What to Buy for a New Dog

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If you’ve made the decision to adopt a dog, your focus is probably on spending time going for long walks, playing and snuggling on the couch. But there are a few other very important things to think about before that fun can commence. Here is a comprehensive list of what to buy for a new dog to start them off right in your home.

A photo of a dog eating from a slow-feeding food bowl.

The Basics of What to Buy for a New Dog

  • Food bowl. Google “dog food bowl” and you’ll have endless options. But, at the end of the day, what you really want and need to get for your dog is a sturdy, stay-in-place, easy-to-clean and reasonably priced bowl. We think the OurPets Durapet Premium Dog Bowl is the best option on the market. If your new dog has a tendency to inhale their food, we suggest you opt for their slow-feeding version, the OurPets Durapet Premium Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Dog Bowl.
  • Water bowl. Your dog will need access to water 24 hours a day. You’ll want to take into consideration your dog’s size when purchasing a water bowl. Luckily, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station is available in three sizes that can accommodate any dog. This water dispenser is our favorite because it’s an easy-to-clean and veterinarian-recommended stainless-steel bowl. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe!
  • Food. It’s best if you initially keep your new dog on the diet they’ve been eating. This will avoid gastrointestinal upset while they settle into their new surroundings. Once they have acclimated to your home, you can then begin transitioning them to a new diet, if you believe their current diet is lacking. We’re big fans of Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition dog food. Be sure to select the right size for your dog. But we suggest that you discuss this topic with your veterinarian. Don’t have a veterinarian yet? Find a trusted veterinarian near you.
  • Food storage. You’ll need a place to keep your dog food fresh. Believe it or not, dog food can go stale just like our food. It’s also important to keep your dog’s food secure from other pets, children and even rodents or insects. Consider this when planning for what to buy for a new dog. We love the Bergan Smart Storage Containers for their sleek design, ease of use and convenient stackability for multi-pet households.

A photo of a woman and a dog looking out at a lake. The leash and dog collar match the woman's belt.

Safety Essentials

  • Collar and leash. Making sure your dog stays safe while out in the world with you is extremely important. In our opinion, the best collar and leash combo is one that keeps your dog secure but is also comfortable for you and them. Soft Touch Collars Leather Two-Tone Padded Dog Collar and Soft Touch Collars Leather Braided Traffic Handle Dog Leash combine style, functionality and durability all in one. Almost all dogs take walks. The collar and leash you choose are important items when thinking about what to buy for a new dog.
  • ID tag with your phone number. Besides microchipping, the best way to ensure your newly adopted dog finds their way home if they go astray is to see that they have identification on them at all times. We prefer the GoTags Personalized Stainless Steel Slide-On ID Tag, Closed Design. It won’t get caught on something and rip off and, almost as important, it eliminates the dreaded “tag clinking” that makes us cringe the way nails on a chalkboard do.
  • Car Seatbelt. Just as with children, you need to make sure your dog is safely strapped in when traveling in the car. The Mighty Paw Safety Belt is a versatile choice. It’s reasonably priced, comfortable and easy to use. We think it’s a perfect choice to keep your precious cargo safe!

a photo showing what to buy for a new dog, including a dog bed and toys

What to Purchase for a New Dog: Important Extras

  • Plastic poop baggies and/or pooper scooper. Regardless if your dog prefers doing their business while on a leash or in a fenced-in yard, you’re going to need a way to clean it up. Frisco Refill Planet Friendly Dog Poop Bags come in scented and unscented varieties. They’re our favorite choice because of their eco-friendliness. When it comes to yard clean-up, we like the Dogit Jaws for Grass Dog Waste Scooper. It works on many different surfaces and offers an easy-to-use ergonomic handle with a soft, rubber grip.
  • Toys. The sky’s the limit when planning for what to buy for a new dog. We suggest you start off with a variety to see what your dog likes best. A durable ball, like the KONG Extreme Ball Dog Toy, is a great first choice. Some dogs prefer rope toys to shake and play tug with. We really like the Frisco Rope with 5 Knots Dog Toy because it’s easy to grip. If you want to keep your pup busy when you can’t be actively playing with them, consider safe chew toys or puzzle toys. We’re big fans of the Nylabone DuraChew Textured Bone Chicken Flavor Dog Toy. It comes in a number of sizes and also helps keep teeth clean. Check out the Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Dog Toy if your dog needs some mental stimulation – it will keep them busy for hours!
  • Treats! Very quickly, your newly-adopted dog will learn where the treats are stashed at your house. Be sure to keep them up out of reach or in a secure container. You should limit treats, too, because they can quickly lead to obesity in pets. To keep your dog happy and healthy, we recommend Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe Dog Treats. Dogs love their taste and they are less than 3 calories a treat!
  • Dog Bed. Your choice of dog bed style should depend on the size of your newly-adopted dog. For large dogs, we recommend the Brindle Waterproof Memory Foam Dog Bed for three reasons. First, it is designed with two inches of high-density support foam on the bottom and soft, orthopedic memory foam on top. A perfect place to rest for a big dog! Second, the outer layer is machine-washable. A must-have for big dogs that like playing outside frequently. Lastly, it has a non-skid bottom, which is safer for your dog and you! For smaller breeds, who typically prefer to burrow, we suggest opting for a covered bed like the FurHaven Faux Sheepskin Snuggery Orthopedic Dog & Cat Bed. It has the benefits of orthopedic foam but also offers a snuggly cover that will keep little paws warm and cozy. Whatever the size, a dog bed is something to consider carefully when deciding what to buy for a new dog.
  • Crate. Whether for house-training or for everyday use, we suggest using a crate to give your dog their own space where they can retreat to feel safe. Selecting the right size is key, however. Be sure to choose a size that will allow your dog to stand up fully and turn around. A reasonably priced, durable option is the Frisco Heavy Duty Single Door Dog Crate. You’ll also want to make sure to put down some comfy blankets or a specifically sized crate pad to keep them comfy. Read our blog about using a crate.
  • Shampoo. Never use human shampoos on your precious pup. You’ll want to look for products that are organic and designed specifically for dogs, like Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey for Dogs. This shampoo is gentle and completely pH balanced for dogs. And it is made in the USA without artificial fragrances, chemicals, parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It won’t wash off topical flea and tick treatments when used as directed. Your pup can stay clean and protected from pests!

While there are still other items we could add, the list above includes the necessities you need for your new dog to start off a happy, healthy life with you. If you have questions about what to buy for a new dog, or anything else, send an email to [email protected]. We’ll do our best to help!

Happy adopting!