So you got a dog.
From finding the perfect harness to the right food, the first few months with a new furry family member can be overwhelming. On this page, you will find all of the must haves for every dog parent!
Things You Need
Collar (martingale or basic flat collar) When it comes to walking always remember safety first, fashion second. If you are going to walk your dog using a collar alone be sure to use a properly fitted Martingale collar. Along with being comfortable they are they safest for your pet.
Leash - In NY all leashes must be no longer than 6 feet. When it come to safety as well as comfort I recommend a 1 inch flat leash for most dogs 20lbs and up. For dogs under 20lbs I recommend a 1/2 or 1/4 inch 6 foot flat leash.
Harness (freedom harness, easy walk) When it comes to walking on a leash using the right gear can change everything. I always recommend harnesses over collars for walking. When a dog is walked with a collar they have more control. Since we aren't holding their center of gravity it is easier for them to throw us around. Harnesses prevent this and also keep your dog's throat and neck safe. If you have a puller, or a very small dog, walking them on a collar can be dangerous. The pressure can cause tracheal damage or even collapse in severe cases.
Crate Crates are integral for house training. Dogs don't go to the bathroom where they sleep unless they have been purposefully or accidentally trained to do so. When we teach our pups that crates are their zen zone and for napping we can use them when we are unable to properly supervise our dog during house training. Crates are also very helpful for dogs who suffer from fear or aggression towards people entering the home.
Nature's Miracle Even when supervised by the best trainers all dogs have accidents during the house training process. When these mistakes happen you need the right product to clean it up! Nature's Miracle is by far the best product I have used.
Wee Pads If you decide to work with pads rather than go straight to outdoor potty training you are going to need these. Dogs do not naturally know where to use the bathroom, they must first be trained.
Bitter Spray Dogs of all ages can decide that it's fun to chew on forbidden objects. In order to prevent this, you can use bitter apple spray on any surface that your dog seems interested in.
Deer Antlers If your dog is a heavy chewer and wants to destroy everything in the house you may want to offer them a deer antler. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, so they need to have an outlet for their chewing. I wait until a dog has a full set of adult teeth before I give them these types of chews.
Wood / Leather Chews Sometimes texture is everything. If your dog is chewing on everything wood and or leather in your house and doesn't seem to care for any of those 200 rope toys you bought, try a wood or leather chew. This will give your dog the exact texture they enjoy when chewing on your antique table legs, or brand new purse.
Kong Kong toys have a multitude of purposes. I always use them for anxiety training, house training, and destructive behavior prevention. These are a must have for every dog owner.
Puzzle bowls If your dog snarfs their food down faster than you can blink then a puzzle bowl is going to be your best-friend. Along with being a choking hazard eating too fast can be bad for your dog's digestive system. Along with slowing your dog down while they eat this is also mentally stimulating for them!
Wobble Kong Just like a puzzle bowl the Wobble Kong will slow your dog down when eating and in turn improve digestion while preventing choking. Wobble Kongs are also great for restless dogs who need more mental and physical stimulation.
Cleaning Wipes Cleaning wipes are very important in my household. If your puppy isn't fully vaccinated but you want to take them on walks you can use these to clean their feet before you enter the home. This prevents your pup from licking any germs they may have collected on their paws during the walk. Dogs shouldn't have baths too often (unless directed by a vet) or their skin can get too dry. However, when our dogs get a little stinky in between baths these cleansing wipes can make a world of difference.
Toothbrush Dental disease is a very serious issue for dogs so I always instruct my clients to begin brushing their dog's teeth ASAP. With proper brushing and dental care you can avoid those expensive and worrisome dental cleanings at the vet. The smaller the dog the more prone they are to dental disease!
Toothpaste Just like with humans, the actual scrubbing of the teeth is what cleans them. However toothpaste will make their breath smell better and is a good incentive to your dog for teeth brushing!
Brushes Whether you have the world's fluffiest doodle or a mutt with a thin wiry coat, you will want to brush them often to keep them comfortable and soft!
Shampoo / Conditioner You should never use human shampoo and conditioners on dogs. Dogs' skin and human skin have very different Ph balances. Using a human shampoo on dogs disrupts the acid mantle, leaving your dog vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria. It also makes their skin feel dry and flaky, which can lead to repeated scratching and abrasions.
Nail Clippers Although city dogs tend to keep their nails trimmed from all the walking on concrete you should always get your dog comfortable with clippers. From dew claws to vacations with less walks there is always a chance you will need to use some clippers and we want our dogs ready for this!
Dental Chews If you can't always find the time to brush your dog's teeth, dental chews can be used in tandem with this process. Dental chews should not be the only thing you use for teeth cleaning.
Food When it comes to deciding what to feed your dog there are so many different options. Before deciding on anything be sure to speak with you vet about what they believe is best for you dog.
Personally I went on quite the food journey with my eldest pup MOON, he has had tummy troubles since the day I adopted him. I tried every brand out there but his digestive issues persisted until I switched to Royal Canin. MOON eats one of their prescription diets and LENNY does great with anything other than fish so he is on their regular medium adult dog food. Royal Canin is always my first recommendation because it is the only brand that works for both of my pups.