So, you've decided to add a puppy or dog to your home. Now, purebred, mix breed, male, female, puppy or adult dog is all a matter of opinion. Do your research and choose what will work best for you. Make sure you get a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle.
What I want to talk about is what you need for your new friend. Before you bring him or her home pick up some necessary supplies. First do some inquiries to locate a good vet. You do not want to be frantically calling to find a vet should an emergency arise. Your vet will be able to give your dog the shots that are needed and can also recommend products for worming and for controlling fleas and ticks.
You will need a collar and leash. If you chose a puppy over an adult dog, you may want to choose an inexpensive collar first. Your pup will quickly outgrow the first collar you purchase. Make sure to check the collar regularly to make sure it has not become too tight. We use a two finger rule. You should be able to slide two finger under the collar without making it too tight on the pup. The leash needs to be of good quality so your dog can not get away from you. Add a dog tag to this list so should your pet ever run off, hopefully someone will be able to contact you.
Purchase dishes for food and water. I personally recommend the metal ones, as they are easier to keep clean and sanitize. You can find them with non-skid bottoms or with a stand to hold the bowls. Plastic often gets chewed and ragged looking quickly. This also makes it harder to wash. Another option is ceramic, but my dogs have actually broken a couple playing with them.
A crate is a good idea. Not only can you keep your pup contained when he can not be watched, but it also assists in housebreaking. Crates are convenient to place your pup in when company shows up and you do not want them underfoot and possibly getting hurt. Most dogs will consider their crate a safe place. Crates are a benefit when traveling too.
A dog bed is an option, not a necessity. You can purchase a dog bed at your local pet store, Walmart or even online. Blankets are also nice for a pet bed. If your dog is housebroken you can place the bed in the crate. Mine is right next to my bed and Paisley knows when I say bed to get in her bed.
Pick up a few toys and chews for your pup. Find out what works best for your pup. I can not give mine any stuffed toys as they quickly rip them open and tear out the stuffing and squeakers. Check your dog's toys on a regular basis to make sure they can not get hurt with them.
Find out the type of grooming tools you will need. Brushes, combs, flea combs, and nail clippers are all valuable tools to have on hand. While in the grooming aisle be sure to pick up a shampoo and conditioner for your dog. With 5 dogs we have a variety of products.
Be sure to ask what your dog is presently eating. It is best if you are going to change foods to do so slowly. Begin to add the new food a little at a time so you do not upset your dog's digestion. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and/or food allergies so look for a food that meets your pet's needs.
There are some other dog supplies that I would consider optional. Dog gates come in handy for containing or restricting your pet from certain rooms. I personally have a grooming table for my own dogs as well as a neighbors two dogs. It makes grooming much easier for me. If you do not have a fenced in yard consider purchasing an exercise pen or an outside kennel. This will allow your furry friend to be outside without worrying about him running off. You can invest in sweaters and coats, t-shirts and bows as well as booties to protect your dog's feet.
The most important thing is to love your pet. If you have any other suggestions for supplies please feel free to add a comment and share them here with our neighbors.