Woof, Woof! A Checklist of Fundamental Dog Essentials for a New Pet Owner
Dogs really are man’s best friend.
Indeed, 60.2 million households in the United States own at least one dog. In total, that stacks up to almost 90 million pet dogs around the country!
Clearly, dog ownership is incredibly common. And for good reason! These cute, loyal, loving, playful furry friends quickly become members of the family.
However, it isn’t all fun, games, and cuddles. Owning a dog comes with its fair share of responsibilities too! This can be a bit of a shock to new dog owners who’ve never cared for a dog before. There are certain things to know about and prepare for in advance.
Have you just bought a brand new puppy? Want to ensure you’re fully prepared for the task ahead?
Keep reading to find out a list of dog essentials.
9 Dog Essentials for New Pet Owners
Check out the following things to do, organize and buy for your new dog!
1. Find a Vet
It’s essential to get along to a vet for your puppy.
Pups require core vaccines that the vet will administer. Equally, establishing a relationship with a vet early on can be beneficial for everyone involved. Your puppy will become familiar with the surgery and vet there. Your vet will get to know you and your new hound.
The same is true if you’ve adopted a dog.
Now, most reputable dog sanctuaries may ensure the dog is in good health and is up to date with immunizations. However, it’s never a bad idea to get them checked out by a vet too, just in case.
2. Tag and/or Chip
Your dog should have some form of ID.
Their name, as well as your contact details and home town, are all essential information. Imagine losing your new dog on a walk. Without a tag, anyone who finds them won’t know who to return them to.
A microchip is another way of doing the same thing. However, this time the information is stored on a chip that gets inserted into the dog. These can be scanned by a vet to reveal the owner information.
3. Figure out the Food and Treats
The food you feed your new dog is crucial to their health and wellbeing.
The amount and type of food required will vary by breed. Your newly found vet will be able to tell you what they need. Then it’s up to you to go out and get it! The same goes for dog treats.
These little tidbits will be a great help in training your puppy and rewarding their good behavior.
You could also speak to the vet about foods you should and shouldn’t feed your hound. Some foods, such as chocolate, are poisonous to dogs and shouldn’t be part of their diet.
4. Buy the Bowls
You’ve got the food, well done!
Now it’s time to provide the crockery. Thankfully, all you need is a bowl for the food, and one for the water.
A quick note of the bowls. Be sure to clean them regularly! They’re hotbeds for bacteria. Keeping them clean (wash them with warm, soapy water) will help keep your dog from getting ill.
5. Buy the Dog Bed
Your pup needs somewhere to sleep!
A brand new puppy may benefit from a crate instead of a bed.
It’s their safe space for them to retreat to. Make it warm and comfortable, preferably with three walled sides and a gate at the front. Don’t keep the pup in the crate for too long though. They need to be taken out to the toilet at regular intervals!
6. Get a Dog Gate
A dog gate is another good idea.
Your dog won’t understand the boundaries in your home when they first arrive. They’ll want to explore their new domain! It’s your job as a dog owner to enforce the rules: where they can and can’t go.
A dog gate is an easy way to prevent the pup from breaking the rules. Stop them entering rooms and going up the stairs uninvited.
7. Get Some Dog Toys
Dogs, like children, love to play.
They’ve got energy in abundance and need to burn it off! Having some dog toys and gadgets at your disposal will help you do it. Make sure they’re good and durable. Puppies have sharp little teeth and get strong pretty quickly as they grow! Cheaper toys will rip, tear and break without a problem.
You could also consider having somewhere to keep the toys you buy. It isn’t essential, but prepare to be tripping over toys all over the place without one.
8. Grab Some Doggy Bags
You need to be prepared for little accidents in your home.
Doggy bags will help the clean-up process.
Likewise, cleaning up after your dog on a walk is a foundational part of responsible dog ownership! Get a bunch of good quality bags to take with you on your daily walks. You can also find scented bags to help with the smell!
9. Buy the Leash and Collar
Dogs need a collar and a leash.
Both go hand in hand and are important in their own right.
They’re essential for dog walks. Indeed, many pedestrianized areas make it a requirement to walk your dog on a lead. The collar and the leash both help to keep the hound under control and also come in handy during dog training.
Learn more about some fashionable dog collars by clicking the link.
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: a list of dog essentials to ensure a smooth entry into dog ownership!
Millions of households own a dog around the United States.
It comes with responsibility though and can be a steep learning curve for first-time dog owners. Knowing the essentials to have prior to getting the dog should enable everyone (including the dog!) settle into the new experience more easily.
Hopefully, the suggestions and information here will help!
Like this piece? Click here to learn more tips on keeping your pet healthy.