Decided to get a dog? Great! You’re in for a lot of fun. Getting a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it’s smart to be prepared.
Before you settle on the perfect pooch, you’ll want to doggy-proof your home, schedule an examination with a vet, and stock up on supplies. Which supplies do you absolutely, positively need before bringing your new dog home? We’ve got you covered.
1. Harness or Collar with ID Tag
The most important thing your dog will ever own is her identification tag. Even if you choose to microchip your dog, you still want to be sure someone can identify her if she gets lost, and people know she’s vaccinated. We prefer harnesses over collars, but it really depends on your dog.
There are hundreds of options when it comes to your dog’s leash but the most important feature should be its strength. Get a leash that clips easily into her harness/collar so you can take it on and off without issue, and consider a retractable leash if you plan to take your dog on lots of walks.
You’ll probably want a crate for your dog even if you don’t plan to crate train her. Crates are useful for keeping your dog confined in dangerous situations, for travel, and even for creating a cozy nest for your pup. We love adjustable wire crates with removable flat bottoms that can expand as your dog grows.
4. Dog Bed
Even if you plan for your dog to sleep in your bed, she’ll love a bed to call her own. Dogs sleep between 12-16 hours a day – get her a cozy, soft bed where she can be comfortable. Bonus points if the bed’s cover is washable!
5. Food and Water Bowls
Your dog should have her own dedicated food and water bowls. Stainless steel is best as it doesn’t harbor bacteria and is also less breakable than ceramic. ALthough you’ll probably pick up her food bowl once she eats, you’ll want to leave the water bowl out all day.
If you’ll be getting a puppy, remember that she shouldn’t go out in public before she’s fully vaccinated. Yes, even to the pet store! Talk to your vet about what kind of food (dry vs. wet; grain vs. protein) is ideal for your specific dog, and know that her food needs will change as she gets older.
7. Grooming Supplies
What you need for your dog greatly depends on her breed, size, and body. You’ll probably want a pair of pet-safety nail clippers, a fur removal brush, and some puppy shampoo/conditioner, at the very least.
Yes, toys are a necessity! Dogs get mental stimulation from playing with toys, and they can quickly turn into “security” items in a new place. Aim for toys that are easy to clean, aren’t easily destructed, and replaceable if lost. When in doubt, make your own.