Whether you buy a dog from a breeder or pet store, adopt from a shelter, or even take in a stray dog, you’re going to need to invest some money to make sure your new pet gets the things that he needs.
Food and Water
First things first: your dog will need food and water. Use stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes, and wash them frequently in hot soapy water. These dishes should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to your dog, so he can have fresh water and food available to him whenever he needs them.
Crate or Dog Bed
Every dog should have a place in the home that he can call his own, which can be a crate or a dog bed. Crates come in three basic styles: wire mesh, fiberglass or plastic, and fold-up nylon mesh. Once you decide which style to purchase, make sure you buy one that is not only tall enough for your dog to stand up in, but also big enough for him to easily turn around in and stretch out completely. Put the crate or bed in a place that gets a lot of traffic, such as the kitchen or den, to keep your dog feeling like part of the family.
Collar and ID Tag
One of your very first purchases should be a collar with an identification tag, which your dog should wear at all times. A collar can be used to restrain in case of emergency, and the identification tag can be used to easily identify him and return him to his owner if he is ever lost. Dogs love to be taken for walks, so you’ll need to have a 4- to 6-foot leash made of leather, waxed cotton, or nylon that can be attached to his collar. Having a chain leash can be dangerous, as they can develop sharp edges, and it’s difficult to predict when they are getting ready to break.
Your puppy or dog will also need a variety of toys. Choose toys that are interesting and entertaining, but also safe and durable. Never give a puppy a toy that is small enough for him to swallow. Offering too many toys at once may overwhelm your dog, so try to give him just a few at a time, and then switch them for different toys periodically.
Keeping some medical supplies on hand is a great idea. You never know what sort of situation might come up, and it’s always good to be prepared. Some items you’ll want to consider keeping include bandages, gauze and cotton pads, tweezers, petroleum jelly, antibiotic cream, witch hazel, and peroxide. For more serious medical emergencies, a veterinarian’s expertise may be required, but minor bumps and scrapes can often be taken care of at home.
Basic grooming tools are also necessities. They are used not only to make your dog the best looking pooch on the block, but also to keep him clean and healthy. The type of tools you’ll need will depend on the type of dog, but standard supplies include a short-haired rake, a wire slicker brush, narrow- and wide-toothed combs, a bristle brush, dog nail clippers, dental supplies, and shampoo.
When you’re first stocking up on supplies for your dog, it may seem like there are an overwhelmingly large amount of things to purchase. It is a big initial investment, but keep in mind that many of these supplies will last for years, and the return on your investment (paid in the form of wet kisses, loyalty, and love) will likely make it all worthwhile.