Puppy Advice

What to buy for a puppy or dog

If you’re about to get a dog, you’ll be wondering what to buy. Here’s our shopping guide on what to buy for a puppy or dog.

a girl and her father in a pet shop choosing what to buy for their pug

New dog shopping list

Bed

Choose a bed for your dog that is large enough for them to grow into, with plenty of room to turn around. Go for one that can be washed easily and will dry quickly – you’ll be surprised how grubby they will get!

 

Food and water bowls

Choose ceramic or stainless-steel feeding and water bowls for your dog. Plastic bowls will be too tempting to chew!

 

Collar

It’s a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar with an identity tag. The collar needs to fit your dog comfortably – you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar – but is not so loose that it will come over his or her head. The collar needs to be durable and washable – but this doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. There are plenty of designs to choose from to find a collar to match your dog’s personality. Make sure that your dog’s identity tag contains up to date contact details. Your dog is also required to be microchipped by law. You will need to update the details held on a database about your dog so that they can be reunited with you if they are lost or stolen.

 

Harness

A dog harness is optional but it can give you more control over your dog when out walking and a kind alternative to a collar and lead. There are different styles of harnesses – front clips or back clips – which come in different sizes to suit a range of dogs.

 

Leads

Choose a lead that is strong enough for your dog. You might want a couple of different leads – a short one for when you need to keep your dog close to you, and a long line to give dogs a bit more freedom to run around and have a good sniff.

 

Food

Start off by feeding your dog what they’ve been used to. Ask your puppy’s breeder or dog rehoming centre for information about this and stock up on a good few day’s supply of the same food to get you started. It’s OK to change your dog’s diet – but this needs to be done gradually, over 4-5 days, so that they don’t get an upset tummy.

 

Toys

There’s a great selection of toys to buy for fun games with your dog. Stock up on balls for games of fetch. Invest in some softer toys for a game of tug.

 

Feeding toys

Feeding toys such as Kongs provide dogs with some tasty mental stimulation. They are also available in puppy sizes. Puzzle feeders can help to slow down a fast eater and make feeding time more interesting.

 

Poop bags

Poo bags are an essential item on the shopping list. You don’t want to get caught short without them. Stock up and buy these in bulk and do your bit for the environment with biodegradable poo bags.  

You might enjoy Tracy’s story: My first year of being a puppy parent

 

Grooming brush

Invest in a good grooming brush to get rid of old hair and dried mud. You will need to do this every couple of days. Your dog may also benefit from going to a dog groomer for a wash and trim.

 

Treats

You’ll soon get used to having your pockets stuffed full of poo bags and dog treats. You can buy dog treats or you may prefer to research online for recipes to make your own. Peanut butter is a hit with dogs (in moderation). Did you know that dogs can eat apples, carrots, bread and cheese? But there’s lots of things they can’t eat, such as chocolate and grapes, which are poisonous to dogs.

 

Crate

Dog crates can help your new puppy or dog to feel more secure. They are also a useful aid for toilet training and helping your puppy to learn to be left alone. Buy a crate that your puppy can grow into rather than to fit the size they are now.

Puppy shopping list

If you’re getting a puppy there are a few other items you might want to add to your shopping list:

Car carrier

If you are going to be travelling by car with a puppy, it’s a good idea to use a puppy carrier to keep them safe and secure. As your dog gets bigger, you might switch to a car harness or safety strap instead.

 

Puppy pads

If you live in a flat or an apartment, puppy pads may be helpful during toilet training. However, they can actually slow down the training process. This is because a puppy will get confused about where they should go to the toilet and increases the likelihood of accidents in the house. It is recommended that you start as you mean to go on – and focus on training your puppy to use the garden.

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  • “We attended puppy school with our American bully puppy coco, we had already had a terrible experience with another school who made us feel tidally uncomfortable and unwelcome with our puppy. Puppy school Hollywood could not have been more different, Sarah was a fantastic tutor and a real supporter of Coco, encouraging us when the muzzle made exercises that bit more tricky and thinking up modifications so Coco was never left out. We were introduced to the class and the explanation of why Coco was wearing a muzzle was done in a way that we didn’t feel in any way uncomfortable and the other puppy parents were reassured. Thank you so much for giving our very restricted puppy the opportunity to be ‘normal’, I can’t articulate what an impact it had.”
    —   Frances
  • “Rocket and I enjoyed every class and Cat was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. It was fab watching her interact with each dog, and be able to show owners what was possible, no matter what temperament of dog. Fantastic to watch and great tips given as we went along trying the new skills. ”
    —   Andrea
  • “Great class, enjoyed the group setting, good venue and friendly knowledgeable trainer. Taught puppy and owner loads, really enjoyed and would highly recommend to anyone getting a puppy!”
    —   Richard
  • “Great experience. I’ve been to dog training classes in the past and the instructors can be very “it’s your fault”, “you’re doing it wrong” to the owners, however, Eleanor was very patient, kind, and explained things in a helpful way rather than making you feel like you were at fault. Loved these classes. Rum loved them too!”
    —   Ryan
  • “This course was fantastic. Jenny the trainer has a wealth of knowledge. Extremely approachable, and gave sound advice to our queries. She really knows her stuff. The groups size was just perfect, which meant each pup was not overwhelmed. I would recommend the course and definitely recommend Jenny. She was brilliant.”
    —   June