After raising 14 dogs (and counting), these are the pet products we recommend all new dog owners add to their list of puppy supplies.
Preparing for a new puppy can be both exciting and overwhelming. A lot of planning and preparation is necessary to ensure you and your furry companion have everything you need to get off to the best start possible.
It’s important to research the breed and products for your new dog beforehand, from puppy supplies to items you’ll need throughout their lifetime.
You’ll want to find the best pet products to suit your lifestyle and ensure you have the training resources needed to raise a healthy, happy puppy.
After a lifetime of doggie companionship spanning 14 different breeds, we’ve had a lot of time to learn almost every lesson of dog ownership the hard way. But the memories along the way are priceless. They don’t call them puppy dog eyes for nothing. The unconditional love of our dogs has made all the frustrating, stressful, and expensive moments worth it.
It’s our aim to share some of our hard-learned wisdom with any and all new dog owners or experienced ones. We currently have as many as seven dogs under one roof, with our newest addition being our first Great Dane. Our pack covers the gambit of toy to giant breeds.
With careful planning, preparation, and the right pet products, you can create a smooth transition for you and your new dog. You’re already on your way to being a stellar dog owner by reading our list of puppy supplies and other pet products for your new dog. We can tell you’re going to be a great dog owner already.
This article has seven sections, so you can jump right to whichever topic is on your mind first.
The Best Pet Products for New Dog Owners
When selecting the best toys for your pup, it’s important to consider their size, age, and chewing habits. For teething puppies, you’ll want soft toys they can chew on without damaging their brand-new baby teeth. Additionally, look for interactive puzzles or treat dispensers that will keep them entertained and aid their mental development.
If you have an adult dog, opt for more durable toys that can withstand your pup’s jaws and claws. Ropes, rubber, and hard plastic are often the best materials for those big chewers. You should also consider whether your new dog prefers chasing or tugging over chewing or squeaking when picking a toy.
These are our pup’s most loved toys:
Fetching – Chuck It Launcher + Extra Balls
Your rotator cuff and arm will thank you. The chuck-it launcher is the best way to see your new dog run for joy. We can send a ball almost 100 yards with a good throw, giving our pups a great opportunity to stretch their legs. Though our dogs love them, we always switch out the tennis ball-style toy for a rubber alternative (linked above) to help save their teeth. More on that in the health and wellness section later.
Chasing – Flirt Pole/Teaser Wand
If any of your dogs have the urge to hunt and chase, they will love these flirt poles. But be ready to get involved in the game. Your dog is fast, and the rope on the toy is short. This may be an excellent way for you to have some fun while getting a few extra steps in, too!
Chewing – Dino Bone
One of the big concerns with chewing is that the dog ends up eating sharp pieces of plastic, cutting their gums, or worse, causing them to choke. Our pack has hardly made a dent in this thing. Plus, if your pups don’t like it, it would make a great Halloween prop!
Tugging – Three-ring Nerf Toy
If you have more than one dog, this toy is a must. It’s a hilariously good time when three of our dogs each grab a ring and start an intense game of tug-o-war.
It is best to always monitor this type of play. Like little kids, someone is bound to get upset or feel left out. It helps to intervene before things get out of hand. But overall, this is a favorite toy for group play or individual chewing.
This toy is also great if you want to play a little tug of war with your dogs without too much slobber getting on your hands.
Finding the perfect pet products for your new dog may take some trial and error, but it will definitely be worth it once you see them happily playing with their new toy!
Finally, always keep safety in mind when selecting toys. Look for toys without small parts that may break off and choke your pup. Unfortuntately, we learned late how damaging some toys, like tennis balls, can be for dogs’ teeth.
As they play fetch and the ball traps dirt in the fiber, it becomes like sandpaper on their teeth. Checking with your local vet is always a good idea if you need clarification on the safety of a specific toy.
Out & About
Taking your puppy out in public can be a fun and exciting experience. Socializing your puppy is one of the most important parts of raising a happy and healthy dog. Introducing them to new people, places, sounds, and smells early on can help them become confident and well-adjusted as they grow up.
However, it also requires preparation and safety precautions to ensure that both you and your pup have a pleasant outing. Before your first outing, make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines and parasite preventatives. Once they’re cleared for trips out, it’s time to stock up on all the essential puppy supplies.
Whether you plan to take them on regular walks or occasional trips to the park, investing in quality pet products like a harness and leash that fit properly is key.
Look for collars or harnesses made from breathable materials like cotton-webbing, neoprene, or leather, which should help provide extra comfort for your new dog. Additionally, select a leash that has enough length (4-6 feet) so they can explore freely but allow you to maintain control as needed.
Leashes: Traditional Walking Leash – Hands-Free Waist Leash
Aside from the collar you choose, your leash will be your next most important tool for adventures, training, and doing almost everything with your pup.
We find traditional leashes helpful for quick trips in and out of the car, but our hands-free waist leash is a favorite for any type of extended trip. From training to running with your dog and just going for walks, having a waist leash can give extra control and comfort.
Another type of leash you may want is a long-line leash if you plan to do any water activities or for working on recall until they’re ready to be off-leash.
Harnesses are great for managing excitable dogs comfortably. Everybody forgets their manners sometimes in those excited moments when they spot a squirrel or a group of new people. I love the harness linked above because of the handles and minimalist design.
It’s easy to put on, and our dogs don’t seem to scratch or feel bothered wearing it. Having different leash clip positions is also great for different stages of training. The next item on our list is a must-have on the list of puppy supplies.
Waist Treat Bag
I always keep my waist bag stocked with poo bags and a variety of my dog’s favorite treats, depending on the type of activity we’re going to do.
This waist treat bag may seem like an extra rather than a necessity until you’ve thrown clothes in the wash with treats left in your pockets.
When our dogs are young, we get a lot of use out of these bags because we’re working with them more frequently. As our dogs get older, we will use the waist bags for long walks or more specific training sessions.
One of the things I like best about this bag is the easy snap closure. It makes getting a treat one-handed effortless while also making it easy to prevent treats from spilling.
Treats – Soft – Crunchy
Collapsable Water Bowl
These collapsable water bowls are so handy and inexpensive that we have them tucked into all our vehicles and a few in our travel kit. The last things you want to forget are dog bowls when you’re leaving on a family vacation or if your dog is with you running errands throughout the day.
For our longer trips, having a grab bag that can carry a few toys, food, and other essentials they may need away from home is also helpful. Some pretty incredible travel bags are available now, like this Baghler doggy travel bag, that will help you remember all your puppy supplies.
No matter how long or short the trip may be, bring special treats that will help keep your new dog’s attention and reward them for any new commands or tricks they learn along the way. Happy travels to you and your pooch!
Having a friendly and comfortable environment for your beloved new dog is just as important as taking them out on walks or to the park. You’ll want to clearly establish which spaces and surfaces your pup can be on from the start.
It may also sound a little harsh, but comfort is better when earned. Start with inexpensive blankets for your puppy and upgrade their bedding as they get older. You’ll want to be sure they won’t chew and destroy their plush new bed.
If you plan to let your dog on the furniture, you may want to invest in some washable furniture covers. Not all guests are likely to love being covered in fur when they come to visit. This will also help prolong the life of your furniture, protecting it from dirt, claws, and the extra wear and tear that comes with your four-legged friend.
I could practically sleep on this thing. It’s well cushioned, and the cover is very easy to keep clean with regular vacuuming or occasional run through the wash.
Furniture Covers: Throw Blanket – Bed Blanket
These blankets are great if your pup has a favorite place to sit on the bed or sofa. They look nice and are easy to clean. But if your pets like to have full reign of the furniture, choosing one of the larger covers below may be the better option.
Furniture Cover: Sofa Slip Cover – Cushion Cover – Whole Sofa Cover
Similar to the blankets listed above, these covers fit over your furniture to protect the fabric of your furniture from dirt, hair, and fluids. Most covers are water resistant, and some are completely waterproof, depending on your needs.
Hopefully, if you’re a new dog owner, you haven’t skipped over this section. Training is about more than just teaching your dog commands to follow. It’s about learning how your dog thinks and how best to communicate with them.
Much like being a good leader in any setting, dogs thrive with consistency and knowing what to expect. Establishing a routine can help build their confidence and strengthen your connection with them.
Training exercises are also a great way to stimulate your dog mentally. Dogs can learn all types of skills, from scent work to herding and more if time allows.
Less formal training includes taking regular trips to the park or pet store or inviting friends over for playdates to help socialize your pup from an early age. In these settings, paying close attention to your dog’s body language and cues is always important.
How your pup will behave can be somewhat predictable based on their breed, but just like people have varying levels of comfort in social settings, so does your pup. It is best not to force or overexpose them. Understanding your dog’s behavior can be challenging sometimes, so don’t be shy about speaking with your vet or a qualified trainer if you have concerns.
Joining doggie daycare or taking obedience classes can give your new dog a chance to learn how to interact with other dogs as well as develop their skills in a positive environment. Overall, these activities will benefit your pup’s emotional well-being and enhance the bond between the two of you! Keep reading for other pet products and puppy supplies to help make training a breeze.
Having kennels or playpens available can be beneficial for both you and your pup. When introduced and used properly, kennels give your dog a designated area where they feel secure coming back to after a long day of exploration or training sessions.
As puppies, we feed our dogs and put them to bed in their kennels. We will also use the kennels for short periods of time when no one is home, and they cannot come with us.
Baby gates may seem like an odd thing to include, but if you have rambunctious puppies that you would like to keep near you as you work from home or to give guests some space, these can be very helpful.
Health & Wellness
When determining whether or not now is the right time for your family to add a furry four-legged companion, it’s important to consider everyone’s health and the costs associated with maintaining an overall level of wellness.
Diet, exercise, vet visits, and regular grooming should all be evaluated from a time and monetary standpoint. These costs and the time required will largely depend on the type of dog you have. A few things you will not want to compromise on are preventatives for fleas, ticks, heartworms, and the highly contagious pup cold called Bordetella.
Make sure to shop your medications around at places like Chewy.com, www.1800petmeds.com, or www.petcarerx.com/ for the best deal on meds and other pet products sent directly to your home.
A few other things we keep on hand include calming treats for thunderstorms, daily vitamins, and dental chews.
You don’t have to be ready to win best-in-show at Westminster, but following a good grooming routine will save your pet from discomforts like matting fur or a painful broken nail that may require a vet’s attention.
Starting your pup’s grooming routine early on will help instill good habits and less resistance. When you start, make sure to have lots of treats and break grooming sessions into shorter, more frequent sessions so they can become more familiar with the process.
Nail clippers are best if you feel confident trimming your dog’s nails. They are quick to get the job done. But if your dog fidgets a lot or has dark nails, it can be difficult to spot the quick of the nail, which can lead to accidental cuts.
We recommend always having some styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding in case of an accident. An alternative is using a motorized nail file to quickly grind sharp nails.
It may take a few tries to get your dogs used to the sound and sensation of a nail grinder, but this tool is an excellent alternative to traditional clippers. Just make sure not to hold the grinder in one place for too long, or it could build up too much heat from the friction and cause your dog discomfort. When getting started with a nail grinder, it helps to have a distraction. Peanut butter on a wall lick pad like the one linked next works great.
Wall Lick Pad
Use it in the bath, when it’s time to do nails, or as a way to keep your pooch occupied for a few minutes. Smear peanut butter, cheese, or any other pet-safe treat that your dogs love. The little grooves make it challenging for them to clean off all the goodies.
I have found that this style of brush works best on almost all our dogs. There is usually a pile of fur on the ground in just a few moments of brushing. The only coat that requires a finer-toothed brush is our Grate Dane’s. His tight, short coat does well with a comb style like this brush.
Waterless Shampoo/ Regular Shampoo
These are our two favorite shampoos. They smell great and don’t seem to dry out our dog’s skin or make them uncomfortable. Their coats feel soft and shiny after their baths, too, which is always a plus.
Cleaning & Home Care
Get ready to welcome the outdoors in! Even the cleanest pups are bound to track a little dirt in every now and again. Or suppose you have big, energetic dogs that require lots of exercise. In that case, they may find the occasional mud puddle and decide to make a spa treatment out of it.
Rain or shine, your new dog is going to have to get outside to do business. These are the items we have come to rely on to help us keep our home habitable and welcoming to the occasional brave guest.
Accidents happen. Some avoidable, some inevitable. It is best to have the right tools to make short work of the cleanup and reduce the chances of any permanent damage. These two tools and those to follow are an absolute must for any pet parents or pet-parents-to-be.
Spray Spot Cleaner
Sometimes, spot cleaner and a blotting towel are all you need for quick cleanup of little messes. We have found this cleaner particularly effective without a strong smell.
We look for bagless pet vacuums with a large dirt and fur capacity. However, even a high-powered quality vacuum will need to be taken apart and cleaned occasionally. But with a little routine maintenance, your vacuum should last you many years, keeping the dust bunnies at bay.
We keep a stack of about half a dozen old towels for everything from wiping off muddy paws before letting the dogs inside to drying them off after a bath or cleaning up the occasional mess. They don’t have to be fancy, but I highly recommend keeping one or two towels around per dog.
Wrapping Up The Best Pet Products for Your New Dog
The most important thing you can do is show your new dog love and give them a safe home. By researching breed-specific information and familiarizing yourself with proper socialization techniques, you’re well on your way to being a great dog owner.
Providing them with the best pet products is the icing on top for your new dog. Combining the puppy supplies with a solid weekly routine will ensure your pup has an enjoyable life full of adventure.
Happy puppy parenting!
Marly is a lifestyle writer and creator of simplylivinghappy.com, a site dedicated to helping readers improve their health, wealth, mindset, and overall happiness. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her listening to audiobooks while gardening, visiting with family, or traveling.