Dog essentials – a buyer's guide for new owners
Prioritise the essentials.
Get the necessities first.
Have you just bought a new pup or maybe obtained a rescue dog? Even if it is just a part of your future plans, it is good to know what essential dog equipment you will need.
We have made a list of things you should put at the top of your priorities.
This might sound like a ‘no-brainer’; however, you’d be surprised what people forget. Except for snuggles, affection, care and love, food is absolutely one of the most essential parts of a dog’s day. Whether old or young.
Pet shops and dog shops can help you find the right food for your dog. If you are getting a puppy, ask the breeder about a recommended type of food, as they will know what food suited the pups’ parents best throughout their lives. You’d be surprised by how requirements vary between the different breeds.
Food bowl and water bowl
You should have two different bowls for food and water. We recommend getting a few extra bowls for when you’re travelling. Another safe card here is to buy a matt to keep underneath the bowl, so you don’t have to sweep the floor after every meal. Puppies are particularly messy eaters.
Collar and harness
On many occasions, you will have to keep your dog on a leash. But should you choose a collar, a harness, or both?
It depends much on the dog’s size, breed and personal preference. Most dogs grow accustomed to the harness. It evenly distributes the applied pressure if the dog pulls the leash a lot.
A collar will put all the pressure around the dog’s neck. However, if you want the dog to pull you, then a harness is definitely an advantage.
A collar might reduce the dogs pulling as it will eventually struggle to breathe. It is also more practical in terms of taking it on and off.
A collar is practical in terms of a collar tag too. Leave a name and number on the collar, and it will increase the chances of getting your dog back if it runs off.
With that being said, you could also attach a collar tag to a harness.
The most significant advantage of a collar is that it will be more comfortable to wear inside. The harness might have to come on and off every time you bring the dog outside.
Most dog owners will agree that you can never have enough poopie bags. If you’re surprised by how much your puppy eats, then you’ll be surprised by how much it shits too. So the poopie bag quickly becomes a mandatory item when strolling around with your dog.
And please don’t be that person who never picks up his dog’s poop. You bought this dog, and with it came the responsibility of cleaning up after it. No one wants to see dog poop everywhere.
Dogs are family. Dogs are also adventurous little suicide machines. So please make sure they are seen at all times. Something as simple as a reflector-vest can save your dog’s life on several occasions. You’d be surprised how hard it is to see a little dog running around in the dark along the road.
Dogs need regular brushing, coaming, bathing and sometimes trimming. You will at least need a brush, dog shampoo, a towel, a nail clipper and perhaps a scissor. Dental care is also necessary, whether you brush their teeth or buy them dental sticks.
Your beloved dog definitely deserves a comfortable place to sleep. Dogs aren’t particularly picky, so just choose one that fits and that suits wherever you’re planning to keep it. Some dogs sleep in cages, others in a room.
If your dog moves around a lot during the night, then contemplate getting an extra blanket it can sleep on so it doesn’t have to sleep on the hard floor.
If you are transporting your dog via car, then you should definitely get a cage. A cage will likely save your dog’s life in a car accident.
If you use a cage inside your house, remember not to use it as a punishment if your dog acts naughty. Instead, the dog should associate the cage with a safe spot. The cage can then become a safe retreat whenever the dog wants a break.
Dogs have surprisingly fragile and sensitive paws. So if you are taking your dog for a walk in extreme heat or cold, then paw-socks will be necessary.
In heat, if you’re struggling to keep your hand on the asphalt or in the sand for more than 5 seconds, then your dog will struggle too.
In the cold, remember that even if your dog can handle extreme cold, it will get ice cubes stuck to its feet which will be unpleasant for the dog. Other dogs simply do not handle the cold well.
Many roads are also salted during the winter. This will dry out your dog’s paws and ruin the skin under their feet. This can lead to infections. Wear paw-socks when the environment calls for it, regardless of how much your dog hates the socks.
Most dogs do not need a coat for warmth or shelter, but the ones that do really need it.
Examples of dog breeds that easily get cold and need extra warmth are Italian Greyhound, Toy-poodle, Chihuahua, Bichon Havanais, Yorkshire terrier, and Basset hound.