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Essential MUST haves when having a dog

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Are you a new dog owner or just curious to see what you must have in your dog cabinet?

Here is a list of what I find to be MUST have in a dog home!
  • Dog toys

First MUST have are a couple of different dog toys. My suggestion would be a tug robe, Kong, ball and a bunch of different enrichment toys such as a dog spinny, but it all depends on what your dog likes. Bring them with you to the pet store and let them pick out their own toys.

  • Dog food

This MUST have of course goes without saying. However, people feed their dog differently – some with kibble, some with wet food, some feed Raw. The most important thing to remember here is that if you get a puppy be sure to talk to your vet about their diet to make sure that all their nutritional needs are covered. This of course also goes for the adult dog.

Should you try to change their diet do it gradually, starting with a little taste, mixing it in with their normal food and then slowly adding more and more until the transfer is complete. This is in order for their stomachs to adjust so they don’t get diarrhea etc. I feed my dogs a mix and try to find the most natural and environmentally friendly foods possible.

  • A basket with a duvet or blanket

Make it comfortable for them. The third MUST have – a basket! A safe place your dog can go to relax with no disturbances. You can have different spots with different blankets. Observe where your dog likes to lie and put a blanket or their basket there.

  • Leash

Another essential MUST have is a leash, and one that fits your needs and comforts. I personally prefer a leash where you can change the length in different hooks. A flexi-line is smart if you want to give your dog a little more freedom but can’t have him/her lose.

  • Harness

The fifth MUST have is a harness. There are so many different kinds, some hook in the front, some on the bag, but none the less they have been proven to be better than attaching the leash to your dog’s collar so go get yourself a harness.

  • Treats

Tons and tons of them! Treats are a definite MUST have! Figure out what your dog favorite treats are. Have treats of different value for when you do different things. An example could be ‘Recall’. This cue needs a very delicious treat in order for your dog to think it is worth leaving a lovely smell and come back to you. If you are up for it make the treats yourself, last week I made cheese bites and the dogs loved them, check out the recipe here:


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

Surprising for many but a toothbrush is a MUST have in your dogggie home! You need to brush your dog’s teeth 1-2 times daily or provide chew bones (dental sticks does not work!) regularly in order to keep your dog’s teeth looking sharp. You can get a softer toothbrush for puppies which is a good start.

How to brush your dogs teeth? Simply follow the steps in this blog

  • Comb and brush

If you have a semi-long or long haired dog a brush or comb is a MUST have! You need to brush your dog’s fur regularly in order to keep their fur-coat nice and shinny and of course fight off the inevitable dreadlocks that always seem to find their way behind the ears.

  • Nail clipper or trimmer

Most dogs don’t wear down their nails by themselves and need a weekly trim of their nails, which is why a nail clipper is a MUST have among your doggie things. I would recommend to have a look at this page https://www.facebook.com/groups/nail.maintenance.for.dogs/learning_content/ in order to learn how to properly teach your dog to get his or hers nails trimmed without making it a struggle and possibly traumatizing your dog.

  • Collar with tag

The tag holds the dogs name and your phone number, in case they should run away, which makes this one of the most important MUST haves on the list.

  • Microchip

Dogs can lose their tag on their collar and if they suddenly run away you need to make sure that they can be located back to you, which is why a microchip on your dog is an absolute MUST have!

  • Poop-bags

It is a law that you have to pick up after your dog so this one is a real MUST have. You can now get poop bags that are more environmental friendly so reduce your plastic waste by buying those instead.

  • Tick remover

Despite using different preventatives be it the pill, liquid or collar a tick remover is still a MUST have. During the summer you need to check your dog daily for tics. Tics can cause severe disease and even death if left on your dog, so it is important to remove them immediately.

  • Shampoo and balsam

These are specially made for dogs, and come in as a definite MUST have when your dog has decided to roll in poop or take a mud bath (trust me…it will happen 😉 )

  • Bowls for their food and water

Stainless steal lasts for a long time and are less damaging to the environment than the plastic ones you can get. Your dog should always have access to clean water which is why a bowl is a MUST have. Feeding can be done both in the bowl or by using one of these 30 enrichment ideas here.

  • Towel

Towels are a MUST have for drying their feet when they come home from your adventures and for drying them when it is pouring down outside. 

Want to learn how to teach your dog to get their paws dried? Click here!

  • Seat belts or crates for your car

The last MUST have on the list are seat belts or crates. Your dog has to be securely fastened when you drive with them. Not only can they harm themselves, they can also harm you or disturb your driving.

If you can think of any other must haves for your dog please write them in the comments below.


2 reaktioner på ”Essential MUST haves when having a dog

  1. Elisabeth skriver:

    A selection of toys and a harness if you choose that rather than a collar. I would also recommend a long leash for walks in the forrest etc. and another shorter one for walks in the city or for training.