began, a total of 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet and we are part of that too. Last year October, we were fortunate to get a match with the Guide Dog buddy dog programme and Mabel has since brought bring so much joy to our home.
There are a few things that I did not really anticipate, especially as I nor my husband have ever owned a large dog! I always grew up with small dogs as we were raised in a high rise flat. Considering the small space we were living in, it was just not right to own a medium/large dog.
Nevertheless, through these last nine months, we have learnt a lot and I would like to share with you the things to get or do when you have a dog.
1. Invest in good quality gadgets
Most dogs shed hair and Mabel is no different. We will find her hair on our food, utensils, clothing, furniture, carpet and all the spaces in between! I have to vacuum at least once a day to keep up with it! A survey of 2,000 UK pet owners in March 2021 commissioned by Beko said 87% of pet owners say their pet has a messy trait. Survey reveals shedding dog hair on furnishing and carpet is the top messiest pet trait!
Therefore, it is worth investing in a quality vacuum cleaner that picks up pesky hairs and help banish odours. It should have strong suction, a good quality filter and brush action to pull hair out from soft furnishing. You will also need to consider the type of flooring you have at home. Always keep on top of things and regularly clean the filter.
Buy a good quality de-shedding tool and not those cheap tools from budget shops. Before we had Mabel, quite a few people recommended the Groomi tool. It is not harsh to their hair and it helps remove dead hair from your pet. We use it daily and it does help! With the amount of hair that she sheds, we could knit a hat each time!
2. Set up a Cleaning Station
Muddy feet is inevitable especially given the weather in the UK. Or maybe you have a super dirty dog who likes to roll around in fox’s poop! Depending on the size of your home, reserving a space for cleaning is essential. We like to clean her in our porch, whilst some people prefer to clean them in their garden or utility room. Nevertheless, I always have a small bucket filled with warm tap water with three small towels for cleaning. One towel for her face and body which I will clean first and the other two for her paws as they get quite dirty. This is my tip for keeping your dog clean!
You can also get dog wipes or dry shampoo to clean your dog. Dog wipes are very cheap to buy and handy, especially if you are out and about. You could give your dog a quick clean before going into the car for example. Dry shampoo will save you from getting yourself wet when showering your dog!
3. Buy good quality toys
Not all dog toys sold in shops are safe, as no dogs are the same. Always make a judgement based on your dog. Think of the size of your dog and if the toy is suitable for them. Don’t just buy it because it is cheap or fancy. Not all dogs like to play.
During our first meeting with Mabel, she chewed through a plastic ball that I bought from a budget shop and she swallowed half of the ball while I was chatting with the Guide Dog officer. It took her four days before she passed it back out. She also managed to chew through tennis balls, footballs, soft toys and many more. Buy good quality toys that will stand up to your dog’s rough play. Also, supervise them if you can. You can never be sure what they up to. Kong is a good brand toy to buy.
4. Gather all old towels
It is not necessary to buy everything brand new! Gather all your old towels to put in your car boot, near the door or places where your dogs always go. You can use the towels to dry them before putting them in the car or use them as a mat for them to lie on.
5. Clean your pet’s things regularly
Dogs drool and it gets onto their toys, bedding and leads. It is important to clean their items regularly. Check if items can be washed in the machine or whether they are hand wash only. You might want to invest in a laundry bag to contain the items. This also helps avoid getting hair trapped in the washing machine.
6. Don’t buy a bed first until you understand your dog’s sleeping pattern
Not all dogs like to sleep in an expensive cosy bed. Observe the way they sleep before investing. Some like to stretch out, curl up, or lie on their back. I made a folded duvet when we first got Mabel. After weeks of observing her, we bought her an orthopaedic bed. You can read more on RSPCA for more information.
I hope this article will help you make good choices for your fur baby and if you have any tips you can share, please comment below.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.