Dog Adoption Checklist – Everything Your New Dog Needs

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
You're all set for your new puppy's arrival, right? Or are you really? There are plenty of things that dog owners often overlook when getting the supplies for their dog. Run through this checklist and don't let anything catch you off guard. Make your and your new pup's life easier by making sure you have everything from this list!

You finally decided that it is the right time for you to welcome a dog and get yourself a furry pal that will become your all-time best friend. But have you asked yourself if your home is ready for a dog? Have you bought everything your dog will need once you bring him home?

The whole situation of getting/adopting a dog can be very overwhelming, so that’s why we’re here to help you. Today, we’re talking about all the things you need to do when adopting a dog, and what are the things you have to pay attention to. Run through this checklist and print it out in order to be sure you haven’t missed anything.

So, let’s get going!

First of all, congratulations on your decision to get a dog! You’re about to embark on one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! Having a dog enriches your life in multiple ways you are about to discover very soon.

But despite the fact that this new friendship will get under your skin quickly. there are still some things both you and your new dog will have to adapt to. Welcoming a dog home will surely bring a lot of change that you might not be ready for yet.

That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on what do dogs need and what you can do in order to meet their needs. On the other hand, you also have to make some rules that your new dog will have to accept. Therefore, it is equally crucial to understand how dogs function in order to establish a great, rewarding friendship with your new furry companion.

Although you might think that you don’t need anything in order to form a good, loving relationship with your new puppy, the truth is that having the right equipment ready at your home will make the bonding (and training) process much easier.

New Dog Supplies Checklist

1. Collar and Leash

Every vet and dog expert will tell you that choosing the right leash and collar is crucial when having a dog. You want to have a good time walking your dog, right? In order to avoid that your new dog starts pulling you while on leash, make sure you find the right leash and collar that will help you in training your pup properly.

Once you find the right collar and leash for your dog, you might want to buy spare ones too because these items can be easily broken or torn apart.

Read more on choosing the right leash and collar for your dog out of so many different varieties available.

2. Identification Tags and Microchips

Each dog owner that has ever lost their pet, knows how much an ID tag can be important. The ID tag should have your pet’s name, the city where you and your dog reside, as well as your phone number.

However, sometimes dogs can escape and their collars can get loose which can end up in a lost collar and ID tag as well. This is why most vets will suggest you to microchip your puppy in order to be sure that you can track him if something like this occurs.

3. Dog Crate/ Carrier

This crucial step often gets overlooked when buying supplies for a new dog. Dog crates are very important for several reasons.

First of all, you can train your dog to spend his time in the crate while you’re away and eventually avoid episodes of separation anxiety by making the crate his new “shelter” or “safe zone”. You might also need one when traveling (when traveling by plane these are absolutely necessary).

But, you have to make sure the crate is not too big or too small for your dog, because that could also affect your dog’s behavior. You should also spend some time with crate training your dog properly in order to avoid that your dog cries in crate as soon as you leave him inside.

Learn more about how to make the crate more appealing to your dog.

4. Dog Bed

dog bed

Finding a proper dog bed shouldn’t be a big problem. You will have to consider your dog’s size and to make sure the bed is comfy and warm.

It’s good to buy a larger one when getting a puppy, because this way it may last longer. Also, if your dog accepts and gets accustomed to his new bed so early, he will most likely find his bed as emotionally supporting in the future.

5. Food And Water Bowls

When going for supplies for your new dog getting food and water bowls will probably be the first thing that comes to your mind. You should pay attention to the size of the bowls. The smaller the dog, the smaller the bowl.

However, there’s something that a lot of first-time dog owners forget, and that is portable water bowls. When you take your dog for a long walk in the park, by the river or anywhere where you don’t have immediate access to safe drinking water, these will prove to be very convenient. They are also known as collapsible or portable bowls.

6. Brush and Nail Clippers

Your dog’s hair type and grooming requirements will determine what kind of brush you need. Slicker brushes with fine, short wires are used to remove mats in long-haired or curly-haired dogs. Rakes, on the other hand, remove tangles and dead undercoat that forms near the dog’s skin. There are also bristle brushes created for short-haired dogs that shed frequently and pin brushes that are quite similar in those that humans use.

When it comes to nail clippers, the choice is much easier. There are regular dog nail clippers and also grinder tools that trim nails instead of cutting them.

7. Shampoo and Conditioner

Grooming your dog properly also requires regular or occasional baths. Most first time owners are aware that they will have to bathe their pup at some point, but when their pup comes all covered in dirt after playing in the backyard, they realize they have no adequate shampoos. Should you use regular, created-for-humans shampoo on your dog? Better not. If you really need to a quick alternative to dog shampoo, go for baby shampoo as they are less aggressive to your dog’s skin.

Anyway, if you’re getting a new dog, buy the right shampoo and even the conditioner if needed. There are different types of shampoos, ones that are designed for puppies, others that are made for small breeds with white, soft fur, and others that can be used on larger dog breeds that need less bathing.

Inform yourself on choosing the right shampoo for your dog here.

8. Dog Toys

Here’s another thing you don’t want to miss when bringing your dog home for the first time. Your dog might be shy and avoid playing with you or other family members at first. And there’s where toys come in!

Not only will they relax your pup and make him feel like home, but toys can actually strengthen the bond between you and your dog. If you’re welcoming a puppy, you might want to buy chew toys that will help ease his teething problems. Most puppies go crazy for puppy Kong toys or chewable bones. You can find these at any pet shop near your home.

9. Dog Food

Of course, you would provide your home with dog food, right? But will you do it the right way? Here’s the thing. Most dog owners just go to the nearest pet shop and ask for the “best food for a puppy of this breed”. While that is often more than OK, sometimes it can be risky because it can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Changing the food your dog eats can result in your puppy suffering from diarrhea or constipation, which is why you should do the following.

Contact your breeder, or the rescue center and ask how did they feed your dog and what food did they feed your dog with. Write everything down and consult your vet on the best high-quality food you should feed your pup with. When you have all the information, head to your closest pet shop and buy both dog foods. You will feed your pup with the breeder/rescue center dog food first, and then slowly introduce the new dog food by mixing it. You will gradually increase the amount of new, better quality food. If you switch your dog’s nutrition to a new source of food in this manner, tummy issues will be successfully avoided.

10. Dog Treats

Another thing that might slip off a first-time dog owner’s mind are dog treats. Not only will they help you in the bonding process with your dog. But they will also be a crucial part of training your dog.

You can buy plenty of dog treats at every pet shop, but you can also make some dog-safe homemade treats on your own, and welcome your pup just like you would welcome another member of the family.

11. Canine Toothbrush and Toothpaste

While you might have thought that we finished with dog grooming, there are still other things you need to take care of in a dog – its teeth. Truth is that most dog owners neglect their pup’s oral hygiene which can lead to future health problems and teeth decay.

Although dog food might be designed to clean a dog’s teeth, sometimes it simply can’t be enough. However, once the problem arises, it might get quite difficult for your dog to accept the new routine of brushing teeth. It could go to that extent that you simply won’t be able to do it without the help of the vet. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce teeth brushing while puppies are still very young.

12. Absorbent House-training Pads and Plastic Poop Baggies

And finally, peeing and pooping!

But first… Leanr how often dogs need to pee to help you get an advantage on possible house pee accidents.

If you’re getting a puppy, you will probably need some absorbent training pads that will represent the “designed” space for peeing and pooping in the house. This is very important in order to train your dog into peeing on one place only instead of peeing around the house. The pads should be gradually removed until your puppy is completely potty trained.

Once your dog finally becomes completely potty trained, you will need some plastic poop baggies that you will have to carry around! The best ones are the biodegradable ones. You can also find good offers online of dispensers and plastic bags. You can simply attach the dispenser to your dog’s leash, and you won’t forget the poop baggies ever again.

We made you this printable checklist that you can take with you in order to make sure you got everything your new puppy needs!

dog adoption checklist

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