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Dog Shopping List

The biggest mistake that proud new dog parents make is coming home not fully prepared. Here is a list of common items that most dogs need when transitioning into their new home. Some dogs may require more items than this for support, while others may need less. Talk to your adoption counselor about specific items that will benefit your dog. 


Food and Water Dish:

Food and water dishes are not all created equally.  Avoid plastic food and water dishes since they are highly porous and easily scratched making them a bacteria magnet. They lack durability ESPECIALLY with a teething puppy! Ceramic dishes are great if they are coated in a lead-free glaze. Make sure there are no chips or cracks since this can allow for a higher risk of your dog ingesting part of the ceramic. Stainless steel bowls are typically the best option since they are non-porous and much easier to clean. 


 Many people don't think about what they want to feed their dog before bringing them home. It is important to understand that dog foods come in a large variety and you want to be careful with what you choose. Dog food that is on the cheap end typically does not contain enough nutrients for dogs causing pet owners to spend a lot more money at the vet. A safe rule of thumb is to know that higher quality dog food is typically found in pet stores rather than in big box stores. Many pet stores have dog food organized by quality as well, making it easier to find exactly what you want. Remember, when first bringing home your dog to have some of the food they are used to transition them to the food you would like them to be on. Without a transition period they are more likely to suffer from digestive upset. 

Chew Toys:

The sensation of chewing is something very enjoyable to most dogs. Without hard toys to chew on most dogs turn to household items to alleviate there need to chew. Having your dog chew your furniture legs or favorite pair of shoes can be rough on your new relationship. Nylabones and Kongs are the most common items pet owners choose to help their dogs with this sensation. 

Hard and Soft Toys:

It's no secret that dogs need daily enrichment to stay healthy. Having a variety of toys will help to alleviate boredom and be mentally and physically stimulating to your pet. A variety of toys will help to peak your dog's interest and give him options once one loses its excitement. Tennis balls, stuffed toys with squeakers, and rope toys are great choices for a brand-new pet. The variety of textures, noises, and shapes will be very stimulating to your pet. Be careful with leaving toys out all the time, since the dogs become use to them and the toys can then lose their exciting spark. 


Crating your dog should always be a positive experience. Therefore, a crate should never be used as a punishment method and should be of proper size. A dog should be able to stand up, sit down, and turn around easily in a crate. If a crate is too small, it should not be used with the dog since it can cause a lot of stress on the animal and is inhumane. When first training a dog to use a crate only have her in there for short amount of times such as 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, and so on. Place toys in the crate for the dog to interact with. A dog should not be left crated for longer than 8 hours and not all dogs do okay with long periods of crating. For more information about crating see our page on crating

Enzymatic Cleaner:

Chances are your new pet will have at least one accident in your home. It is important to consider what you are using to clean up your pet's accident. Enzyme cleaners are best to use since they break down the urine and neutralize the odor, so your pet does not continue to relieve themselves in the same spot. We recommend using Simple Solution for any accidents. 

Leash and Collar:

Most towns have leash laws requiring your animal to be on a leash when outside. A leash gives you control over your dog and where they go. A collar allows for ID tags, Rabies tags, and licensing tags to be displayed while having a clip for the leash to be connected to. Make sure your collar is fitted properly on your dog. A simple rule of thumb is to have just enough space to slip two fingers between the collar and dog's neck. A collar that is too tight can cause suffocation or irritation on the dog. For more information on leashes, collars, and walking your dog please see our page on loose leash walking

Grooming Supplies:

Grooming your dog is a great bonding experience for you both. Grooming promotes healthy blood circulation and a healthy coat. If you have concerns over grooming your dog groomers are available to help. Shampoo, brush, and a nail trimmer are the most common household items to have. 

Training Treats:

When you first bring your dog home, you both will have a lot to learn about each other. Training will be essential to start with right away. Positive reinforcement training is known for being one of the most effective training methods. Treats should be bite size and very tasty to be most effective. 

Poop bags:

It is the law to pick up your dog's waste. When waste isn't picked up it can transmit parasites or diseases to other animals. It can also kill grass and get into ground water. Not picking up your dog's waste is also bad manners to your fellow neighbors. Make sure to have some with you when going for walks or at the park. 

Flea and Tick Preventative:

Fleas and ticks can cause many issues. Fleas can carry tapeworm and some ticks can carry Lymes Disease. Talk to your vet about flea and tick preventatives right away to ensure that your dog stays clear of these nasty parasites!