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New Dog Checklist

Petmate Academy

June 27, 2018

Your family has finally agreed that the right time to get a new dog is now and you could not be more excited. But what do they need, you ask? Well, all pets need a lot of attention and love, but there are some other basic supplies and accessories that you will need to get beforehand. Whether you’re adopting a new puppy or an older dog, they all need a few essentials to make sure they start off on the right paw in their new home.   

Crate and Bed

Dogs are den animals and enjoy their own cozy space.  If you plan on crate training your pup make sure they fit comfortably inside. Plastic dog kennels are also available in a wide variety of sizes for nearly every breed. Whether you select a plastic kennel or a wire crate if it's too small, your dog will not be comfortable. On the other hand, if the crate is too large, housetraining may not be effective, as your pet may make a mess on one side and sleep on the other.

To properly size a dog for a crate, measure them from the top of their head to the floor and from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail. The height of the kennel should be 1-2 inches taller than your pet when they are standing and sitting down, and there should only be enough room for your pet to stand up, turn around, sit and lie down. Our wire crates come in a wide range of sizes for the perfect fit. Adding a kennel mat will make it comfier for them. Check out our kennel guide for help finding the best option for your dog.

However, if you don’t plan on using a crate, a dog bed works just fine to create their own space. Just make sure the bed is the right size for them and find one that is ideal for their sleep style.


Dogs can get bored easily so having a couple of toys to play with can help ease that boredom.  When you catch your dog chewing on something such as shoes or a remote, redirect and replace these items with chew toys, so they know what they can chew when the urge strikes.  This can be a trial and error process depending on what type of toy your dog likes, so we recommend starting with a variety of bones, squeaky toys, plush toys, and rubber balls.  Playing fetch with your dog can also be a great way to exercise your new dog while strengthening the bond between you. Interactive fetch toys like the Chuckit! Ring Chaser engages your dog’s natural chase instinct.

Feeding & Watering

Dogs need to eat, especially growing puppies! Providing them with high-quality food that is recommended by a veterinarian is important, but so is feeding them from the right style bowl. Look for a food bowl that holds the proper amount of food for your dog.

Hydration is also crucial for dogs, especially in warmer weather. A fountain or gravity watering option, like the Petmate Replendish Waterer, will provide a flow of filtered water that you don’t have to refill as often. We carry a wide variety of dog feeding and watering essentials that will suit any dog owners' lifestyle and any dog's feeding preferences.

Puppy pads

Accidents will happen especially when housetraining a new pet.  Setting up puppy pads simplifies the process by reducing leakage, tracking, and odors.  They can also save your floors! However, even with a puppy pad in place, if an accident happens be sure it is cleaned up right away, and use a stain and odor remover to keep your house smelling fresh and clean.


Collar, Leash, and ID Tag

In case your animal was to ever get out of the house or yard, they should be wearing a collar with an identification tag on it.  An ID tag should have their name, your name, and a way to contact you.  Collars should be snug on your dog’s neck, but you should be able to fit two fingers underneath, so it isn’t too tight.  Be prepared to buy a new, larger size collar for your dog as he grows so that it continues to fit comfortably and safely.

For puppies, it is never too early to get them used to walking with a leash, even if it’s just around the house or backyard. A collar and leash combination that is both functional and comfortable makes leash training that much easier. 

Bringing a new pet into your family is an exciting time. Before they come home, be sure you have everything they need so they will be well taken care of and know they are loved and welcome. 

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