Have you recently adopted a dog? Or do you plan to acquire a puppy soon? I know that feeling of excitement and happiness. Having a new member to the family is always something to be proud of and excited about but do you have the right dog supplies to properly care for your dog?
Here are the top 5 dog supplies I recommend for beginners. I wrote this because I realized how confusing it can be to go to the local pet store or to shop online for dog supplies. While almost all pet owners usually buy the basic needs during the beginning (e.g. dog food), the rest of the things they buy are usually bought along the way when something happens. When it comes to caring for your dog, it’s always best to be active and not passive.
1. Comfort and Security: A Dog Crate
Your dog must be sure to have his/her own private place to rest and be happy. As many people neglect buying a dog crate in the beginning, sooner or later dog owners begin to learn that having a dog crate would’ve saved them a ton of money. Why? As soon as a dog becomes comfortable in his new home, he/she will be a dog. What this means is that your dog will most likely do something you won’t like when you are not around.
One common example would be your dog eating from the trash or chewing on the furniture. There are some dogs that don’t become destructive when left alone but these are the angels if not the rare ones.
Having a dog crate and teaching your dog that the crate is their personal space from the beginning is perhaps one of the best lessons you can teach your dog that can also apply to traveling on an airplane and just simple housebreaking. This is why a dog crate is on top of this list.
Read this blog about Aluminum vs Plastic Crates.
(If you really want to save money from the get go, buy an aluminum crate. Yes the initial cost of a good aluminum crate can be expensive depending on the size ( cost usually range about $500 USD and more), but quality aluminum crates do not easily crack like how plastic crates and will usually last a lifetime if maintained properly.
It’s sad to see that most people buy cheap wire crates only to have their dogs escape and wreak havoc in the house. As soon as a dog learns that it can escape from a confined area, I’m sorry to say but your dog will become a “Harry Houdini”. Not only does escaping become a challenge, it can become a fun addictive activity for your dog once you leave the house!!! )
You need to get a crate that will never allow your dog to escape. So get a good one.
2. High Quality Dog Food
I will not suggest any brand of dog food here but I will only say this; do not go cheap on dog food. Dog food is a solid investment towards the health of your dog. Your dog will thank you. I would suggest that you consult with an un-biased veterinarian about the specific needs for your dog. Different breeds of dogs and the type of activity they do have different nutritional needs, so make sure you have the right dog formula.
Studies have shown that certain type of dog food fads can cause chronic diseases… Grain-free dog foods, homemade recipes, and etc can cause problems. This might not be so common sense but for the sake of providing sources to back up this claim here: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/uc-davis-investigates-link-between-dog-diets-and-deadly-heart-disease
Expensive but quality dog food can hurt our wallets but I like to think of it as preventative maintenance. It is much cheaper to spend $80 a month on premium dog food than it is to throw several thousands of dollars on a disease that could have been prevented.
Click here to know what to look for when choosing quality dog food.
Click here to Know When to feed my dog?
3. Dog Bowls (for water and food)
If possible, try to get high quality stainless steel dog bowl for dog food. Why stainless steel? Click here to learn why I recommend stainless steel than plastic!
Another tip is to try to get a dog bowl that can fit in a dishwasher. This will save a lot of hassle but if you don’t have a dishwasher be sure to always properly wash your dog’s bowl with warm water and dishwashing detergent after every meal to prevent bad bacteria from growing. To my opinion, stainless steel makes it easier to clean out bacteria compared to plastic bowls. Click here to read about a harsh lesson I learned about not washing dog bowls.
4. A Flat Collar for Identification
My dog usually wears a biothane collar or a fur-saver with dog tags attached all the time for the sole purpose of identification. A flat collar can also be used as a quick restraint with a leash when going out for a walk. However, when it comes to training, I slip on the prong collar or the e-collar. Remember, that training collars should never be on a dog 24/7 . It is dangerous to leave a prong collar or worse, an e-collar on a dog for more than 8 hours. Click here to see more details about training collars and how they should be used!
5. A 6-foot standard leash
6 feet seems to be the standard universal leash length that works for most people. Remember to get a standard leash as it is a good leash to start with. A standard leash should have a loop on one end while the other end should have a chrome or brass metal hook.
Furthermore, you should be able to hold the leash with two hands for more control. Furthermore, if six feet is too long, I usually roll up the leash around my wrist to shorten it. Click to read why I don’t recommend retractable leashes?
Bonus! Grooming Supplies: Nail Clippers and Hair Brush
Perhaps, this is the most neglected among dog supplies but having nail clippers and a hair brush for your dogs will go a long way in keeping your dog healthy and clean! How? Click here to read why it is important to cut your dog’s nails. Click here to read how brushing benefits your dog, you, and their health!