As you may have already discovered, owning a new puppy isn’t cheap. In between the visits to the vet and all of the treats you buy your puppy, it can seem like the expenses won’t end. So we certainly understand if you’ve found yourself trying to save some dollars by opting for the cheapest items available.

But while this can be a good strategy, there are some essentials for a new puppy that you really shouldn’t skimp on. Contrary to what you may believe, not all puppy items are created equal. 

A couple of dollars saved in the long run really isn’t worth it for your puppy’s leash and collar, dog food, and toys. These essential items require a bit more budget to ensure your puppy is getting the healthiest and most quality care. If you’re wondering why, read on, and we’ll teach you why you may want to return that budget buy.

A Leash & Collar

A leash for your puppy is definitely one item you shouldn’t skimp on. Leashes not only come in a variety of colors, they also differ greatly in the features and level of comfort they provide your puppy. Consequently, there are a number of considerations you should make before handing over your credit card.

As Cesar’s Way highlights, the type of leash you choose depends on your particular puppy’s walking style, behavior, and body. Take the time to read about the differences, and select a style that will best support your puppy on their walks.

Don’t forget to consider your needs as a puppy owner too. For instance, some leashes offer extra comfort for your hands, so they won’t start hurting after a long walk. Another thing to think about is that an investment in higher-quality materials will allow you to save money in the long run, since you won’t have to worry about regularly replacing these items.

You should also think about any additional features you may want your leash and collar to have. For example, some come with an illuminating feature that gives your puppy some extra visibility when walking at night. Do your homework, as there are literally thousands of leashes and collars to pick from! 

Dog Food

Perhaps dog food is one of those items that you mistook for being all the same. After all, your dog doesn’t have a gourmet palate, so isn’t all dog food the same? We hate to break it to you, but there is a big difference between different brands of dog food. Not to mention that your puppies dietary needs are completely different from those of an adult dog. 

As such, you should be buying quality dog food specifically for puppies. Once you read up on the differences between different brands and types of dog food, you may find yourself astounded that you ever thought they were all the same! 

As you’ll learn, dog food may or may not contain certain harmful additives. They may have added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, or they may not. Perhaps you’re concerned whether the food is GMO-free or not. The list is truly endless. Upping your budget will give you a greater range of dog food to choose from, and therein, a better chance of tracking down the food most suitable to your puppy’s particular needs.

The same goes for dog treats too – pick a brand that has wholesome ingredients packed in their treats, and is delicious too!

Toys

Just like children, play is an essential part of a puppy’s healthy development and growth. The good thing is that puppies are naturally playful and affectionate, so usually you won’t have any trouble persuading your puppy to play with you and run around. 

So why is it important to not buy your puppy the cheapest toy you can find? Some cheaper toys are made with chemicals that may be harmful to your puppy. If you care about the environment, you also may be interested to learn that cheaper toys often use non-environmentally friendly materials that more expensive brands are more likely to avoid.

Curiously, while there is a body that checks the safety of all toys for humans, there is not an equivalent organization that regularly test animal toys. What’s more, there are no federal standards regarding pet toys. 

Not to worry, though! There are many toxic pet toy alternatives to choose from as a pet owner. To keep toxic materials at bay, a good rule of thumb is to always read the label of pet products or the product description if you’re shopping online. 

This is a guest post by Cynthia Lopez from PetLifeToday

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