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As pet-owners, we know that you'll need lots of dog supplies for your new puppy. And before you even bring little Fido or Spot home, it's helpful to have already purchased the basic dog supplies you'll need. These aren't optional extras, these are the basic dog supplies necessities that will help keep him happy and healthy. And by providing them, you'll be letting your new puppy know how important he is to you.
New Puppy Announcements. First things first! You're going to want to tell everyone about your new puppy, so be sure to take a look at BarkTalk.com's huge selection!
Puppy Food . Buy a quality brand of dry puppy food. If you're looking for an "all natural" variety, we recommend Only Natural Pet Store for high-quality, all-natural food, although there are many other great commercial foods available, such as Science Diet Light Adult Large Breed Dog Food for large dogs ages 1-7 years; Authority Harvest Baked(TM) Chicken Puppy Dog Food for puppies 6 weeks to 1 year; and Iams® Select Bites Weight Control Dog Food with Chicken in Gravy for your adult dog that is getting a little "soft" around the edges.
A Good Book. A good book on puppy care and training is a "must read" for the new pet owner. It's best to read through the book before your bring your puppy home. BarkTalk has a list of recommended reading for your new puppy or adult dog.
Wire or plastic dog crate. Be sure to get the right size dog crate for your dog. Cover the bottom of the crate with newspaper for easy cleaning while Fido's still learning about potty-training (in case of accidents). Once he's got his bladder under control, you can switch to a crate pad or a piece of carpet to put in the bottom of the crate. And remember to put a chew toy or blanket or towel in the crate to make it cozy. (Read more about dog crates.)
Flea and Tick Prevention. Fleas are the most common external parasites that affect our dogs And although ticks are not as common, they are potentially more dangerous, to us and to our dogs, because they can transmit such diseases as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Preventing fleas and ticks is important to our dog's health. (Read this article on Protecting Your Dog From Fleas & Ticks.)
Bedding Material. Make sure it's easy to wash and made of strong, "hard to destroy" fabric.
Food and Water Bowls. Look for tip-proof, stainless steel or hard plastic dog dishes. Your dog will need at least two, one for food and one for water. We prefer 2 separate bowls, rather than a partitioned bowl, because it makes refilling the water easier. Bowls that are weighted on the bottom help keep Fido's dinner and water where they belong. Non-slip material on the bottom of the bowls is also a nice bonus.
Collar and Leash. Be sure to get the right size collar for your puppy. Flat leather or nylon collars with buckles are good for most dogs, although rolled leather collars with buckles work better for dogs with long hair. Be sure to check your puppy's collar each week to make sure it hasn't become too tight! If you can slide two fingers between your pup and his collar, it's a good fit. We like retractable leashes. They're great for walks because they extend up to 15 or 20 feet if you're out in the open, but easily retract to whatever length you need at the push of a button. A retractable leash allows your dog plenty of room to explore, yet still keeps him safe and under your control. (See our selection of designer dog collars.)
ID Tag Every dog should have at least two tags attached to its collar: On one tag, put your name, address, and phone number. The other tag should be his numbered rabies vaccination tag.
Deluxe Pet Gate . You'll probably want to purchase a pet gate to block doorways to any "off limits" rooms.
Toys. Toys are not an extra....they are a necessity. We believe toys are essential to your dog's happiness and well-being. Dogs not only have a blast playing with them, but the right toys keep your pet challenged, busy, and provide much needed exercise. Look for high-quality, safe chew toys, rubber balls or rubber bones, and sturdy stuffed sqeak toys. Rawhide toys are okay for an adult dog, but not for puppies, because he might break off a piece and swallow it whole. This could be dangerous!