Before you rush off to buy your first puppy or even head to the supermarket for supplies for your new adult dog, hold up. You see, just as there is a basic shopping list of supplies that people need, there is one for dogs, too. So you might want to print out this list below to carry along; otherwise you may forget something important.
The following are the most popular necessities for dogs, although not necessarily in this order:
1) Food & Treats – The most preferred form of dog food is dry, for regular, daily feedings. However, mix in some canned every once in awhile to make sure of a well-rounded diet with plenty of the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Now here’s the scoop on dry dog food. If you buy the cheap stuff, first of all dogs don’t always like it much. Second of all, it’s not always the best choice for nutritional value. And third, you’ll need to feed your dog about double what you would if you chose healthier, a little pricier dog food.
Now here’s the kicker: with the cheaper stuff, you are also going to have MORE doo-doo to scoop up in your backyard! Important points to consider when buying dog food, for sure.
And just as you would not want to live without snacks, either does your dog. Those little pet treats are gems for dogs, who’ll do all types of tricks for them. Just watch that you get known brands and quality foodstuffs for your furry friend.
2) Dog Shampoo / Flea & Trick Treatments / Heartworm Medication – There are plenty of name brand pet shampoos and flea and tick products out on the market. Insect drops work better than collars, because collars are ineffective if they get wet (think: rain), and because dogs lose collars and tug on each others, if you have more than one pet. Heartworm medication is now recommended year round in some areas, so check with your vet; this is available by prescription only.
3) Collar and Leash – All dogs need collars as places to clasp their leashes and for a collar clip to attach their license and rabies tags. The goal with this collar is a snug fit, but not too tight. Allow a couple fingers under it. And regardless of whether or not you have a fenced in backyard, you do need a leash for those trips to the vet’s office and other walking opportunities.
4) ID / Chip – An identification (ID) tag can be crafted fast and easy at some pet stores, so call around. Otherwise, call around and check online at places like Amazon.com for some where you enter the dog’s name and your contact info. These are great for times when Fido runs off. Check with your local pet store and vet about having a chip safely injected into your pet, too. These are great for times when Fido runs away and loses his collar. Also check in your area – with your vet and local pet stores – for companies that inject microchips into dogs. These are harmless and provide added protection in cases where collars are misplaced while animals are lost from home.
5) Bowls, Bedding & Toys – You can use sturdy household bowls or pick up stainless steel or glassware types so the dog has a clean eating area. Check out dog beds and large dog pillows to see what fits into your budget. And don’t forget that dogs just want to have fun like people, too, and pick up some toys for Fido every once in awhile. Make sure they are pet-approved (not full of tiny objects that they could swallow and hurt themselves.)
6) Crate / Kennel / Doghouse – If you need housing and / or travel supplies, make sure to check out dog carriers, especially airline approved dog carriers for faraway trips, and any doghouse or kennel / crate for indoor environments. You may also need an indoor dog gate to keep your dog from exploring places you’d rather keep him out of when you’re not at home.