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4 Things First-Time Dog Owners Should Never Go Without

a woman holding and petting a black and white french bulldog puppy

So you’ve just brought home your brand new bundle of puppy joy-- a walking, barking, mischievous pee machine. As a new dog owner, you’re probably overjoyed. “Man’s best friend” is now your best friend.  And congratulations! It is a proud moment for any pet owner.

But, as the moment fades, panic sinks in. After turning your back for a second, your drooling, soft pawed pal is now jumping on your sofa, leaking all over your carpet, and whining for treats. What do you do? Are you prepared? Do you have what you need to properly care for them, and to lessen your worry or frustration?

It is crucial to have the essentials needed to take care of your animal. You should be equipped to tackle any mess, injury, ailment, or treat emergency, so, before bringing Fido home, stock up on these 6 items our dogs (and us) simply can’t live without. 

1. Find the Perfect Leash

Your dog’s leash is just as important for you as it is for them, so pick one that’s both secure and comfortable.

A happy beagle on a leash is being walked through a bright green patch of grass.
Picking a good leash that is right for you and your dog is essential to ensuring your pet had safe productive walks! [Photo Courtesy of Pexels]

Shopping around for leashes can be tough, especially if you don’t have your trusty pup at your side, or are shopping online and can’t test it’s fit before checking out. However, here are some sure fire options that should suit dogs of any size, breed, or temper.

Economical options are available on Amazon-- and free shipping with Amazon Prime! Owners can choose from the editorial recommended BAAPET durable and reflective leash best for medium and large dogs, or, for the puller in your life, a heavy duty Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash.

For something a bit more stylish, check out this flex nylon strap leash from Wild One. It comes in a variety of matte colors and will give your walks an upgrade you never knew it needed. 

And if that’s not enough, check out New York Magazine’s list of the 16 best dog leashes currently on the market. 

2. Safe and Non Toxic Dog Toys

Never compromise their play time. Pick out toys that aren’t easy to ingest or encourage injury 

A brown lab stares, holding a pull toy in its mouth, plays tug-of-war with its owner.
Choosing non toxic and eco friendly toys are the best way to keep play time safe for you and your pets. [Photo Courtesy of Pexels]

We all know plastics are bad for the environment, but they can also be harmful to our pets, so it’s essential to pick out dog toys that are free of harsh chemicals or could potentially cause injury.

When it comes to plastics, most have Phthalates and BPA in them, which are known to disrupt the endocrine system in humans. In one study, scientists simulated chewing and squeezing on popular dog toys to age and weather them, which in turn, according to co-author of the study Phil Smith, increased concentrations of these harsh chemicals in the toys. 

We recommend purchasing toys from West Paw, which have safe and eco friendly products made in the USA with non-toxic and fully recyclable material-- BPA and phthalate-free, too! And they are pretty affordable, most toys hovering between eight and sixteen dollars. 

P.L.A.Y. is another stellar company that makes some amazing products, all of which are made with stuffing created out of 100% recycled plastic bottled. Their toys also refrain from using harsh dyes in their fabrics. Their “Under the Sea” plush toy collection is one of our favorites because not only are they washer and dryer safe, but 2% of the purchase price goes to the International Fund for Animal Welfare!

3. First Aid Supplies 

Care for your dog when they are most in need with a well stocked and all-purpose first aid kit

Four bottles of fauna care healing sprays stand against a plain background.
Fauna Care's healing sprays should not be overlooked-- Consider including them in your pet first aid kit for minor scrapes and major cuts.[Photo Courtesy of Fauna Care]

We don’t think twice about carrying around first aid kits for our kids, so why not for our dogs? (I mean, they are basically like our children, aren’t they?) 

Companies like REI and L.L.Bean sell already prepared pet first aid kits you can purchase online. They both come with bandages, wound dressings, alcohol pads, tweezers, and cotton swabs-- all basics that usually come in first aid kits for humans. This one from Chewy.com also includes wound glue and comes in a cute blue bag. 

However, one product these packs won’t have is antibacterial and first aid sprays that are safe and made specifically for dogs. Fauna Care makes a variety of exceptional no-touch sprays that can get hard to reach areas and create a moisture barrier to allow your dog to stay active without unnecessary bandages or tapes while still helping them heal. And the other good thing? No harsh chemicals!

It might also be wise to get a cone-- or the newer, more comfortable alternative inflatable collar-- to ensure your dog leaves their injuries alone after treating more serious cuts or wounds. 

4. Nutritious Treats

Keep them healthy during snack time by choosing treats that promote dental hygiene and a shiny coat.

An adorable, hungry pug stands to reach a table top where a bowl of treats sit.
Next time you’rer shopping for treats, pick up all natural products that are vitamin rich and promote good health.  [Photo Courtesy of Pexels]

Treats are essential when you are training puppies, but they are also a good way to reward your dog after a day of good behavior. But buy beware: some are high in salinity, calories, and contain processed meats and additives.

What’s best for most dogs are ones that are vitamin rich and low in calories that  promote good dental hygiene, like Pedigree’s Dental Sticks. Greenies Original Teenie Natural Dental dog treats are also a good choice because they clean dog’s gum line to freshen breath and get rid of plaque. They are easy to digest and are the perfect choice for smaller dogs due to their size.

Zuke’s Mini Naturals are perfect for dog’s needing to manage their weight since each treat is less than 3 calories. They’re made with real chicken, contain no corn, wheat, or soy, and have cherries and tumeric in them to promote good digestive health. 

Picking brands that promote natural ingredients will make you and your dog happy. And besides, would you want to be eating tons of calories and fake meat? We didn’t think so. 

So, Are You Ready For Any Dog Emergency?

Whether it’s a walk, play time, a serious injury, or an empty stomach, making sure your fully prepared to handle all your dog’s needs is essential. Shop consciously, consider the comfort of your pet, and always-- always!-- bring the treats.

Questions? Email us >

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