So You Bought a Dog — Now What?

Ideally, every future dog owner has prepared their house for a new member of the family, studied every little thing there is to know about dogs and bought everything a pet might need. But there are times when you see a cute pup one minute, and the next are rushing home with a new dog in your arms.

Don’t worry, this article will prepare you for any pup emergencies with this ultimate list of things you need for a dog to be happy.

Toys

In other articles, we have discussed how important toys are to the happiness of your dog and what the best dog toys are. Here we’ll just outline the most necessary things you’ll need to occupy the mind of your dog while you are busy.

Different chewing and fetching toys are a must for any dog owner, particularly for those who bought a small puppy. Puppies usually have an extreme urge to chew everything around them, especially if they are not trained yet. Dogs experience chewing habits later in life as well, so a decent stash of chewable toys will save a lot of things and money in the long run.

Also, it is important to constantly stimulate a dog’s mind even if you are busy, so try out some puzzles, toys with Good Boy treats in them and, of course, BALLS. Dogs love balls, trust us.

Food, Food Bowls, and Water Bowls

Food for dogs is a broad topic that has a lot of different aspects and nuances. We already covered the basics of dog food selection as well as the necessary vitamins and supplements for a shiny coat and perfect health. So here are the highlights if you are a first-time dog owner.

Always consult with a vet before adjusting your pet’s diet or adding supplements, as each dog is unique and requires a unique approach. Food and water bowls are usually the first supplies that come to mind when bringing a new pup home. You can start with a simple set of bowls to see how your dog will behave with them, and slowly upgrade the bowls until they become better than most of your tableware.

Remember to always choose materials that are hygienic and non-toxic. Another ingenious invention in the world of dog care is a special deep bowl for those pups who always get their long ears dirty with food and water. Pretty smart!

Beds

Unless you want your puppy to sleep with you in your bed forever (and that is totally understandable), a bed is an important part of house training a new dog. It is recommended that you purchase a bed that will fit into crates, which are also crucial in the house training process.

A dog bed will soon become a personal space for a pet, where a puppy can take naps or just feel safe and secure, curled up on it in a corner. There are certain dog breeds that are prone to skeleton and muscle problems; in this case, a dog bed needs to be extremely comfortable for them and made, for example, out of the orthopedic mattress pieces.

Crates

Some people say crates are cruel, but there’s no truth to that. New puppies or untrained adult dogs require attention every minute, and a crate is a perfect option for keeping this wild energy contained for some time. If you need to clean the house, go out or simply have some time to yourself, just give your pup a favorite chew toy and put him on a dog bed in the crate.

This will buy you some free time without any potty accidents or destroyed, chewed-up possessions around the house. A crate will also keep a dog safe and out of harm’s way if you are not done dog-proofing the house. Choose a crate that’s durable, easy to clean and fold up, and will be easy to travel with.

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Collars and Leashes

A collar and a leash is an issue of safety for your dog and for everyone around you. In most countries, it’s required by law to have your dog on a leash in public places for safety reasons. Walking with a collar and a leash is an important part of dog training, and you both have to get used to it.

If you don’t like the idea of your pup being accidentally choked by a collar (which never happens, but still), consider buying a harness, which will still allow you have control over your dog. Also note that collars and harnesses have to be equipped with a small plaque with your contact information in case your pup runs away and gets lost.

Poop Bags

Lots of them. It is a part of dog owner etiquette and common sense to clean up after your dog on the street. In addition, it is an issue of dog health and environmental preservation.

It is always more time and cost effective to buy poop bags in bulk, as usually dog owners need to use them on a daily basis. Also, you might want to buy bags that have a leash clip and a small container, which will save you the shame of finding the nearest trash can with poop in your hands.

Cosmetic Supplies

This category includes more than you can imagine. If you plan on treating your good boy with visits to the professional groomers regularly, you can skip half of it. However, there are some indispensable instruments you will probably need in any case. Brushes, clippers, shampoos, conditioners and toothbrushes with some toothpaste are Dog Care 101.

All these items are usually selected using a long, and sometimes expensive, trial and error method until you find something that works perfectly both for you and your pooch. Long-haired dogs especially need shampooing and brushing up to several times per month, so take your time researching all ingredients and properties of a product before buying a couple of huge bottles.

First Aid Kit

This is not an item that immediately pops into your head when you drive home with a small ball of fur in your arms, but it should be. Dogs, like humans, can accidentally injure themselves at any time, and a tiny pocket first aid kit can potentially save the life of a pup. Be prepared to tackle anything that can harm your pet.