Bringing a new dog into the home is an exciting time for both you and your new pet. But there are some essentials that you're going to want to have on hand - regardless of whether you're bringing home a puppy or a dog that's already reached adulthood. You can start with the basics to make sure you have what you need for the dog, but you may want to eventually add on to the things that you get so that you and your dog can live as stress free as possible. Use a safe travel device for your pet such as a pet seatbelt, carrier or crate when your dog rides with you. Whether you have a lap dog that takes up almost no space, or a large breed, you want them secure in your car. Make sure that you have the right supply of food for your dog. This will be age appropriate and have a measuring container. It's easy to overfeed a dog if you use guesswork. You'll need a bowl for his food and one for his water. Some people get an automatic feeder and watering system to be sure their pet is fed if they're not there, but you want to be careful with these because they can encourage overeating. Your dog will need a bed. You can find these in various sizes. If you're getting an older dog, you can find dog beds that can help keep him warm or that have cooling abilities. If you're bringing home a puppy and he's not housebroken, you'll need a crate to help with that. If you do use a crate, get a comfortable crate pad to go with it. Dogs also like to curl up with pillows or blankets. A lot of people say they're going to keep their dogs off the furniture, but it usually ends up that the dog has free run of the sofa and recliners. You may want to consider getting furniture covers if you have a puppy that likes to dig at your furniture cushions. You'll need a collar for the dog as well as a sturdy leash. There are retractable ones that are handy. A tag for your dog is a must, especially if he isn't micro-chipped. The tag should have all of your contact information on it. If you don't plan on using the services of a groomer, then you'll need bathing supplies such as dog friendly shampoo - and depending on the size of your new dog, you may need a way to bathe him. Since even the most well behaved dogs can have accidents, you'll want to have pet stain and odor removal products on hand. If you're getting a puppy, you'll want to get gates to block stairs or other areas that you need to keep a puppy out of. Buy an immunization record book and keep it handy so that you can record when your dog has had his immunization shots. This will also be a good place to keep up with your dog's medical records. Don't forget to get some toys and treats for your new dog to welcome him to his new home! You can buy balls for fetch, tug of war toys, and even things like a nice pool for him to cool off in outside in the summer heat!
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