Pets + Things

10 Must Haves When Adopting a New Dog

Who doesn’t love a new four-legged furry friend?  A sweet little puppy, or a ready rescue everyone loves getting a new member of the family.  There is no time like now to get out there and adopt!  

There are many things that you need to prepare with before you bring your new four-legged friend home.  I have created a list of must haves that are important to have ready and waiting.  And of course, I have included the links so you can check them all out right here!

Disclosure: This site probably contains affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you, please read my disclosure for all the boring stuff.

#1 Food and Treats

My favorite dog food of all time is Nutro Wholesome Essentials.  It comes in a variety of flavors lamb, salmon, chicken, or venison.  Meat, unlike some other varieties of crunchy food is the first ingredient in Nutro.  There are grain free and limited diet varieties for those pups that need something special.  Also, this food is good for all breeds and life stages.  So, there is a bag of food for everyone.  I have a picky eater at home and Nutro is the only thing that he will eat. 

Now depending on where you get your dog from, they might already have an established food that they like to eat.  So double check this information before you go out and buy something expensive.  They might also be allergic to an ingredient, so it is always better to check first.  

Nutro also has moist, canned food varieties for dogs that aren’t necessarily into the crunch.  I feed my pups moist at dinner time and they love it!

As far as treats go, I want them to be healthy and serve a purpose, like for training, or cleaning teeth.  So, the two main treats that I do like to offer my pups are Redbarn Naturals Beef Recipe Dog Food Roll and Virbac C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Dental Dog Chews.  

The Redbarn Naturals Beef Recipe Dog Food Roll can actually be used as food instead of a treat.  I have used it in small cubed bites as training treats.  I still buy a roll to give as a special treat.  The roll comes in many flavors beef, chicken, lamb and grain-free as well.  Another great feature is you can use it to hide your dog’s medicine in it.  

The second treat I mentioned Virbac C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Dental Dog Chews.  These are great chicken flavored chews that are easily digestible and help keep my doggies’ teeth clean.  Helps their breath too!  Safe for them to eat once a day.  

#2 Food and Water Bowls

The bowls that I highly recommend are the Maslow Elevated Pet Bowls.  This elevated pet food bowls will make your life simple.  The bowls are made of stainless steel which offer an easy clean in the dishwasher and the elevated stand is an easy wipe off with a damp rag.  So, no messy cleanups just a quick wipe and throw in the dishwasher and boom you have a clean pet eating area.  

Did I mention this set comes in multiple sizes?  This allows you to get the perfect size for your new four-legged friend.  

#3 Toys

Every pet needs a few new toys to play with.  Especially when they are trying to get comfortable in a new environment.  Now depending on the size of your pet Chewy has all the different size and types of pet toys for your new pet.  

My pups’ personal favorites are the Outward Hound HedgehogZ Plush Dog Toy which this is a snuggle toy that she likes to carry around.  Also, the  ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toys are softies, but they do not have any stuffing, so these are good for playing tug with the brother.  

Some other types of toys that are my pups’ favorites are Tourna Pressureless Tennis Balls Dog Toy and Hyperflite Jawz Pup Disc.  These are both toss toys that my pups love to fetch.  These are definite must haves in my backyard and keep my pups active.  

#4 Collars and Leashes

PetSafe Premier Martingale Dog Collar is my number one go to dog collar.  Martingale collars in general are great for training and control when learning how to walk and when they are “expert” walkers.  This collar comes in a variety of colors and sizes, so it is perfect for any pooch. 

And if you like to have a fashion forward collar, check out this collar and leash set by Country Brook Design Martingale Dog Collar & Leash, Tie-Dye Flowers.  Love this for a darker coat dog and the quality is amazing.  Also, can be easily cleaned by hand or even thrown in the wash.

Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash is a great choice for a strong leash.  This leash comes in different sizes and colors, so it works with any collar that you choose.  Or if you like a more refined looking leash Soft Touch Collars Leather Braided Two-Tone Handle Dog Leash is a nice choice and comes in many different colors and two size choices.  

#5 Potty and Cleaning

Now if we are talking about cleaning up yard waste the Nature’s Miracle Jaw Dog Poop Scooper, is one of the best and easy to use.  Its handsfree from picking up the mess and if it gets dirty you can give it a hose down and its back to new.  

If you, we are talking for out and about and on the go you definitely need Frisco Refill Dog Poop Bags + 2 Dispensers.  This product is perfect it comes with plenty of bags and two clipable dispensers for the leashes.  So, you can have your supplies ready to go when your dog has to go!  See what I did there?  Ok, not funny.  

Now if we are talking about inside messes then the Bissell SpotBot Deluxe Portable Carpet Cleaner & 3-in-1 Stair Tool is perfect especially if you have carpet.  This little guy will sit on the stain and clean it up like nobody’s business.  You can walk away while it does its dirty deed and come back to a clean carpet!  Boom!  I wish all of life was this easy! 

It also has a convenient stair cleaning tool and is fairly lightweight.  Which makes it easy to carry around from room to room.  I know when I first had my puppy this bad boy was like my best friend!  

#6 Grooming

When it comes to keeping your pup clean, my #1 suggestion in shampoo is TropiClean Spa Comfort Shampoo for Dogs & Cats.  It smells great and is easy to lather and rinse off.  The lavender will help keep your puppies calm during the bath and the oatmeal will soothe their skin.  Perfect to use for dogs with flea and tick treatments.  

Depending on what type of dog fur you are dealing with, is going to depend on what brush you will need.  There are a variety of combs, gloves, rakes, and brushes.  So, make sure you choose one that is best for your pups’ fur/hair.  My personal favorite for my long-haired dog is the FURminator Dog Grooming Rake.  This works well for deshedding and keeping his coat mat and tangle free. 

For my shorter haired dog this As Seen on TV True Touch Five Finger Pet Deshedding Glove works wonders.  She is not really fond of the regular brushing and this just feels like she is getting a good pet.  It keeps her fur clean by getting out the dirt from the undercoat and makes her look shiny again.  

#7 I.D. Tags

It is absolutely necessary that your dog has identification tags on their collar.  It just makes it super simple for them to be returned to you in the event they get loose.  Being a dog owner, I know what you are thinking, my dogs will never run away from me!  Well, I am here to tell you that if they are enticed by something good, they will go after it.  Plus, there are many instances where gates have been left open, etc. that have allowed dogs to simply wander. 

Using a tag like GoTags Personalized Stainless Steel ID Tag just makes it easier for your dog to be returned home safe and sound.  Yes, microchipping is important as well, but this can give your neighbor that just found Fido in their front yard a quicker way to return them to you without the hassle of going to a vet or dog shelter to get scanned. 

If you are looking for something more fashionable you can choose this GoTags Personalized Anodized Aluminum I’D Tag and get it to match your dog’s collar.  Always remember to register your dog with your local dog warden as well just as another way to help keep your doggo safe in case of an emergency.

#8 Crates 

To crate or not to crate that is the question?  Well, I know that especially in the beginning, when you first bring a new dog home it is an excellent idea to crate them.  I used my crate for my first dog for sleeping and for those times that he had to be left home alone.  After a while his crate was his safe spot and he never minded using it.  

Now my second dog on the other hand thought the crate was her jail and never, ever wanted to be in it.  She would make noises I had no idea that dogs could make.  So, to each his own, I guess.  

But if you are going to use a crate my number one pick would be the MidWest LifeStages Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate.  This crate is foldable and has two doors so you can use it however you like.   And it comes in a variety of sizes.  I have taken this crate on vacation and it folds up flat and lays perfect in the back of the trunk.  

The black tray that it comes with for the bottom of the crate can easily be slid out and hosed down for a quick clean.  I actually have two of these crates that aren’t being used but I will never get rid of them because they are just that awesome!

#9 Beds

There are so many different dog beds to choose from and it can all be overwhelming trying to decide.  I know I have gone through several types of beds before I have found the perfect fit for my pups.  My go to dog bed brand is FurHaven.  I have used their beds for years and they are very durable and come in a variety of styles, sizes, colors, and fabrics.  

My top bed is this FurHaven Microvelvet Luxe Lounger Orthopedic Cat & Dog Bed w/Removable Cover.  This is perfect for my older dog because he can rest his head on the sides and stretch out or curl up in a ball in the middle.  He’s not really into cozy and comfy.  Plus, my ultimate favorite part is the cover is removable and machine washable.  This is a bonus if you ask me!

Or, if your pup is into something more snuggly then you should definitely opt for the FurHaven Plush Ball Pillow Dog Bed w/Removable Cover.  This is for the dogs that like to snuggle into their beds.  It comes in several colors and sizes and the stuffing is refillable.  And again, the cover is removable and machine washable!  Yay!  

#10 Health and Wellness

There are many health and wellness items that you will need to have a happy and healthy pet.  Here are just a few items that I find are essential especially when you have doggos around.  

First and foremost, you must make sure that your dogs are medicated for heartworm, and of course fleas and ticks.  Obviously, you want to check with your vet before giving your pup any medications.  My pups use Heartgard Plus Chewable Tablets for Dogs, which even for my picky dog is an easy chew to take.  And for fleas and ticks my pups take Simparica Chewable Tablets for Dogs.  Again, another easy chewable tablet for my dogs they don’t mind it too much and it’s a once a month medicine.  

Another important wellness item that I definitely would check with your veterinarian first is joint health supplements.   My vet recommended Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews Joint Health Large Dog Supplement.  This is something that pups can take to support their joints and create regeneration and repair of the cartilage in them.  My pups take these every day to help keep them active.  

Well there you have it my list of must-haves for when you are adopting a new dog to your family.  Whether it is a puppy or an older dog you find this list provides essential items you will need for every stage of your new puppers life.  

I would love to hear about your new furry family member.  Please drop a comment below or send me an email at  

As always, thank you for stopping by and hopefully you found something that will help make your new dog’s transition as happy and peaceful as possible.  Make safe and healthy choices!

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