by Janine DeVault
Figuring out what to buy for a new dog is a big task. There are all kinds of things that might not occur to you until you find yourself needing them — and at that point, it might already be too late. Plus, the pet store can be overwhelming, aisles filled with products and toys and gadgets on end. We created this list to help you include the top dogs essentials on your new dog shopping list.
Let’s cover which items you should have before your new pup comes home, shall we?
When you’re bringing home a puppy, it’s important to have a collection of toys for him to chew on. Puppies get to know their surroundings via their mouths, and they are bound to sample anything they can get their paws on. Toys are the buffer between your personal belongings. In time, your pup may develop preferences for certain materials. Until this happens, provide a wide range of different types of toys. These will keep him or her busy and protect your furniture and household items from his tendency to chew.
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Crate training is a good way to ensure your dog has a safe and secure place to sleep or rest, especially when he is left home alone. Once your dog is used to his crate, he will snuggle in happily when he is left alone. That way, you won’t have to worry about him getting into mischief around the house when you aren’t home to supervise; you’ll put your mind at ease knowing he is safe and sound in his crate. For the best success, begin your crate training routine when you first bring your dog home.
If your dog is a puppy, it’s wise to help him get used to a regular bathing and grooming routine while he’s still young and impressionable. This is especially true if your dog has a high-maintenance coat that requires frequent grooming. Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoos and conditioners help prevent itching, odor and shedding while supporting a healthy microbiome.
For the best success, keep grooming sessions short (five minutes or less is ideal!) and offer lots of treats. Give your pup a chance to sniff your grooming tools so he or she can get used to them. As for which tools to purchase, this will depend on your pup’s coat. Speak to a breeder, vet, pet retail employee or pet rescue employee for recommendations on what they prefer to use. Generally speaking, you will probably need:
- Nail clippers
- A brush
- A comb
- Pet-safe grooming products
Your pup will need a comfy place to sleep, so don’t forget to pick up a bed. Even though you’re eager to have plenty of snuggle time with your pup on the couch, it’s still nice for your dog to have his or her own bed. Just like the crate, your pup’s bed will become a safe space to retreat to whenever he or she may become overwhelmed.
A Leash and Collar
A leash and collar (with a name tag from your local pet store) are some of the most important items to have on your new-dog checklist. There are all kinds of leashes on the market, from retractable to stretchy, long leashes, short leashes, leather, nylon and beyond. The standard leash is 6 feet long, which gives your dog enough room to explore a little while still allowing you to control him or her easily.
For puppies, flat nylon leashes are usually the best place to start. They are inexpensive and easy to replace if your pup chews through them. Always select a leash with a comfortable handle, as this will make walking your dog more enjoyable for you. Once you’ve tried out a few types of leashes, you might wish to upgrade to a premium material like leather or rope.
There’s no question that treats are one of the new dog essentials on your shopping list. You’ll want to have small training treats on hand to use during training sessions and to reward your pup for being good in general. Pick up a few different varieties so you can gauge what your dog prefers. Dental bones are another great option to help keep your dog’s breath fresh and gums healthy.
Food and Water Bowls
Your pup has to eat, right? So don’t forget to grab a couple of food bowls for him. It might seem obvious, but it’s the simplest things that are often hardest to remember. You might even want to pick up a few different water bowls so you can place them throughout the house. Since it’s important to clean your pup’s bowls from time to time, consider dishwasher-safe bowls.
Pet-Friendly Cleaning Supplies
Whether you’re bringing home a puppy or an older dog, there’s always a good chance you’ll face a couple of potty-related accidents as your dog settles in. With this in mind, stock up on pet-friendly cleaning supplies so you’re prepared when it happens.
There’s a lot to shop for when you bring home a new pet, and it can be tough to remember what to buy for a new dog amidst the excitement of snuggling your new furry pal. To make things a little easier, Skout’s Honor has put together a few handy kits to help you out. One of them is the New Puppy Kit which contains urine destroyer, probiotic shampoo and conditioner, probiotic deodorizer and an anti-chew spray, to help keep your pup’s teeth off your shoes and furniture.
To make the transition into your family smoother, try to do your shopping before Fido comes home for the first time. That way, you’ll be able to give him or her your undivided attention knowing they already have everything they need!
Janine DeVault is a pet writer, animal rescue advocate and former celebrity dog walker. She has worked with a variety of pet-industry clients and specializes in writing pet lifestyle content. Janine lives in Canada with her rescue cat, Kesi.