Dog Essentials: 5 Overlooked Dog Care Products

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As a dog parent, you already know there are several dog must-have items to ensure your dog's everyday health and wellness. Leashes, toys, food, crates, and beds are just a few things every dog needs. However, several important dog care products are often overlooked or completely forgotten. 

Being prepared for anything is crucial. Your dog is part of the family, and you may even treat them like they're your own child. Therefore, you must do everything possible to prevent illness and ensure their health and happiness. Wondering what dog essential items you may have forgotten about? Whether you're bringing a new dog home from the shelter or have had your dog for years and want to ensure you have everything you need, take a look at our list of essential dog care products. 

List of 5 essentials dog owners should have

1. Oral Care Tools

When shopping for dog essentials, many pet parents forget about oral hygiene. Every dog needs good oral health. Unfortunately, pet parents tend to forget that their dog's oral health is just as important as physical activity. Periodontal disease is common in dogs, affecting many of them by the time they're two years of age due to the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.1 Harmful bacteria can damage the teeth, gums, bone, and other parts of the mouth, including the jaw, making it painful for your dog to eat. In addition, this bacteria can enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of heart, liver, and kidney disease.1

Periodontal disease is preventable with proper daily hygiene. Experts recommend brushing your dog's teeth daily, so you should have a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Unfortunately, most dogs don't like their teeth brushed, so you might try Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Wipes to easily brush away plaque that causes bacteria.

In addition, you should take your dog to their annual wellness exam, where your vet can examine their mouth to look for signs of gum disease or broken teeth. Vets can also provide professional cleaning to remove tartar you can't remove at home to further prevent periodontal disease. 

2. Omega-3 Supplement

Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for good health in dogs and humans. They help store energy and allow the body to absorb nutrients from food.2 Omega-3 is essential for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. In puppies, omega-3 can support a healthy immune system to help them fight off illness and infections. In adult and senior dogs, omega-3 offers anti-inflammatory benefits to improve mobility and reduce stiff joints.2 Fatty acids also promote healthy skin and coat by preventing dryness. 

Most dog foods have omega-3, but some are of higher quality than others. If you believe your dog has an omega-3 deficiency, several supplements are available, including EicosaDerm Omega-3 Liquid for Dogs & Cats for arthritis and joint care. This product is a nutritional supplement to promote healthy skin and coat and contains vitamin E as an added antioxidant. In addition, its liquid form makes it easy to administer to dogs directly in the mouth or on food. 

3. Ear Care Product

Nail care is an essential part of grooming, but many pet parents forget about ear health. Ear infections are fairly common in dogs because of the shape of their ear canals.3 In addition, dogs with floppy ears are more prone to infections because they allow moisture to build up and become a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Ear infections are incredibly painful for dogs and can cause itchiness, head shaking, odor, and redness. When left untreated, ear infections can lead to deafness or facial paralysis, so prevention is crucial.3 

Keeping your dog's ears clean and dry can help prevent painful ear infections, and you can easily clean your dog's ears at home with Douxo Micellar Solution to keep ears clean without irritating sensitive skin. You should clean your dog's ears at least once a month, but dogs who swim frequently or those with floppy ears and recurring infections should have their ears cleaned more regularly. Talk to your vet about how often you should clean your dog's ears

4. Digestive Supplement

Dogs can experience several common digestive problems, ranging from food allergies to a lack of fiber and dietary changes. High-quality dog foods should provide all the fiber your dog needs, but some dogs may need more fiber to improve digestion. Since fiber moistens and bulks stool to allow it to pass through the intestines easily, lack of fiber can cause constipation and anal gland issues. 

If your dog has recurring anal gland issues or hard stools, they may need more fiber in their diet. Glandex Peanut Butter Flavored Soft Chews Digestive Supplement for Dogs is a fiber supplement that can help treat anal gland problems and promote healthier stools. Of course, if your dog is experiencing chronic constipation or constantly scooting on the floor, you should contact your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. 

5. Flea & Tick Preventive Care 

Fleas and ticks are another common dog problem and pose potential risks to pet and human health.4 While there are measures you can take at home, such as not letting your dog spend time in long grass where ticks like to jump on their potential hosts, the most effective way to prevent flea and tick infestations is through flea and tick care. We offer several types of flea and tick products through our online marketplace. If you have one you already use, you can find it there, or talk to our vets to ensure you're using the right preventative care products for your dog. 

Dutch Care Kits 

You can get various essential dog care products at once with Dutch Care Kits. Whether your goal is to ensure overall wellness or prevent issues before they arise, our curated list of products available in our welcome basket can help you take better care of your pet. In addition, all of the products in our marketplace are trusted and recommended by our vets, and we can even create your dog their own care kit based on their health information and overall goals. 

FAQs

Why is preventive care important?

Preventive care can keep your pet healthy for longer and reduce your spending on vet bills. When you properly care for your dog's health, you'll reduce the need to visit the vet. For example, if your dog is prone to ear infections, cleaning their ears regularly can prevent multiple trips to the vet for more expensive treatment and surgery if the ear canal becomes closed off. In addition, preventive care can help ensure your pet's health to reduce serious diseases later in life. For example, flea and tick prevention can prevent Lyme disease and other potential health problems that affect your dog's quality of life. 

What necessities does a dog need?

Taking care of your dog is not so different from taking care of a child; they require basic essential dog products to ensure their health. Of course, you may already know the basic products, including bowls, toys, food, and treats. However, several other dog care products prevent illness and painful conditions. For example, most pet parents don't realize they need to brush their dog's teeth regularly to prevent gum disease. Talk to your vet about the dog essentials you need to ensure their health. Based on their current health condition, temperament, and your concerns, a Dutch vet can help curate a list of essential care products to help you take better care of your pet at home. 

What are three things dogs need every day?

The three things dogs need every day are exercise, a healthy diet, and affection. Of course, other items in our dog essentials list don't need to be used daily. For example, you shouldn't clean your dog's ears every day because it can cause irritation. However, dogs need exercise and a healthy diet to promote their health. In addition, dogs love your attention and affection, and nothing makes them happier than spending time with their pet parents. 

What makes a dog most happy?

What makes a dog happy depends on their temperament and lifestyle. For example, working breeds are happiest when they have a job. Meanwhile, other dogs might be happiest when napping next to you on the couch. Of course, you know your dog best to ensure their happiness, but all dogs will enjoy praise for good behavior, exercise, and mental stimulation. 

Terrier puppy playing with ball

Final Notes

Taking care of your dog goes beyond caring for their basic needs. While dogs need shelter, love, food, and water, they also require exercise and preventive care at home to keep them healthy and happy. Whether your dog is prone to ear infections or anal sac problems, there are several essential dog products you can use in the comfort of your own home to reduce discomfort and improve their wellness. 

Wondering what products are right for your dog based on their current health profile? Talk to a Dutch vet today to find the right products to care for your dog in the comfort of your own home and prevent serious illnesses later in life. Shop our marketplace or try Dutch today. 

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References

  1. Niemiec, B., Gawor, J., Nemec, A., Clarke, D., McLeod, K., Tutt, C., Gioso, M., Steagall, P., Chandler, M., Morgenegg, G. and Jouppi, R. (2020), World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Dental Guidelines. J Small Anim Pract, 61: E36-E161. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsap.13132

  2. “Omega-3.” The Kennel Club, https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health-and-dog-care/health/health-and-care/a-z-of-health-and-care-issues/omega-3/.

  3. Elizabeth Racine, DVM. "Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention." American Kennel Club, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-ear-infections/.

  4. "Safe Use of Flea and Tick Preventive Products." American Veterinary Medical Association, https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/safe-use-flea-and-tick-preventive-products.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $7/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.