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Adopting a dog? Here’s what you need to buy

Bringing a new dog home is an exciting moment in your life. The main essentials to buy are food, water, bowls, and a bed. However, getting caught up in the excitement of having a new dog can make you overlook other essential items for your dog. Here’s your new dog owner shopping list.


When purchasing grooming supplies for your dog, it’s going to vary depending on the breed and any activities you plan to do. For example, a Labrador Retriever will need less grooming than a Poodle. Some of the standard items that are good to have on hand, no matter the breed, include but are not limited to a brush/comb, shampoo, nail clippers, and a toothbrush. A popular brush among pet owners is the FURminator. They have a style for both cats and dogs. This brush is effective at removing undercoat fur without damaging the topcoat or hurting your dog’s skin. It is on the more expensive side, coming in around $35, but it’s worth the investment.


Some dog owners choose to take their dog to the groomer regularly. In between these visits, your dog’s nails will get long, so having nail clippers on hand will save you and your furniture. The Safari nail trimmer is easy to use and has a built-in safety stop to prevent you from over-cutting your dog’s nails.


When it comes to bathing your dog, some owners and dogs are okay with full-on baths. If your dog likes baths, Buddy Wash has 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that is safe for your dog and made with simple, natural ingredients. You could also try a waterless shampoo that you apply to your dog’s fur, wipe with a towel, and brush out. Two popular brands are PawChoice and John Paul. Using waterless shampoo is ideal for dogs that don’t like baths or have sensitive skin. You can also use this as an option in between baths/grooming. Both PawChoice and John Paul are inexpensive brands more suited for dogs with sensitive skin.


If you choose to brush your dog’s teeth, know that this is a long process that involves bonding, and you may need a reward system for them to become more comfortable. Brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent Periodontal (gum) disease, which affects many breeds and can result in tooth loss and other illnesses if not kept under control. A great toothbrush and toothpaste combo for a dog is by RADIUS. It comes with a toothbrush and toothpaste that is free of chemicals, dyes, and preservatives. If you find your dog is not interested in teeth brushing, talk to your veterinarian about other plaque-preventive products.


No matter the age of your dog, accidents are bound to happen. Your dog is now in a different environment, and they may get stressed out acclimating to their new home. When purchasing pee pads, look out for absorbency, so your floors won’t be affected, as well as odor control.

Some of the most top-rated pee pads are the American Kennel Club brand and Frisco. The American Kennel Club pee pads are available in either 22″x22″ or 30″x28″. They are also available in different scents and come in under $30. The Frisco pee pads are available on Chewy and come in scented or unscented packs from 20 up to 300. The Frisco pads are super absorbent with five layers of protection to lock in wetness. If you are looking for something more eco-conscious, check out the Buddy Pad on Amazon. It’s a 30″x36″ washable pad that comes in a pack of two for under $30. The company says that it absorbs up to 18 oz, and you can wash the pad up to 450 times, and it replaces up to 1000 pads.


Whether you choose to use a crate with your dog is up to you. Some people use dog crates so that their dog won’t cause too much trouble while they are asleep or away from home. While others use dog crates when traveling with their dog. If you are interested in using a dog crate with your new dog, here are our suggestions.

Frisco offers a dog crate that is both durable and lightweight. The Frisco dog crate folds up for easy storage, and it has a removable base which makes it easier to clean up any messes. This dog crate comes in sizes from XXS to XL, ranging from $17.99 to $72.99. If you are looking for a dog crate more suited for travel, then the soft folding dog crate from EliteField is a solid option. It’s available on Amazon in five sizes and over a dozen colors. This dog crate has three mesh doors on the top, side, and front. However, if your dog is a chewer, you might want to opt for a dog crate made of plastic or metal, as the soft dog crates may not hold up.


There are many leashes on the market for your furry friend, and you want the leash to be light and sturdy. The most common length for a dog leash is six feet. This length allows enough room for your dog to walk in front of you but still allows you to be in control as there won’t be too much slack for the leash to drag on the ground.

The typical materials used to make dog leashes are leather, nylon, and cotton-webbed lead. The most important part of the leash is making sure that the snap easily attaches to your dog’s collar while remaining secure. While leather leashes such as Fairwin are high quality, lasting for years if properly cared for, if you get caught in the rain, it’s going to take a while to dry out. Nylon leashes tend to be inexpensive but may not last as long as leather leashes. With that said, some high-rated nylon dog leashes are PetSafe and HIKISS. Both are under $10 and come in multiple colors, widths, and lengths.


There are a variety of dog toys on the market to satisfy your new dog. Keep in mind that there is no perfect toy, and there are toys catered for chewing, fetching, or comforting. Choosing toys for your dog may include a lot of trial and error based on their interests. Look out for toys that are durable, fun, and engaging. The brand KONG makes durable dog toys that your new dog will love.

Toys that are great for chewing include Floppy Knots Dog Toy and the Nylabone Pacifier Chew Toy. The KONG classic dog toy is a toy for chewing, fetching, and anything in between. It’s also dishwasher safe making it easy to clean. Toys that are interactive and involve treats are the Twist ‘n Treat Dog Toy by Busy Buddy and the Twister Interactive Dog Toy. For playing fetch, the Chuckit! Ball Launcher will catapult your dog’s ball farther and faster.

If you want to spoil your dog, then check out BarkBox. It’s a monthly subscription box catered to your dog, and each Barkbox includes two innovative toys, two all-natural bags of treats, and a chew. It starts at $23 per month and they also have boxes geared towards oral health, food, and more durable toys for your puppy.