Being a first-time pet owner is always exciting, but the list of items you have to prepare can definitely be daunting. From food bowls to comfy dog beds, there’s a lot to keep track of even before your new furry friend steps foot into the house. To help you with this task, we’ve created a list of some of the things you absolutely need to have on hand before you bring back your new forever friend!
Bringing your new dog home is a big affair in itself, so be sure to have a sturdy carrier back or crate to transport your pet home safely! Check that the bag or crate is big enough to accommodate them and let them turn around and lie in comfortably - it’s a good item to have for the first few weeks in your home too, as it acts as their own space to retreat to for their alone time.
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Food and treats
What’s a better way to welcome your new family member home than with a good meal? Be sure to stock up on dog food and snacks, as well as treats that you can reward to your furry pal on occasion.
For first-time pet owners, the amount of dog food options can be startling at first - from dry food to wet food, freeze-dried to frozen, choosing what food to feed your dog is a decision you’ll have to make before they even enter the home. Be sure to discuss with the pet compound or store about your dog’s dietary needs to ensure that the food you get for them is healthy and nutritious! A trip to the vet after they’ve settled home can help check for any allergies or special dietary requirements your fluffy friend needs.
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Feeding and drinking bowls
Of course, where else would you place your pet’s food and drink other than their feeding and drinking bowls? Nowadays, food bowls can come in many different sizes and heights, so be sure to pick out ones that fit your dog type! There are also options now for automatic feeders and water dispensers for a more convenient serving of meals, just in case you get too busy to prepare meals yourself, so new owners can look into these special new products!
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Collars and leashes
Bringing your new canine outdoors can be intimidating too, so get your collars and leashes ready beforehand! Your dog will have to get used to the feeling of a collar first, though, so spend a few weeks practicing putting the collar on them and getting them used to walking on a leash. That way, they won’t feel overwhelmed when the real walks start!
Be sure to have an identification tag on your dog’s collar too, stating their name and your contact information in case your beloved pet ever gets lost.
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Dog bedsA place to rest is perhaps one of the most crucial items to get: you want your new dog to feel safe and secure at home after all! Once again, check thoroughly to see if the pet bed is the right size for your pet, as this will be the place they’ll stay in for comfort and rest. One with a non-skid bottom would be the perfect item, as it’ll ensure that your pet wouldn’t accidentally slip while getting into the bed.
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When your dog isn’t resting, they’ll be up and about ready to play! So be sure to have an abundance of dog toys to satisfy your fur friend’s needs - anything from chew toys to puzzle toys will be sure to pique your dog’s interest, and a variety of toys to play with will definitely help to keep them active in both body and mind. Playing with your dog is also a given once you have them as pets, but you can always treat it as an exercise session for both you and them!
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Last, but certainly not the least, a grooming kit is a must-have when you get a new pet. This will help ensure that your dog’s skin and coat is kept clean and healthy, and that their health is kept in top condition! Some items you should have in the kit include:
Some dogs might be allergic to certain types of shampoo, so be sure to check it with a veterinarian first! However, human shampoo is definitely a no-go, as they contain chemicals that are harmful to your dog’s coat and skin.
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As time goes by, more and more items will be needed, such as a change in food for a varied diet or replacements for chewed and worn out dog toys. Until then though, this is a good list of things to start off with! Even though getting a dog can be a nerve-wracking task, it’s also one of the best experiences you can have in a lifetime. With these items in hand, you’re well on your way to giving you and your new-found fur friend the best life you two will have!