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Do You Have The Supplies For A New Dog?
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Do You Have The Supplies You Need When You Bring Your Dog Home?

Once you have decided to get a dog, it’s time to prepare your home for the new addition. You will need some supplies, and it is a good idea to have some of the basics ready when your dog arrives.

Baby Gates
You may want to limit your dog to certain rooms or keep him from going up or down stairs. Baby gates work well for most dogs, but a small puppy can scoot underneath them. A better choice is a gate made especially for dogs, and there are many styles from which to choose. These gates can be free-standing, screwed into the wall, or pressure mounted, which means that the tension from a spring holds the gate in place. Make sure that the bars on the gate are close enough together that the dog cannot get his head stuck. If you have a young pup or a dog who likes to chew, a wooden gate may not be the best choice.

Dog beds come in a wide variety of styles, from thin pads to orthopedic foam to soft, loosely padded pillows. Prices also range widely. Of course, your dog’s favorite place to sleep won’t be based on price or a fancy label but on how it suits his own idea of comfort. When you do zero in on the right kind of bed, be sure that it is large enough to let your dog stretch out and relax. It should also be washable or have a removable washable cover. If you have a puppy or young dog who likes to chew and rip things up, wait until he outgrows this phase before you buy him a bed. He’ll sleep fine on the floor or the bottom of his crate.

Your dog needs at least one collar. The safest basic collar for everyday wear is a “flat collar” made of nylon, fabric, or leather and fastened with a buckle or a quick-release fastener. This is the collar that your dog should wear with identification and license tags attached. 

Check the collar’s fit frequently, especially while your dog is growing, and readjust or replace it when it no longer fits. You should be able to insert two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Tighter than that is too tight for comfort and safety, and a collar that hangs looser than that can get caught on things and trap or strangle your dog.

Harnesses are a popular alternative to the traditional collar and they solve the problem of a collar cutting into your dog’s neck. If you like harnesses for everyday or occasional use, retailers carry many fashionable choices in a variety of comfortable styles.

Many novice dog owners balk at the idea of a crate, but from the dog’s point of view, the confined space is like a cozy den. Dogs and puppies like to have a place where they can curl up in security and privacy.

Crates come in a few basic types, including wood, wire, and plastic. Wood enclosures are expensive, heavy, and can be difficult to clean. Wire crates are easy to clean and provide good ventilation for the dog; people often drape a blanket or towel over the wire crate to make it more cave-like. Plastic crates—like the ones Nylabone makes—are lightweight, easy to clean, and work well in most temperatures.  How big should your dog’s crate be? A crate must be big enough so that he can easily stand up in it and turn around. If you have a puppy, invest in a crate divider to make the enclosure smaller; this will help when you begin the housetraining process. If the crate is too large, your pup may claim one section as his sleeping area and use the excess space as his potty area. You want this first crate to be big enough to be a bedroom, not a master suite with private bathroom.

Food and Water Bowls
Your dog requires two sturdy bowls: one for food and one for water. Although ceramic ones may be decorative, they are breakable, so look for sturdy plastic or stainless steel bowls. However, keep in mind that plastic is chewable, can harbor bacteria, and is a little harder to clean than stainless steel.

Grooming Supplies
The grooming supplies that you get for your dog will depend a lot on what kind of breed you have and what activities you plan for him. The requirements for grooming a Poodle, for example, are a lot more complicated than those for a Labrador Retriever. What you need to groom a dog for the show ring may be very different from what you need for a dog who’s going camping with you.  In general, some basic tools you will need include brush & comb, coat clippers and scissors, shampoo & conditioner, nail trimmer, and doggy toothbrush & toothpaste.