The global pet industry is predicted to exceed $216B in 2022 - that's crazy! It's no surprise then that finding the best dog products on the internet can be a monumental challenge. In this article, I'll share 5 things to make it easier for you.
“Millennials have become a strong consumer force in the pet market due to their sheer population numbers and the impressive buying power they bring to the table,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, a market research firm. “They are more likely than other pet owners to both expect to spend and to actually spend more on higher-priced pet products and pet care services.”
Finding the best dog products online
As a millennial dog owner, almost all of my dog purchases are made online. Why?
- It's convenient
- I can do it from the comfort of my home
- I can see lots of additional product information
- There's sometimes too much choice
- I can easily shop around for the best price
- I can see reviews from other customers
As great as these are, with so much choice and information to sift through - at first - I spent hours and days searching for the right products.
This article will help you navigate this crazy world of dog products as I share my top tips and advice, I learned the hard way, you don't have to.
1. Consider your dog's needs
You might be wondering what your dog needs when it comes to food, toys, and beds.
First, you should consider the breed and size of the dog. Some dogs need certain food or toys and others don’t. For example:
- If your dog is a large breed, then you may need to get larger-sized kibble to match their size.
- If your dog is flat-nosed - and doesn't know how to eat slowly - like Luna (my English bulldog) then you'll be best getting a slow feeder to prevent choking or regurgitated food (yuk 🤮)
- And if your pet is a medium or small-breed, you might need a smaller type of toy or food dish to keep them from getting their head stuck (literally).
So as my first tip ensure when shopping online that you're first and foremost considering your dog's needs. If you're unsure, asking your vet for their recommendations is also a great shout.
2. Buy from a reputable brand
I cannot stress this enough, I always recommend buying from a reputable brand, because you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality product. There's nothing worse than ordering something from a brand you've never heard to discover the product is absolute crap.
That said there are many amazing new dog brands entering the market, with just as great quality. Although you may not have heard of them. Take LickiMat for example, this smart brand has created a lickable mat that keeps Luna busy. Put some peanut butter on there and you'll have fun for hours.
A reputable retailer should have high standards and rigorous testing in place for its products. Just like products for humans, our dog products go through the same stress testing processes. This way, you’ll know the toys and food you purchase will be safe for your pup.
Additionally, if there are any recalls or other issues with their products, they should notify their customers immediately so that no one else is affected by the error. Knowing that this company has your back will guarantee that you’re buying quality goods.
3. Check the ratings & reviews
One of the best ways to find a product is to trust what other people have to say about it. Reviews can help you learn more about a product and how it performs in real life.
The customers who leave reviews on products are often people who love or hate the product. So regardless you'll know you're getting authentic and honest opinions.
If you see lots of positive reviews, that might be a sign to go for it. If there are poor reviews - it's self-explanatory. And, if there are no reviews, I'd recommend skipping it for now. Feel free to make a note of the website link and come back in a few weeks to see if there is any change.
4. Consider the cost
Let's talk about cost. It’s important to buy items that are within your budget and what your money can afford. Yes that bed looks really comfy and I'm sure your dog will love it, but if it's 5x your price range just keep moving.
It's fine to have a budget, but if you have one then stick to it.
That said, it’s worth considering the durability of an item. Some higher-end products might be better built and last longer than lower-cost items, even if they cost more in the long run. So a good question to ask yourself is whether you're happy for the new dog toy to last 2 weeks or 4, then you can make a better judgement on what to do next.
Not all dogs will need a bed or a crate, but if they do, consider the size of your pup and how big of a bed or crate they need before buying one! As a pup, i'd recommend buying a bed of the adult size of your dog. Why? It'll save you money buying another bed as your dog ages.
5. Check the warranties and returns.
One thing to keep in mind when buying dog products is what warranty or returns policy is included.
Buying online is convenient, but it still doesn't compare to seeing the product in person. So bear this in mind when buying online, as you may need to return it, if it costs you to return the item, think twice.
Also if something goes wrong or is not made to your satisfaction, you should be able to get a refund or replacement within reason. Check the policies for each individual brand.
There we have it, my 5 tips for finding the best dog products on the internet. I've made a list of my favourite dog products on my resources page, I'd recommend checking it out from time to time. Want to know why I care? Read my story.
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