Things You Need for a Dog: A Basic Checklist

When shopping for things you need for your dog there are decisions to be made. Supplies you buy for your dog will depend on her size, age and temperament.

The better prepared you are for your dog the more enjoyable and predictable the experience will be for both dog and owner.

I want to go through the things you need for a dog and the things you don’t – which will save you time and money. I will share quality, low cost dog supplies that I have found to be of value.

Dog Food

When selecting dog food you want to consider the age of your dog. There are quality dog food options on the market for puppies, middle-aged and senior dogs.

Just like when you are buying people food – you check the ingredients, same goes for dog food and treats. Check the ingredients, consider any allergies your dog may have and fat content.

Probiotics and vitamins in a quality dog food will help build a healthy immune system for your dog.

Collars and Harnesses

In one of my previous posts we discussed the pros and cons of collars and harnesses. When walking my dogs I prefer a harness as this allows more control and less choking.

I always recommend the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness.  I have used the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness for years and find it to be the most effective and easiest harness to use. It is also reasonably priced.

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness can be purchased from Amazon.  Amazon also offers the PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness with padded straps.

When ordering a collar or harness online refer to the size chart and your dog’s measurements. Also, check  that company’s return policy.

Dog Beds

German Shepherd asleep in dog bedWhen shopping for dog beds you want to consider the age and length of your dog. If your dog is older and suffers from stiff joints or arthritis – you may want to consider an orthopedic or memory foam bed. Measure your dog before ordering online- you want to make sure that the bed is long enough to ensure his comfort. There are also dog beds on the market that have removable covers for cleaning.

My suggestion for a dog bed is the Milliard Quilted Padded Orthopedic Dog Bed.  This is a quality product that provides support and comfort for your dog with 4 inch thick orthopedic foam.  The Milliard Quilted Padded Orthopedic Dog Bed is easy to clean by simply removing the cover and machine wash.  It comes in different sizes, in a neutral color and at a reasonable cost.

A note about dogs sleeping in their owner’s beds.  Your dog sleeping with you is a personal choice-it’s not for everyone. It does need to be a consistent choice. Letting your dog sometimes sleep in your bed can cause confusion and unpredictability.


People kennel their dogs for different reasons. Your dog may feel safer in a kennel or maybe your dog can be destructive due to separation anxiety when you leave the house.

If you decide that kenneling is beneficial for your dog you want to make sure it is not for an extended period of time. You can kennel an adult dog comfortably for 6-7 hours a day. This time period would be less for puppies.

You want to consider the size of your dog when kenneling as she will need enough room to lay down comfortably. Remember that when kenneling your dog – her daily exercise is important to keep her healthy and happy.


I can tell you that over the years we have accumulated many dog toys. At times, we have cleaned them up and donated them to the local dog shelter.

The toys I find that dogs play with the most with are kongs, tug of war ropes, and chewy bones. I like kongs because you can put treats inside for your dog to keep her busy. The tug of war ropes work well to invite dogs to play together. Make sure that the rope is of good quality as not to come apart in your dog’s mouth for her to ingest.

Balls and frisbees are favorites too. I don’t suggest tennis balls- I have found these get chewed apart.  For a dog ball I suggest the Chuckit! Ultra Ball in the 2 pack.  The Chuckit! Ultra Ball has a good bounce and is very durable for aggressive chewers.  I have purchased them for our dogs in the past and they are the most durable at a reasonable cost.

A good quality chewy bone will help keep your dog’s teeth clean.  In our house the favorite bones are the Benebone Wishbone Durable Dog Chew for aggressive chewers.   Our dogs of different breeds -big and small – like to give this a chew.  It comes in real flavors- bacon, chicken and peanut – allergy aware.  This  favorite chew comes in different sizes suitable for your dog’s size.

From my experience stuffy toys with squeakies are often chewed apart and the squeaky inside is a choking hazard.

Bottom Line

Every time we have welcomed a new dog or cat into our home we have always bought too many toys, blankets or unsuitable beds, collars, harnesses etc. We do this because we love our animals and we don’t want them to go without. Over the years in caring for dogs I have come to learn what dog products are safe and suitable.

When shopping for your dog be aware of quick fix gimmicks. For example a leash, harness or collar that promises to immediately rid your dog of aggressive behaviors during the walk. In the past I have purchased these items. These items may help in training your dog but in the long run it’s all about patience, training and practice.

From my years of experience with dogs of various breeds, ages, size and temperament – I will share with you products that I have found to be of good quality and reasonably priced.

Rescue dog with owner

I wanted to include a note about animal shelters. More than ever animal shelters are struggling to provide for their animals. The shelter workers work endlessly to provide for the animals that they care so much for. You can help your local animal shelter with a cash donation or contributions of food, toys, bedding etc.

Consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter rather than purchasing. There are so many loving animals left behind that need caring homes.

If you have any questions or comments – please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you


“When I look into the eyes of a dog, I do not see an animal, I see a living being, I see a friend, I see a soul.” – Anonymous

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