Almost 3.1 million dogs are entered into animal shelters every year.
At the same time, only 44% of Americans have a dog in their household. If you've been thinking about bringing a dog into your family, there are plenty to go around! As Roger Caras said, "dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
Excited to add a furry pal to your family? Not sure what supplies to grab before picking up Fido?
Make sure you have these ten essential items all new dog owners need!
10 Essential Items for Dog Owners
Today, there are endless ways to spoil your pet. Before investing in a heated and cooled personal hammock lounge for Daisy, make sure she has all these dog essentials covered!
1. Carrier or Crate
When you pick up your new dog or puppy, you'll need a safe space for her to travel! Carriers are essential for bringing your dog home, visiting the vet or groomer, and keeping your puppy safe in an emergency.
Small dogs may only need a carrier, but it's also a good idea to invest in a sturdy crate! Make the crate a safe space for your dog by encouraging them to rest, sleep, and eat near the crate.
2. Wholesome Food
Pick up some high-quality dog food before bringing your new dog home. Feeding your dog quality food is the best way to prevent health issues and keep her tail wagging! The best dry dog foods will be high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients and low in oils and grains.
3. Food and Water Bowls
Your dog will need a bowl to eat all that nutritious food! Many cute dog bowl options are available today, including personalized and engraved dishes. To avoid excess bacteria in your dog's food and water bowls, purchase washable stainless steel bowls and clean them at least once daily.
4. Collar and Tags
In recent years, many people have microchipped pets, but it is still a good idea to put a collar on your dog at all times. Collars help with training and identifying your dog. Some states require dogs to wear a rabies vaccination tag.
Missing dogs without collars are often assumed to be strays. If your pet wears a collar, she is more likely to be picked up by a passerby and returned to you quickly. Ensure your dog has a clear tag with your name and phone number!
5. Leash and Harness
Your dog will need to go outside to do his business and burn some energy! The safest way to let Sparky enjoy the outdoors is to keep him on a leash and harness. Leashed dogs are less likely to get loose, chase cars and birds, or get into disagreements with other dogs.
Although you can hook a leash directly to your dog's collar, it's best to purchase a well-fitted harness, especially for dogs and puppies who pull on the leash. Traditional collars and squeeze and even dislodge your dog's windpipe. A harness will give you more control, support your dog's natural breathing, and reduce his anxiety.
6. Training Treats
After you pick up your dog or puppy, you'll want to start training as soon as possible. Early training will help your dog learn the rules of their new home and form good habits. Keep tasty dog treats nearby to reward Max when he is behaving well!
7. Plush Dog Bed
Every dog deserves a special spot all to itself, especially when adjusting to a new home. Give your new puppy a cozy, plush bed to curl up in when she's feeling scared or sleepy.
Although it can be tempting to pet her cute sleepy face, avoid touching your dog while she's in bed. This way, she'll know how to get away from humans when needed. Bonus points if you reinforce good crate training habits by putting the bed in the crate!
8. Variety of Toys
Finally, the fun stuff! Purchase a variety of chew toys, throw toys, and rope toys for your dog to play with by himself and with you. If your new buddy is a busy body, check out some mind puzzle toys to keep him busy.
Bring your dog with you to the pet store if they're allowed! Letting your new dog pick out his own toys is a fun, and adorable experience, plus other customers will enjoy oohing and ahhing over your furry pal.
9. Parasite Prevention
Although toys are much more fun to shop for, your dog will need flea, tick, and heartworm prevention to stay healthy and playful. It's much easier to prevent these pests than it is to treat them and decontaminate your home. Consult your vet to determine the best products for your needs and budget when in doubt.
10. Poop Supplies
Owning a dog isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Every time you take your dog outside, you'll need to bring poop bags to dispose of his waste. Leaving poop in public areas isn't just rude; it's illegal in some cities!
The buildup of dog poop presents serious health risks for ourselves and our pets, so it's important to responsibly collect and dispose of pet waste. As they say, "if your dog does his duty, you have to do yours!" Keep bags near your dog's leash, purchase a scooper for your yard, or hire a service team to clean your yard regularly!
The Scoop on Essential Dog Supplies
These ten items should be in all dog owners' arsenals. Once you have these essential pet supplies, you can certainly go all-out to spoil your pet with treats and goodies!
Want to know the best way to treat yourself and your fluffy companion this season? Treat yourself and your pet to a clean, tidy yard!
Palmetto Scoopers is your trusted pet waste management company. We've brought clear minds (and clean paws) to Columbia since 2014. Learn more about our services or give us a call at (803) 201-5012 to get started!