So, you've finally decided to find yourself a canine companion. Welcome to the wonderful club of dog ownership! We predict a lot of slobbery dog kisses, happy tail wags and games of fetch coming your way.
Adopting a dog is exciting, but there’s a little more to it than picking out a pup and filling out a bit of paperwork. You also need to carefully prepare your home and start shopping for dog necessities, like collars and leashes.
To help you prepare for your new pup’s arrival, we’ve come up with a list of dog essentials that we believe every pup parent should have on hand. Many of these items — like food bowls and a safe place to sleep — fall into the “must-have” category, while others — dog bandanas, behavioral aids, etc. — are totally optional.
Scroll on for everything you need to welcome home your new furry bundle of joy, and don’t forget to bookmark this dog supplies list for future reference!
Dog Necessities for the Car Ride Home
One of the first experiences you’ll share with your new pup is the car ride home. Make sure the ride home is comfortable for everyone with these new dog essentials:
- Slip lead. You’ll likely receive a complimentary slip lead to transport your pet safely from his pickup location to your car. Still, it’s best to bring your own just in case. When you decide to swap it out for a cute dog leash, you can always keep the slip lead in your car as a backup!
- Dog Collar. Although a slip lead takes the place of both a collar and a leash, you’ll want your new pup to have a real dog collar as soon as possible. Don’t forget to attach an identification tag to your pup’s collar with important information, such as your pet’s name and your phone number.
- Pet carrier or crate. While it may be tempting to drive home with your dog on your lap, the fact remains that a crate or pet carrier is the safest way for your furry friend to travel. Make sure you place the crate on the floor behind the front seat of your car, which is the safest location for your pup.
- Dog seat. Alternatively, if your pup doesn’t need to be transported in a carrier, you can buy a dog seat that lets them sit in the car without getting the seats dirty and allows them to have a view! Dog seats are also useful for safely running errands with your pet.
- Paper towels. Most adult dogs have plenty of experience riding in cars, but new puppies will often get carsick. You may want to keep a roll of paper towels in your car so you can contain potential messes.
- Food and water. If you’re traveling a long distance to pick up your new furry friend, you’ll need to pack some food and water for your pet. But remember to go easy on the food — you don’t want to upset your pup’s tummy!
Dog Necessities for Feeding
Don’t forget to check in with the breeder or animal rescue at least a few days before picking up your dog and find out which dog food brand they're currently eating. Even if you decide to switch your dog's food, you'll want to slowly transition them to the new food to avoid an upset tummy.
In addition to dog food, here are a few more dog supplies to help you dish up your pup’s daily meals:
- Food bowls. From slow feeder bowls to elevated food bowls, there’s a dog food bowl for every pup these days. For example, if your pet has a short snout, you might want to buy a bowl with a tilted structure that makes it easier for them to eat. Likewise, if you have a large breed dog, you can buy a set of elevated dog food bowls that allows for neater and more comfortable eating.
- Dog food placemat (optional). Whether you have a messy eater or just want to jazz up your dog’s food station, a dog placemat is a fun and functional addition to your home. You can even get your dog’s placement personalized with their name.
Dog Necessities for Sleep and Overall Comfort
Given that our canine companions spend approximately 50 percent of their lives sleeping, providing a comfortable spot for your pup to rest and relax should be a top priority. To ensure your pup catches all the Zzzs (and the squirrels in his dreams), consider picking up the following dog essentials:
- Crate. Crate training your dog offers several advantages, including providing a safe place for your pup to rest and making house training easier. To give your dog’s crate a quieter, den-like atmosphere, you may want to consider adding a crate cover as well.
- Dog bed. Since crates by themselves aren’t particularly comfortable, you’ll want to add some additional cushioning. If you have a puppy, look for a durable, low-profile dog bed with a water-repellent fabric shell for easy cleanup. For adult dogs, go for a plush dog bed that will help your pup snooze and support their joints as they age.
- Heartbeat dog toy (optional). If you’re getting a puppy, keep in mind that this will probably be the first time he’s ever been away from his littermates or mother for an extended period. To make his first few weeks at his new home a little easier, consider buying a heartbeat dog toy. These behavioral aids mimic the sound of a heartbeat, which is thought to give your pup comfort by reminding him of his littermates.
Dog Necessities for Your Daily Walks
Daily physical activity is important for your dog, but just letting them run around in the backyard every day isn't going to cut it. To keep Fido happy and healthy, you also need to be taking them out for regular walks. On top of helping your dog work off excess energy and keeping him physically fit, going for walks with your pup can provide a host of opportunities for mental enrichment.
Still, when it comes to walking your pooch, having the right gear is essential. Here are a few things to pick up to make your walks a safe and enjoyable experience for all:
- Dog harness. Whether your dog has zero leash manners or goes ballistic whenever they see a squirrel, a high-quality dog harness will help keep the pressure off your dog’s sensitive neck and give you more control over your furry friend. Plus, they’re a fun way to showcase your sense of style. Why not skip the boring harnesses in single colors and treat your pup to a cute dog harness instead? From floral patterns to seasonally-inspired designs, our stylish dog harnesses are sure to earn admiring glances from passersby.
- Dog leash. There are many different styles of dog leashes, and the right one for you depends on numerous factors, such as the size and strength of your dog. For example, if you have a large breed dog or a pup that drags you on the leash, make sure you choose a sturdy leash that won’t break when your dog pulls!
- Poop bags. Poop bags are definitely a necessity when you’re out walking your dog. Not only is picking up your poop the neighborly thing to do, but it also helps prevent the spread of disease. Tip: You can avoid being caught without a poop bag by attaching one of these stylish poop bag dispensers to your leash (yes, poop bag dispensers can be attractive!).
- Bandana (optional). Every dog needs a bandana, right? Give your pup some flair on his next walk with a fun and festive dog bandana from Beast & Buckle. Our dog bandanas are made with special materials that help keep your dog cool and comfortable!
Dog Necessities for Training
Whether you’re welcoming an adult dog into your home or a 10-week-old puppy, teaching your dog basic manners is an essential part of dog ownership. Training your pup not only paves the way for a well-behaved dog, but it also changes your relationship with your dog for the better.
Having the right training gear on hand is key to making your training sessions go smoothly. With that in mind, here are a few dog essentials to help you train your furry friend.
- Dog treats. Remember to keep your training treats small. Not only will this help keep your training sessions moving along, but smaller treats are also kinder to your dog’s waistline!
- Dog treat pouch (optional). When it comes to training your canine companion, timing is everything. A dog treat pouch filled with tasty treats will make it easy to reward your dog for good behavior and help turn any situation into an impromptu training session.
- Clicker tool (optional). If you want to make your training sessions more efficient, consider using a clicker tool. These positive reinforcement training tools help your dog pinpoint the precise moment they did something correctly, thereby eliminating any potential confusion and helping you communicate more clearly with your dog.
Dog Necessities for Playtime and Entertainment
Your sweet little pup needs both physical and mental stimulation to stay happy, healthy and fit. While walking is undoubtedly a great activity for your dog, there will likely be times when you find yourself stuck indoors with a bored dog. Fortunately, there are plenty of items that can help your furry friend release some of that pent-up puppy energy.
- Teething toys. Puppies start teething around four to five months of age, so you’ll want to have plenty of chew toys on hand to ease their discomfort. For long-lasting chew sessions, try a KONG Puppy Teething Stick or a Nylabone. (Always supervise your pet while they’re chewing.)
- Interactive toys. Interactive toys help build the bond between you and your pup. For example, you could play fetch with a ball or tug-of-war with a rope toy.
- Enrichment toys. Designed to work your pup’s brain, enrichment toys are fun to bust out on rainy days. Treat dispensers, puzzle toys and licking pads are just a few examples of enrichment toys for dogs.
- Edible dog chews. Edible chew bones promote healthier gums and teeth while also satisfying your dog's innate desire to chew. If you want to spoil your pup rotten, consider tossing them a bully stick or a beef trachea chew.
Tip: Don’t forget to rotate your dog’s toys and chews every week or so. This will help keep them fresh and exciting.
Dog Necessities for Grooming
Taking your dog to a groomer can be stressful — not to mention expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home grooming tools to help you get the job done in a more comfortable setting. From nail clippers to brushes, here’s everything you need to keep your furry friend looking and feeling his best.
- Nail clippers or grinders. There are two ways to shorten your dog’s nails: clipping them with scissor-style clippers or grinding them down with an electricity-powered rotary tool (aka, grinders). Ultimately, the right tool for the job comes down to your dog’s preferences.
- Dog shampoo. It’s only a matter of time before your dog rolls in something that makes you want to gag (it happens to the best of us). You can get them back to a squeaky-clean state with a dog shampoo containing naturally-derived ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal.
- Dog brush. Before your pup hops in the bath, you’ll want to brush down their coat to remove any loose fur or debris. If you have a short-haired dog, look for a brush with shorter bristles. Conversely, if your dog has longer hair, choose a brush with longer bristles.
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Just like people, dogs should ideally have their teeth cleaned twice a day. (Make sure you choose a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for dogs.)
Preparing for a new pup can be both fun and exhausting. By following this dog supplies checklist, you’ll be sure to have all the things you need to get your canine companion off to a healthy, stress-free start!