10 Things You Need When You Have a Dog
The decision to add a puppy to your family shouldn’t be taken lightly—they need more caregiving and supervision than you might think. But thankfully, millions of pet products exist to make it easier on you. Here are 10 things to buy before adopting a dog.
Collar and ID tag
It would be tragic if your dog accidentally got loose without an ID tag. All the tag really needs to say is your pup’s name, as well as your mobile number. We love these classy wood and marble dog tags from Etsy store, HelloDelicious. And while buying everything online is more convenient, it’s also fun to go to PetSmart, purchase a TagWorks® pet ID tag and watch it get laser engraved in their on-site machine.
Every puppy needs a comfy, warm place to rest—especially since dogs can sleep for more than half a day. If you have a medium or large breed puppy, opt for a big bed so you won’t have to replace it as they grow. And while size matters, so does the shape, support and cleanability.
When looking for the right shape, consider how your dog sleeps. Do you have a curler, burrower, sprawler or leaner? Choose your dog bed accordingly. When it comes to support, they come in many different varieties from cushy to firm, memory foam to cot.
Wondering whether you should get a classic leash or retractable leash? Here is why we prefer a loose leash over a retractable leash.
- If your dog is several feet away from you, you might not be able to retract the leash fast enough in an emergency, which could result in an accident or injury.
- It’s too easy to drop the slippery plastic handles of retractable leashes, which could encourage your dog to bolt.
- Retractable leashes are detrimental to leash training, as the only way a dog can extend their range is to pull.
We like the Lifetime Leash. Yeah, it will cost you more upfront (about $55), but like the name says, it’ll last a lifetime.
Dogs should be groomed regularly to avoid health problems such as excessive shedding, skin irritations, matted fur, paw abnormalities (from untrimmed nails), ear and eye issues. Make a starter kit with a hair brush, nail clippers, natural shampoo, ear cleanser, toothbrush, toothpaste and healthy dental sticks. Here’s a complete checklist of all your dog grooming needs.
Food and water bowls
This one is obvious—of course you need food and water bowls. But dogs can make a big mess when they eat and drink, so we like the Neater Feeder with its high splash-guard walls and handy drainage system. Spilled water simply flows into the lower reservoir and not the floor, saving you from having to clean a mess.
When used correctly, crates provide a safe and relaxing atmosphere for your pooch. It’s also an important tool to prevent dogs from chewing on things and peeing indoors (they don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters). It’s also just a good idea to acclimate them to being crated, as you never know if they’ll have to spend the night at the vet or in a doggy hotel.
Quality food and high value treats
But what makes a good quality dog food, you ask? Puppy food should contain six essential ingredients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. So when reading the list of ingredients on the label, look for the following.
- Meat meal – Meal is made from meat, dried to a moisture level of 10%
- Nutrients & minerals – zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese and L Carnitine
- Fats – Omega-3, Omega-6, fish oils, canola oil, chicken fat and olive oil
- Vitamins – Biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin E
High value treats are necessary for training your dog, and for doing a little spoiling, of course. Hey, we’re all guilty of that! But if you choose a tasty, healthy treat stashed with benefits like Stashios Soft Chews+ Hip & Joint Support or Soft Chews+ Skin & Coat Support, your treating can be guilt-free!
Whether your puppy is teething, training or playing, you’ll have to have an assortment of chew toys on hand to keep him busy and soothe his achy gums. Here’s what to look for:
- Durable dog chew toys – You don’t want your dog to tear apart his toy and ingest it. Look for strong and durable chew toys, especially if you have an aggressive chewer.
- Age and size appropriate dog chew toys – Check out this list for the best chew toys based on age. And be sure to read the label to see if it’s for puppies, small, medium or large breeds.
- Chew toys for dental health – Doggy dental toys help wash out food debris and bacteria, and remove plaque and tartar. Check out this list of the best dental toys by Stewart Animal Clinic.
- Non-toxic chew toys – Sadly, the safety of dog toy construction is not closely regulated. This article from Preventive Vet will help you to find safe, non-toxic dog toys for your BFF.
Waste bags and dispenser
Oh yes, the poopiest part of pet parenting: Doody duty. Nothing fancy is needed here. Look for biodegradable bags and a holder that will fit on your dog leash and you’ll be good to go. Earth Rated makes a convenient carrying case filled with compostable, scented bags.
This might sound like a “nice to have,” not a “must have,” but hear us out. When you have a young puppy, you train them with treat rewards every time they go outside to go potty. And when you’re in a hurry to get them out the door before an accident happens, the last thing you want is to be searching for the leash, your shoes, the treats, etc. Having the treats attached to the leash is so handy.
So now that you know the 10 things to buy before adopting a dog, you can take Rover home with confidence!