Housing & Equipment for Dogs
What sort of housing and equipment is needed for a dog?
A dog’s basic needs include shelter, a bed, food and water bowls, grooming tools, a collar, an ID tag, a lead and a dog licence.
Most pet dogs are kept in the family home and that’s for the best in most instances. Dogs can also live outside, provided they have a clean, dry, comfortable kennel to live in that protects them from the elements.
Every dog should have its own bed. This can be a basket made of wood or plastic or an old blanket that’s kept in the same place all the time, for your dog to lie on. Your dog will soon learn that the bed is his own special place and when they’re resting there, they should be left in peace.
A dog crate can be a useful place to place your dog’s bed and can act like a private bedroom for the dog, where they know they’ll be safe and undisturbed, and you know that they’ll be safe from mischief, if you’re leaving them alone for short spells.
Food and Water Bowls
Bowls can be made from pottery, stainless steel or plastic. Some dogs destroy plastic bowls by chewing them and pottery is obviously easier to break, but provided they are big enough for the dog to access food and water comfortably and easy to clean, it doesn’t really matter.
You should wash your dog’s food and water bowls every day to keep them clean and hygienic.
The equipment needed depends on your dog’s coat type. Short-haired dogs need a simple brush for occasional use, while long-haired dogs might need a selection of different combs, wire brushes, scissors and bristle brushes to keep their coat clean and healthy.
If you need help, it might be worth asking your dog groomer for recommendations.
Collar and ID Tag
Every dog should wear a collar, if only to carry the essential ID tag. It should be tight enough so that the dog can’t slip out easily but loose enough so that two fingers fit easily between the collar and the dog’s neck.
Collars can be made from material, leather or a metal chain and ID tags come in different styles from engraved metal discs to small barrels containing rolled up slips of paper. The most important information for dogs to carry on ID tags is their owners Surname and telephone number.
This is not a nice to have as dogs are legally obliged to wear an ID tag, even if they’re microchipped – another legal obligation.
A normal dog lead is up to about one metre long. You can also buy extendable leads that can be locked to make a short lead or give you up to eight metres, if you’d like your dog to have more freedom in open spaces.
Extendable leads do come with a warning however, as they can unwind very quickly if a dog pulls suddenly and the cord-like leash can hurt if it wraps around your hand, legs etc. Some owners prefer long leashes that are made of stretchy rope-like material, known as bungee cord leads.
Your dog should be kept on a lead at all times when in public areas unless you are certain that they’ll come back when called. If your dog isn’t on a lead and causes any issues, damage or harms another animal or person, you may be open to repercussions as they are your responsibility.
All dogs over six months of age should have a valid dog licence and it must be renewed annually. It costs €20 a year or you can buy a life time licence for €140. Both are available at the Post Office.
If you are worried about your pet's health, visit the Petfix DIY Triage Checker or Ask a Vet. If it is urgent take your pet to your vet immediately.