essentials for a new dog (part one)

Don't make the same mistake we did.  We waited until the night before we were to bring our lil buddy home to buy everything we needed.  As such, we ended up at a local pet store and payed twice as much as we should of for all these essential items.  So I'd like to share the items we should have gotten, and ended up getting when the other stuff didn't last.

1.  The first thing you'll need is a crate
This is definitely essential for your new dog.  It will be a safe haven for your new canine family member.  It's perfect for potty training, safe driving in the car, giving your dog his/her own "room", a place you can leave your dog for short periods of time when you need a break, and the list goes on.  Just remember, never to use the crate as a punishment tool. Midwest Life Stages Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate is the best crate that I've seen and for half the price you will find at pet stores.  And a comfy dog pillow is a nice touch but not necessary. 

Biggie relaxin in his crate:

2.  A dog's gotta eat right?  When we rescued Biggie, they sent us home with a bag of food.  I'm not sure if all rescues do that or if breeders do that as well.  Apparently if you change a dog's food too fast they can get stomach upset.  But either way you want to make sure you're feeding your pup good quality food.  There are plenty of debates out there on the best dog food.  Most people agree that its worth paying more for good quality dog food since you want the best for the health and well being of your pup.  We want Biggie to be happy and healthy and hopefully live a long life with us.  We went with Wellness Super 5 Mix Complete Health based on, what else?, the reviews :)

3.  Dog food & water bowl.  We went for a dog bowl that slows Biggie down like this brake-fast bowl
That way he can digest his food and doesn't swallow as much air, which makes for a better companion (less gas). Ultimately though, we usually feed him with toys like the Buster Food Cube, Premier Tug-a-Jug, and Premier Busy Buddy that drain Biggie's energy while he eats (remember a tired dog is a happy and good dog).  I posted more on ways to drain a dog's energy here

4.  A Kong.  The ultimate dog toy.  The genius behind this understated shape of rubber is immeasurable.  We put some peanut butter mixed with some treats in this thing, freeze it, then use it whenever Biggie goes in his crate.  He loooooovvvveeeesss it!  So much that he runs from the kitchen to his crate in anticipation.  Definitely a must have. 

5.  Frontline Plus Tick & Flea control. I never realized the true necessity of this stuff until I forgot to put it on and within a week our little buddy had a nasty, gross, lump of a tick on his neck.  I'll put another post on that later.  But for now, trust me, you definitely want this stuff. 

6.  The next thing you want is a chew toy.  Chances are your dog (especially a puppy) will want to chew anything and everything - and it's up to you to make sure he/she is chewing on his toy versus your furniture.  You'll find out fast how much a chewer your dog is.  Biggie went through a few chew toys like they were treats so we went straight for a super chew toy, the Nylabone Galileo.  If you don't need that much chew power then the Nylabone Wishbone or Dental Dinosaur are good options.

Biggie & his nylabone:

We hope this helps a bit with getting you started.  I will add more in the next post and then move on to the other fun dog products!

too be continued...


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