People love their pets. This is particularly true with dog owners. Our beloved dogs are pampered, groomed, and even clothed. We make them into a regular part of the family. As more and more canine “luxury items” have begun to hit the marketplace, we’ve jumped on board to spoil our furry friends with these things, too. But have we gone too far?
When it comes to your dog, yes, there are definitely some luxury items that are worth buying. However, there are also some things that are nothing more than a waste of money. You need to know how to differentiate between the two, and ensure that you are spending your money wisely. Once educated, the level of love you give your pup is up to you.
What to Buy
1. Organic Dog Food
This is one luxury item that’s really worth some consideration. Many dog owners have found that traditional dog food is full of ingredients that may not be best for Fido. For this reason, the organic dog-food industry is taking off.
Since organic food is made from all organic ingredients, it is healthier for your dog. Additionally, this choice carries the same perceived environmental benefits as the organic foods that you yourself might choose to eat. Some of the most popular brands include: Wellness Dog Food, Canidae Dog Food, Natural Balance Dog Food, Blue Buffalo Dog Food, Solid Gold Dog Food, and HALO Dog Food. If you are interested in buying organic food for your dog, compare the brands above before making a purchase.
2. Homemade Dog Treats
This may be a stretch for some owners, but your dog deserves something special from time to time. There are many places to purchase homemade dog treats. For example, shopping malls have kiosks, and you can even find independent bakeries. Of course, you can buy all the proper ingredients, find a recipe online, and do it yourself.
This is definitely considered a luxury, but it is one that you should consider giving your dog. After all, homemade treats don’t cost much more than those that you can buy at the grocery store.
3. Orthopedic Furniture
Believe it or not, there is a huge market for orthopedic dog-furniture. For example, does your dog have a bad hip? If so, try an orthopedic bed. These are meant to alleviate pain and increase comfort for your ailing pet. These cost more than standard dog beds, but since they are made with memory foam, they are able to alleviate pressure on the joints and bones.
What Not to Buy
1. Luxury Clothes
Your dog is not a person! It does not need sweaters that cost $50 or shoes that are more expensive than the ones you have on your own feet. If you are going to purchase clothes for your dog, stick to affordable items. You can get something that looks great at a bargain price. After all, your dog won’t treat a luxury sweater with any more concern than a sale sweater.
2. Excess Furniture
From chairs to sofas and loungers, the dog furniture industry is booming. The question remains: does your dog really need the same furniture options as you? What happened to letting Spot sit on the floor? Pick the right-sized crate and maybe splurge on a nice bed, and you’re probably good to go.
3. Gold-Plated Dog Bowls
That’s right, these do exist. Seriously, does your dog really deserve to eat out of a bowl while you serve yourself dinner on a paper plate? Your dog does not care if it’s eating from an expensive bowl; it just wants food. Save your money for something more important, or better, take the amount you would have spent on a sparkly bowl, and donate it to a shelter in your area.
As you shop for luxury items for your pet, consider the points above. These will help you determine where to spend your money, as well as what you should and should not be buying.
(photo credit: epSos.de)
More important than the organic labeling of the food is what goes into the food. Dogs are designed to eat a certain kind of diet, which doesn’t include corn or other grain fillers. Organic dog food purveyors can use exactly the same ingredients as budget brand dog food, as long as those ingredients are produced organically. Organic may be a bit better for the environment, and perhaps a bit better for your dog, but if you are concerned about your dog’s health you’d do far better to choose your dog food by ingredient list.
Thanks, LG for the info! Its amazing how companies can work ‘around’ the wording. Even with people food.
Maybe another option is to consider making homemade dog food, if you have the time.
I get a little confused by dog owners here in the city. When I was growing up on the farm, through years of owning dogs and cats, I don’t believe we ever bought a bag of commercial dog food. The animals lived on “downers”, table scraps – including cooked bones (gasp!), hunting on their own, and if they were really hungry, ate wheat out of the chop bin. They were extremely healthy. But city people’s dogs here seem to be very unhealthy.
Personally, I switched over to a BARF diet for my dog plus some human food leftovers. I keep a bag of dog food handy in case I run out since the butcher takes a few days to fill the dog food orders. Since it doesn’t happen that often, it’s just Costco brand. He starves himself with any kind of commercial dog food rather than eat it and I’ve tried many different brands. He’ll go 2 days without eating just to avoid the dog food – except if it’s canned, which makes me wonder if canned food isn’t like potato chips for dogs. That kind of tells me something – when my normally voracious Golden refuses to eat something, it can’t be good for him.
That’s great you have your dog on the BARF diet (what a name). Its definitely a better way to go. Ha! Your dog knows the real stuff. On one hand you want to say he’s spoiled. 😉 But on the other… your dog knows what is best for him.
Now if we could just get people to do the same!
I also think city dogs don’t get the same exercise that country dogs do. As they are confined to their digs. Without a wide field to run.
Oh man, whenever I walk by these ‘high end’ dog stores, I always wonder who’s dumb enough to spend $600 for a food bowls for their dog. Its kinda ridiculous, even in the more expensive neighborhoods.
Do you have kids??? My cat, Cody (the one who rules the house), and my fish… they’re always getting new toys and/or decor. Spoiled animals.
But you’re right $600 for bowls is a bit outrageous.
I’m surprised pet insurance isn’t on the list. It’s so popular lately but I view it as a waste of money. If you save properly, it will lead to having the proper funds to care for your pet in an emergency or illness.
You’re right Jerry. It is rather popular right now. I actually considered it due to the high vet bills (just when you take them for a check up). But putting aside a pet fund in the savings is reasonable enough.
My dog is one spoiled brat and she knows it. She loves her mommy but since I feel like she’s a major stress reliever for me, she deserves it. I’m all for the organic foods. I feed her Blue but she hates it. I’ve switched to Amy’s or something in the can. When it comes out it looks like cooked people food and she gulps that up like a kid at Christmas.
She’ll be 2 soon and ever since I got her she has NEVER eaten dog biscuits. Instead she prefers natural treats of dehydrated sweet potatoes and/or dehydrated chicken or duck.
She has allergies so I only bathe her with oatmeal soap. What a life this dog leads, huh?
They are just like ‘our’ children! LOL. Single Mom, Rich Mom has her dog on the BARF diet. Name…not so cool. But the diet is pretty darn healthy. If I at home all the time, I’d probably do it for my cat (maybe he’ll quit eating the birds in the neighborhood).
I used to bake and sell homemade dog biscuits. Sounds cheesy, I know. But chiuauas LOVE cheese biscuits. Then again, they do mimic a mouse. 😉
Do birthday cakes from “the barkery” count as luxury items ? 😉
Me and my wife had to have a talk about this recently. Our dog will literally eat anything and she doesn’t need a $30 cake on her birthday. But it was pretty funny to see the dog in a party hat, so i can’t be too mad.