Getting a new puppy or planning to adopt a rescued dog? Here are items – aside from food, water and love – that you’ll need for the newest family member.
Food Bowl. You’ll be surprised at the variety of dog bowls available besides ceramic and stainless steel. There’s a bowl for avoiding spills, interactive dog feeders that have mazes which require the pet to push the treat to an exit, raised bowls for old dogs with joint problems, and slow feed bowl for dogs (it has lumps in the center) prone to bloating. Automatic feeders are also great but be careful of overeating.
Water Bowl. There are bowls with filters or fountains for dogs who like moving water. The most common are made of ceramic, stainless steel or plastic. Some bowls have rubbers at the bottom to keep them in place. Collapsible dog bowls are great for outdoors.
Collar and Leash. The first technique to training your dog to walk with a leash is to let it get used to wearing a collar. Don’t forget to place an identification card on the collar. Slip and pack leader collars are good for training while a harness is good for dogs with breathing problems or as a tool for pulling during exercise.
Grooming and Cleaning Supplies. Grooming items should include dog shampoo, towel, comb or brush, nail clippers, dental cleaning products (soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs), and ear and eye drops. Also keep cleaning supplies like poop scoop and bags for when you’re going out with your dog.
Toys, Chews and Treats. Puppies especially need these when they’re teething, and even older dogs need to exercise their jaws. Chews and toys are good distractions for hyperactive or anxious pets.
Dog Bed. Dogs need their own space for sleeping. Consider the size of the dog and the thickness of the fur when choosing a bed. Cot style beds are for warmer temperatures. Older dogs or those with arthritis need beds with supports and memory foam. Some are made with waterproof or odor-free materials, but avoid beds with fillers if your dog has allergies.
Safety Gates and Exercise Pen. Safety gates or baby gates are great for keeping energetic pets from destroying parts of your home. If you have small kids, you can use the gates to keep pets out of their bedroom. Exercise pens are ideal for smaller dog breeds.
Crate or Travel Harness. The crate takes advantage of the dog’s natural denning instinct, but it shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment or a containment for long periods. Puppies can’t be kept for more than four hours. Crates are a good substitute for dog beds and can be used for traveling. A travel harness in your car works like a seatbelt, but is designed to give dogs a bit more room to move their legs. Bigger dog breeds however will need a larger area, perhaps at the back of your car.