There are many dog products that say they are premium, but the truth is that they can be far from it. The bottom line is that sometimes spending money on expensive dog supplies just isn't worth it. A little research will save you from spending your hard earned money on a low-quality product.
Once you have done some research on a particular product and tested out different types, you will find out for yourself which are worth your money. However, this is time consuming and costly.
I've rounded up the top 5 dog products that claim to be premium quality, but just aren't worth it. If you're like me, you need to watch your budget. It's very frustrating when you spend money on a product that isn't as high quality as it claims to be.
There are more of them out there, so do yourself a favor and spend some time doing research before purchasing any pet products.
Research the company making the products and the materials or ingredients that they use. If a product is truly premium quality it will be safe, healthy and effective. The company will be reputable, and customer reviews will most likely be very positive.
5 Premium Quality Dog Supplies That Are NOT Worth the High Cost and Headache
Dog food is the most controversial topic in the pet industry. Everyone has their own opinions, but some brands are taking advantage of the fact that most dog owners don’t know what they should be feeding their pets.
Most of what premium dog food brands say is just plain lies, and we discussed a little of this in our dog food ratings article. There are a lot of misinformation being spread by online resources, pet food companies, and tons of misconceptions stemming from that.
In short, there are ways for dog food brands to lie about what is in their pet food just by using choice words in their ads. A great example of this is when they say “all natural dog food.” Unlike organic dog food brands (USDA certified), the “all-natural” phrase is a lot trickier for owners to accept, and far simpler for companies to include on their labels.
“Natural”, according to the AAFCO (Association of American Food Control Officials) says that natural could mean that it is made of plant, animal, or mining sources either unprocessed or processed in every way except using chemical synthetic materials.
What the above means is that dog food can still be physically processed, heat processed, rendered, purified, extracted, hydrolyzed, enzymolysized, or fermented, and it can still contain trace amounts of a chemical synthetic additive picked up by the manufacturing process. Basically, there's a lot of things that can still be wrong with that food.
So, “natural dog food” can be the complete opposite of truly natural food.
Now, when it comes to organic, labels are more difficult to obtain and it does carry a more positive message about the brand. Nonetheless, that doesn't always mean that organic dog food will be that much better for your dog. Read more about organic dog foods here.
What's interesting is that pet owners have been led to believe some of the lies about actually decent quality products, mostly due to poor quality information available online.
For example, by-product meal in dog food sounds really gross, but actually is the most nutritious part of any animal. By-product meal is the parts of the animal that humans don’t normally eat, like swine liver and chicken feet.
However, that doesn't mean that it's in any way unhealthy for the dog. In fact, studies have shown that meal by-products are even BETTER in many cases, and contain higher concentration of protein. They also help with pet food sustainability.
So make sure you read your dog food labels well, and are aware of what exactly is bad for our dogs. Learn where dog food companies are allowed to lie, and where you've been given false information. Sometimes, it's much easier and even cheaper to buy healthy dog food without going all gluten-free, grain-free, by-products-free and so on.
FURTHER READING: Expensive Dog Foods – Are They Worth the High Cost?
2. Pet insurance for dogs. There are pros and cons.
Pet insurance can be very costly, and it can make your pet bills actually greater than they were in the first place. Premiums are usually super high, sometimes up to $40 a month.
When seeing a specialist for an animal that needs comprehensive care, your reimbursement from pet insurance can actually go down with each visit. If you keep your pet healthy and happy, rarely will you need to go to the vet except for the occasional checkup and vaccinations.
Instead of paying for pet insurance, try starting a savings account or emergency fund for your pet.
This will give you the time to save up the money while your dog is young and healthy. It ensures that when your Fido starts getting older and having more health problems you have money saved up to cover it (without having to pay a monthly fee).
This method can also be adjusted to your lifestyle and budget if there is a month when you can't afford to set money aside, you can make up for it during a month when you have extra. Pet insurance premiums don't work the same way.
3. “Sexy beast” pet perfume for dogs… really?
All types of dog perfume products are made to make your dog smell better to other dogs. It’s completely ridiculous, in my opinion. Dogs already have their own smell, according to Stanley Coren, PhD.
Dogs also have natural ways to mark territory, so that other dogs can recognize them. It's nature, and there's no reason why self-aware humans should interfere with this process.
Why put something artificial on your dog when he already produces the same thing naturally? What would even be the reason to do that?
There is no reason, and it's mostly inventing and marketing something that we don't really need. Remember what happened with Listerine? We didn't that. It turns out that even flossing is over-hyped. So when it comes to pet perfume, you can guess where I stand on this dilemma.
Now about the price. Pet perfume for dogs isn't even cheap (take a look at these), so why spend up to $65 on it?! If you put two dogs together they will be interested in each other and definitely will smell each other regardless. They do not need help with making friends by smelling a certain way. What applies to us doesn't necessarily apply to dogs.
There's plenty of science on how dogs interact with each other, and let me spoil that article for you – pet perfume has absolutely nothing to do with the process.
4. Dog protein powder. Isn't that too much?
This is another one of those products that just makes me think, “Why?” Why does your dog need protein powder? Doesn't your dog get enough protein from his regular meal? In fact, wouldn't your pooch prefer normal food over some artificial protein powder?
One may say that this is for “bulking up dogs.” Then I'd have to ask, how exactly are those dogs are getting “bulked up”? Do they lift weights? If you exercise with your pooch and work out naturally, there is no reason why you would need to use dog protein powder.
Of course, if your dog needs this supplement for nutritional or dietary reasons, and it has been recommended by your veterinarian, then it may be a must-have. However, most vets won't recommend protein powder.
In fact, I think majority (if not all) veterinary practitioners would advise against using protein powder for dogs, and switch to normal dog food instead. They will recommend that you increase your dog's protein intake through his everyday diet, which is very simple (and cheaper) to do.
Dog protein powder can potentially cause harmful side effects and can be very dangerous, according to PetMD.
Furthermore, it's an expensive dog product that doesn't warrant its costs. Protein powder for dogs can cost up to $100!
Ultimately, there is a huge difference between a high protein diet and using dog protein powder. The first promotes a healthy weight and the latter is for muscle building.
Also, in the case of Gorilla Max Dog Protein Powder, they show on the bag a hugely muscular pit bull which is very stereotypical, and can lead to people using it for the wrong purpose (dog fighting, anyone?)
Pit bulls are already naturally very muscular dogs and they don’t need that feature to be exploited more. It promotes the image of a mean/dangerous dog. Instead, if we want to keep these breeds as pets and avoid further bans in the country, how about we all try to show pit bulls for what they are – a non-aggressive dog breed for any owner.
5. Expensive dog toys and other dog supplies
There are so many dog toys on the market these days. They all look appealing and can make you very confused on what is the best choice for your Fido. We all want the best for our four-legged friends, but a lot of the time they don’t need those extravagant dog toys.
You want to think more along the lines of what your dog is actually going to play with and not just destroy. A good option would be a KONG dog toys because they last a long time (even with dogs that are really good at destroying things), and you can put dog treats or peanut butter for dogs inside for an added fun factor. And that's as much as they need!
However, if you simply browse listings for dog toys on websites like Amazon, you can see hundreds if not thousands of options, some of which reach ridiculous prices. So ask yourself, does your dog really need a toy that has been that well marketed to YOU, or does he simply need something that will last him a long time?
Another big money straining item that some pet owners spend hundreds of dollars on is dog agility training kits like these. Unless you're training your canine for professional competitions, there's no reason for you to buy those expensive agility kits for dogs.
Pet owners who wish to train their dogs agility tricks for fun can take the DIY route. There are so many sources online that can teach you how to make your own canine agility obstacles using materials that are cheap and easily available. Here's a good guide on that.
Of course, if you're serious about entering dog agility competitions with your pooch and you wish to start competing professionally, a properly manufactured kit may be of use to you. Even then, I would recommend going with the cheapest option to see if this is something for you. Here's more on dog agility competitions if you're thinking about it.
What about you? Do you have any tips on how to save on dog supplies?
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