It can be overwhelming trying to make sure you have all you need before your new puppy or dog arrives. Use our checklist to make sure you have all the essentials before the big day arrives, with some top tips on what is worth spending money on, and where you can afford to save some!
Dog collar and ID Tag
This is an essential buy for any new puppy or dog mum and dads as it's a legal requirement to have an up to date ID tag on your furfriend.
Look for a comfortable, strong, adjustable dog collar that can grow as your dog does. Take a look at our size guide on how to measure your dog for a collar.
Shop our selection of puppy and dog collars, available in sizes Extra-Small to Large.
Your ID tag should include a phone number and your surname. You do not need to put your dog's name on the tag, as this could be used against you if someone tries to lure your dog by calling them.
You must always pick up your dog waste, so make sure you have a steady supply of dog waste bags for your walks. We would recommend environmentally friendly bags that decompose. But, just because they decompose you must never leave them behind on a walk, so, no throwing them in hedges, leaving behind in fields, or on the pavement as they don't decompose right away and this is not only unhygienic but dangerous for wildlife who may eat the bag.
Ensure you dispose of all your waste bags correctly.
Never forget your bags by making sure you have a handy waste bag dispenser, take a look at our selection of dispensers that also double up as treat holders.
Dog harness and lead
A dog harness and lead is a must for any new owners as it's a safe way to walk your dog as there is less risk of them slipping out of a harness versus a collar.
Make sure you measure your dog up correctly to avoid any rubbing or discomfort. Watch our quick video on how to measure your dog for a harness correctly:
You can also shop our selection of harnesses here
You may want to consider buying two leads to start off with, one short lead for general walking, and a long line lead (around 5-10 metres) to train your puppy.
You need to not only teach your puppy boundaries but also allow them to experience the world for themselves. It may be tempting to keep your dog on a short lead all the time, but as long as you are in a safe or enclosed area, you can use the longline to allow them to explore more. Build trust with your dog, and do not try to smother them but allowing them some freedom with a long line.
Long line leads enable you to teach recall, fetch, and many other life skills that are not just useful but can be essential to everyday life with your dog.
Food and water bowls
Not just your everyday eating and drinking bowls, but also travel bowls are essential. You need to ensure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water throughout the day and so a travel bowl is perfect for on the go adventures or trips in the car.
When it comes to feeding your dog at home, try to keep their bowls in the same location, and always somewhere quiet. You should avoid disturbing your dog when eating or it can make them anxious and then you'll end up with a fussy eater. Instead get in the habit of putting their food out and leaving the room while they eat. You can use a cue as soon as you get your puppy, our is 'din dins' which means it's time to eat, and Olive only ever gets a treat once she's eaten all of her dinner.
If you have a tall breed you should look for a bowl stand. Your dog should never be hunched over to eat as they'll end up rushing through their food. Consider a set of bowls which fit into a stand, as they make it easier for your dog to eat its food.
Toys, and lots of them!
No not because you're spoiling them (ok a little) but because puppies need lots of mental stimulation. When they are young you won't be able to walk them far or over exercise them through play with other dogs as you risk damaging their tiny bones.
Instead look for a range of toys to mentally stimulate them such as plush toys, squeaky toys, chew toys (make sure they are robust), tug games, and interactive games where they have to work to get a treat.
Take a look at our selection of toys here
A crate should be a safe space for your dog that you never disrupt. It needs to be big enough for them to comfortable stretch out and sleep, and you may find you need to order a larger one once they grow.
Place your dogs bed and some blankets in the crate, and never invade this space, as it should be their own area that is just for them.
Use the crate as a sleeping space, a place for them to relax or calm down when overexcited, and where they go when you are out.
You shouldn't use the crate as punishment or your dog won't want to go in it. Instead reward your dog for using the space so that they want to spend time in it.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that you must “make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained” in a vehicle. It's dangerous for you and the dog if they are not suitable strapped in whilst driving.
You can purchase car restraints fairly cheaply, and always attach to their harnesses, not their collar or you could risk hanging the dog if you were to brake suddenly or crash.
This is one you will definitely want to buy!
Brush or comb
Get your puppy or dog used to brushing as soon as they come home to you. The type of brush really depends on the type of fur their have. Take a look at our grooming guide here.
Olive has wiry hair and we use a brush that is typically used on rabbits to brush hers as it is gentle and doesn't tug her hair out.
Make sure you also buy dog-friendly toothpaste, and never use human toothpaste as it could be toxic to your dog and make them very ill.
Get your puppy used to having their teeth brushed right away, and spend a few minutes each evening brushing their teeth.
A frozen carrot to chew also works well!
Read our post on how often to bath your dog here, and check out our selection of British made all-natural dog soaps here.