What to buy for a puppy or dog
If you’re about to get a dog, you’ll be wondering what to buy. Here’s our shopping guide on what to buy for a puppy or dog.
New dog shopping list
Choose a bed for your dog that is large enough for them to grow into, with plenty of room to turn around. Go for one that can be washed easily and will dry quickly – you’ll be surprised how grubby they will get!
Food and water bowls
Choose ceramic or stainless-steel feeding and water bowls for your dog. Plastic bowls will be too tempting to chew!
It’s a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar with an identity tag. The collar needs to fit your dog comfortably – you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar – but is not so loose that it will come over his or her head. The collar needs to be durable and washable – but this doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. There are plenty of designs to choose from to find a collar to match your dog’s personality. Make sure that your dog’s identity tag contains up to date contact details. Your dog is also required to be microchipped by law. You will need to update the details held on a database about your dog so that they can be reunited with you if they are lost or stolen.
A dog harness is optional but it can give you more control over your dog when out walking and a kind alternative to a collar and lead. There are different styles of harnesses – front clips or back clips – which come in different sizes to suit a range of dogs.
Choose a lead that is strong enough for your dog. You might want a couple of different leads – a short one for when you need to keep your dog close to you, and an extendable or retractable lead to give dogs a bit more freedom to run around and have a good sniff.
Start off by feeding your dog what they’ve been used to. Ask your puppy’s breeder or dog rehoming centre for information about this and stock up on a good few day’s supply of the same food to get you started. It’s OK to change your dog’s diet – but this needs to be done gradually, over 4-5 days, so that they don’t get an upset tummy.
There’s a great selection of toys to buy for fun games with your dog. Stock up on balls for games of fetch. Invest in some rope toys for a game of tug.
Feeding toys such as Kongs provide dogs with some tasty mental stimulation. They are also available in puppy sizes. Puzzle feeders can help to slow down a fast eater and make feeding time more interesting.
Interactive feeder – turn your dog’s dinner time in a challenging, time-consuming game. Suitable for wet and dry food. Available in small and large sizes.
Lickimat Buddy – spread with soft cheese or peanut butter as a tasty treat to entertain your dog. Suitable for puppies and adult dogs – comes in different colours.
Kong – Made from durable natural rubber, you can fill a Kong with your dog’s favourite treat. Comes in a range of sizes, from small to XXL for puppies and adult dogs.
Poo bags are an essential item on the shopping list. You don’t want to get caught short without them. Stock up and buy these in bulk and do your bit for the environment with biodegradable poo bags.
You might enjoy Tracy’s story: My first year of being a puppy parent
Invest in a good grooming brush to get rid of old hair and dried mud. You will need to do this every couple of days. Your dog may also benefit from going to a dog groomer for a wash and trim.
You’ll soon get used to having your pockets stuffed full of poo bags and dog treats. You can buy dog treats or you may prefer to research online for recipes to make your own. Peanut butter is a hit with dogs (in moderation). Did you know that dogs can eat apples, carrots, bread and cheese? But there’s lots of things they can’t eat, such as chocolate and grapes, which are poisonous to dogs.
Dog crates can help your new puppy or dog to feel more secure. They are also a useful aid for toilet training and helping your puppy to learn to be left alone. Buy a crate that your puppy can grow into rather than to fit the size they are now.
Puppy shopping list
If you’re getting a puppy there are a few other items you might want to add to your shopping list:
If you are going to be travelling by car with a puppy, it’s a good idea to use a puppy carrier to keep them safe and secure. As your dog gets bigger, you might switch to a car harness or safety strap instead.
If you live in a flat or an apartment, puppy pads may be helpful during toilet toilet training. However, they can actually slow down the training process. This is because a puppy will get confused about where they should go to the toilet and increases the likelihood of accidents in the house. It is recommended that you start as you mean to go on – and focus on training your puppy to use the garden.
Read Nicolette’s story: My toilet training tips: ‘two pees & a poo’