Top 10 Must Have’s for New Dog Owners


Okay, here is another dog related list, but this time it is more practical, especially for new dog owners. Thanks to dog expert Jeanne Wilson for this helpful list of products. There is a maze of products out there for new puppy owners but here are the top 10 most needed for your new pup and your sanity!

10. Chew toys

The first thing those little darlings want to do each day is play and chew. From furniture to ankles, they will bat around and bite anything in their way. A good quality, interesting chew toy is an essential. I have found that the Planet Dog ( toys are especially durable, bouncy and minty, too! They have a wide selection in various interesting shapes – strawberry & artichoke to name just a few. who knew! And they are 100% recyclable and eco-friendly.

9. Soft training treats

Soft training treats have a few advantages over regular treats 1) they are small enough to give repeatedly (and you’ll need that) 2) they are moist so he won’t wander off looking for a drink. The best I have found are Simon & Huey’s soft training treats ( All natural and human grade – super tasty and super healthy.

8. Spot and Stain remover

Sorry but it’s necessary. Before you are able to train your dog to share their excitement outside, they will share it inside – inevitably on your favorite rug. I found that good, old Resolve Spot and Stain remover is the best. It even gets out stains you didn’t get to immediately (behind the sofa?). Don’t forget to blot and not rub.

7. Healthy food

With all the food recalls last year, food manufacturers are getting better at regulating themselves but they have a long way to go. A listing of “by-product meal” can be any part of the chicken from feet to intestines. I found some exceptionally healthy food through a company called PetLane.

6. Dog shampoo

Not people shampoo but dog shampoo. People shampoo is PH balanced for people and not for dogs and it can dry out and damage your dog’s skin. The resulting itchiness can cause scratching and irritation and set the stage for bacterial infections. So wash that muddy puppy but use the right shampoo – I like Happytails HT302 Sparkle and Shine – Brightening Shampoo – their products are all natural and luxurious.

5. Good scooper

It’s a necessity. I tried buying lots of cheap, plastic ones but once I spent a few extra dollars on a metal/wood one, I was sold. I have been using it for years now and it hasn’t let me down (nor broken my back). The Panorama Scoop Set by Flexrake has served me well – each and every day. I use the scoop & spade

4. Training classes

Don’t wait until your puppy is 4-5 months old to learn the best ways to train him. You will want to understand a dog’s perspective from the very beginning. I unexpectedly found exceptional training at my local PetSmart but have also heard excellent success with Bark Busters ( – great for behavioral issues at any age, too.

3. Crate and blanket

While I loathed the idea of putting my dog in a crate (or “cage”) it really is necessary for your sanity and for their happiness. My dogs loved it and really considered it home. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because dog’s are generally reluctant to have accidents where they sleep), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture) and to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.). Be sure to choose one that will grow with your dog. And don’t forget – never use it for punishment.

2. Training booklet

While there is a vast array of training books on the market, which, if you’re like me, you don’t have the time to read all 300 pages, I found a 23 page booklet loaded with pertinent and concise information. Way to Go! How to Housetrain a Dog of Any Age by Patricia McConnell. A PHD certified applied animal behaviorist, Dr. McConnell has been working with treating serious behavioral problems since the eighties and now has a collection of useful booklets, DVD’s and more. She is truly an expert on the subject!

1. Taste deterrent

All the wood in my kitchen at ankle height has seen better days before the puppy chewing began. It’s partially a boredom thing and partially a teething thing and partially and new taste sensation for puppies but regardless, there had to be a better way. And there is…a bitter way to be exact – Grannick’s Bitter Apple (available at major retail stores). I’ll warn you, it doesn’t always work for everyone but our lab tests in Henry’s Lab had a tremendous success rate and showed that this is the one product most likely to deter your pups from chewing on your furniture – and even their own coat.

List provided by¬† Jeanne Willson, owner of Henry’s Backyard, a great resource for dog owners.

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  1. There's one more thing you should have… a vet. Your first trip with puppy should be for a well-vet visit and to schedule the necessary shots. Talk about spaying or neutering as soon as possible, vets can perform the surgeries on puppies much younger than before. Unless you are a professional breeder, spaying or neutering before the puppy is mature can reduce the chance reproductive cancers or unwanted litters. Some veterinarians will provide after-hours emergency treatment for their regular customers, saving you from the more expensive pet hospitals who do not know your pup or his/her history,.