Pet care - Accessories For Your Dog - Bhola Shola
How to Buy Dog Care Products
Like all pets, dogs have specific needs to ensure their health, happiness, and well being. There are hundreds of dog care products available and the number of options for sale may seem overwhelming. By identifying what you need, setting a budget, and looking for quality products you can purchase what you and your dog need.
Finding Products You Need
Identify what you need.Dog care products can refer to a wide variety of things. It can refer to everything from grooming supplies, toys, beds, leashes and medicine. If you are adopting or rescuing a new dog, you will need more items than you would if you have had this dog for years.
- See whether you need to purchase items in a specific category, like dog food or new toys, and limit your focus to this category. Since there are so many options available, it is helpful to limit your search to one category at a time.
- Consider which things you need for your dog in every area, including: food, sleep/bedding, toys, training/treats, walking and travel.
Assess what you already own.Take stock of what you already own to avoid purchasing duplicate products or something that you don’t need.
Discover what your dog likes.If you are looking for products in categories where your dog can have likes or dislikes (such as dog food or toys), take the dog’s likes into consideration. If this does not apply, like if you are purchasing medicine for your pet, disregard this step.
- Look at what toys your dog plays with the most. If you are looking to get your dog a new toy, it is helpful to know what type of toys they play with frequently. For example, some dogs prefer soft plush toys while others like durable toys they can chew.
- Many owners find that their dogs have preferences in the type of dog food their dog prefers. Keep in mind that switching dog foods is a process that you can avoid if the food you already purchase works for your pet.
- If you must switch your dog's food, do it by adding in a small amount of the new food to the old food and gradually increasing the amount over time. Switching food suddenly can cause an upset stomach.
If needed, talk to your veterinarian.If you are purchasing health products for your dog, like flea and tick medicine or a medicated shampoo for their coat, consult with your veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian may sell the product that you need in their office. They may sell medicated or prescription products that you could otherwise not find at pet retailers.
- Ask your veterinarian for recommendations for products or brands that they trust.
- Consider calling your veterinarian's office and asking, "I'm looking for a medicine that I can apply at home to protect my dog against fleas and ticks. Is there are certain brand that you trust and could recommend for my situation?"
- After seeing what your vet recommends, you can look at online pet pharmacies to find cheaper alternatives to the vet's office. Start with sites like 1800petmeds.com and Drs Foster & Smith, which have a good reputation.
Ask for recommendations.Recommendations are a great way to find out about products and brands that you might not have heard of before. They are also a good way to identify products that others trust. Many people are more than willing to share information about products that they really like.
- Ask your friends and family who have pets for recommendations. If you are looking for a product within a certain category, kindly ask them about to limit their recommendations to your relevant category. Consider asking something along the lines of, "I'm looking for a new collar (or other product you're looking for) for my dog. I see that you use this brand, what do you think it? Have you had any problems with the collar? What do you think of its quality?"
- Keep in mind that the product that works for this person might not work for you or your dog. Recommendations can be a good jumping off point to identify new items but you should always do your research to make sure it is the right product for you.
Look at available products.You have a general idea of the type of product you intend to buy, like new dog food or a bowl for their water. Now you can begin to look at the different products that are available for purchase. When you find products that you like, make a list that includes the product's name, price, and a short description. Whether you want to buy these products online or in a store, this list is a helpful way to stay organized.
- If you know of large retailers that sell pet items, whether they are specifically pet stores or not, you can look at their websites to see what products they sell.
- You can also shop online to see what products are available from a wider variety of online retailers. Check the reviews of other customers before buying to note any possible problems with the product.
- If you find a product that you like online, the retailer’s website may allow you to enter your zip code or address to see if the product is in stock at your nearest store.
- Make a note if there are different versions of products that you’d be willing to buy. You may find that there are three or four different toys or collars that you are interested in. You can take this list to the store and see whether these products are in stock.
Purchasing the Right Products
Set your budget.It’s easy to get caught up in shopping and purchase more than you intended to. Identify how much you are willing to pay for a particular product or set a range. For example, you can say that you want to find a new brush for your dog’s coat that costs between and .
- Once you have set a budget, try to stick to it. Since you have researched the product before you buy it, you will have a general idea of how much the product should cost.
- If the dog care product is one that your dog will outgrow, like a puppy collar or puppy sized bed, you should take the fact that you will need to replace the item in a few months into consideration when setting your budget.
- Consider the quality of the product when you set a budget. There are some products where quality is not as important, a dog will be just as happy with a cheap plush toy as it will with an expensive plush toy. Never sacrifice safety for price, though. If a cheap item is poorly constructed and poses a health risk to your dog, like a toy with small parts that are easily broken off and swallowed, pay more for a better constructed toy.
Look at product reviews.Take the list of items that you may buy and search online for reviews of the product. You can search “product name reviews” and see what other consumers who have used the product have to say about its quality.
- Take product reviews with a grain of salt. People who write reviews about products online tend to be either very happy with their purchase or very upset. Keep this in mind while you read reviews and use your best judgment in deciding what reviews you trust.
- The product may be from a brand that you already know and trust, or it may not. If the product is from a brand or manufacturer that you are unfamiliar with, look at reviews for these as well.
Find retailers.Now that you have identified the product that you would like to buy, you can look for retailers that sell this product. You may purchase your products in person or online. Some specialty products may be easier to find online, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t have a large pet store.
- Large pet stores will generally carry more products than smaller pet stores. Smaller pet stores may have more specialty products and you can support small businesses by purchasing products there.
- Many large pet stores have websites where you can order products that they carry. You can also purchase the product directly from the manufacturer or brand.
Compare prices.Your price comparison strategy will be different whether you buy online or in store.
- When you purchase an item from a store, like a large pet store, you are limited to comparing the prices at that specific store. You have the option of traveling to different stores to compare prices between them, but this is a time intensive process and may be unnecessary if you are only purchasing one or two small items.
- Use a price comparison app to check prices between different stores. These apps scan the item's barcode and compare the prices from major retailers for you. These will not have information for small or locally owned stores.
- It is easy to compare prices online. You can have different websites open in your Internet browser that sell the same products. Prices may differ between the sites, but shipping costs are often the determining factor in online pricing. If you do not need the product immediately, you can select a slower shipping option that will cost less than if you need the product right away.
Purchase the product.Now that you have an idea of what you want to buy, how much you are willing to spend, and trust the product’s quality, you can purchase the product.
- You can decide whether you would like to buy the product online or in a store. Keep in mind that products you buy online may take several days or weeks to ship. If you need this product as soon as possible, you may want to buy it in person.
- Keep your receipt for the product so you can return it if you find that it is damaged or doesn’t work as intended.
- Look for manufacturer’s coupons online or in your local newspaper. Some online sites will offer free shipping on purchases that cost a certain amount of money, as well.
- If the product arrives damaged, return and replace the item as soon as possible.
- If your dog has an allergic reaction or becomes ill after using the product (like new dog food or treats) take them to the veterinarian.
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