Essential Items to Welcome Your New Dog Home

Essential Items to Welcome Your New Dog Home

Bringing home a new dog is an exciting and joyful experience. However, it can also be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. To ensure you have everything you need, we’ve put together a simple checklist of essential items. With these basics in place, you’ll be well-prepared for your new furry friend’s arrival and can focus on building a strong bond.


A sturdy collar is a must-have for your new dog. It provides a place to attach identification tags and a leash for walks. Consider options like reflective collars for added safety or customized collars with your pet’s name and your contact information.


While a collar is sufficient for bringing your dog home, using a harness for walks is highly recommended. A harness offers more control and prevents potential damage to your dog’s throat. Look for a well-fitted harness that provides comfort and security, especially if you have an enthusiastic puller.


Investing in a good-quality leash will make your life much easier. A standard 6-foot leash is ideal for giving your dog some freedom while keeping them close when needed. Consider a leash with two handles for better control in busy areas. You can always explore other leash options once you understand your dog’s behavior and preferences.


A reliable dog carrier is essential for transporting your new furry family member. It not only simplifies trips home from the shelter but also ensures safe car rides and vet visits. Choose a carrier that offers sufficient space for your dog to stand, sit, and turn around comfortably.

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Dog in Carrier

Car Safety Equipment

Keeping your dog safe during car rides is crucial. Consider a car safety harness that restricts their movement and prevents accidents. Alternatively, small dogs can benefit from car seats that elevate them for a better view while securely fastened.

Dog Bowls

Opt for ceramic or metal bowls that are easy to clean and prevent bacteria build-up. Choose a size that accommodates your dog’s full meal and has a wide or heavy base to prevent tipping. Fancy sets or inexpensive mixing bowls from a dollar store are both great options.

Dog Food & Treats

Finding the right dog food can initially feel overwhelming. Begin with a vet-recommended formula that contains whole meats and vegetables without any fillers. Match the food to your dog’s life stage and gradually transition them if necessary. And don’t forget to include a variety of treats for training and rewarding good behavior.

Dog Food

Dog Bed

Give your new dog a cozy space to call their own with a comfy dog bed. Even if they prefer snoozing on the couch or your bed, a dedicated bed provides them security and comfort. Look for sizes appropriate to your dog’s needs and ones that are easy to clean.

Dog Gates

Dog gates or baby gates are perfect for restricting your dog’s access to certain areas of your home. They are particularly useful during the initial settling-in period or if your dog has destructive tendencies. Placing gates in doorways or stairwells will help you keep your new friend contained where you want them.

Dog Toys

Choosing toys for your new dog is where the fun starts! Begin with a small variety of toys to understand their play style. A soft stuffed toy for play or cuddling, an interactive toy for mental stimulation, and a sturdy chew toy are essential. Ensure you select appropriate sizes for your dog to prevent choking hazards.

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Grooming Supplies

Grooming your dog regularly promotes their comfort and keeps your home clean. Basic grooming supplies include brushes specific to your dog’s fur type, dog shampoo formulated for their skin pH, absorbent towels, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and dog-safe toothpaste. Following a grooming routine will help you bond with your dog and maintain their hygiene.

Cleaning Supplies

Dogs can be messy, but the right cleaning supplies will make the task easier. Keep dog wipes, pet-safe multi-surface cleaning spray, enzymatic pet odor eliminator, strong paper towels, and pee pads on hand. A well-stocked doggy cleaning kit will ensure you are prepared for any accidents or muddy adventures.

Poop Bags

Cleaning up after your dog is an essential responsibility. Always carry dedicated dog poop bags to make the task more manageable. Sturdy, biodegradable bags are the way to go, considering you’ll need them in bulk.

Senior Supplies

If you’re bringing home a senior dog, consider some additional supplies to accommodate their specific needs. Heating pads or heated dog beds provide comfort for arthritis or soreness. Stairs or ramps aid accessibility to furniture or vehicles. Lifting harnesses, dog diapers, and belly bands can assist with limited mobility or incontinence.

Senior Dog with a Heating Pad

Bringing a new dog home is an amazing experience. By having these essential items ready, you can ensure a smooth transition and create a welcoming environment for your new best friend. Congratulations on finding your furry companion, and get ready for a lifetime of love and joy!

Karen’s Kollars