Bringing home a new dog can be fun and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to owning dogs . There are so many things to consider and items that dogs need, and there are thousands of products that you can choose from.
To make things simpler for you, here are 10 essential items that you should always have when caring for a dog.
The 10 Most Essential Dog Supplies and Products
1. Dog Food
Our first item is an obvious choice. However, there are so many dog food brands that sell dozens of different kinds of formulas. So, it can easily become overwhelming when you have to consider different kinds of diets, such as high-protein, limited-ingredient, and raw food.
The best place to start is to ask the breeder or animal shelter what dog food the dog currently eats. Then, buy a small bag of this dog food. After you take your dog to its first vet visit, you can find out the best dog food for your dog based on your vet’s recommendations.
We find that Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula is a relatively healthy and affordable dog food for most dogs.
However, if you are not on a strict budget and want to provide your dog with the best possible nutrition, go fresh. Fresh dog food is made with real, human-grade ingredients, which means their quality is the same as you would consume yourself. Fresh food is gently cooked to preserve nutrients, rich in moisture, and full of healthy fruits and vegetables that add to your dog’s nutrition instead of only acting as fillers. We love The Farmer’s Dog recipes, and as a plus, their quality products can be delivered right to your doorstep regularly with a subscription!
2. Dog Treats
You may be thinking that treats are just an accessory, but they’re essential for new dogs. Training should begin on day one, and you’re going to need something to motivate your dogs to participate in obedience training.
Because you probably won’t know if your dog has any food sensitivities or allergies, try starting with treats that have limited ingredients, such as Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Mini Rewards.
3. Dog Bowls
Your dogs are going to need a designated space to eat, and you can choose from many different kinds of pet bowls. For the most part, ceramic bowls look really nice and blend in well in any room. However, they can break easily and may not be the best option for energetic puppies that may easily knock them over.
Stainless steel bowls are a more durable option and are also easy to clean, as many are dishwasher safe. Just make sure to buy a set that has a non-skid bottom.
We don’t recommend free-feeding bowls because they can cause dogs to over-eat and quickly gain weight. They also don’t tend to keep food fresh, and your dog can get stuck eating stale kibble.
4. Dog Collar
All dogs should learn to wear a collar so that they can safely go on walks with you and also have an additional security measure in case they get lost. The collar should be lightweight and comfortable so that your new dog can easily adjust to wearing it.
We recommend the GoTags Nylon Personalized Dog Collar because it’s durable and also has your dog’s information stitched onto it. So, you don’t have to worry about tags getting lost.
If you opt for any other type of collar, make sure to also purchase a set of tags that contain your dog’s name and your contact information.
5. Dog Leash
Most public areas require dogs to be leashed at all times. So, it’s important to teach dogs proper leash etiquette. We recommend classic nylon leashes, like the PetSafe Premier Nylon Dog Leash, over retractable leashes.
Retractable leashes relinquish a certain level of control and can get dogs into dangerous situations. For example, your dog may suddenly see an interesting item across the street and suddenly lunge for it without realizing that there could be oncoming traffic. Retractable leashes can also cause burns if they quickly rub against you.
Nylon leashes are durable and more comfortable. Although it’ll take more time to train your dog to practice polite leash-walking, they’re much safer to use.
Crate training is beneficial for many dogs because they provide a safe space that they can always retreat to, and it reduces separation anxiety while you’re out of the house.
For new dogs, we recommend a travel kennel, such as the Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog & Cat Kennel. It provides a dim enclosure that acts similarly to a den, and you can easily use it to help transport your dog to and from the vet, groomer, and other places of interest.
Make sure that the crate is as comfortable as possible. You can train your dog to eat inside the crate and include a cozy pet bed to encourage your dog to rest inside.
A toy seems like a non-essential accessory, but it’s absolutely necessary for dogs. Puppies, in particular, have a lot of energy to expend, and they need to exercise through play.
We recommend a versatile toy, such as the Hartz Squeak & Treat Duck Squeaky Treat Dispenser Dog Toy. This toy is a great option because you can play tug or fetch with your dog, and when you’re busy, your dog can play alone by trying to get treats out of the center cavity.
8. Dog Shampoo Wipes
You never know what sort of mess or trouble your dog will get into, so it’s important to have some dog shampoo wipes on hand.
Puppies may take some time to get used to actual baths, and the last thing you want to do is have their first bath be a negative or scary experience. So, while your pup is getting used to bath time, it’s helpful to have shampoo wipes to spot clean any messes.
We find that Nootie Dog & Cat Waterless Shampoo Wipes do a great job of keeping dogs clean in between baths.
A good brush will help maintain a healthy coat by keeping it free of mats and tangles and helping to distribute natural oils throughout the whole coat.
The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush is a good basic brush to have on hand. It has a pin brush on one side to comb through tangled fur, and the other side has a bristle brush to help pick up any debris and help evenly distribute natural oils.
10. Pet Stain Remover
It’s nearly impossible to bring home a new puppy or dog and not have any bathroom accidents. Accidents are expected when potty training puppies and dogs. So, it’s important to have a strong pet stain remover on hand.
Along with lifting stains, a good pet stain remover spray will help prevent dogs from revisiting the same spots to urinate. These types of sprays will break down and completely eliminate urine odors that encourage dogs to pee in the same area.
If you're looking for an enzyme cleaner that does it all, we highly recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. Yes, it’s our product, but we love it so much, we have to share! Not only does it permanently remove the very worst smells and stains (yes, everything you can imagine!), but we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to get yourself a bottle.
These are our essential dog supplies and products that all homes with dogs should always have in stock. Everything else can wait. Even though you’ll most likely encounter unexpected moments, you won’t have to worry as long as you have these items at hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Featured Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay