What do I need for my new dog or puppy?

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Getting Ready For Your New Dog? If your thinking about what items you may need if you are considering a new dog as an addition to the family then I have made you a list to help you. I have made up a list for you to think about with some explanations as to why you might need them.

What do I need for my new dog or puppy?

1/ A Stock of Food Specific to the dogs age
2/ Food Bowl
3/ Water Bowl
4/ Treats
5/ Collar and Leash and/or a Harness
6/ Dog Tag
7/ Car Harness
8/ A Dog Crate
9/ Dog Bed or Rugs/Blankets
10/ Toys
11/ Dog Coat
12/ Stair Gates
13/ Kitchen Roll or Newspaper
14/ Poo Bags

What you Need for a new Dog in More Detail

1/ A Stock of Food

It could be very useful to find out what your puppy or new dog is used to eating. Are they currently on tinned food or a biscuit type food? Ask the current owner what they are feeding your new friend.

If your dog is a puppy, remember that some foods are Age Related

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Even some Tinned Food is Age Related

Many dog foods are age related such as Puppy or Senior, so be sure to get the correct age-related foodstuff and if it is an older dog find out if there are any food related allergies.

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Some Dog Food is AGE Related

If you intend to change the food, then try to do it gradually. If you simply change the dogs’ diet you could cause an upset stomach and you will be the one clearing up the possible mess that may ensue. Don’t blame the dog for having diarrhea.

2/ Food Bowl

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Ceramic Glazed Bowl

A glazed ceramic, heavy pottery or stainless steel bowl with a flat bottom is best you will find some links at the bottom of the page for you to see some examples, they are readily available online or at the local  pet store.

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Flat Bottomed Bowl

3/ Water Bowl

You will need water bowl as soon as you are home. Once again a stainless steel or glazed pottery bowl with a wide flat bottom is your best option as these are easy to clean and don’t tip over.  

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The wrong bowl tips over

4/ Treats

A lot of people ignore this one for a new dog in the house in the belief that they are simply for training purposes, however in our experience at Top Lap Dogs a small treat can help to gain the confidence of your new friend and helps to promote their attention to listen to your instructions i.e. Sit.

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Treats will gain attention for commands

Help make them feel secure and comfortable, treats can be a very good way to distract them from the initial changes, but don’t give too many at any one time. Long lasting chew treats can be very good for this. Chewing can help a dog to relax.

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A treat for a nervous dog will still have them coming to you.

5/ Collar, Leash and/or Harness

If you are picking up a new puppy then a harness would be a good start as jerking their neck carelessly with a collar may cause pain and even damage. You wouldn’t jerk the neck of a newborn baby and a puppy should be treated just as carefully.

A harness for a puppy is a great idea and will solve the neck pulling problem however you may need to try harnesses on at a shop because of sizing issues and unless your pup has had all their necessary jabs don’t go there, do it later.

If you are going to get a collar then initially I would settle for the soft webbing type collar with a quick release buckle as well as a buckle for adjustment. Quick release buckles can be very handy for dogs that get into a panic however if they are scared be mindful of sharp teeth when you attempt to release them.

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Quick Release Clip

If you have a dog that is particularly scared such as a rehome rescue dog then attach a lead and leave it attached even when you are home.

Remember to check the fit and check the fit continually, pups can grow at an alarming rate and a collar can easily become too tight.

Ideally you should be able to insert a couple of fingers between the collar and the neck and yes you need to do this with older dog dogs too, they also gain and lose weight so just remember to always check regularly.

Leather collars, if you have a leather Collar and you have a dog that likes getting wet then a leather collar may not be the best idea. They look really nice but can get dry and cracked very easily, they then become brittle and hard, they then have a tendency to split. Leather collars can though be very good for larger dogs that are a bit lively, you will have slightly better control on the lead.

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Typical Leather Collar

Do not use choke or check chains. Unless they are used correctly they can choke and tighten on the dogs neck almost strangling your dog. Accidents with check chains do occur, if they’re running free the ring on the chain can get caught on a branch or thick undergrowth and tighten around the dogs neck this can cause death by strangulation if they’re not found.

Add to this that if the chain becomes loose it can slip off your dog’s neck and then if they should get lost they will have no identification on them and like as not end up in the pound for homeless dogs.

6/ Dog Tags

Even if your puppy is microchipped a tag clearly showing your phone/cell number and zip or post code is essential. If they do happen to wander just a few streets away they can be returned to you very quickly as a result of this simple precaution.

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Get your Zip/Post code and Phone no on the Tag

AN EXTRA TIP For Holidays, if you are going on holiday get an extra tag with your holiday location on it or your kennels contact details.
This move could save you a lot of heartache.

7/ A Car Harness or Cage

In the UK it is now a legal necessity to keep your dog restrained while travelling in a car. Having your dog on your lap in the car can lead to a fine.

Unless your dog is in a cage in the back of the car a Car Harness or safety belt attachment is a must. They are readily available at pet shops or online, see the link below.

Once again do not use a choke chain in the car, if the dog is in the back of your car you cannot see if they are struggling to breathe because you had to brake hard.

A dog crate or cage in a car can be a really good idea as in the UK at least it bypasses the tethering law but it also gives the dog an area of its own in which to feel safe and get comfortable.

8/ A Dog Crate or Puppy Pen

A dog crate can be a really good idea if it is used properly. It gives any dog the feeling of security, particularly in a new setting. Apart from using it in the car it creates a boundary for the dog in the house particularly at nighttime and it can also act as a naughty step for the learning process with a puppy and older dogs.

It also gives a dog a space that it owns and can retreat to, if it wishes to. Both my Shih Tzu Bailey and my American Bulldog cross Rose will often take themselves off to their own crates because they’re tired and will settle down for a snooze.

9/ Dog Bed

Another way to help your new four-legged friend relax, is to give them a comfortable dog bed or Blanket/Rugs for comfort. This is THEIR space. Occasionally older dogs may come with a blanket which will obviously have their scent already on it and may help them settle into their new home quicker.

Either way this is going to be their own private space which should not be invaded and will then help to give them a feeling of comfort and a sense of security.

10/ Toys for Dogs

Activity or puzzle toys are a very good option. Often the best sort you could get are those that you put treats into, they are good for both pups and older dogs and helps keep them amused. Chew toys can be very good as the act of chewing can help calm nerves and relax your dog as well as relieve boredom.

11/ Dog Coat

Depending on the time of year and the type of dog you are getting you may need some kind of coat. I would suggest going to your local pet store to get the correct size if you can as sizing can often be an issue, a bit like buying clothes for yourself. If you are certain on the size, then see the links below for Dog Coats.

12/ Stair Gates for Babies? No, the Dogs

It may sound crazy, but a stair or baby gate can be a very successful way of keeping your dog in a confined area and creating boundaries within the house. Many people I know have had their dogs find their way into rooms where they are not supposed to be and unless you are going to allow them free access of the whole house then this can be a very good solution.

As Jan from Top Lap Dogs will tell you “it is a very good aid to keeping them out of the kitchen when your cooking.”

13/ Kitchen Roll or Newspaper

You may need to toilet train your dog, this can apply to puppies and older dogs in a new home. Newspapers can save a lot of mess on the floor and can be used to Toilet Train your puppy using the Paper Method, you can see how to do this in our post on What Age Should a Dog be Potty Trained.

14/ Poo Bags

In many places in the UK you must use Poo bags or nappy sacks to collect any dog mess and then put it into one of the local bins. No matter which country you live in nobody wants dog mess on the sidewalks.

Concluding what you need for your new dog

Preparing for a new dog as an addition to your family is something that should be given a good deal of thought, it can be very exciting picking up your new puppy but being prepared beforehand can save you a lot of grief.

You do not need to buy all of these items at once, some like the baby gates can be added at a later date.
I am sure you will think of other bits and bobs as your new friend gets settled in, but hopefully this list will give you a good head start.

For the UK – You can find bowls for water and feeding here in the UK at Ocado Online

For the USA – You can find some really gorgeous dog bowls in the USA at Agatha and Louise

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