dog-46915_960_720Since starting this blog, I have become immersed in all things dog related.  Everything from dog food to robotic dog toys to “set it and forget it” water bowls find their way into my timelines or inbox on a daily basis.

It got me to wondering if someone, who had never owned a dog before, asked me “what do I absolutely need?”, how would I answer?

On the surface, the question seems straightforward.   It is second nature to suggest things like water bowls, puppy pads, etc.  But, if I really think about the word “need”,  I realize those type of things aren’t really necessities. A dog owner, in a pinch, is one of the most resourceful people on the planet when it comes to caring for their dog. When I think of “needing” something, I think of things that are completely outside of our scope of control that, no matter what, we wouldn’t be able to fix the problem on our own.

So what do I think dog owners absolutely need??

There are a few things I think dog owners should probably have, like flea/tick prevention and heartworm meds, but if I was cornered and my life depended on giving up everything my dogs have except for the “won’t live without” stuff, what would I say?

I can, relatively  easily, imagine myself being able to give up about 99% of the things my dogs have with 2 exceptions. These are my personal “must-haves” but I’m also an extremely over-protective and paranoid dog person!

  1. Pet Insurance
  2. GPS tag

Why these two you ask?

Pet Insurance is probably the most important thing we can do for our dogs.  I learned this the hard way with Sully’s rattlesnake encounter.  No matter how prepared we are, life-threatening accidents can and will happen.  I never want to be put in a situation again where I may have to weigh any of my dog’s lives against the financial needs of our family.  It is an impossible decision to make and is the construct of my worst nightmares.

My top choice for Pet insurance is Healthy Paws or PetPremium.  But there are plenty of other options out there, I encourage research on what will fit best for your dog and your lifestyle!  Just be sure to look out for, and avoid, companies that won’t cover existing conditions!

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Results from googling “lost dog”

The GPS tag is just another form of pet insurance in my mind.  As you can see in the image, I googled “lost dog” and the search engine returned around 27 MILLION results.  In the last week alone, I’ve read 6 stories about dogs that, one way or another, were able to get away from their owners and go missing.  In all these cases the owners had invested in a GPS tag and were able to find the dog within a few hours.  Our canine companions are notorious for finding ways to escape, from jumping over fences to digging under them.  We need to be prepared for the unthinkable prospect of him/her getting away.

There is only one option, in my mind, for GPS tracking tags for dogs.  Mostly because the company, Whistle, makes their tracker specifically for dogs.  It also comes with a slew of other features to aid in the care of our pups. There are other, less expensive, options that would probably work for dogs.  But these are made for things like luggage, keys, etc.  It’s worth the investment, in my opinion, to go with a product made specifically for our canine companions.

Out of all of the other “stuff” my dogs have, I would give up all of them before I gave up these two things.  The reason is probably apparent to you, in the event of the unexpected, I want to have insurance that I will be prepared and in a position to save my pups.  I love my dogs immensely and that ability is something I will never live without!