Friday, January 22, 2010

Stop Burning Money on Useless Pet Products!

I’ve spent a lot of money on dog related products over the years, I shudder to think of the amount spent, and I’m grateful I don’t have the receipts from every dog-related purchase or I might have a heart attack if I ever saw the grand total! One thing I’ve found is I buy a product, try it out, and then find a product I like more, or learn why the product I bought isn’t quite as wonderful as I initially thought or marketing told me it would be.

I’ve gotten sick and tired of this. I waste money by not initially buying the better product, usually a bit more expensive than my first purchase, because I end up buying the cheaper product and then the more costly better product. I have a dog supply graveyard, a basket full of no longer useful training aids, grooming tools, and toys. I could have avoided this by just buying the better grooming tools and training aids from the get-go, but the toys are a bit trickier, as every dog has their own personal opinions regarding what is fun to play with!

What’s in the basket you might ask? Two slicker brushes – they work, they do the job, but I feel like they actually kind of damage the coat. They’ve since been replaced by a Chris Christensen slicker brush (which I love!) that cost the same as the two inferior ones. A Gentle Leader halter – Milly hated it, and I prefer actually training her to walk loosely on a leash. A Sporn Harness – this worked, but I’ve since replaced it with a prong collar for walks and Milly has really learned loose leash walking (even on a flat collar)! A retractable leash – they’re dangerous, they can literally decapitate your fingers, and they promote leash pulling. Nail clippers – many different types. Shampoos – many contain high amounts of alcohol and dull the coat. And that’s just the first layer of stuff in the basket!

In a world full of so many doggie doodads it’s hard to know what the better product actually is. Believe it or not, often the best dog products aren’t even available at big pet supply stores like Petsmart or Petco! They’re instead made by smaller companies who cater to the extremely educated dog owner or dog professional – whether it is a show breeder, handler, groomer, or dog trainer – and can be purchased online, at pet expo’s, dog show vendors or specialty boutiques.

In an effort to end this silly frivolous spending I contacted a Golden Retriever breeder whom I admire and respect greatly. I asked her what the best grooming tools she owns are, and why. What exactly I need, and don’t need. I’m slowly acquiring them, but there are many I’m still saving for.

Want to do the same thing, but own a different breed? Join your local breed club and contact other members for advice! You might spend a bit more up front, but you’ll save in the end!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you. I found myself spending lots of money on frivolous dog "stuff" when I first got my goldens. Aside from the essentials that you list above, they need very little in the way of toys etc. One good ball is about all my dogs want. So it hit me that they really only want me to play with them, exercise them and spend time with them. They don't need 15 toys. Funny how I quickly lost sight of what was important to them. I figure that the less I buy, the less I have to work to pay for it and the more time I have to play with them. Good post!