Your Pit Bull Essentials – Buyer’s Guide

When you first get your pit bull, consider purchasing some of the following essentials: a collar, leash, food, bed/crate and proper protection against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes (for heartworm prevention).

Some states have high levels of fleas and ticks. Some people who buy less expensive tick/flea solutions (i.e. from Petsmart or Petco) do not experience good results. The other and more recommended alternative is to obtain these from your dog"s veterinarian. One can get their dog"s grooming done at any Petsmart or Petco. If you have experience, you could do it yourself. The actual grooming table sells for about $90-100 at Petsmart. Shampoos are about $10 and brushes are about $7. The trimmers can start at about $25. One can sometimes find less expensive dog supplies, such as bedding, food, and toys at Walmart. If you take your pit bull for grooming, they will bathe and brush it, clean the ears, and clip its nails. At Petco, your dog can be bathed and brushed for just under $30. Because its hair remains short, there is no additional grooming that would add to the cost.

If you"re interested in treating your pit bull to a good snack, but also want to keep its teeth healthy, you may consider a treat with no by-products, preservatives, or artificial colors. For pit bulls up to about 50 lbs., you can purchase some “Greenies" from pawgear.com for about $15. Doghealth.com also has all-natural treats for about $6. Poochtoys.com mainly sells toys and treats for your dog, including healthy alternatives. These range from about $2-8.

Pawgear.com has leashes and collars on sale as well. For medium and large pit bulls, one can purchase a collar for $25 and $26 respectively. This site currently has just under 10 different designs to choose from. On dogshealth.com, you can purchase an illuminated collar if you are used to taking your dog on walks at night. These collars are not reflectors and their battery life is about 4 months with normal use. There"s one standard leash length of 9 feet for $29. If you"re searching for a more tough-guy collar, Petsmart has a wider assortment of collars and leashes. Retractable leashes are more expensive (about $30 for a medium-sized dog), but allow you to control your pit bull"s lead and offer you the luxury of not having to run around with your dog wherever it wants to go.

Petsmart.com also has pinch or choke chains for your pit bull for training purposes only. These collars are used to apply pressure when the trainer is correcting the dog. These collars are not for everyday use or to be left on your pit bull when it"s outside. If it gets caught on something, it could choke or strangle your dog. This is why it is important for the collar to be used by someone who is experienced and only during training.
Because pit bulls tend to be quite strong and willful, purchasing a harness may prevent your dog from choking when it is being walked. If it tends to pull when you are walking it, the pressure of the harness is placed on the chest and ribcage instead of the neck, which could make for a more pleasant experience for you and your dog. There are also harnesses that put some pressure on your dog to discourage from pulling on walks. These are about $14 at Petsmart.com if you have a medium-sized pit bull.

If you keep your pit bull outside, you may also consider purchasing a “tie-out" with a chain attached. These allow the dog to run around, but limit the space to the length of the chain. This can be beneficial if your dog has not been socialized or trained properly or if you are concerned about it being around children or guests. Remember, pit bulls are very loyal to their owners and feel the need to protect.

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