*Authentic Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links.
12 Must have Items for New Dog Owners
You are probably bringing home a new dog that’s why you have stumbled upon this article. Taking care of a dog can be both thrilling and rewarding. But it can likewise be taxing and tedious as well. You need help and there are countless others in your position. That’s why I have made this list of must have items for new dog owners just for you.
1.) The right Dog Collar and Leash
Every new pooch needs a good collar and leash right from day one. Collars are designed to hold canine pets and their ID tags. They typically feature you and your vets name as well as contact details. They are then attached to leashes, which are used in walking dogs or for training.
If you are raising a new pup, it might be a good idea to use adjustable nylon collars. For best results, they should be equipped with standard buckles. Make sure that your dog’s collar is fitted just right. It shouldn’t be too loose that it easily slides off but nor too tight that your poor dog gets choked. You know that a collar is properly fitted once you can put two fingers between it and the dog’s neck. You may need to purchase a number of collars to cater a growing dog.
The leash that you attach to your dog’s collar allows you to better manage your pet while walking or training him. Make sure that it’s built durably and is made from high quality and safe materials so it won’t break easily or harm your dog. It should be 4 – 6 feet in length or a retractable dog leash to maintain the ideal distance between you and your dog while at the same time giving you the optimal flexibility that you need to better control your pooch. To make things a bit more convenient in your part, you might want to choose something that features a loop for easier gripping.
While walking your dog through a leash, it might be wise to utilize a harness in place of a collar. This is true in majority of dogs where a harness is more suitable than a neck collar. Collars can be quite stressful to the neck especially if it’s a larger dog that pulls during walks. You can find a variety of harnesses in the market today that are designed to cater numerous types of dogs and walking behaviors such as body harnesses, chest harnesses, and face harnesses.
If your dog is small or average in size, like a Beagle or Poodle, it would be best to use a chest type harness. If it’s a big one, like a Great Dane or St. Bernard, using a face harness would be ideal. Harnesses also come in different styles that can add extra beauty and flare to your dog’s look. Harnesses provide equal levels of pressure all throughout and are also helpful in dealing will dogs that pull excessively.
3.) Crates and Confiners
Crates and confiners are imperative if you are planning to bring home a new puppy. These types of must have dog items keeps your pup within a limited area where he is safe and easily monitored and housetrained. Some of the crates and confiners that are essential once you take home a new pooch include:
- A crate or carrier for your pooch
- A separate pen for playing and exercising
- A doggy gate
Walled crates and traveling carriers are typically built from various materials, such as stainless-steel, plastic and fiberglass. Crates and carriers made from stainless-steel are generally harder and provide lifelong use. However, those crafted out of plastic and fiberglass are generally safer and more comfortable to pooches while traveling. In addition to that, these dog accessories likewise provide your new pooch with a nice, comfy retreat – particularly once you tailor it with smooth and gentle beddings and blankets.
In terms of the right size and dimensions, it would depend heavily on the size and breed of your dogDog accessories. As a good rule of thumb though, just ensure that the crate and carrier is large and spacious enough. It must comfortably cater your pooch once it stands up, lies down, sits, turns around, and stretches inside. While canine pets favour crates that are tight and closed (this gives them a sense of security), they also require space – albeit not that much – to feel a sense of comfort as well.
Puppy Pens and Doggy Gates
In case you find it hard or impossible to supervise your new pup because of work and other responsibilities, you can also consider purchasing a play pen or baby gate. A doggy pen is basically a group of handy wire panels that restrict your puppy to a certain place or area in your home. They can be adjusted to cater almost every kind of space. A baby gate on the other hand, works just like a door that allows you to come in and out but not the pup.
4.) Bones and Chews
Our four legged friends at home are naturally inclined to chew during the course of their lifetime. This works on your favor though, since when your pooch chews, he becomes preoccupied and less prone to doing bad things. Furthermore, it helps him salivate which is essential in maintaining good oral hygiene for dogs.
There are various kinds of chews you can purchase from a pet store, both online and offline. There are dog owners who confuse toys with chews, although the two are entirely distinct dog accessories. Some chews that you can buy for your dog include bones, bully sticks and hooves.
There are pooches though, whose stomachs become upset once they are given chews. If the same holds true to your canine pet at home, search for other options like chews crafted out of rubber, antler bones, cheese, potatoes, nylons, and corn starch. It would also be wise to consult your veterinarian on the kinds of chews that are ideal to you dog given its age and breed.
5.) Dog Bedding
Your pooch will need a comfortable bed in which he can rest when he needs to throughout the day. When he is still a pup and completing his housetraining sessions, you will need to sleep him inside the crate. Once he has completed his housetraining and is now ready for a dog bed, there are tons of options that you can consider from a wide array of pillows and pads, to sofas for dogs and cushions. What’s more, they can be suited to your home’s existing décor to cater your own personal taste and style.
In the event that you are concerned with the well-being of the environment, there are also doggy beds made from reused materials that you can consider. There are also doggy bed products made from cedar cuttings to help mitigate odour and insects. Majority of the available options feature covers that can be easily removed and washed.
In case your pooch loves to chow down on his bedding and you find traces of torn bedding materials inside his crate, take out the bedding immediately to avoid potential blockages in your dog’s stomach once he ingests them. Give him a blanky or piece of cloth till he moves on from his chewing stage.
6.) Food and water Bowls
Food and water bowls are essential to a dog’s living and there are numerous selections you can choose from in the pet store today. There are ceramic or stainless steel containers, plastic containers and even food and water bowls made from glass. Every variety has its own fair share of pros and cons for your pooch.
- Plastic. The most affordable choices are plastic accessories. Although majority of them can be scrubbed and cleansed in the sink, plastic can hold pathogens and food deposits, particularly in places that have been cracked and scraped by your pooch. In the event that you decide to use this type of bowl, choose a more robust, dishwasher-protected item and change it immediately the moment it starts to exhibit wear and tear.
- Glass. They are heavier compared to other types which means that there’s a chance your pooch won’t consider them as toys. The biggest drawbacks in these types of food and water bowls though, is that they can be quite pricey and can be dangerous to canine pets if they have lead. They can easily break as well. Be sure to purchase dishwasher-safe items free from lead if you want to go with ceramic and glass food and water bowls.
- Stainless-steel. Although these types of food and water bowls are typically the most costly, they are nonetheless, the optimal options in the market today. Stainless-steel bowls are robust and won’t give you much stress and trouble in cleaning and sanitizing them. What’s more, they are also unappealing to bite and play on making them great must have items for new dog owners.
7.) Training Clicker
Clicker training is a popular technique used by dog trainers. It utilizes clicking sounds to communicate to canine pets that they are successfully completing your orders. For instance, once your dog sits down after you told it too, you can make a clicking sound and then offer him treats immediately so he can begin associating the click with a reward.
This method of training uses positive reinforcement and can cover every kind of command that can be taught on canine pets. It would best to schedule your pooch for obedience training with an expert who will teach and guide you on the means to train your pooch the right way.
8.) High Quality Dog Food and Treats
High quality dog food and treats are one of the most important must have dog items. After all, they are essential to giving your pooch the energy and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and happy. In the first year of your dog’s life, it is imperative that you feed him with a diet made precisely for his growing body.
Dog food manufacturers are aware that dogs have particular requirements for growth and development. For this reason, they integrate essential nutrients – the ideal mix of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals – in their recipe. In case you are unsure of what the best food for your dog is, consult your vet or breeder on the matter.
9.) Grooming accessories
Your pooch will require some grooming from time to time. He also needs to be trained on how to properly behave while you groom him. Your pooch’s coat will require scheduled cleaning and combing. Aside from that, his toenails will also require trimming, his ears cleaning, and his teeth some thorough brushing. Some of the essential dog things to buy to ensure that your canine companion gets the right grooming that it deserves include:
- Brush and Comb
- Hair Spray
- Cotton balls
- Ear cleansing liquids
- A place to safely groom your pooch
- Nail trimmers designed especially for your dog
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrush and dog toothpaste
10.) ID tags and accessories
It’s important to give your dog the appropriate identification it needs. There are generally two ways to go about this: through an ID tag or a microchip. For optimal identification, you can use both.
They are usually made from plastic and metal and are attached in the dog’s collar. It typically includes precise contact details that will help the owner retrieve his dog in case it wanders away. There are those who include not just their name but also that of their dog as well alongside their personal cell phone number and present address. Just to be safe though, include just your name and contact details and leave zero details regarding your pooch.
These dog identification items are typically as small as a grain of rice and hold codes that are securely saved in a database alongside your contact info. Your vet inserts the device inside the shoulder blades of your dog through an injection. Once your pooch is recovered, a dog shelter personnel will then use a scanner to detect the code so you can become reunited with your lost pet.
11.) Toys for Dogs
Regardless if it’s a stuffed bear, squeaky spider, or something else, dogs love toys, especially if they are still pups. Toys for dogs can be grouped as:
- Chew toys that cater a dog’s need to bite, such as robust toys made from rubber
- Plush toys that are comfy such as stuffed bears
- Fetching toys that help in flossing their teeth while they play such as balls and discs
- Critical thinking toys that dispense treats once your dog does a specific job, such as treat-dispensing accessories
There are certainly plenty of options you can look into when it comes to doggy toys. However, keep in mind to always opt with toys that are durable and made from materials that are safe for use. In case your pooch destroys his toy (and it’s likely he is going to), discard it immediately. Any toy or part of the toy that is small enough to be ingested by your dog is a choking hazard and must be removed right away.
12.) Car Safety Harness
Once your dog is inside your car, it’s important that he is given the necessary safety accessories for extra protection in the event of an unwanted accident. Younger dogs are especially prone to moving around inside the car making them more susceptible to injury. There are also moments when dogs become frightened and hide below the seats of car while on the road, which poses serious dangers to drivers.
With a car safety harness however, you can help guarantee that your pooch is safely secured in a certain place. And there is no need to worry whether or not it can cater your own dog. You can find booster seats designed for small dogs and safety harnesses for bigger dog breeds.
So there you have it: the must have items every new dog owner should have when he decides to bring home a new canine companion. Buy these dog accessories prior to taking your new pooch home to ensure that you are all set. Once you have these must have dog items, you will be prepared in keeping your dog healthy, happy, and safe in its entire lifetime.