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Dog Essentials For First Time Owners

Published by Emily on August 13, 2018

Dog Essentials For First Time Owners

What to buy for a Dog?

Whether you’ve just bought a puppy for the first time or adopted an older dog, being the first time owner of your new four-legged friend can be daunting but still exciting. Dogs can take up a lot of our time and money, as well as having many needs and requirements that you might not have thought of. Nevertheless, getting your first dog is a big occasion, which requires the essential products along with a few treats of course…


Whatever kind of dog you get, they need a comfy bed to snuggle up in every night. For dogs in new homes, a bed also offers them a sense of security and safety in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. But with so many different dog beds on the market, which should you choose? We’ve narrowed down the criteria to make it easier for you.

  • Does it have a non-slip base? This is particularly important if you have a lot of laminate or wooden flooring. Excited dogs often dive onto their beds to rest, which can be a safety hazard for pet and owner if their bed slides.
  • Is it allergy-friendly? Dogs can have sensitive skin too, so it’s ideal to find a bed made from more natural ingredients which won’t cause irritation or sores to your dog’s skin. This can also be softer too, to make sure your dog is more comfortable.
  • Does it feature a removable cover? If you have a mucky pup, a removable bed cover is a must, as you can simply take it off and pop in the washing machine or wash by hand. Your dog will spend a lot of time in their bed so they need to be happy and clean.
  • What style of bed? For dogs who love to stretch and sprawl, a cushion or futon-style bed is better, whilst a donut or nest-style bed is better for smaller dogs who like to curl up and snuggle down.
  • What size do you need? It goes without saying, but bigger breeds will require bigger beds whilst small breeds can have smaller beds. If you get your dog when they’re a puppy, check with the vet or shelter approximately what size they grow to, so you have an idea of when they need a new bed.


A collar and a lead is a must for every dog, as they help to identify your dog if they run off or get lost, whilst a lead is great for walkies if your dog isn’t trained to walk to heel. Plus, they can make your pup look even cuter than normal, as they come in lots of different colours and styles. What you need usually depends on your dog but is generally narrowed down to this:

  • Collars are a must for identifying your dog if they happen to wander off and get lost. Make sure you have an ID tag on your collar, usually with you and your pup’s name, your home address and telephone. This way, people can easily contact you. When choosing a collar, make sure it’s the right size for your dog so it won’t rub or fall off; adjustable collars are a good idea.
  • Leads help you to maintain control over your dog when you’re out walking, especially if it’s by a busy road or near livestock. Leads are also ideal if you’re passing other dogs too. If you’re walking in the countryside, a longer lead offers more freedom, whilst a retractable lead provides the best of both worlds.
  • Harnesses are usually more comfortable than collars, mostly for excitable dogs who pull at the lead. If your dog tugs, wearing a harness is less likely to bruise their trachea when you pull them back, plus they’re also more suitable for very small dogs.

  • Food and Water Bowls

    Generally, you’ll only need two bowls for your dog, one for their food and one for their water. Depending on the size of your dog, you can get small and large bowls which are more suited to your dog. As well as their practicality, you can also choose from a range of colours and patterns to look stylish in your home. With different materials to consider, we’ve highlighted the key points here:

  • Plastic bowls are generally long-lasting and durable, but some dogs can be prone to chewing on them which can be hazardous.
  • Ceramic bowls are heavier which stops them sliding around when your dog is eating, however they can be very difficult to keep clean due to the porous material.
  • Stainless steel bowls are very easy to clean as well as being durable and long-lasting. Most also have a rubber ring on the base to stop them from sliding.
  • Slow feed bowls are ideal for dogs who like to munch their food down, as they prevent indigestion and stomach problems.

  • Grooming Tools

    Regular grooming helps to keep your dog happy and healthy, whilst creating a bond between you and your new furry friend. We have more information on how to groom your dog here, but for the basics here’s what you’ll need to brush your pup:

      • Bristle brushes can be used for all dog species. Brushes with longer, more widely spaced bristles are more suited for dogs with longer coats.
      • Wire-pin brushes aren’t recommended for short-haired dogs, but are the best choice for longer-haired dogs, or for dogs whose hair is curly, or particularly thick.
      • Slicker brushes are a type of bristle brush with very fine bristles, great for getting tangles out of your dog’s coat.
      • De-shedder - a must have for any medium or long-haired dog, particularly those that shed on a regular or seasonal basis.
      • Shampoo which is specially formulated for dogs, to suit their skin and fur.

    Parasite Protection

    Dogs are particularly susceptible to fleas, ticks and worms, which can fortunately be treated much easier now. Various medicines can do the job and keep your dog healthy and happy, but it’s best to talk to your vet about which medication is best for your dog. It depends on factors such as breed and age to find treatment which works best, but your vet will be able to assess this.

    Treats and Toys

    Saving the best ‘til last - dog treats and toys! Buying your new dog toys will help them to settle in, be happy, and be mentally and physically active. Some toys can also promote dental health and channel excess energy from destructive behaviour patterns. There’s plenty of different toys to choose for your new dog; here are some of the favourites:

  • Chew toys are great for your dog to play with alone or with you as a tug-of-war game. However, it’s important that your chew toy isn’t made of indigestible materials which your dog could choke on, as well as very hard toys which could damage their teeth. If you bang the toy against your kneecap and it hurts, the toy is too hard for your dog to chew.
  • Fetch toys are a solid favourite when it comes to dogs. Frisbees and fetch balls are fun for your dog to run and catch, and it’s a great way for your dog to get exercise whilst learning to bring the toy back to you. Again, remember to get a softer toy to avoid dental damage.
  • Squeaky toys can sometimes be annoying to humans but dogs love them! Taking different shapes and styles, the toys are fun for teaching your dog how to activate the squeak and can also be used in a game of fetch. Soft squeaky toys are perfect for your dog to cuddle up to in their bed at night.

  • Saphi’s Favourites

    We asked our brand mascot and rough collie Saphi what her essential products are and she picked out the Oversized Wool Blanket, which is perfect for those cold winter nights. She also loves the Leather Dog Collar, as it’s simple yet classy, whilst the Hungry Dog Bowl is great for her treats. For Saphi’s long coat, she prefers the Crufts Soft Grip Pin Grooming Brush with the Animology Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo if she gets any ticks in her fur. Saphi’s favourite toy ever is the Crufts Squeaky Hedgehog Toy, which she loves to carry around, make it squeak and even use as a pillow.