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    The Ultimate Guide To Products You'll Need To Care For Your First Dog

    Dogs are the best!!! Here are all the things you'll need to keep one happy and healthy.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Dogs are a gift to the world. And if you've decided to open your home to a pupper in need of one, congratulations! You'll be rewarded with unconditional love, unlimited snuggling opportunities, and a new reason to turn down social obligations and spend time with your furry new BFF.

    Elevation Pictures

    "Sorry, I have to go home to walk the dog!" —you, busting out your new totally legit excuse for literally everything going forward.

    But pups are also a lot of work, and if you've never had one before, you might have tons of questions and not be sure where to start. So we've put together a helpful guide to the essentials when it comes to the supplies you'll need to keep them happy and healthy!

    1. Perhaps the most challenging question of all: What in the world should you be feeding your pup? There are a seemingly endless array of choices on sites like Chewy and Petco — so you should discuss what's best with your vet.


    Whatever the case may be, if you're switching your dog over to a different food, it's important to make the change gradually. To avoid stomach upset, slowly add a little bit of the new food to their current one over a seven-day stretch, upping the proportion of it each day until they're totally transitioned.

    And perhaps you want to commit to cooking for your dog — or you're interested in feeding your dog home-cooked food but simply don't have the time to prepare it regularly. There are several services that provide fresh and pre-portioned homemade dog food (made with human-grade USDA ingredients) straight to your door, like NomNomNow or The Farmer's Dog. Check each site for pricing, as meals vary based on your dog's weight goals and activity level, and read a full review of NomNomNow here.

    2. If you're going the dry-food route, consider this three-piece pet food container set to keep it fresh all year long.

    It comes with a handy scoop, a 33-quart bin on wheels for dry food, and a 12-quart bin for either treats or canned food.

    Read a full review of this product here.

    Get it from Amazon for $22.61+ (available in 12 colors).

    3. And you're gonna need some bowls to serve that food! An elevated feeder is a great choice since it's said to help reduce bloating as well as the strain on your dog’s neck and joints.

    Promising review (for left feeder): "It will feel slightly flimsy at first, but it literally just takes putting it against wall and you have yourself an awesome product! My Finn loves it! He drinks A LOT of water throughout that day and now I don't have to fill his bowl every hour or two. Also, he tends to spill more water than he drinks, and with the bigger bowl and the stand, I no longer have water all over my floors! Would buy again for sure!" —Isabela

    Get the adjustable feeder on the left from Amazon for $24.11+ (available in black, blue, and pink) or the one on the left from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in three sizes).

    4. Of course, you can't forget treats! There are tons of all-natural treats you can find in your local pet store or online.,

    Some of our favorites include Blue Dog Bakery treats, Greenies dental chews, Old Mother Hubbard treats, Three Dog Bakery, and Rocco and Roxie treats; get them all from Amazon.

    5. As you may be aware, dogs need walks — so you'll want a sturdy leash and comfy collar or harness appropriate for your dog's size.,

    Get the leash for $10.89 (available in five colors), collar for $8.99+ (available in four sizes, 32 colors, and with the option for customization), and Puppia harness for $13.50+ (available in six sizes and 14 colors), all from Amazon.

    6. And if your pup is a puller — aka they walk you instead of the other way around — you might want to think about a no-pull harness designed to help improve their leash skills.

    Promising review: "I had recently spent over $20 on a harness that by the time I figured out how to get it on him, (every time) I would be too exhausted to even go for a walk!!! Someone told me about the Rabbitgoo harness and I figured why not, gotta be better than the one I was TRYING to use. So I ordered it and was hopeful but honestly not too confident. When it came and my husband got it adjusted to fit him, which was so much easier than the other one was to adjust, we took it for a spin. I must admit, I was absolutely AMAZED. For the first time I was actually walking him, not the other way around. Now every time we go walking, I'm still impressed. He must like it as well because it stays on the table and he's constantly going to get it. BEST product I've purchased online for my pup in a very long time. Absolutely gets two thumbs up." —laeanne Farnsworth

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99+ (available in five sizes).

    7. Speaking of taking your dog on walks...don't forget to stock up on some quality poop bags!

    These sturdy bags are made from recycled materials.

    Get a pack of 270 bags from Amazon for $11.99 (available in unscented and lavender).

    8. If you've just brought home a puppy or have a dog that needs a little help being housetrained, you'll definitely want to invest in a supply of wee-wee pads.

    Read more about house-training your dog here.

    Promising review: "I will be buying these again. I've tried a number of puppy pads since I have a small toy dog and am pleased to report that these do a good job of absorbing urine and are affordably priced. They are not the thickest pad I have bought, but they do not leak. More important than thickness to me is how the pad curbs the flow of urine. Some like the Allmax are thicker pads but the urine spreads out too much and it will reach the dog's paws before she is done. The Amazon pads inhibit the spreading better which for me is a big plus. Highly recommended. I hope this review helps a little in making your decision!" —Buffy

    Get them from Amazon for $10.28+ (available in regular and extra-large sizes and in 40- to 150-count packs).

    9. Or try this real-grass kit that'll help train your floof to go outside — it can also aid aging dogs who may be incontinent as well as serve as an alternative to wee-wee pads on a porch or balcony.,

    Th hydroponically-grown grass is a natural attractant and odor neutralizer; the company also offers free dog-training consultations.

    Promising review: "As a first-time dog owner living in an apartment in NYC, without a doorman and with a child, Fresh Patch was a lifesafer. At first I had it in our apartment when he was a puppy and was getting potty-trained, but now I have it on my fire escape. Every time I would notice he was about to go to the bathroom, I would put him on the grass say 'go potty' and give him lots of praise when he went. It’s outside now all year round, uncovered, and he uses it whether it’s wet from rain, has snow on it or is dried out. I leave it in the box it comes in which also survives the weather conditions and I don’t put anything underneath the box. I do get a new one weekly and keep two at a time so he has more space. One old and one new — he uses both interchangeably. He still goes outside as well, although when it’s snowing he’ll only use the Fresh Patch." —l1l4t3

    Get it from Amazon for $19.

    10. But be prepared for accidents too — this pet odor and stain remover is a customer favorite.

    Promising review: "Works like a charm. Follow directions carefully. No damage to carpet or lingering order. Happy camper :-) Our dog is being re-trained with this product. So far no re-marking. Only needed to use it a few times. I'm not into the scientific kind of review of this but I'm glad that this product outdid others the first time I used it. (I've had others that just didn't work, i.e., discolored carpet and couch: Yikes! And left an odor that was less than desirable and exacerbated the odor of the urine.) Soak up as much from first contact; use product and re-treat if necessary." —Jojo

    Read a full review of this product here.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    11. You'll also want to make sure you have everything you need to keep them safe and comfortable once winter comes, like protective wax to shield their paws against painful rock salt and a coat to keep 'em toasty when the temps dip.,,

    Musher's Secret is also a great option to soften dry, cracked paws and noses, as well as to protect their paws from hot pavement in the summer.

    Promising review (for wax): "I have used this product on the last three dogs I’ve had. Living in the Northeast, I deal with snow, salt, ice, and blistering pavement in the summers, and this product is an absolute miracle. I purchased three more containers today for my dog to give out as Christmas presents to her friends. It is that good. In the winter, I put it on her paws two to three times a week and she can withstand the bitter cold and salty walks. In the summer when the temperature is 80 and above, I put it on her paws and she can walk on asphalt without issue. FYI: If your dog is slipping around inside, you have put too much on! You need to work this into the pad, between the toes, and wipe off any excess with a paper towel. I have dark hardwood floors and I have never seen paw prints. Don’t hesitate to purchase this — if you love your dog, you simply must use musher’s secret to protect their paws!" —Kat Lanz

    Get Musher's Secret protective wax from Amazon for $12.75+ (available in four sizes) and the reversible coat from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in sizes XS-3XL and in five colors).

    Read about more awesome things BuzzFeed staffers use to keep their dogs happy and warm all winter here.

    12. And perhaps consider a doggie raincoat (!!) — which, apparently, also fits pygmy goats perfectly.,

    Promising review: "Love these raincoats. Ordered three altogether. They are tough, cute, and keep my dogs dry. I have purchased other flimsy raincoats that did not keep my dogs dry. I am extremely pleased with these. The little hoods are cute too. The purpose of the raincoats are so that I only have to dry off their feet when they return from their walk. These sturdy little coats are great. And my furry kids seem to like them and and they stay in place without slipping and sliding. Fantastic price for great product. Awesome! :-)" —Barbara N.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.03+ (available in sizes XS-2XL).

    13. A dog bed is a must (unless, you know, *your* bed is also your dog's bed, which, no shame)...

    This one is made from orthopedic egg-crate CertiPUR-US Certified Polyurethane foam, designed to provides joint support and soothe pressure points for deeper, more restorative sleep. Comes with a zippered, removable cover that's machine-washable.

    Promising review: "My 85 lb Labrador mix is comfy as can be on the Jumbo size. I was pleasantly surprised at how big this bed actually is — bigger than the XL beds I have seen elsewhere. She can spread out on this one. She's an old dog and seems to find this bed very easy on her old bones. I don't know yet what the longevity will be, but have bought more expensive beds that didn't last long, so if I get a year out of this one I will be happy." —Leslie K

    Get it from Amazon for $24.47+ (available in four sizes and four colors).

    14. ...especially if you're considering crate-training your pup.

    Read more about why crate-training is beneficial and tips for success here.

    Get this one from Amazon for $23.49+ (available in six sizes and in single-door and double-door options).

    15. Let's talk toys. There are SO many options to choose from, and dogs love to play! So chances are your pup will enjoy whatever you choose to toss their way — but try a few that require them to use their noggin, to keep them challenged and stimulated, like this hide-and-seek squirrel toy...

    Promising review: "I first got the smaller version, my 11-pound dog would work to get the squirrels out. After she would get all the squirrels out we would put them back and she again would work to get them out. She never tired of this game. She got too good and too quick so I wanted to increase the challenge I bought the biggest version. She plays tirelessly to free all the squirrels. This version has more squirrels so it takes her a bit longer. This toy is not heavy so it is easy for my small dog to throw and shake it to free the squirrels. Very entertaining!!"

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in four sizes and in also in bee, bird, and hedgehog varieties).

    16. ...or this puzzle toy that'll make your fluffer work for their treats.,

    Promising review: "As a pet parent to three rescues and a foster, we bought a few dog puzzles of various levels to see what would best engage and entertain them. This has been the pack favorite and ours as we can easily adapt it to each dog's level of skill. We appreciate how well made it is and would recommend it highly. Some reviews expressed concerns over dogs with larger snouts being unable to access treats in these toys. We have a Labrador, pit mix (like a miniature pit), Baseniji mix, and German shephard mix. They range in size from about 25 lbs to 75 lbs and have all enjoyed this toy!" —Liz Cooper

    Get it from Amazon for $9.19+ (available in several varieties and training levels).

    17. But if you've got your hands full with a power chewer, you'll want to make sure your home is stocked with super-sturdy toys, like a classic Kong or a Nylabone chew that won't fall apart within five minutes of play.

    Get the Kong from Amazon for $8.49+ (available in five sizes and also in red), or the Nylabone chew from Amazon for $6.09+ (available in two sizes).

    Stuff the Kong with peanut butter or this easily dispensed treat paste from Amazon for $6.99 (available in five varieties).

    You might even want to subscribe to Bullymake, a subscription especially for power chewers that promises to send you a new toy if your dog destroys any of the ones in your delivery within 14 days.

    18. Anxious pups might benefit from this stuffed toy, which comes with a "real-feel” pulsing heartbeat and heat source that mimic being part of a pack in order to calm them. (I mean...can you even deal with these photos???),

    Promising review: "My pup was separated from her mother way too early and has crazy separation anxiety. I opened this as soon as I got it and she instantaneously passed out on top of it. Already know it was a good purchase." —Ashmeg84

    Get it from Amazon for $39.95 (available in five colors).

    19. Or treat your dog (and, let's be real, yourself!) to a subscription box that does all the work for you — all you need to do is unbox your monthly delivery of toys and treats.


    There are tons to choose from, but some of our faves include:

    • Barkbox, from $20/box

    • The Dapper Dog Box, from $29.99/month

    • Pupjoy, from $29/month

    • Pugbox, from $29/month

    • ShaggySwag, from $25/month

    Read all about a few that we tested here!

    20. If you'll be traveling with your dog in your car, you should consider a pup seat belt to keep them safe — and a waterproof protective cover to keep your car safe from their wrath.,,

    Promising review (seat belt): "This saved my service dog's life. On 2/8/17 my service dog and I were in a terrible accident. We spun on black ice into a concrete median, into a semi, and back into the concrete again. I was wearing my seat belt and walked away with just minor scrapes and bruises. Thanks to this device my service dog was not thrown from the vehicle and walked away with only a bruised paw. I almost lost my best friend and lifeline but thanks to this purchase and a safety harness I'm happy to say we're both here today!" — TeagenQueen613

    Promising review (cover): "Fits my 2014 Subaru Outback perfectly. Water doesn't soak in, just wipe it right off. Stays in place on the back seat even when my 72 pound Labradoodle moves to look out the opposite window. Great investment to save my leather seats and have my furry friend get to ride in the back seat." —EAH

    Get a two-pack of seat belts from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in six colors) and the waterproof cover from Amazon for $28.99.

    Read a full review of the seat belt here.

    21. A carrier or backpack for small dogs — or even a stroller for bigger ones! — will come in handy on adventures with your furry little bud., Harper Hendrickson / BuzzFeed,

    Promising review (carrier): "I went on vacation and the carrier worked great — it unzips to make more than enough space for my Jack Russell terrier, who is about 16 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds. The carrier fit fine on the plane and she was comfortable." —Maureen

    Promising review (stroller): "This stroller is just for what I've been looking for! We have an English bulldog that has joint issues and arthritis so he's unable to go on longer walks with his sister. Now we can load him up in this for a walk or to go to the dog park so he can run a bit. It really has opened his world up. He's a larger dog so we needed something sturdy and this was perfect. It was super easy to put together, just snap the wheels in place and that's it!" —Kayla Meester

    Read a full review of the K9 Sport Sack backpack here.

    Get the carrier for $39.94 (available in three colors), the backpack for $69.95 (available in four sizes and size colors), and the stroller for $189.86+ (available in three colors), all from Amazon.

    22. Speaking of adventures — if you're an outdoorsy type, check out this list of useful products for getting active with your pet, which includes things like a travel mug to keep your pup hydrated and even a doggie life jacket!, Highwave / Via Amazon

    Promising review: "Great life jacket! I ordered this for my mini long-haired dachshund, who tries hard but is not a strong swimmer. He's able to stay afloat with this vest (we're still working on keeping his head above water, but the neck piece on this vest helps a lot). We ordered a size small. For reference, he is only 9 pounds (which is in range for size XS), but all of his measurements put him in the small range. I was worried it would be too big, but he fits (almost) perfectly in the small since the straps cinch him in. It's a little big in the back, but he's still young so he's got room to grow." —Kristina Circelli

    Promising review: "Our 6-month-old black lab goes with us almost everywhere. We were on vacation and saw someone had this for their dog. They recommended it so we purchased it on Amazon. Wherever we go people ask us about it. Our dog also tries to hold it herself and squeeze it to drink while we are driving (but she hasn't quite figured it out yet). It convenient, easy to use, nonbreakable and spill-proof. We use it while hiking, walking in town, on our boat and while traveling in the car. Highly recommend!" —Mark R. Bentlage

    Get the mug from Amazon for $14.99 (available in seven colors) life jacket from Amazon for $11.37+ (available in sizes XS-XL and in two varieties).

    23. Flea and tick prevention is a must, so talk to your vet about the right options for your doggo, and consider a natural repellant that works on both pets and home surfaces alike.

    Promising review: "Based on many great reviews, I decided to try another holistic product. I'm happy to report that my tick-magnet dog had a couple on his coat, which I removed. They appeared to be affected by the spray. I didn't find any that were attached and eating! I've found a winner! I also spray my hiking shoes to repel ticks and the closet walls to repel wool-eating moths. I like the smell, and Vito isn't bothered by it as he was from other holistic products. Awesome product!!" —Ellen Segale

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    24. If you've adopted an older pup, you might want to look into supplements, like omega-3s or joint supplements, to keep them happy and healthy (but of course consult your vet first!).,

    Promising review (for joint supplements): "As others have said, I think the ingredients alone sell you. It's nice to have a totally natural product that you can literally see, smell, and taste what's inside of them (yes, I tried them, I know). Then add the fact that my dog consumes them readily and that we know these supplements are good for joints and decrease inflammation. And to top it off, I was pleased to find that the bag was full to the very top. No half full bag, wasting packaging and charging you more for less in the process. This bag easily equaled three bags full of other treats and supplements I've tried." —Amazon Customer

    Get the omega-3 chewable tablets from Amazon for $21.97 and Ethical Pet Co. supplements from Amazon for $29.99.

    25. Some brushless toothpaste will help keep your floofer's dental health in tip-top shape and bad breath at bay.

    The toothpaste is safe for dogs and cats.

    Promising review: "This stuff is a miracle. One of our two dogs has especially bad halitosis. We paid over $200 getting his teeth cleaned about two months ago and was stinky again. I resorted to brushing and got nowhere but wrestling a 9 lb. dog. This is a brushless toothpaste as advertised. When it arrived the other day, used it on both dogs. Honest to god, both dogs have fresh, puppy breath and tolerate it wonderfully. Apparently dogs get very dry mouths and this eliminates that AND the bad breath." —Petunia

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    26. If your pup is itchy often, get them to a vet stat! They might be dealing with allergies. Duoxo pads or hot-spot sprays can help alleviate discomfort.,

    Promising review (pads): "Awesome product. Our Frenchie was getting a bad reaction to plastic water bowls, and because we were living with my parents at the time, we couldn't avoid him sneaking water from their Labs' bowls. While other wipes didn't do much, these round pads were so easy to use! Lou hates getting groomed but these are easy to swipe across his face and we could see results almost immediately — within 10 days his whole face cleared up! We now keep them on hand 24/7 and he hasn't had a flare-up since." —Meg

    Promising review (spray): "My 10-year-old Shih Tzu was chewing on her hind end something fierce. I checked for fleas and checked again. She didn't have any fleas. No idea what was causing her to keep chewing on herself like this. She was scabbing up and bleeding, it was pitiful. This happened as it was getting cold for wintertime, so I assume the dry air from the heat being on was a factor. So I picked up some of this, hoping it would help. It not only helped, it solved her problem completely! After soaking her down with this stuff for two to three days in a row, she stopped chewing, her scabs healed up, and she's soft and cuddly again! Highly recommended!" —Jennifer

    Get the pads from Amazon for $13.83 and the spray from Amazon for $6.91+ (available in two sizes).

    27. And regular baths with a shampoo to keep them fresh and itch-free, plus an ear cleaner to seal the deal, can help them feel more comfy as well.,

    Read a review of both the shampoo (#2) and the ear cleaner (#3) here.

    Get the shampoo from Amazon for $8.39 and the ear cleaner for Amazon for $11.90.

    28. For wrinkly breeds like bulldogs, pugs, and Frenchies, this wrinkle cream is formulated to clean up tear stains and minimize itching and irritation.

    Promising review: "This cream is a miracle worker. My 2-year-old English bulldog had yeast in his wrinkles. I cleaned every day with hydrogen peroxide but it didn't clear it up. It just kept it from getting worse. Then I used a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and apple cider vinegar, but nothing. I also used products from the Natural Dog Company, but my bully hated the smell. One night I came across this product. Within 24 hours of using Squishface I noticed a huge difference. Within 48 hours it was almost gone. By 72 hours it had cleared up. I clean his face before bed and apply the cream. I only use once a day and that was enough for us. I can't say my bully loves it, because seriously what bully likes having their wrinkles cleaned? He tolerates it and I love that it worked for us. It has no smell, it's natural, and it WORKS!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon $20.72.

    29. And you may want to try these best-selling grooming wipes in between baths if your pupper had a particularly messy playdate or isn't exactly smelling like roses.

    Promising review: "I use these to wipe my pup's paws after walks, and to do a once-over when he's had play dates and comes home smelling like an assortment of other dogs. I noticed first the TEXTURE IS FABULOUS. Ladies, those little towelettes you use to wipe your face...these are better! The thickness and texture really make paw-wiping a breeze. Second, I noticed after just a day of use, my pup's fur felt SO soft, but without a residue feeling. It's also not causing any kind of reaction with his sensitive skin. Thirdly, there is a mild scent, but nothing that appears artificial or over-powering. Will purchase again (and again, and again)." —Yoo Ar

    Get them form Amazon for $11.99+ (available in three sizes and in green tea scented and unscented).

    30. Get a set of nail clippers that'll make it easy to give your doggo an at-home trim when you start to notice that tap-tap-tap on your floors every time they walk into the room., "

    Promising review: "I bought the small-medium size for my 44 lb Siberian husky and they worked perfectly. Her nails are thick and they were able to cut through them without a problem. Highly recommend." —Olivia

    Get them from Amazon for $8.57+ (available in two sizes).

    31. If you're sharing your home with a long-haired breed or a shedder, you'll definitely want to regularly brush your pup — the Furminator is a customer-favorite de-shedding tool with over 10,000 five-star reviews(!).,

    Promising review: "I got my Furminator today and brushed Maxie for over an hour. After every stroke, the brush was full of hair and I had to release it. Not only did the brush NOT hurt my dog, but it made her feel good! As I ran the brush down her back, she'd get a muscle twinge and start to shake her back leg, like she does when I start to scratch a really good spot on her. She patiently laid her head in my lap, wagged her tail, and STAYED PUT as I brushed her! This thing is a miracle brush! Per the pictures, she lost a lot of hair. But after an hour, I got tired, and so I'll brush her again tomorrow. When I finished brushing her today, the brush was still catching a full load of hair every time I brought it down her back and sides. This thing is a beast, and I am so happy I bought it. Easily one of the best investments I have ever made." —Autonomous J.E.D.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in five sizes and in long hair and short hair options).

    32. Stock up on sticky rollers that'll save your clothes from looking like you just rolled around in a pile of dogs every time you leave the house (even if you did just indeed roll around in a pile of dogs, in which case, invite me next time?).

    Get one roller from Amazon for $6.20, a refill for $3.95, or a giant-roller bundle with six refills for $30.50.

    33. And a pet candle to mask any aroma of eau de dog in your home — because dogs are perfect, but they may not always smell that way.

    Read a full review of this candle here.

    Get it from Amazon for $21.95 (available in 20+ scents).

    34. Worried by the thought of leaving your pup home alone all day? (Same.) The Furbo is a genius little pet monitor that even lets you toss your fuzzball treats when you're not at home!!


    The Furbo is Alexa-compatible and has a night-vision function, treat-tossing feature via the Furbo app, a two-way chat function (aka you can hear what's going on at home *and* you can talk to your dog!), a barking sensor, and a 160-degree wide-angle view.

    Read a full review of this awesome gadget here.

    Get it from Amazon or Furbo for $199.

    35. If you're at work for a long stretch of time — or going away without your pup — make sure you have a reliable dog walker or sitter. You can use Rover to find local walkers as well as dog-sitters.


    Use the site or the app to find walkers as well as resources for boarding, house-sitting, drop-in visits, and doggy daycare; prices vary.

    36. And finally, if you've adopted your dog, 1) you are a hero! And 2) a DNA test could help shed some light on any potential breed-associated health issues (plus it's just fun to know what your pup's background is).


    Get it from Embark for $199 (and use code HOLIDNA to get $40 off through 12/31/18).

    Now go on and spoil your new best friend!

    ‎Thunder Road Pictures‎

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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