More Great Dane Supplies to Consider
In part one of our
Great Dane accessories
article we talked about some of the basic supplies you'll need as a responsible dog owner, including dog bowls, brushes, tooth brushes, collars leash and nail clippers. But that isn't everything you need. Other Great Dane supplies you'll have to think about are giant breed dog crates, a bed or pad, a coat if you live in areas of harsh winter, a first aid kit and a harness if you regularly transport your Dane in a vehicle.
Giant Breed Dog Crates
Some people might think putting a dog in a crate is cruel. After all, your Dane is a social animal and needs to be with her humans. But dogs are den animals and a crate is really replicating nature. As long as your Dane comes to understand that her crate is her space; a place she can go to for rest, and not a punishment place she is sent to when she does something you don't like, it will be a positive and natural place for her. They are also invaluable in house breaking.
So you've probably gathered we use crates and we think all responsible Dane owners should as well. But they need to be used properly and that means you need to get the proper size. Danes are giant breeds - bigger than big. The crate needs to be big enough that they are comfortable in it – that they can get up, turn around, lie down without any discomfort.
You really need to get a giant breed size. We use a crate size of 54 inches long, 35 inches wide and 45 inches high. This is suitable for a full grown Dane – when they are puppies, you’ll need to consider blanking off some of the area to make it the right size dependant on the actual size of your Dane. It isn’t cruel at all to put a Dane puppy into a full size Giant Breed crate – but if you intend using it as a training tool for house breaking, you will need to adjust the internal area available to your pup. During the first year or two of our Dane’s life, we found the crate invaluable both as a training tool but also as a place of comfort for our Dane. (Once full grown, they don’t seem to use it anymore and because they are well behaved, they get the run of the house when no one is home.)
Great Dane Beds
The first choice your Dane is likely to make is to move in to your bed! Nothing like waking up to 176 pounds of snoring canine right beside you! However, even most dog people draw the line here and prefer their beloved Danes in their own bed. Two things to consider: size and material.
Most standard dog beds, or cushions aren’t big enough for a Dane. Your Great Dane has as much right as you to be comfortable while sleeping and they’re fairly “gangly” and “boney”. It won’t be comfortable for them unless they can get all of themselves onto the pad. So when shopping for a Dane bed or cushion, make sure you get one big enough so your Dane can comfortably curl up on it. Most pet supply stores will have this size available but if not, ask them to order it in or go somewhere else.
The second consideration is construction and the material. It’s a good idea to get the kind that are made up of a thick piece of foam (or similar filling) that have a removable cover. You’re going to need to wash this from time to time and this is the easiest option. We’ve had dog cushions that don’t have slip covers and it didn’t take as long as you’d think before they got so dirty and gross they needed to be thrown out.
You might also consider a vinyl or leather type material simply because cleaning is much easier – you just need to wipe them down every week or so and they’ll stay fresh.
When we first became Dane owners, we didn’t think we’d ever get a coat for our beast. To us, that was something for miniature poodles, or other delicate creatures. Turns out, the Dane is kind of delicate – at least to harsh weather conditions! So now we have a winter coat for our giant protector!
The fact is, Great Danes don’t have a thick coat of fur and if you live in a place with hard winters, you really should consider getting your Dane a coat. They come in various sizes, but again, you need to make sure the coat fits and that it is made of a material that will do the trick and keep your delicate beauty warm. The first coat we got was felt and it did the trick, although it got full of Dane hair and lost its “new” look almost immediately. You may want to consider a lycro or gortex material that will keep her warm, is waterproof and is easy to clean.
Great Dane First Aid Kit
Any responsible dog owner will have a
dog first aid kit
handy. You can buy them at most pet stores or make your own up. Depending on where you live, as a Great Dane owner you might want to consider an addition to the standard dog first aid kit and that is a bloat kit. When this disaster strikes, you have literally minutes to get medical attention or your Dane will likely die. If you can’t guarantee that response time, you may need to perform some emergency first aid yourself.
Great Dane Dog Harness
We didn’t even consider this for the first couple of years we were Dane owners. But we had our Dane in the vehicle one day and had to come to an emergency stop due to a deer on the road. We were lucky and so was our Dane. He didn’t hit us in the back of the head as he came flying up into the front seat and he didn’t hurt himself as he bounced off the dash and landed in our laps. That was 176 pounds of unrestrained dog – the weight of a full grown adult.
It just isn’t something most people think about – we didn’t. Seat belts are legislated for humans in a vehicle but in most jurisdictions, not dogs. Anyway, the experience sobered us up and for our protection and our Danes, we got a vehicle harness.
There are all kinds of Great Dane supplies not mentioned here – toys, perfumes, shampoo, luxury items but those are all frivolous things and not particularly necessary for the health and well being of your Dane. Our list of Great Dane accessories and supplies covers the major items you will need to consider.
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