Web Extra: Bark, Sit, Stay.

Ready to pamper your pooch? When buying treats, toys, bowls and beds, keep in mind these expert tips from Boca Veterinary Clinic’s Dr. Lesley Hack.

Dog Days:

When purchasing a dog bed, keep in mind the size of your dog. Buy small beds for small dogs and big beds for larger breeds.

For an older dog with bad joints, look for a cushioned, springy bed. This will help the dog get up.

Fetch:

Toys should always be played with with supervision.

If you have any hesitation with a toy –if it looks weird, if you’ve had it a long time, if the dog chews on it– throw it away. It is a lot cheaper to pay $5 for a new toy, than for a life-saving surgery.

Avoid any fabric that is similar to human clothing. A sock is not a toy. This will save your laundry (and your pet).

If the dog chews half of the toy or the bowl, throw it away and get another one. Half of a toy ending up in the tummy is better than a whole one.

The insides of some of these toys and balls are toxic, so if there is wear and tear, throw it away.

If your dog is toy aggressive, call a trainer and refrain from using toys until the problem is solved, otherwise somebody may get bitten. Don’t try to sort it out yourself.


Dog Food:

Steel is probably the easiest material to clean.  You can throw the bowl in the dishwasher and turn on the hot cycle.

Each dog deserves its own dinner bowl. Having three dogs and one bowl is asking for trouble. They will bite each other.

Edible Treats:

Dogs may be allergic to certain foods. If your dog doesn’t do well with chicken, don’t give him chicken jerky.

Thick raw hides are bad for your dog. Stomach acid has a difficult time digesting multi-layered raw hides. Instead, look for single layer raw hides from a reputable company. Check with your vet for recommendations.

Don’t hang on to raw hides for too long. When they become soggy, throw them away and buy another.

When the Cat’s Away:

If you cannot watch your dog during the day, drop them off at daycare. They will receive the care and play time they need for an active day.