How to Choose Supplies for Your Dog

paw salve for dogs

The right supplies can make day-to-day activities with your dog easier and more fun. When choosing supplies, it makes sense to acquire a few basic items for your dog, and slowly accumulate more items to address individual needs.

We advocate a solution-based approach when choosing for your dog: Think about what items your dog will need for their daily schedule and what you’ll need to make that routine pleasurable.

Beds: A dog bed gives your dog their own spot in your home. Depending on your dog’s activities, you may want a removable, washable bed cover or a bed that is completely washable. Older dogs or giant breeds may also benefit from beds with thicker padding that can cushion joints.

Bowls and Fountains: Non-porous bowls, such as those made of steel or ceramic, don’t absorb the oils from foods the way that plastic does. Meanwhile, plastic bowls work well as inexpensive bowls for growing puppies or back-up bowls for travel. Fountains can be terrific for dogs who don’t drink enough water or may not get enough water from their food, but they do require regular cleaning.

Crates & Carriers: For puppies, it often makes sense to buy a crate that will fit your full-sized dog. These crates come with dividers that allow you to expand the kennel as your dog grows. Carriers should always accommodate your dog’s current size and be several inches larger than your dog in all directions.

Clean-up: Over the life of your dog, your clean-up needs may evolve. Puppy owners may need pee pads and enzymatic cleaners, while adult dog owners may only need poop bags and the occasional cleaner for accidents. As your dog ages, you may want to reconsider pee pads as a back-up to prevent accidents or dog diapers as a long-term solution.

stack of three stainless steel bowls
rolls of poop bags and a stack of puppy pads

Coats, Jackets and Other Clothing: Certain dogs benefit from protection from rain and snow, especially when temperatures start to drop. When looking for clothing for your dog, make sure to measure your dog’s length and chest before shopping, so you can easily choose the right size the first time.

Collars, Leashes and Other Walking Supplies: Nylon is the preferred material for collars, leashes, harnesses and other walking supplies because it’s tough, long-lasting and can withstand exposure to water. While collars and leashes are easy to buy off the rack, harnesses may require careful fitting to work for a specific dog and every style may not work for every dog. You may also choose to buy a muzzle for your dog, where fit is also paramount for safety’s sake. Making sure that the fit allows your dog to breathe properly and accept treats will make walks happier for your companion.

Dental: The right toothpaste and brush can make dental hygiene maintenance even easier for your dog. Matching the right brush to your dog’s mouth and your own preferences ensures that they’ll be more likely to accept teeth cleaning.

Gates and Pens: These items can keep your dog corralled in a specific area or away from problem spots like the kitchen, while still allowing plenty of room to roam. Sizing to fit the height of your dog is the most important consideration, but you still might have to train agile breeds to avoid jumping over the barrier.

Grooming: Brushes, nail trimmers, shampoos, wipes and salves all fit into this category. To avoid grooming tool overload, it’s helpful to consider whether you’ll use a groomer and what activities your dog will do. Dogs that regularly visit the groomer may only need a coat-appropriate brush and some wipes for day-to-day maintenance. Owners who want to groom their dogs themselves will need shampoos, nail clippers and other items for routine cleaning.

Natural Flea and Tick: Natural flea treatments can reduce or eliminate the need for other chemical-based flea treatments. Adding sprays and other treatments to your existing routine can also significantly reduce the chance that your dog will be exposed to these insects.


How We Choose Dog Supplies

Mud Bay works to choose supplies that meet the day-to-day needs of all different types of dogs. When picking a few key items for every category of supplies, we work to find unique solutions for that category. Even what might seem like a simple category, such as bowls, involves a lot of considerations: We carry raised bowls for tall dogs, slow feeders for puppies that might gobble their food, and water fountains for dogs that refuse water bowls altogether. For every unique problem, we work to have a solution you can take home and try with your dog.

Safety is also key in this category. Plastics must be BPA-free, while other supplies must be lead-free. The ingredients in all our shampoos, salves, wipes and other consumable supplies are scrutinized for efficacy and health standards.

Finally, we consider overall durability and value of each product. Some supplies are made to meet the needs of your dog throughout their entire life, while other products may be disposable or only needed in the short-term to modify a behavior. That’s why we work to offer products at a variety of price points, so you can decide what will work for your situation.

cleaning supplies in green spray bottles