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What do I need to buy before my new dog or puppy arrives?

tricolour corgi puppy lying down in dog bed

Being prepared is essential in making sure your pup is comfortable as soon as they set foot in their new home

© Somporn Cholsiripunlert - Shutterstock

Expecting the pitter patter of tiny paws? You may be wondering what accessories to buy. Here we take a look at the essentials your pup will need...

By Greta Inglis

Updated on the

The addition of a canine companion to the family is a wonderful moment, whether you’re getting a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog. The moment you bring your furry friend home, marks the beginning of a journey together – of adventures, fun and lots of cuddles.

In advance of your dog or puppy joining you, however, there are practical considerations and certain accessories you’ll need to buy. Preparing for their arrival will go a long way in setting up your future dog for success.

Getting a puppy is very exciting. So exciting, in fact, that it can be easy to forget about the preparation you’ll need to do in advance. Here we’ve put together a list to help you.

Dog home accessories

When it comes to your puppy at home, you’ll need to consider where they’re going to sleep, how you’ll keep them entertained, and how you’re going to contain their puppy antics.

Dog bed

The type of bed you choose is important, because this is where you want your pup to feel safe and secure. Warm, comfortable blankets and a soft bed are usually a good choice. The bed should be big enough that your dog can stretch out and relax fully, and when it comes to where you put it, placement is everything. Choose a safe, quiet space where your dog can settle away from noise and movement.

If your new dog is a rescue dog, they may need even more security in where they sleep. Watch to see where they naturally settle and place their bed in this area.

If you do decide to use a crate, make sure you take the right steps to train your puppy or dog to use it happily, and avoid confinement for any extended period. For full steps on how to crate train your dog, click here.

Toys

The choice of toys available to owners can be somewhat overwhelming. From squeaky, to soft, to puzzle toys and chews, what you end up bringing home should offer variety for your pet. You’ll be learning about the way your dog’s mind works as you get to know them, and what one dog loves isn’t necessarily fun for another. We would recommend trying out a variety, offering playtime with each. This will provide great mental stimulation for your dog, and you can learn which toys they prefer as you watch them play.

Check out our list of the best toys for puppies and for adult dogs here.

Puppy pads

When it comes to housetraining, puppy pads may become your best friend. These absorbent sheets are placed on the floor, offering a hygienic solution while your dog learns to wait until they’re outside. Whether you’re housetraining an adult dog or a puppy, it’s definitely worth investing in some puppy pads for the first weeks with your new friend.

A pet gate or puppy pen

Puppy proofing your home is all about assessing the risks and then working to minimise them for your dog. With this, comes the option of keeping your pup out of areas that could cause them harm. A great option for this is a pet gate, which can be placed across a specific doorway or at the top of the stairs. Puppy pens have the same effect, creating a space that is totally safe or blocking off objects you don’t want your dog to get their paws on.

Dog travel accessories

Though you may not do any long-distance travelling with your new pet right away, you'll probably be driving them home from the breeder/shelter - and that trip in itself requires some accessories.

Car restraint

It is a legal requirement that your dog is restrained during travel, meaning that travel accessories are an essential when bringing them home.

The choice may be dependent on what your dog feels more comfortable with. Some owners choose a crate or dog guard, while others feel more comfortable using a harness and doggy seatbelt. This clips in where the seatbelt would, securing your pup comfortably on the back seat of your car.

When choosing a crate, be sure to crate train your dog to avoid any stress or anxiety at being shut in. This can help reduce worry during travel, and if started as soon as your dog or puppy comes home, they’ll be happily travelling in no time.

Dog walking accessories

Though your vet will recommend you keep your puppy inside until all of their vaccinations are complete, you should be getting your puppy used to their walking accessories as soon as possible. After all, taking walks together is something you will do every day for the rest of their lives!

ID tag and collar

By law in the UK, your dog must not only be microchipped, they must always wear an ID tag indicating the contact details and home address they are to be returned to if found. Failure to do so can result in a hefty fine, and more importantly your dog could become lost. Engraved ID tags are usually the most long-lasting option, which can be attached to a collar to be worn at all times. A flat, material collar will be the most comfortable option for your dog.

Harness

When it comes to walking, a harness is usually the better option for your dog. This is because it fits around the body and any tension on the lead is held here, as opposed to on your dog’s neck. You may also find that the use of a harness helps with loose lead walking.

Dog lead

For your choice of dog lead, we would recommend finding one that is resistant to chewing and hardwearing. Extendable leads have a tendency to reward pulling in dogs, as the action of pulling on the cord is what lengthens the lead for your dog. Choose a decent length, material lead for the best results with loose-lead training.

Check out our guide on how to loose-lead train your puppy.

Dog training accessories

Training starts on the very first day your pet comes home! So make sure you are well-equipped.

Tasty treats

No dog training accessory kit would be complete without some tasty treats your dog loves. To work out what’s really high value to your dog, offer them a selection of food and see which one they get most excited about. 

Long training line

A training line will be invaluable when it comes to teaching your puppy or adult dog recall, offering the space to run and explore while always keeping safe.

Where should I get my basic puppy or dog supplies?

When it comes to shopping for dog accessories, we would always recommend shopping around. There’s a huge market when it comes to supplies for your canine companion, and each dog is an individual with different needs.

If you’re unsure where to go to get the basic puppy supplies you need, try asking your vet or local training group for recommendations. They will be happy to help and may have suggestions on brands they value.

New puppy and adult dog essentials: Our checklist

To help gather everything into one place, we’ve put together a checklist of all the dog accessories and supplies your dog will need:

  • Dog bed
  • Blankets
  • Complete dog food - check out our food guide here
  • Toys
  • Puzzle toys 
  • Chews
  • Puppy pads
  • Poo bags
  • A brush or comb
  • Training treats
  • Pet gate 
  • Car restraint, dog guard or travel crate
  • ID tag 
  • Collar
  • Harness
  • Walking lead
  • Long training line 

Preparing for the arrival of your dog or puppy does require some time, financial investment and consideration, but the longer term effects are definitely worth it.

Your puppy or adult dog will be lucky enough to arrive into a home that is fully prepared for them, ready to take on all of the training and care needs of a new dog. You will be able to relax into and enjoy dog ownership, confident in the knowledge you're prepared for your new companion and have done everything to set them up for success.

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