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Congratulations on your new family member! Now what's next?
We created this comprehensive checklist for you to know what you'll need to have ready to welcome your new pup home!
Now that you know what to buy, how do you figure out which one to buy? There are a lot of brands and features to keep in mind before purchasing. Let us help walk you through it!
As a minority owned small business, we love supporting smaller brands with great quality, missions and people behind the brand. We've incorporated brands we think you should check out when checking off your list!
There are four major types of collars: buckle, head halter, choke chain and slip. When considering which one you should pick, think about your dog breed, size and training plan. The type of collar you use makes a big difference in your training style. If you have a puppy that will grow quickly, find a collar that is adjustable in size so it can grow with your pup. Another consideration is how often you plan on walking at night. Especially if you have a dark haired dog, you may want to consider a reflective material.
Dog tags have come a long way! In the past, the engraved steel tag at PetSmart or Petco was the only option. For the most durable material, look for silicone ID tags. They won't scratch and will be easier to clean. You will also be able to use a variety of colors!
Similar to collars, the type of leash you get depends on the type of training you want to enforce. The most common leash types are: standard leashes, retractable leashes, adjustable leashes, slip lead leashes, and special feature leashes). If you plan on running, biking, or hiking with your dog, you may need multiple types of leashes to fit the activity.
Pro tip: Shorter standard leashes are best when teaching your dog not to pull or jump. If your dog pulls or easily chases, retractable leashes can be more dangerous. It is difficult for the person walking the dog to know the leash length limit and can cause injury if you're not bracing for that tug.
You can purchase food bowls with different functions. For example, a slow feeder bowl is a great option for pups who don't know how to slow down when they eat. If you're looking for a fun aesthetic bowl, we love the design of Jiby's skatebowls! They are handcrafted in the US and provide such such a fun art piece to your space. For a portable option, we love KindTail's portabowls. There is a lid that securely seals the bowl, a handle for easy carrying and it's dish washer safe! You can't get much better for an on the go option!
Dog poop can be messy business! We prefer the bio-degradable brands to improve the environmental impact we have on this daily activity. You can choose holders that attach to your leash. If you are in training mode, many training bag models have a poop bag holder incorporated in their design.
The most important item on this list (we take our dog food very seriously). As pet parents, we found it difficult to know the difference in quality between $40 bag of kibble and $80 bag of kibble. We knew we just wanted the best for our pets. A Better Dog Food incorporates high protein, ancient grains, and probiotics in kibble and mixes it with freeze dried raw salmon or chicken, broccoli and air dried carrots. This nutritious mix provides an irresistible mix to even the pickiest pup while staying gentle on the stomach.
There is a seemingly unending list of different dog treats. We like to focus on quality, sourcing, and nutrient content. A Better Treat specializes in freeze dried raw single ingredient treats. Flavors include: Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, Grass Fed Beef Liver and Free Range Chicken Breast. Everything is made in the USA. The Salmon is caught in US/Canadian waters and the Chicken and Beef are sourced from the US as well. When you give your pup a better treat, you know that you are providing a high value, nutrient packed treat that will get your pup excited!
Crate training is a great way to give your pup their own space that they associate as a familiar and safe environment. Crates should not be used as a punishment. Remember, adult dogs shouldn't be left in crates for more than 6-8 hours and puppies shouldn't be left for more than 4-5 hours. You always want to make sure they are getting enough exercise, human interaction and potty time. A crate should be big enough for your doggo to stand up without hitting their head, turn around comfortably, and leave room to lay on their side.
If you are looking for a small or medium sized crate, check out Kindtail's Modern Collapsible Plastic Crate! We love how stylish they are and that there are no sharp edges or corners that can ruin floors or surrounding furniture.
There are so many types of beds out there it can be difficult to know which one to choose. A few factors to consider include: health conditions (ie. joint conditions), and shape they like to sleep in. The most common type of beds are Pillow Dog Beds, Cuddler Dog Beds (raised sides), Crate Mats, and Orthopedic Dog Beds.
Pro Tip: Choosing a dog bed that has a removable, machine washable cover can help you make a dog bed last much longer!
Just as there are many bed types, there are also a ton of different toys! Toys are a great way to mentally and physically engage your dog. This will make sure they have an appropriate outlet for their energy and help decrease destructive behavior. The main 3 categories of toys are active toys, comfort toys and enrichment toys. Great examples of active toys include balls, frisbees and ropes. Comfort toys are typically soft and stuffed that dogs may benefit from as a companion. Lastly, enrichment toys help provide mental stimulation. These include "solve a problem" toys like puzzles.
If you have a new puppy, untrained rescue or live in an apartment with very little potty spots, house training pads are a must to help prevent constant clean up and accidents on furniture. We love Doggie Lawn as a natural, fresh and biodegradable option. Best of all, they don't require maintenance!