Inside: Everything you need for your new puppy or dog. Includes press samples.
Are you getting a new dog? It is such an exciting time, welcoming a new addition into your family.
But what do you need for them? It is quite an overwhelming prospect and one that I had to navigate blind when we introduced our black lab to our family.
It is easy to get swept along with all the bells and whistles but like many things in life, there are lots of unnecessary things that will get advertised to you and you’ll end up wasting money.
We are a few months into dog life and I now know what has been an absolute godsend and what things have gone unused since the very beginning.
Legal requirements for a new dog
Each county will have its own requirements but as a rule, these are the legalities of owning a dog.
– Identification tag. You need a phone number, address and a family surname. Avoid using the dog’s name so it doesn’t get lured away.
– Identification microchip – this will be registered to you as the owner and have all of your personal details on should you ever lose your dog.
– Car restraint/ harness for use within the main body of the car or a grill blocking off the boot of the car if they will be travelling in there. You may also want to get a crate for them to travel in.
Essentials for a new puppy
If you are getting a new puppy, these are the items that will be specific to you. You will of course need the items listed further down but if you are adopting an older dog you can skip on past this section.
– Puppy food. They will need this until they are fully mature which can range between 6-18 months of age depending on the breed. You need specific puppy food which will support healthy growth and development.
There are many different types of food available and it is entirely up to you what route you go down. Whether you choose wet food, dry kibble or a diet of raw food, it is your choice.
We use dry kibble for Fred as we use it as part of our training with him. We also give him grain free food as he seems to be allergic to maize found in many dog foods.
– Puppy pads. I would say these are only necessary if you aren’t using a crate system. We bought some but because he has always been in an appropriately sized crate, he has never once made a mess.
Of course he has had accidents but they have been in random places downstairs. For those, we use a special odour eliminator spray.
– Teething toys. These will help ease the discomfort of teething for puppies. Lots can be placed in the fridge to help cool down their gums. This flavoured chew bone is from Nylabone.
– Collar. In the beginning, they grow really quickly so a simple nylon colour will do. You can adjust these to the desired length easily and increase the size as their necks grow.
In the first few months we went through 3 different colour sizes before settling on a leather collar. We will have to increase the size in a month or so when he has another growth spurt.
Essentials every dog owner needs for their pet
Whether you are getting a new puppy or adopting an older dog, there are certain items you cannot be without.
A bed – Your dog will need somewhere to sleep for naps during the day and at night. When they are small you will want one that is just big enough for them so that they feel secure. You can increase the size of the bed as they grow.
We have this cushion dog bed (aff link) and it is amazing. As soon as it arrived Fred laid down on it and didn’t move for an hour!
A crate – this is personal preference but I can wholly recommend having one as it means not only do they feel more secure having their own space, but they are less likely to get up to trouble when you aren’t around.
Make sure you buy one that is just a little bigger than your dog. They should be able to turn around comfortably. This way they will feel secure but will also keep it clean and not go to the toilet in their sleeping area.
You can buy new or you can do what we did and keep an eye out on FB groups or eBay for second hand ones – especially for the smaller cages that they may grow out of if they are bigger breeds.
Food and water bowls – We actually only have a water bowl as I hand feed Fred as part of his dog training. Whatever you go for, you want a nice heavy bowl that won’t easily be moved around to cause spillages.
A harness – this is to put on for walks and attach the lead to instead of attaching it to their collar. This ensures a safer walk for them rather than pulling against their throats. Especially important when they are puppies as they haven’t learned not to pull on the lead yet.
A lead – one short one for walking to heel around the streets and a long-line lead for when you want to give them more freedom. These are both from Mikki.
A note about extender leads. We use a longline lead instead as many dogs get twisted within extender leads and end up with serious injuries due to the thin nature of the lead inside an extender.
Poo bags – lots of different types out there. Be sure to get strong ones!
Toys – dogs need a lot of attention, especially in the early days. They will need stimulating toys to keep them busy and happy. There are so many types out there but here are a few that we couldn’t be without.
A cuddy toy – Fred has had this cuddly sloth since he came home with us and he sleeps with it every night. You wouldn’t think it, but dogs love to have something to cuddle up to at night just like kids!
Chew toys – if you don’t want them chewing on your slippers or anything else they can get their hands on, make sure you have plenty of chew toys to hand! These teething keys are from Nylabone and Fred loves them!
Tug of war toys – I have tried various versions but I have found that this style of pull toy is much easier for dogs to grab onto.
Balls for fetch – it took a while but our dog now loves playing fetch! Start off with mini balls for puppies but get full sized ones as soon as the smaller ones might get swallowed!
Interest toys – these are things to stimulate their brains and there are so many choices available. The idea is to make it a challenge for them to get their food/ treats.
Grooming tools – The tools you need will depend on the breed you have. Long haired breeds will need a different type of brush to a short haired breed. Some might need a detangler, some might need a shedding tool whereas some may have tight enough fur that it isn’t needed.
All of our grooming tools are from Mikki and for a lab, we have nail clippers, a double sided brush and a shedding tool. You will need to look up what tools you’ll need for your breed.
Lotions and potions – Dogs need their fur taking care of just as we need our hair washing. Be:Loved have a wonderful selection of natural products ranging from shampoo bars to paw and nose balm.
Treats. Everyone loves a treat every now and then and dogs are the same. We will often give Fred a bone to keep him happy while we need to pop out or as a reward for just being awesome.
It is important to give them sparingly though and choose treats that are made from healthy ingredients. We like these bones from Nylabone as they are made with turkey and sweet potato.
Treat bag – When you go for walks, you will want to take treats out with you to help with recall or simply to tempt them to walk to heel. Whether you use treats, pieces of chicken or as we do, their kibble, you will need something to keep them in.
There are lots of expensive ‘treat’ bags available but I find a simple bum bag works just as well and also has storage in the back for poo bags and my phone.
Hopefully this will help you when shopping for your new dog. I definitely found it a little overwhelming at first!
Can you think of anything else you might need?
Katy is the founder of What Katy Said and the Decluttering Motherhood Community. More than 50 thousand women follow her on social media and she has been listed in the top 5 parenting bloggers in the UK.
Read more about Katy