If you're going to pursue the dog show hobby, then you'll need to learn all about dog show supply sources and the tools of the trade. Supplement your basic list with additional accessories as you compete in more shows.
Dog Show Supply List
The list of dog show supplies you will need can be quite extensive if you are serious about becoming a top exhibitor. However, the following list of basic supplies will get you through your initial entry into the hobby.
Your supplies should include:
- A proper comb/brush for your dog's coat type
- Nail clippers
- Rubber bands (for long-coated breeds)
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
Many show participants purchase special dog grooming boxes or bags for their grooming supplies, or a tool bag or box from a home improvement store makes an excellent substitute.
Show Lead and Collar
Also referred to as leashes, but with a difference. Leashes typically attach to a standard dog collar. Show leads are usually a one-piece unit with a loop and an adjustable slide that makes up the collar.
Crates and Crate Supplies
Whether for travel or exercise, dogs are not allowed to roam freely at any dog show for the safety of all concerned. There are many styles of crates including the airline-type, open-wire crates and fold-up canvas travel crates. In addition to the crate, you will need:
- Crate bedding - You should have some soft bedding in the crate, so your dog is comfortable. There are specially made pads for crates or use a favorite blanket from home.
- Crate fan - If you show in areas that are hot, affixing a fan to the crate can help keep your dog cool and reduce stress.
- Crate dolly - Having a dolly to move easily your crate around can make life much easier for you! You can use a regular furniture-type dolly and fix the crate to it using bungee cords.
- Sheet or crate cover - If your dog is nervous around other dogs or just needs some peace and quiet, a sheet or blanket placed over the crate can provide them with some quiet time. It also keeps people from bothering your dog.
In addition to a crate, some exhibitors will bring a fold-up x-pen with them so they can allow their dog some more room to move about and stretch their legs. Not all shows will have areas where you'll be able to take your dog for some exercise, so an x-pen is a useful alternative.
Food and Water Receptacles
Every exhibitor needs to supply for their own food and water.
- Water bottles that can be attached to crates are especially useful for giving dogs a drink without giving them the chance to get wet.
- A spray bottle with water can also be used to provide the dog with a drink and is often used by exhibitors to moisten the paw pads for better traction on slippery surfaces.
- Make sure you bring extra bowls for food and water as well.
Always carry a supply of your dog's favorite treats which you can use for training during breaks to keep your dog occupied, as well as when you need to reward your dog during the show for good behavior (when allowed, of course!)
Some other supplies you would be wise to pack include:
- A first aid kit for your dog (and one for yourself can come in handy!)
- Extra dog poop pickup bags
- A sewing kit for you in case you need to do a quick fix to your outfit
- A folder or storage clipboard to keep your paperwork in
- Always bring some cash as food and other vendors may not take credit cards
Dog Show Supply Sources
There are four main sources of dog showing accessories open to consumers, and each has a varying degree of usefulness.
On-site Dog Show Supply Vendors
These vendors can be found at nearly every dog show. The bigger the event, the greater the number of supply companies present. While you may pay slightly more for your supplies here, these vendors have the specialized equipment most dog show exhibitors are looking for like fancy show dog collars and professional grooming products. Sometimes the immediate convenience outweighs the added expense.
On-line Dog Show Supply Websites
These sites are usually considered the second tier of suppliers for most exhibitors. They often have better pricing and are fine if you can wait for a shipment. However, you will have to pay shipping in many all cases which could offset your initial savings.
Dog Show Supply Catalogs
You will often find here the same specialized dog show items such as show leads, dog grooming supplies and dog show equipment carts. These items are often not available at local pet shops. Many exhibitors will find these catalogs in their mailbox once they have entered a few shows, as these companies comb dog show catalogs for exhibitor contacts.
Local Pet Supply Stores
Stores such as PetsMart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus carry many useful dog show items such as crates, and some dog feeding and grooming supplies. If you can find exactly what you're looking for here, you may be able to combine savings and convenience. The problem is these retail chains often do not carry specialized dog show items.
Additional Supply Vendors at Dog Shows
In addition to dog show supply vendors, you will also find other vendors of dog show memorabilia at most shows. These vendors may be selling anything from signed and numbered dog art prints and sculptures, to doggie jewelry, to doggie clothing and bedding. In short, whatever you may be in the market for usually has a dog show supply company to fit.
Dog Show Supply Vendors in the United States
There are several vendors to choose from when looking to buy your dog show supplies online.
Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies
- They are the only general grooming and show supply vendor at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show.
- Cherrybrook is the world's leading distributor of Chris Christensen grooming products.
- They carry a huge list of popular and premium show supply and food brands.
- They also carry supplies for cats and pet-themed gifts for humans.
- The website also lists upcoming shows where Cherrybrook will have an on-site booth.
The Show Pet Corner
This small company is run by a show dog exhibitor with multiple international champion dogs.
- The store carries the quality Wampum Cosmetics and Special One Cosmetics lines and their bows, robes, and beds are all made from eco-friendly materials.
- If you are planning to host a show, you can buy custom, handmade award rosettes that come in a variety of colors for $68.
- In addition to grooming products and supplies, the store carries Dry Whiskers water and feeder systems which are useful for long-haired cats and dogs where you need to keep their nose and mouth areas dry and stain-free.
- The shipping fees are $10 for all products in the US and $20 to Canada. They ship internationally as well.
PetEdge is an online retailer that sells many types of supplies for pets including specialty products for professional groomers and dog show exhibitors.
- PetEdge claims to be the largest supplier to pet care professionals and independent retailers, with over 12,000 national brand and 20 exclusive brand products.
- Some popular grooming brands include Andis, Oster, Wahl, Master Grooming Tools, and ProSelect.
- The site runs several promotions and offers many free shipping deals so it's good to check back often for the latest deals. It's also a great source for cheap dog and cat toys and treats.
- Show supplies available are not only grooming products but show leads, crates and crate accessories, x-pens, bowls, and clean up items.
The Show Dog Store
The Show Dog Store site is a family owned business that provides supplies for exhibitors, breeders, groomers and everyday pet owners.
- Supplies include quality professional grooming brands like Andis, Chris Christensen, Bio-Groom and Oster, as well as supplies for cats and horses.
- In addition to grooming supplies, you can purchase everything you need for your show including crates and crate accessories, bowls, show leads and collars and more.
- The site features a blog with many helpful articles on grooming and show handling for beginners.
- The site offers free shipping for orders over $150.
Dog Show Supplies in Canada
Most online retailers in the U.S. will ship to Canada, but if you're looking for dog show supplies based in Canada, there are a few choices.
- Ren's Pets carries supplies for both professional groomers and the average pet owner so you may not find everything you need here such as specialty leads.
- Grooming brands include Andis, Wahl, Oster, Q and Miller's Forge. Auto-ship set-up is also available for many grooming products for shipping within the greater Toronto area only.
- The site has a free rewards program to award frequent shoppers with discounts. The site also has regular sales and discounts so it's good to check in monthly for the latest options.
- Ren's Pets currently only ships to addresses within Canada.
Tybrushe Pet Supply Ltd.
Another family owned business, Tybrushe is a full-service supplier of show and grooming equipment.
- Unlike a typical ecommerce website, Tybrushe lists their products and pricing but you must email them a list of items you want to receive a final dollar quote. They believe this provide the best service so they can make sure you are getting the right products for your needs.
- Tybrushe regularly has booths at dog shows in Canada and their schedule is posted online.
- Products carried include grooming products like Bio-Groom, Chris Christensen, Sedona and Wahl.
- Show supplies include leashes, crates and accessories, treats, toys and bowls.
- The site has a helpful page of links to YouTube videos featuring grooming tips and training.
Finding the Best Dog Show Supplies
If you're new to showing dogs, you have plenty of options to find supplies including online retailers and day-of-show vendors. If you're confused about where to go and what to get, talk to other experienced exhibitors who are usually happy to initiate new people into the world of dog shows.