Owning a dog is both a privilege and great responsibility. To get you started as a new dog owner, we’ve created a checklist of all the gear you should definitely have for your new pet. Don’t panic if you’ve already got your dog and you notice anything missing. You can always shop dog supplies online and have them brought to your door post-haste!
First and foremost, your new pup needs somewhere to sleep. Bedding is important less for pure comfort but more for the dog to have an area that is distinctly “theirs” in that it carries their scent and feels familiar and safe to them. If raising a dog from a younger age, you might start with bedding in a crate (see further below), but regardless you’ll need a proper-sized bed for the dog.
If you have a young puppy and are worried about the dog chewing, then you can hold off on long-term bedding until he/she outgrows that phase. That’s also a useful approach if you have a mutt breed and have no idea exactly how big it will grow!
A basic flat collar made from nylon with a simple fastener is always the safest option for a collar. These tend to sit more comfortably and naturally on the dog than some of the more “stylish” (and expensive ) leather ones. Whatever kind you opt for, your dog will need at least one as their main everyday collar. Keeping a collar in place allows you to display the dog’s name tag with contact information, but also makes it easier to attach a leash when it’s time for a walk.
It goes without saying that you need a leash, no matter how well you intend to train the dog to walk by your side when outside. Having a sturdy and effective leash is as much for your own dog’s protection as it is for any other’s. It allows you to better control their actions while walking, and will prevent unforeseen accidents.
- Crate (Especially Puppies)
Not everyone buys into the idea of crate training, thinking it’s rather odd or even cruel to keep a dog in a crate for the first part of its life. In fact, many young and new dogs benefit from the crate because they come to see the crate as their little safe space. It can help them feel more at ease, and ultimately helps with house training as you can more easily move the dog from its crate to the backyard or outdoor space each day to do its business.
- Food and Water Bowls
This one might be more obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget they need at least 2 bowls. Your dog’s water bowl can get dirty quite fast depending on the breed and how “clumsy” they are when eating and drinking. Be sure to change the water regularly.
Even when not doing a full grooming (see below), you should definitely have a brush on hand. The majority of dogs absolutely love the sensation of a good brush every few days. It helps keep their fur in good condition, and also seemingly helps them to relax and bond with you.
- Grooming: Shampoo, Nail Trimmer, Toothbrush and Toothpaste
If your plan is to regularly visit a professional dog grooming shop, then you won’t likely need these yourself, but for those on more of a budget, these are all a must. You’ll need to brush the dog’s teeth about 3 times a week to ensure maximum benefit, but daily is ideal if you can, and your dog will likely come to enjoy it! As for nail trimming; about once a month is fine.
- Registration and ID
Finally, don’t forget to register your new dog when it gets to 3 months. Don’t panic if you think you might have missed a deadline. Just take the appropriate action as soon as possible.