There are few feelings like bringing a new dog into the home. It’s such an exciting time for everyone involved, but it’s also very easy to get swept up and lose track of what you’re going to need.
In order to properly facilitate a dog in the house, there are various pieces of equipment and accessories you need to source beforehand.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together a list of essentials items every new dog owner needs to have.
Bedding & a crate
First on your list should be a comfy place for your dog to sleep, which will include a bed and crate, along with some soft blankets for padding.
We all know that dogs grow in size over a very short period of time, so we recommend picking up a dog bed that has plenty of room for them to grow and stretch out.
You might be wondering why you need both a bed and a crate, but a crate will be prove to be essential in the early days, and will be a life saver at times.
While most adult dogs sleep in their bed, puppies are best starting off with a crate. Keeping puppies in their crate overnight will give you peace of mind that they are safe and sound, and not causing havoc while you’re trying to get some shut eye.
They can also be great for short periods during the day when a break is needed (you’ll thank us for this) or for daytime dog naps.
Puppies are supposed to sleep around 18-20 hours a day, and being able to give your puppy a safe space to take their naps and give you some alone time is so helpful in those early days. It’s also good for helping with separation anxiety, something some dogs can develop if never left alone.
As with most things, you’ll want to build up your dog’s time in the crate and they shouldn’t just be left in there all day.
It’s important to note that the crate shouldn’t be used as a punishment either, as this could lead to your dog resenting it and rendering it useless. It’s also crucial to remove any collars and avoid risks when crating your dog, just in case they were to catch it on anything.
Like humans, dogs need food and water to stay alive and for that, you’re going to need a couple of bowls.
To start off with, you should have a bowl for fresh water and a bowl for food, and a separate sponge for cleaning. These can be plastic, stainless steel, or ceramic, but it might be best to go for the most durable option if you’ve got a young dog.
As the dog grows, you can expand to slow feeders and puzzles to help mentally stimulate your dog during feeding time, but a simple food bowl should be sufficient initially.
Collars, harness and leads
Once your dog is old enough to go on walks, the world is your oyster – but you’re going to need some equipment before you venture outside.
As we’ve mentioned, dogs grow at a rapid pace so be prepared to go through a couple of collars in the first year or so, but they are very important to have.
You should check collars on a regular basis to make sure they are a comfortable fit, not too tight and not too loose. Most owners stick to “the two-finger rule”, meaning you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar once it’s clipped on.
A harness can be helpful for reducing pulling on the lead and offers an extra level of control and safety when out walking. Some even feature handles which can come in handy if needing to bring your dog in close in quick fashion (i.e. when near busy roads or greeting other dogs).
With leads, you’re almost spoilt for choice. You have rope leads, nylon leads, and chain leads, as well as extendable leads and long leads for giving your dog a bit more freedom to roam. Each one comes with their own pros and cons, so we recommend doing a bit of research to see which lead is most suited to your dog.
Toys, toys, toys
Unless you like having bite marks and half chewed furniture, you’re going to need some toys for the dog to play with.
Anyone who’s ever been inside a pet shop will know the variety of dog toys is far reaching, but getting a couple of each function/interactivity is a good idea.
You’ll want a couple of ones they can sink their teeth into such as Nylabones, a couple of soft plushes for them to throw around, toys with crinkly features to drive them wild, and a ball for games of fetch.
Poop bags and cleaning gear
The not-so-nice part of owning a dog is the mess they leave behind, and this is most prevalent during the puppy stage.
Toilet training is something every dog has to be taught, and some pick it up quicker than others. It’s good to get them doing their business out in the garden as early as possible to avoid mess in the house, and you’ll likely have to watch them like a hawk in the beginning to spot the signs that they’re about to go.
It might get a bit tedious getting up and down so much, but your dog will be much better off for it in the long run.
If you’ve got carpet, we recommend picking some pet stain & odour remover to effectively clean the area and get rid of the smell to prevent any further accidents in that spot.
You can get things such as puppy pads to help with toilet training, allowing you to clean up and throw away with ease – but it’s always good to try and get them in the routine of going outside as early as possible.
You’ll need to get stocked up on poop bags and it’s always handy to have cleaning wipes ready for any particularly unpleasant moments.
Grooming equipment and bathing materials
This one will depend on the type of dog you have and how much fur they have, but some breeds have thick coats that need regular brushing and maintenance to avoid matting.
We recommend consulting with your breeder on what they use for the upkeep of coats and how often to do it.
All dogs need to bath though, so pick up a bottle of dog shampoo and put aside a designated dog towel. If you’re looking for tips on how to bath your dog, that’s a whole article of it’s own! Just be prepared to wipe everything down afterwards – nothing is safe.
If you’re bringing home a smaller dog or one without much fur (such as Greyhound’s and Whippets), you’ll want to pick up a fitted coat or jumper that functions similar to a harness.
The UK isn’t exactly known for it’s year-round sunny skies, and walks during the winter can be very unpleasant for these types of dogs, so it’s best to keep them wrapped up and warm.
Other clothing items such as bandanas or bowties are optional, but do make for some very cute photos.
Last but definitely not least is something to feed your dog.
Food plays an important role in your dog’s growth, and finding the right food for your dog is really important. It’s often debated which type of dog food is the best to go with, but we always recommend a complete dog food to ensure that your four legged friend is getting everything they need.
Choosing a dog food can sometimes be a bit overwhelming with so many options to choose from, but doing the research and finding something that will suit your dog’s specific needs will set them up right for life.
Here at Squires & Beaumont, our range of kibbles are designed to provide total nourishment for working dog breeds, using the highest quality ingredients and ensuring your dog receives all the essential nutrients needed for overall health, fitness, vitality and condition.
If you’re looking to start your dog off right, pick up a bag of Field Dog & Game today. We offer free delivery on all UK orders, and we’re always here to answer any questions you may have about our food.