I recently became the pet parent of a Doberman puppy. I had forgotten what it was like to have a large puppy. Unlike Jett, who weighs in at 10 pounds, Marley, my 6 month old, 60 pound pup makes a big splash wherever he goes. As big dog pet owners know, everything is amplified with a big dog. Here’s a list of must haves for big dog owners.
The Right Collar
While little dogs can get away without proper training, obedience training is essential for big dogs. Marley’s been doing well with his leash training. For the most part, he knows to walk alongside you. However, he’s still a puppy and he’s very excitable. When Marley sees a squirrel, you better brace yourself. Big dogs are incredibly strong and you need a collar and leash strong enough to control them. Collars and leashes are only as strong as their weakest component. There are many materials to choose from and each has its pros and cons. I prefer leather collars with a metal buckle. Leather also looks great and lasts a long time. Leather tends to be better for dogs with sensitive skin but requires more care. If your dog loves being in the water, consider a collar made of Bio Thane which is a waterproof material. The collar should be the correct size, tight enough for 2 fingers to fit underneath.
Big dogs need toys tough enough to handle their powerful jaws. Even though he was only 11 weeks old when we got him, Jett’s toys were no match for Marley. As Marley has grown and gotten stronger, he has needed toys made for big dogs. Choose toys made of rubber or specifically designed for big dogs. Big dogs also tend to be more active than small dogs. Marley loves to play fetch long after Jett has decided to call it a day. I like using the ball launchers so I don’t tire out my arm.
Long Lasting Chews
As mentioned earlier, big dogs love to chew. Unfortunately, unless you provide them with appropriate chew toys, they are likely to chew (and destroy) your home. Giving your dog a chew toy or treat redirects their destructive tendencies and helps them relieve stress. When choosing a chew toy or treat, be wary of hard treats that can break a tooth, like bones and hooves. While antlers have become popular, they too can chip a tooth or even splinter and also cause intestinal obstructions or perforations. Likewise, you want to choose a treat that lasts longer than a few seconds. Himalayan Dog Chews are a popular, relatively new alternative to rawhide chews. Made from yak or cow milk, they are a long lasting, easily digestible hard smoked cheese chew. Marley loves Himalayan Dog Chews and they keep him content for hours.
Marley might be growing up to be a big dog, but he still loves to cuddle like the big pup that he still is. Big dogs need a bed that can provide the support and cushioning they need. I like beds with washable covers and memory foam to cushion and support your big dog.
Marley, like must big dogs, is very active. He goes to dog parks, dog beaches and on hikes regularly. Exercise is very important for dogs. It keeps them in good shape physically, stimulates their mind, and helps them burn off energy that might otherwise be directed towards unwanted behaviors. But all that activity can cause your big dog to get very dirty. Like people, pets need regular baths to stay clean and stink-free. But it is important that you utilize a shampoo that doesn’t strip your pet’s nature oils. VetDerm Solutions Super Hydrating & Conditioning Pet Shampoo combines human-grade ingredients, antioxidants, and moisturizers in a fragrance-free formulation that is designed to gently clean and hydrated a dog’s coat. It combines ingredients such as green tea, aloe, shea butter and oatmeal to naturally moisturize dry, flaky, itchy skin.
Preparing for a new dog is always a big deal, but when your pup is a big dog, it’s an even bigger deal. Choosing the right products for your big dog is essential and the best way to ensure their dog is safe, happy, comfortable and that your house doesn’t get destroyed in the process.