Essentials for Dogs: What to Buy To Keep Your Pup Happy and Healthy
If your dog could shop for himself, what would he or she buy?
What products are essentials for dogs? What would they add to their cart if they could choose all their own products and toys?
Unfortunately, no one has yet invented technology that allows dogs to tell us exactly what they think and feel. But lifelong dog owners and animal lovers like all of us at Huan still have a pretty good sense of what our pups want and need.
That’s why this list of essentials for dogs contains all the basics you should buy for any dog, as well as a few fun, optional products that we just think your pup would love to have. If you’re shopping for a new pet or just looking for ways to spoil the dog you already have, read on for all of the best dog products on the market.
Basic Essentials for Dogs
Let’s start with the basics. If you own a dog, you need these products to keep him or her happy, healthy, and safe.
- A collar or harness and a leash. Any time you take your dog outside of your home or yard, you’ll need to have a collar or harness and a leash that keeps him or her secure.
- An ID tag. If your dog ever gets lost, an ID tag with your contact information will help strangers know whom he or she belongs to.
- A microchip. In case your dog’s collar or ID tag falls off, a microchip can help you get reunited.
- A Huan Smart Tag. If your dog is lost, you don’t wait for someone to find him or her and reach out for you — you go looking. A Huan Smart Tag uses bluetooth technology to send signals to nearby smartphones and show your lost pet’s location on a map, allowing you to find them quickly and safely.
- A crate. Your dog may want to sleep in it at home, but at the very least, you’ll need it for transporting him or her in the safest way possible.
- A bed. Make sure it’s comfy and an appropriate size for your pup.
- High-quality dog food. Look for a food brand that lists meat as its first ingredient, rather than a grain or filler. If you aren’t sure which brands are high-quality, your vet can make a recommendation.
- Special treats. Dog biscuits and pig ears are good choices, but make sure to only give your pup treats in moderation.
- Food and water bowls. You might want several sets so you can switch them out to clean them regularly.
- A pet first aid kit. You never know when something might happen to your pet, and not every illness or injury requires an emergency trip to the vet, if you have the right supplies. Your first aid kit should include paw wipes, coat wipes, an antiseptic product for small cuts and scrapes (like hydrogen peroxide), cotton balls, gauze, non-stick bandages, scissors, tweezers, a flashlight, and a towel. If your dog takes any medications, be sure to include those in your first aid kit as well.
Training Essentials for Dogs
In addition to the basics, you’ll need some supplies to make sure your dog is well trained. Training your dog good manners and basic commands is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.
- Training treats. These should be smaller than special treats, so you can give your dog several at a time as positive reinforcement during training sessions.
- Baby gates, if there are areas of your home that you don’t want your dog to be able to access without supervision or at certain times.
- Training resources, like books or videos that you can refer to if you aren’t an experienced dog trainer.
- A long or retractable leash, if you plan on training your dog in open areas outside of your home.
Health Supplies for Dogs
Some supplies are necessary for keeping your dog in the best possible health. Make sure to grab all these essentials for dogs, and ask your vet if you need recommendations for the best products and brands to meet your dog’s needs.
- Dog shampoo. Dogs need baths sometimes just like humans, and the right shampoo will keep their hair and skin healthy.
- Nail clippers. It’s important to clip your dog’s nails when needed so your dog doesn’t have any discomfort while walking. Because dogs’ nails are thick, this may require special clippers, depending on the breed of dog you have.
- Grooming supplies, like brushes and combs. All dogs have different coats, and therefore different grooming needs, so be sure to ask your vet if you aren’t sure how to groom your dog.
- Flea treatment. Dogs should be treated to prevent fleas and ticks regularly (around once a month for most common, over-the-counter preventative treatments).
- A toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste. Dogs need dental care just like people do, and regular brushing prevents plaque and promotes good gum health. Keep in mind, though, that human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs, so make sure you get dog-safe toothpaste from a pet supply store.
- Vitamins or dietary supplements. These will also vary depending on your dog’s specific needs (for example, older dogs might need vitamins that promote heart or joint health). Ask your vet for a recommendation.
Essential Toys for Dogs
Dogs need a variety of different toys to play with, so they can stay mentally stimulated and happy and won’t go looking for entertainment elsewhere — like somewhere that can get them into trouble. These essentials for dogs will help keep your pup entertained whenever he or she feels like playing.
- Stuffed toys. If you have a particularly large dog, or a dog who likes to tear up stuffies, make sure to only give these to your dog when he or she is being supervised, so you can make sure no parts of the toy accidentally get eaten.
- Tug toys. Playing tug is a healthy way for dogs to display their predatory natures, so getting a tug toy can help them exercise that instinct while also burning off a lot of energy.
- Chew toys. It’s normal for puppies and dogs to want to chew things, and it helps them in a lot of ways — for younger dogs, chewing relieves the pain of new teeth coming in, and for older dogs, it promotes strong jaws and healthy teeth. Providing your dog with chew toys will help keep them from chewing on things you don’t want destroyed, like furniture or shoes.
- Fetch toys. Dogs need exercise to be happy, and playing fetch is a great way to get a workout in for both you and your dog.
- Brain toys. Dogs are smart, and their brains need exercise just like their bodies do. Giving your dog interactive toys or puzzle toys can help stimulate their brains.
- A toy subscription box. If you want to keep things fresh for your pup all the time, consider a dog toy subscription box, which will mail you a variety of new toys and treats each month.
Essentials for Active Dogs
If you plan to take your dog with you on trips, adventures, or even just walks and outings to the dog park, you’ll need some essentials for those kinds of activities, like these ones.
- Foldable food and water bowls, so your dog always has a way to grab a bite or a drink when on the go.
- A backpack, so your dog can carry his or her own food and supplies on hikes and other outings.
- Car covers. If you need to take your dog in the car, it might be easier to cover the seats than to regularly vacuum them to clean off pet hair. This is especially true if you ever take your dog somewhere they might get dirty — covers will help avoid leaving muddy paw prints on your car’s upholstery.
- Car-to-harness seatbelt. If your dog is riding in the car, make sure you’re keeping him or her safe. Riding in a secured crate is best, but you can also get a seatbelt to attach to your dog’s harness (not their collar).
- Light up gear. If you ever take your dog out at night, get some reflective or light up gear to help motorists and other pedestrians see them.
- A dog park bag. When heading for the dog park, it’s nice to be able to just grab one bag and know you have everything you need, like bowls, toys, and towels.
- Poop bags. If you take your dog off your property and they do their business, it’s up to you to be a responsible dog owner and pick it up.
- Boots. If you live somewhere with extreme temperatures in the summer or winter, boots can help protect your dog’s feet from snow and ice or hot pavement. If you take your dog on walks or hike on rugged terrain, boots are also a good investment to protect their sensitive pads from sharp rocks and other hazards.
Technology Essentials for Dogs
Technology plays a role in every part of our lives. Your pet should be a big part of your life, so it makes sense that some modern essentials for dogs are technology products.
OK, sure — these aren’t essential in the sense that you have to have all of them. But they’re some of our favorite gadgets for making your dog’s life (and yours) a little easier.
- A robot vacuum. If you have a dog that sheds, check out a Roomba, Shark, or Eufy and thank us later.
- A pet camera. Companies like Furbo and Petcube have created these cameras so you can check on your pet while you’re away from home. Some models even allow you to talk to your pet with a two-way video feed, or toss them a treat.
- An auto-ball launcher. If your dog can’t get enough fetch in his life, an auto-ball launcher will be a great investment for you both.
- Microchip pet door. If you want a dog door that allows your dog free access to the backyard, but you don’t want other critters finding their way in, a microchip pet door might be the perfect solution.
- Go Pro Fetch. If you’ve ever tried to attach a camera to a dog’s collar or harness, you know how well it doesn’t work. Go Pro Fetch is a special harness with a camera holder, so you can get a dog’s eye view of all your pet’s adventures.
Start Gathering Essentials for Dogs With Huan
If you’re overwhelmed by this list, remember that it’s OK to take some time to gather all the essentials your pet needs.