About to welcome a new dog into your life? Congrats! Having a dog will change your life for the better. But before you begin your canine adventures, you’ll need to stock up on a few things before your new friend comes home. Keep reading for new dog shopping essentials…
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Your dog’s collar is important: it carries your dog’s name, your contact info if they get lost, it’ll be used for walks, and your pup will wear it every day.
So, it’s important to have a collar that is well-made and comfortable (being stylish wouldn’t hurt either!)
There are plenty of options for buying collars. If you don’t have a pet store nearby, Chewy.com’s selection is hard to beat. If you want something more bespoke, check out Etsy.
You can get a collar and dog tags separately, or some options offer built-in tags sewn into the collar, imprinted on the buckle, and so on.
For dog collar sizing: measure your pup’s neck to get the right size. You should be able to fit 1-2 fingers under the collar. Otherwise, it is too snug!
If you want to show off your dog’s personality with their collar, check out these posts on music-inspired collars, LED collars for night time, leather dog collars, and nerdy dog accessories.
Dog Tags (and Registration)
You will want dog tags that have your dog’s name, plus your contact info. You can keep these made at most hardware and/or pet stores.
There are a ton of options online too, including custom shapes and styles. Check out Amazon or Etsy for more custom options.
Leash and Harness
You’ll need a leash for regular walks, and for transporting your pup to the vet, to parks, or anywhere else you might be headed.
A 6 foot leash will cover most of your needs, but you can also get a retractable leash for extra range. Retractable leashes sometimes come with built-in flashlights or doggie bags.
Harnesses can help with dogs who pull a lot, and they also decrease stress on your pup’s neck. This is especially important for dog breeds that are prone to respiratory issues.
Your dog’s crate will be where they sleep (at least when they’re younger), and can also be used for transporting them, or while you’re out of the house for short periods of time. For help on crate training, click here for puppy crate training and adult crate training.
Get a crate that will be big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. Some crates come with dividers so you can increase the available space as your dog grows.
Since this crate will be where they rest, you want it to be a pleasant and safe place for your dog. Don’t treat it like a punishment, or you will have trouble getting them to go in the crate when you need them to.
Sleeping Pad and/or Dog Bed
If you are getting a puppy, they’ll need a bigger bed as they grow, so you can get a crate sleeping pad as a starter option. Add blankets to make the space cozier.
If your new dog is already past the puppy stage, or you want a separate dog bed for your puppy anyway, there are plenty of options. Here’s our dog’s fave bed.
Whatever you get, you’ll want something that’s easily washable.
If you want to check out the most ridiculously awesome dog beds that we found, check out our roundup post here.
Dog Food and Treats
Of course your dog needs food! But what kind?
Dog food comes in a ton of varieties, with nutrients for each part of your pup’s life. You’ll want to pick something that is designed for the stage of life that your dog is in.
You can ask your vet for a recommendation, but if you’re getting a new dog and you’re unsure of what they like, you can try sample-size bags until you find something that they will eat.
Your very good dog will need some treats too. Check out some lower-calorie options if you are going to be doing a lot of training (i.e., giving them a lot of treats)
Water and Food Bowls
Your dog will need something to eat and drink out of!
If you want an option with plenty of unique personality, check out Etsy.
There are also high-tech automatic watering bowls that will water (or feed) your pets for you.
If you have a larger dog breed, consider getting a shelf to raise the bowls off the floor so that there is less strain on their neck when it’s time to eat or drink.
Keep your dog’s food stored securely with plastic tubs or similar convenient options. You want to keep dogs, kids, and other animals out of their dog food.
Pooper Scooper and Poop Bags
One of the downsides of having a dog: picking up their poo. To make cleanup easier at home, get a pooper scooper for your yard.
And since dog owners are required to pick up after their pets at parks and on walks, make sure you have some poop bags on hand. They even make leash holders to carry your poop bags in style. ?
Hopefully, potty training will be an easy experience with your dog. But it’s likely that they’ll have an accident or two inside before they fully settle into their new lifestyle, and learn how to go outside, instead.
It’s a good idea to have spot remover on hand just in case, so it’s included in our new dog shopping list. If you don’t use it, you can probably donate it to a local pet shelter after your pup is potty trained.
Some breeds need more grooming attention than others, but even short-haired dogs require some care. This particularly applies to dogs with thick undercoats (common in sporting and hunting breeds, to keep them warm).
Our top recommendation is the Furminator brush. It’s fantastic at (painlessly) pulling out shedding hair from thick undercoats that most brushes won’t reach. While dogs shed this hair on their own, it can help keep excess shedding at bay, and also help them lose their winter coats when warm weather arrives. You can find the Furminator in a variety of models for long-hair vs short-hair dos, and big, medium and small dogs.
You may also want to buy shampoo appropriate for your dog, such as puppy shampoo or deshedding shampoo, if they have longer fur.
Saving one of the most fun parts for last… toys! Toys help keep dogs entertained, allow them to socialize with their people (and with other dogs), and give them something to chew on that isn’t yours.
If you have a puppy that is, or will soon be, teething, look for toys made especially for teething relief.
We hope you’ve found this new dog shopping checklist useful! Be sure to check out part 2 for how to dog-proof your home.
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