15 Items New Dog Owners Need
Congratulations on becoming a dog parent! Before you bring them into their fur-ever home, make sure you stock up on these dog essentials to help them feel right at home.
Say it's a Friday and you've just found out you can bring your new pup home tomorrow. Obviously, you need a collar, leash and crate, but there are a few other things you might forget in the rush to get ready. Get these essential items before you welcome your new dog home.
Whether you plan to let your fur baby sleep on your bed or not, she should have her own bed, too. FurHaven's Orthopedic Bolster Bed is a good one for a long list of reasons: It has a plush, faux-fur sleeping surface and a medical-grade orthopedic foam base; its suede side bolsters provide ample comfort and support; and the cover is completely machine-washable. The egg-crate foam offers better airflow and will gently cradle your pup’s body all through the night. It’s available in four sizes (small to jumbo plus) to fit most pets and four colors to complement your decor.
It's always good to have a bowl on hand so your dog can have a drink of water whenever needed. Petmate’s Silicone Collapsible Pet Bowl folds down to less than half an inch so it fits easily inside a purse or backpack. It's made of durable, non-porous, easy-to-clean silicone material so it's made to last. I highly suggest setting aside a tote or backpack as your dog's and keeping it stocked with a travel bowl like this one, treats, a toy and poop bags so it's ready to go when you want to head out the door together.
Whenever you take your dog for a walk, regardless of where you're going, you need to be prepared to clean up after her. And yes, dog waste is quite different from other animals' poop, which is why it's not OK to leave it behind in a grassy patch on the sidewalk, at a park or in the wilderness, even if you kick it off the trail. In short, it's full of nasty stuff that can be harmful to other creatures and potentially even humans when it washes into water systems. It also contains fertilizers that can wreak havoc on bodies of water. The easiest way to clean up after your dog is to always have poop bags handy and attached right to your leash. This kit is great because it comes with 15 durable, leak-proof bags (900 total!) and two dispensers.
This stacking three-piece combo includes a 33-quart container, 12-quart container and a two-cup food scoop. Both containers feature airtight seals and snap-lock latches to keep out moisture, humidity and pests, while the translucent body allows you to check food level at a glance.
Treats are non-negotiable for helping your new dog learn to trust you, as well as for teaching tricks and essential commands like sit and stay. My pup goes crazy for Zuke's, and I love them because they're so small. He can have quite a few throughout the day or during a long training session without it disrupting his eating schedule or upsetting his stomach. If you only carry a small bag, fanny pack or purse with you when you walk your dog, I'd suggest putting a handful of these into a film canister or other small container for a super-portable treat supply. And a quick note on food: be sure to introduce new food gradually rather than switching overnight to your new food of choice. Mix whatever they're accustomed to with the new diet and gradually get them used to it. And while "grain-free" may sound great, consult your vet before determining whether that's what your dog really needs. Concerns have recently been raised that the other fillers in these pet foods may be linked to a rise in heart disease in some dogs who don't have a health need for a grain-free diet.
Playing fetch is great, but tug-of-war can be even more fun, and it's a fantastic way to help your dog burn off some energy. Trust us: You're going to be slightly desperate for energy burners in short order. Puppies want to explore everything in your house, and they're not above taste-testing all your favorite clothes, shoes and foods. Rope toys like this can sustain a lot of abuse, so you can throw them, tug them and let your dog chew on them to their heart's content.
Help your dog spend his boundless reserves of energy with the KONG Floppy Knots Dog Toy. The cute elephant toy features a cheerful, floppy design, perfect for thrashing fun. Its realistic feel of an internal knotted rope satisfies your pal’s instinct to chew. The varied textures and squeakers, make it even more fun for your dog to play. Plus, it provides minimal stuffing, so there’s less mess and more fun.
Puppies have way more energy than you can ever imagine is possible. And a bored pup is often a destructive one. They don't see the difference between their toys and your shoes, laptop cables or furniture. Don't learn this expensive lesson the hard way. Right off the bat, give your pup a challenging toy that rewards puzzle-solving, like Starmark's Treat-Dispensing Bob-a-Lot. These toys allow you to hide a treat inside, and it takes a lot of trial and error for your dog to figure out how to get them out.
Puppy teething is no joke! Those biters are sharp, and play biting gets even more painful when the baby teeth fall out and the adult teeth start to grow in. Help meet your dog's need for chewing with flavored bones like these, which entice him or her to pick up these rather than your nice new leather shoes. The Nylabone Pacifier Chew Toy gives your brand-new pup two chews to choose from. Both have raised nubs that stimulate gums and teeth for pups up to 25 pounds.
Whether you're adopting an older dog or a puppy, giving them their own blanket is a great idea. They may feel a little timid in their new environment and a soft fleece blanket will make them feel more secure. And if you have a dog who sheds a lot, you can lay down this blanket to keep fur off your furniture.
Your new pup needs boundaries, especially if they're still being housetrained. Using gates to keep your pet out of specific rooms is important for you and them. You don't want them to get into anything dangerous (like spilled food while cooking), and you don't want to clean up any puppy messes on your nice rug. This freestanding gate is sturdy, requires no assembly and is more stylish than most gates you'll find. Plus, all you need to do to move it is fold and unfold — no tricky latches to deal with.
We know your new pup is cute and adorable, but introducing them into a new environment, whether they're older or a puppy, means they may have an accident or two. Make sure you stock up on stain and odor remover that's safe for your pet and family, and pick a cleaner that actually cleans bacteria like this Nature's Miracle one.