Congratulations on adopting a dog! You are starting a rewarding and remarkable relationship. Take note, though, that adopting a new pet comes with significant responsibilities – one of which is to give him everything he needs to become healthy and happy.
When it comes to buying pet supplies, it would be a wise idea to wait until you decide which type of dog to adopt. For instance, there are items like water and food bowls or harnesses, collars, and dog tags online that you should choose depending on the size of the pet you’re bringing home.
Furthermore, you need to know what type of food your pet was eating in the foster home or shelter so you can give him the same nutrition at home to ease the transition. Once your pet has settled in, you can consult your vet about slowly changing his food, if needed.
Once you have chosen your pet, here are the 10 fundamental items you must buy before bringing your animal friend home.
1. Collar and leash
Carrying your dog outdoors is an option, but using a collar and leash is more comfortable for everyone, mostly if you have chosen a larger breed. Whenever you go for a walk or run, a collar and leash are necessary to prevent your dog from getting loose. Get an appropriately sized, reflective collar with a built-in GPS tracker just in case your canine slips away.
A great alternative to a collar, a harness works well on dogs that are feeling anxious as well as smaller breeds. Find the right harness for your pet by considering things like your dog’s energy level, size, and experience on a leash.
3. Water and food bowls
When it comes to your pet’s dinnerware, you have a lot of different styles to select from. There are even designer bowls to suit your home’s modern decorations. But a stainless steel bowl with a rubber bottom is an excellent choice. Apart from being unbreakable, it will keep your dog from pushing his meal farther away as he eats.
As with human beings, good food is essential for your pet. Make sure to buy food that is suitable for your dog. Start with the kind of food the shelter is giving him. If you wish to change his diet, take him to a vet for proper evaluation. A visit to a vet will help you identify the best nutrition for your pet and the proper amount that he must eat.
Commercial dog food brands are prepared to meet the nutritional requirements of normal dogs. Normally, dog food differs in nutritional benefit, palatability, moisture content, and cost.
To have a better understanding of commercial pet foods, here are the three main types.
- Dry food – Dry dog food is available in bags and different sizes, shapes, and colours. Because dogs recognise the density, shape, size, and texture of the food, how they feel the food in their mouths will add to its relative palatability. An advantage of dry food is that it also acts like a toothbrush, removing tartar and plaque from your pet’s teeth as he eats. Moreover, it remains fresh regardless of when you opened the packaging.
- Wet food – Wet dog food comes in cans. It contains more water, so rest assured that even if your pet eats a lot of it, he will not gain much weight. It offers the highest palatability and highest cost per serving. But once you open the can, make sure to place it in the fridge to retain its freshness, and don’t forget to heat it when it’s time to feed your pet.
- Moist/soft food – Moist or soft dog food is often sold in single-serving pouches. It is highly palatable and easy to serve and store, especially when travelling.
Processed dog food contains all the essential nutrients your dog needs to remain healthy and happy. High-quality commercial dog food has undergone rigid testing and is highly regulated to make sure that they are suitable for your pet’s digesting system.
The best way to identify an excellent dog food is to check the label of the product as this indicates if the food will meet your pet’s needs. Look for nutritional adequacy, ingredients, and feeding guidelines.
Introducing your dog to an unfamiliar environment can be stressful for him. A crate can help him calm down as this acts like a safe zone he can retreat to whenever he feels scared. This is also a useful tool during training and housebreaking.
Make sure to buy a crate big enough to allow your pet to walk around in circles, stand up, and sleep comfortably inside. It would also be great to choose one that allows plenty of light to enter and lets him stay close to family activities while staying comfortable in her crate.
Your dog needs to sleep, too. Choose a bed that can support your pet’s weight and size to make sure that he rests comfortably. For instance, look for one with memory foam as this can ease his joints and control temperature. The mattress should also be washable.
Today, your dog’s bed can be customised to meet your pet’s preference, whether he likes to stay in a mat to cool off, a pod to nestle in, or a cave to burrow in.
Toys are important for dogs as these keep them entertained. When buying toys, you must figure out the kind of play your dog enjoys most.
Most dogs enjoy swimming, fetching, tugging, or just chewing. Regardless of what your pet likes, make sure to buy a toy that is appropriate for your pet’s size. Some of the great options are squeaker mats, chew toys, and those with treat pockets that distract your pet from stressful situations and offer excellent mental stimulation whilst having fun.
8. Potty pads
Some dog breeds find it hard to control when they need to do their business. But even if you are assured that you will be bringing home a housebroken pet that won’t be soiling your home, placing potty pads in different rooms is still a smart move during the first few weeks. Choose pads that are super absorbent and have a scent that will attract your dog to prevent him from soiling your carpet or floor.
9. Safety items
Dogs are at risk for injuries, regardless of their breed, age, and size. Even falling from the couch or bed could lead to potential injuries to your pet’s spines and legs. Getting a staircase or ramp for your pet will help him access hard-to-reach areas with ease. Train him to use these instead of just jumping up and down your furniture.
10. Travel necessities
Aside from a collar, leash, water, and food, there are other essential items you should bring with you to make trips more comfortable and happier for your pet. Pet strollers can come in handy, especially if you are going on longer trips. A pet carrier that doubles as a car seat is a great choice, too. And don’t forget a dog travel bottle or bowl to make sure that your canine stays well-fed and hydrated throughout your travels.
Whether you bring home a small dog or a big dog, buying essential items for your pet from a reputable dog food delivery service will help establish a stronger bond between you and make being a caring dog parent easier for you.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.