Perfect match: Choose the right Leashes & Bowls

As pet parents, we get bowled over by the variety of leashes and food bowls available for our pooches. But your pooch is special and he needs the right accessories, suitable to his age, breed and size. Here’s a guide to select the right leash and food bowl for your precious pooch.

Preeti Agarwal

Preeti Agarwal

Selecting the right leash…
It’s best to walk with your dog by your side as it’s good for the bonding between you and the furry baby. For pups to senior dogs, there is a leash for every dog for every walk. Make sure you choose the right one for a fuss free walk. If you have just got a pup home, make sure you consult your veterinary doctor before you take your furry baby out for his first walk. Before visiting a pet store to buy a leash, it’s important to take the following points into consideration.
If your dog loves to pull: It is advisable to go for a harness set that comprises a leash and a harness. It helps you to take control of the walk and doesn’t let your dog pull much. Harness is comfortable for dogs as it exerts no pressure on their neck.
If the dog is a chewer: Chain leashes are the best if your dog is chewing off all the leashes that you have bought in the past. Chain dog leashes come in different gauges from smaller chain links to larger/heavier chain. Chains with leather or padded handle is also available.
Rope leash for the large breeds: Walking and training large to giant breed dogs can be quite a task, you would often end up breaking your leash if they are thin or with a small hook. Rope leashes are designed especially for large sturdy dogs.
Leads or short leashes: Such types of leashes are used for walking through crowded public places.
Simple leash: Any plain leash, made of nylon or cotton, can be good for your well-trained dog.
Retractable leash: It gives the freedom to your dog to explore the surroundings during the walk while the control button on the handle helps you in restricting the cord.

Selecting the right bowl…
Dog food served in a clean bowl makes our little tailwaggers drool for more. I remember once a customer told me that her pet doesn’t eat food until and unless the bowl is cleaned properly. Various feeding bowls for various sizes of dogs are available and if you are confused about the size and material of the bowl, here are some tips that will help you understand more about the right bowl.
Size of the bowl: Your small little pup won’t be comfortable eating in a bowl as big as him. Small skid-free bowl would be the best option for them. Different sizes of dog bowls are available in the market. Make sure you choose the right bowl for your furry friend, taking the breed and the size into consideration before finalising the bowl.
Material of the bowl: Various bowls made of ceramic, plastic and steel are readily available. Plastic bowls are inexpensive and some of them come with good grip that makes them skid free. Ceramic bowls come in attractive colours and fun designs and ceramic being a heavy material makes them skid free. It lasts long if handled with care. While, stainless steel ones are more durable and these bowls are sometimes made with a non-skid rim on the bottom to prevent spilling. Whatever material you choose for your pet, you need to take the hygiene into consideration. Feeding bowl should be washed after every meal.
Elevated dog bowl: Elevated dog bowls are nothing but feeding bowl with a stand. The bowl can be of any material – plastic/ceramic or steel. Eating from the elevated bowl is not only quite comfortable for the dogs but it also helps in preventing gastrointestinal problem. You might find the prices of such bowls towards the higher side; however, it’s worth the price.
Automatic dog bowls: They are usually attached to a reservoir. It keeps the bowl full as long as there is food and water in the reservoir. It would be better if one uses such type of bowls for water rather than food. Dogs should not eat more than the required amount of dog food and if the reservoir is full of dog food, it will become difficult for you to track the amount of dog food your pooch has consumed.
Traveling bowls: Every now and then, we travel with our pets, to carry a bowl other than the traveling bowl can consume space in the car and it will also make it messy. Travel bowls are usually made up of polyester or similar fabric and it can easily be folded.
(Preeti Agarwal is proprietor at Petville, Pune which not only guides pet parents to do the right things for their pets but also promotes pet adoption).

Choose your pawfect breeder

Before you look for a breeder

Looking for a good breeder comes after determining the lifestyle changes in accommodating a pet in the family. After evaluating your lifestyle and knowing exactly what sort of dog you’re looking for (for example, a high energy dog to go running with, or a more sedate dog to lounge on the couch with), and you know that you need to seek out your desired characteristics and the Pup’s individual characteristics.

Ethics- top priority

Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from places where the pups have not been bred ethically. The result is puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away. A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding practices or who develops significant behaviour problems due to the lack of early socialisation can result in grief and heartache as well. So, it’s well worth investing some time now to be sure you find a reputable breeder who breeds healthy, happy dogs and keeps them in clean and humane conditions.

Identifying a good breeder

Here’s how to find a good breeder who will want to support their dog’s best interest at heart:

  • You can find reputable breeders by asking for referrals from your veterinarian or trusted friends, by contacting local breed clubs, or visiting professional dog shows.
  • Good breeders don’t sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand.
  • A reputable breeder will ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home.
  • A good breeder takes a call and makes a waiting list for their upcoming litter.
  • He is knowledgeable about the breed.
  • A good breeder will let you personally visit the facility where your puppy was born and raised.
  • He also shows you the place where the dogs spend their time. See that it is clean and a well maintained area.
  • A good breeder also encourages you to spend time with the puppies and a little with their parents.
  • He keeps the pups healthy by feeding them right.
  • A good breeder shows you individual record of the puppy’s veterinary visits.
  • He also insists that the puppy stays with the mother for a minimum of eight weeks.
  • He will advice you about the pup’s routine and the general Do’s and Don’ts.

The single best indicator of general health, good behaviour and temperament is the overall life expectancy. Conscientious breeders will have telephone numbers readily available of previous puppy buyers and breeders of other dogs in your prospective puppy’s pedigree. If the breeder is not eager to share information regarding life expectancy and the incidence of breed-specific diseases, ‘look elsewhere’. You will eventually find a breeder who will accommodate your concerns. Before you open your heart to a young pup, you certainly want to maximise the likelihood that the two of you will be spending a long and healthy life.

If your breeder meets all the above criteria, congratulations, you have found the right one who will help you chose your friend for life!