Dog Essentials: An Owners Checklist

Are you preparing to bring a new pup into your life? Whether it’s your first time ever, if its been awhile, or if you’re just looking for a reminder of what you need to make your new furry family member’s transition home as easy as possible, we’re here for you! 

At WINPRO Pet, we’ve made it our business to love your pet almost as much as you do. With that in mind, we designed this checklist with all of the essentials that you need to welcome your new bundle of joy home (even if that bundle is 75 lbs. and full-grown). 

First Of All, Your Dog’s Gotta Eat

Before bringing your dog home, one of the more important dog essentials to focus on having in order is a way to feed them. A lot of the other, more “fun” things tend to take up a lot of attention, which means you run the risk of not really having everything you need once you arrive back at your house and get ready to settle in comfortably. Who wants to have to run back out to the store when they have a brand new dog in the house to play with and snuggle? No one that we know. 

When it comes to dog bowls, there are a lot of different options out there. People tend to pick them based on aesthetic factors, but is there a better way? Material wise, although they aren’t the most stylish, stainless steel bowls are the best way to go. 

They are not only super easy to clean, but they are also durable and more safe than plastic or ceramic. With any bowl, make sure that you have a way to keep it from sliding around when they eat, and consider raising both the food and water bowl up to “armpit” level to help reduce their risk of developing joint problems later on in life. 

But it doesn’t stop there, you also have to have something to put in that bowl! Ask your vet for recommendations that are nutritionally appropriate for your new pup, no matter what life stage they’re in. Don’t forget to grab a measuring cup that you can dedicate to dog food only, so that you can measure out the exact right amount of food to keep your dog at a healthy weight. Between the right food and the right supplements, this is imperative if you want to keep your dog around as long as possible. Never underestimate the power of quality nutrition!

Sure, Your Dog Isn’t Going To Sleep On The Bed, Right?

If we’re all honest with ourselves, the vast majority of us let our dogs sleep with us in the bed. It’s just part of the way that we build the bond with our pets, and we’re certainly not going to be judging you here (we’ve all done it, too!). However, although your new dog may be attached to you at the hip, they do still need to have their own space that they can retreat to when they want to be alone.

A great way to give them this space is by purchasing an appropriately sized dog crate and the right dog bed to put in it. 

These dog essentials give your pupper a place they can go if they’re feeling anxious, which is more likely to happen while they’re getting used to their new home. It’s ok to not spend a ton of money on a dog bed right off the bat, especially if you’re not sure whether your dog is a chewer or not. But once they’ve settled in, memory foam beds are a great investment in the future of your dog's bones and joints. Make sure you get one that is relatively easy to clean (we like washable covers).

Also, never feel bad about crate training! It’s just like helping a newborn learn to sleep in the crib; it can be hard at first but the end results are so worth it. Dogs are naturally drawn to wanting a den, and a crate gives them that. What you’re really doing is creating a sense of security for your dog, which they are probably lacking as they transition from their old home into their new one.

Collars And Leashes Are More Than Just Fashion Accessories

Although this is one of the dog essentials that people tend to get the most excited about, buying your new pup his or her own collar and leash is about so much more than just having them look cute. According to the ASPCA, about 15% of home owners had experienced a lost or stolen pet within a 5 year period of their 2012 survey. However, the vast majority of them were able to make it home. But how?

Making sure that you keep your dog safe by having them wear a collar and a tag is likely part of the reason. Opposite from what you might have heard, though, a lot of people suggest putting your own name on their tag instead of theirs. 

Although we don’t like to think about it, there are plenty of people in this world who don’t have you or your dog’s best interest in mind. Instead, if they have your dog’s name at their disposal and they have found them wandering around lost, it’s much easier for them to keep them and claim ownership. Just your name and your phone number is great, and a microchip is even better. And, no matter how great your dog may seem off leash, always keep them on one when you walk them in public to make sure they don’t get scared and run off. Traditional leashes are considered much safer than retractable, as well.

The Fun Stuff…

Now that you have the right food bowls and food, a place for them to comfortably retreat and sleep, and a cute but functional collar and leash, it’s on to the fun stuff!

Especially if you’re bringing home a puppy, you need to be prepared with the right toys to keep them mentally engaged and happy. In fact, toys are considered one of the dog essentials just like all of the other things we’ve mentioned! The benefits of having the right toys for your dog are endless - they keep them from chewing up inappropriate things (like your shoes and furniture), they keep them from getting bored, they can be used as a reward, and you can even use them to increase your bond with them (especially if they’re new to your home!). 

Try to focus on buying a variety of different types of toys, like tennis balls, chew toys, squeaky toys, and toys that can be filled with pet friendly treats like peanut butter. This type of stimulation really is irreplaceable. 

To Summarize

Making sure you have all of the right dog essentials can seriously help to ease the transition of your new pup into your home. 

This is a time of stress and confusion for both of you, especially if your dog is a puppy and leaving what they’ve known for the first time. It won’t be long until it was like they always lived with you but, until then, focusing on feeding them the right food, keeping them comfortable and safe, and making sure their minds stay occupied gives them everything they need to start to feel at home. From all of us here at WINPRO Pet, congrats on your new addition!

 

Sources:

Dog Dens | American Humane 

How Many Pets are Lost? How Many Find Their Way Home? ASPCA Survey Has Answers | ASPCA 

RSPCA Victoria – 7 reasons why dog toys are important