You’ve decided you’re getting a dog. Congratulations! But before you bundle him into the car and take him home, there are a few basic essentials that need to be ready and waiting for him before he gallops through the front door.
Run through this check-list before your new addition to the family arrives:
- Somewhere to sleep: If he’s going to be an outdoor dog he needs a kennel; if he’s to be an indoor dog, he needs a basket or dog bed. Both would be even better, because then he has shelter outside on a rainy day, and he can sleep in a cosy bed when inside. Having his own space is important for a sense of security. The type and size is up to you and your dog. We recommend getting a bed with a removable cover so you can take it off to wash.
- Blankets: No one likes to sleep on a hard kennel floor, and certainly not your pup. Be prepared for the first few blankets to be chewed to shreds though, so no need to buy the finest linen!
- Collar and ID tag: It is absolutely essential for all household pets to wear one. A collar is not only vital for attaching the lead, but also means your pet is easily identifiable. The ID tag needs to have your dog’s name and your contact number engraved. You should also have your dogs chipped so that they are easily traceable when they decide to go walkabout.
- Lead: Essential for walks. Make sure it’s sturdy and long enough to give your dog some freedom, but not too long that you lose control. A harness is a good idea for especially boisterous dogs, as it makes them easier to control, and doesn’t put as much pressure on their throat when they’re tugging. Speak to the pet shop/vet for your individual needs.
- Food and water bowl: This goes without saying. Your dog needs to eat and drink, and needs something to eat and drink out of. They don’t need to be made out of the finest china, but a good quality bowl will last longer and won’t rust.
- Food: Chat to your vet about which food is best for your dog. You might need to shop around to find a brand that suits your dog and your budget. You will also need somewhere to store the food; an air-tight container that’s kept out of paws’ reach is best. A measuring cup is also a good idea so that you know exactly how much to dish up at each mealtime. It’s also a good idea to stock up on doggie treats; they’re ideal to use when training your pup.
- Grooming stuff: Grooming is a great way to bond with your dog, and it keeps their coat and skin shiny and healthy. Get a decent brush to suit your breed’s coat, as well as some pH-balanced dog shampoo for bath day.
- Toys: Every pup needs some toys, the options are endless. Head to your pet shop and get a variety; from fetch toys, to ones that stimulate the brain, to simply something to cuddle with, toys are a must for any happy dog.
On top of this you can add flea treatments and, depending on the needs of your dog, supplements to the list.
It’s a good idea to have done all your shopping before your furry addition arrives, to ensure an easy transition and to lay a good foundation for many happy years to come.