I’ve been around dogs my whole life. I grew up with big black Labradors and currently live with a feisty, goofy Boston Terrier. Besides the constant companionship and unconditional love that comes with owning a dog, the best part is spoiling them with all the best things. The essentials a dog needs are important to making sure their wellbeing is a top priority, and here’s a checklist to take note of.
Finding the right place to lay your head isn’t just a human thing. Dogs need a firm foundation to get a good night’s sleep, so any old dog bed won’t do.
A fluffy, supportive donut bed is a great place to start if you want to pamper your pup. This Donut Cuddler comes in multiple sizes and has deep crevices if your dog likes to burrow or bury its head.
You could get a bed that is as chic as it is functional. The Dog Bed from Parachute has a stylish two-tone cover that’s fully machine-washable and is great for large or small dogs.
We all have preferences for leashes, but one thing that I would highly recommend when looking for a leash for your pup is to look for one that comes with a poop bag holder. It’s life-changing.
This durable, hard-working leash has a padded handle, so even if your dog is still working on its leash manners, your hand won’t hate you by the end of the walk. Plus, it comes in multiple colors to help personalize your pet essentials.
A 3-in-1 leash is perfect for the more active pet owner. This one has its own belt so you can run hands-free with your canine companion.
Collars and Harnesses
Whether you like to use a collar or harness while your dog is about town is totally up to you (and your dog). But you should make sure you’re getting something both you and your pup are comfortable with.
If you want something for a pup that tends to be more than a handful on walks, this hardness has an lightweight, cushioned nylon design to help avoid any chocking and features two different attachment points for your leash: in the front and on top.
The Voyager harness has a strong velcro closure and is a step-in style, which means there’s no hassle trying to wrangle a harness over your dog’s head or risking catching their fur in a clip.
When it comes to toys, dogs are pretty particular. But it’s always good to have a couple different type of toys lying around in case those tastes change (because they do).
The squeak a dog toy makes is unlike any other sound on this planet. It can get irritating pretty quickly. Change it up a bit and get them something oinks (it’s more of a grunt, really) instead, like this polka-dotted pig.
If you want something that will keep them a bit more occupied during the day, get a treat dispensing toy. This one from Chewy, aptly named the Bob-a-Lot, can be filled with any treat and used to keep even the smartest pups at bay.
Food and Treats
Food and treats are pretty subjected based on your dog’s stomach and tastes, but a good way to get things going for your dog is to get it delivered straight to your house.
Ollie allows you to fully customize your canine’s human-grade meal plan “based on their age, breed, activity level, allergies, and ideal weight.” It’s meal prep for your pup. Pet Plate is another food-delivery service with human-grade ingredients that are pre-portioned and ready for your dog to devour.
Greenies are one of the best “treats” to have around in your house. These dental chews give your dog the treat they deserve while helping fight plaque and tartar and keeping your pup’s breath smelling a little better than the dog food they eat.
Finding a bowl that will keep your dog fed and hydrated is pretty simple. But you could always upgrade to something that looks a little better than a run-of-the-mill dog dish.
You can get a bowl as dependable as your tumbler with the Yeti Boomer bowl. It’s durable and rust-resistant, has a non-slip coating on the bottom, fits up to eight cups of water, and can be put in the dishwasher.
Want something a little bit more stylish? The elevated dog feeder from Target’s in-house brand Threshold has a sturdy wooden frame and an easy-to-clean top. Plus, it comes in two different sizes depending on how tall your pet is.
Keeping your dog clean is a full-time job so you need to have the right things on hand to do it. Wipes can help keep them fresh in between baths, but investing in a good shampoo is key.
These plant-based pet wipes from Brandless are paraben, phthalate, and sulfate free and have no alcohol in them so they won’t dry out your dogs sensitive skin. They also smell like cucumbers.
Kiehl’s doesn’t just make great skincare for humans, they make a pretty great soap-free dog shampoo as well. With Chamomile and plant-derived Glycerin, it’s gentle yet effective at getting all the dirt and odor off of your pet.
Traveling with your pet is sometimes a necessary inconvenience. Get a carrier that both you and your dog feel good about, and one that is preferably TSA-compliant if you plan to fly with them.
This travel carrier from Fable is an elevation to the mesh-sided ones you’re used to seeing. Small pups can lay down on the cushioned base and keep their eyes on things with the clever cut-out in front. It even has an outside pocket for treats or extra poop bags and a tether inside to keep your pup secure.
If you need something a bit more travel-friendly, this pet carrier is like a hotel suite for your dog. The expandable sides allow your pup to stretch out when there’s room, but they fold back to neatly store them under your seat.
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