Whether you have been competing for years or you’re new to the world of dog shows, there is a long list of equipment that can make your life easier, your dog happier, and preparing for the competition simpler.
Before your pooch gaits around the ring, make sure you have what you need to help your dog shine in front of the judges the way you know they can.
Ten Essential Dog Products You Will Want to Invest In:
#1. Irresistible Bait
Unless your dog is one of the very rare show dogs that doesn’t need the added allure of bait, you will want to find the bait that your dog can’t resist. Whether your dog goes crazy for cheese, liver, or a secret homemade mix, you need to prepare your bait before show day. Pare down the treat size so your dog isn’t caught chomping in the ring. You also don’t want to use treats that may stain your dog’s muzzle or leave residue on his teeth before having his mouth examined.
#2. A High-Quality Dog Crate
Whether you have a Poodle that you’ve spent eight hours grooming or a Schnauzer that just got his whiskers to lie perfectly, you want to keep your dog clean and safe on the way to the competition. Defending Champions Pet Products offers the best crates you will find. Our colorful, durable crates with available wheel assemblies will keep your dog’s coat show-ready and keep him protected. A quality crate is worth the investment. It will last years and save you time, energy, and effort when show time rolls around.
#3. A Crate Pad
Help your pooch enjoy his ride with a comfy crate pad. A good crate pad won’t just provide your dog with comfort but also won’t matt down his coat quite as much.
#4. A Crate Cover
Keep the dust and dirt off your divine canine with a crate cover. This helps prevent curious fingers from poking in your crate. Choose a crate cover that provides your dog with plenty of air flow, so he doesn’t start panting or get nervous from limited visibility.
#5. A Grooming Mat, Grooming Arm With Clamp, & Grooming Caddy
You’ll want to refresh and touch up your dog for heading to the ring. One set of tools most veterans can’t live without is a grooming mat, grooming arm, and of course a grooming clamp. You can set this up on your crate or trolley. This will not only save your back from stooping down, but it’ll keep your dog’s paws off the dusty floor and keep your tools within reach. You can also see your dog at eye level, the same angle judges use.
#6. A Crate Dolly
If you don’t get the wheel assembly for your Defending Champion’s crate, you will want to purchase a dolly to provide your pup with a smooth ride and make transporting the crate easier. This will free up your hands free since you’ll have to deal with paperwork and all the other equipment and accessories you’ll need.
#7. A Good Slip Lead
A good slip leash is an absolute must. Get the kind with the adjustable slide to keep it from slipping off. This style of leash is perfect for use at dog shows, walking your dog, field and agility trials as well as getting your dog in and out of cars and crates.
#8. A Spray Bottle or Two
You will want one or more spray bottles. Inevitably, one may break in the grooming area, so you’ll want a backup. Spray bottles are a great way to hydrate your dog and avoid heavy slurping of water before going in front of the judge. They’re also super handy if you want to spray your dog’s paw pads for a little extra traction before hitting the ring.
#9. A Crate Fan
Another great tool for keeping your dog from drooling or panting is a crate fan. It gets warm in the grooming areas and up at the ring waiting for your class to get called. Keeping your dog comfortable during this time is essential to keeping him calm and confident.
#10. A Tack Box or Ringside Bag
If your dog requires a multitude of grooming gear, a tack box can help control the chaos of bottles, combs, and creams. A tack box can help you organize your products in order of when you need them to make ringside grooming run smoother. Tack boxes also balance well on top of your dog’s crate, so you don’t have to carry it or worry about spillage.
An alternative to a tack box would be a ringside tote bag or ringside bag. These can hold a lot of products and be easily carried over your shoulder.
What Else Should You Pack for Your Upcoming Dog Show?
When it comes to those other items you will want, we’ve thought of those, too. Packing in a suitcase with wheels can make lugging all your gear easier.
Even though the work that goes into getting your dog ready for the show begins years and months in advance, you also want to set him up for success by bringing his grooming gear to the grooming area.
Some supplies you’ll probably want to pack include:
- Hair dryer/blower — not all staging areas will have electricity to run a hair dryer, so you will want to ask beforehand, but a hair dryer can help re-fluff your dog’s coat and set his mousse or hairspray
- Extra bags for trash/waste — It’s always helpful to have some spare bags to put loose fur or other waste you may accrue.
- Booties — Depending on the venue and the dog, booties are a great way to keep your dog’s pedicure in order and keep any dust or dirt off his paws.
- Doggie diapers — depending on the length of time before your dog is called and the color of your dog’s coat, doggie diapers can help keep your pup clean and smelling fresh.
- Towels — Towels always come in handy. Whether you’re adding a little extra comfort to his crate or a place to stretch out on the floor, towels are a must.
- Other grooming products — hairbrushes, mousse, scissors, hair clips, bands, brushes, combs, toothbrush, hair oil, chalk, shampoo, and baby oil for his nails
- Paper towels and baby wipes — Get that last-minute eye gook off with a baby wipe or dog specific wipe. Paper towels always come in handy for any and all types of accidents!
- Corn starch — Corn starch isn’t just for thickening stews, it’s a great way to keep your dog’s fur dry.
- Other items you will need:
• A Dog Bowl
• A First-Aid Kit
• Hand Sanitizer
• Poop Bags
• A Blanket or Dog Bed
Remember to have fun! Dog shows allow you to show off how hard you and your dog have worked. Your dog and you will develop an even deeper bond during your travels together. Take the time to meet other people and their dogs. Being prepared won’t just make the process smoother, but it will let you enjoy the event more. Always invest in quality equipment and products that will last and you can rely on competition after competition.