You’re bringing home your new dog for the first time! Congratulations! You arrive home, only to realize you are completely unprepared. Before you run out to the pet store and blow a bunch of money on supplies you don’t need, check out this list of pet supplies for dogs. This list is the supplies you absolutely need for you and your new canine companion to coexist.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Your dog needs to eat. Most dogs eat twice per day, and some dogs with super high metabolism eat three times per day. Consult your veterinarian on how often you should feed your dog. There are tons of varieties out there, but don’t be fooled; all dog food brands are safe for dogs to consume. Some have healthier ingredients and some claim to be “super-food”, but we’ll keep it simple for you: get a food that is formulated for your dog’s age group (i.e. puppy, young adult, adult, and senior). I also recommend for the first bag, buy a smaller bag to find out if your dog even likes the taste. You don’t want to be stuck with a giant bag of food that won’t get eaten.
There are tons of shapes and sizes and colors of food and water bowls out there. I recommend shopping around and get colors and shapes that you prefer. It won’t matter to your dog. We also recommend buying bowls that sit on the ground. Most bowls you will find are either plastic or ceramic material. Personally, we have plastic feeding bowls and ceramic water bowls for our girls. Make sure you get bowls that fit your dog’s fully grown adult size.
When you look online or at the pet store, you will see so many sizes and colors and types of leashes and collars to choose from. As far as the essential leash goes, I recommend either a 4′ or 6′ long leash, non-retractable type, and thickness/width to match your dog’s size. I recommend a flat nylon material to start and you can always buy a new one later. Leashes are fairly inexpensive. Same with the collar: flat nylon material that is adjustable in size to fit your dog’s neck. Tons of colors to choose from, so shop around. My girls wear these flat nylon collars that easily secure using a plastic clip. There are also varieties that buckle like a belt.
Some people would tell you that crates or enclosures are not essential for your dog. I disagree completely. It is essential that your dog be crate trained or be in an enclosure while you are out of the house. Especially for dogs in a new environment, a crate will provide a safe haven for them while they acclimate to your house. An enclosure can keep your dog in a specific area of your house in case they are not allowed free reign while you are away. Typically, crates come in wire-type or cave-type. Which you get is up to you. Wire crates tend to cost less than the hard plastic cave crates. The wire crates are also usually collapsible while the cave crates are not. If the crate is going to be sitting in the same place all the time, I would recommend the cave style crate.
Similar to the crate, some people would argue this is not an essential item, however, if you don’t have any blankets that you are willing to give your dog and your dog doesn’t get to sleep with you in your bed, you need a bed for him. I recommend something simple and durable to start. You don’t know whether your dog will destroy this bed or not, so don’t break the bank with his first bed.
I recommend choosing 3 or 4 toys for your dog to start. I recommend a stuffed animal toy, a bouncy rubber squeaky toy, a ball of some sort (like a tennis ball), and a chew toy, such as a Nylabone. The easiest way to figure out what toys you should buy is to take your dog to the pet store with you and walk down the toy aisle and see what he picks out.
As your relationship with your dog develops, you’ll start to learn what he likes and needs. We set aside a small budget for dog supplies each month so we can change out some of our girls’ worn out toys. Do what works for you and don’t forget the most important thing you can give your dog, and that’s LOVE.