5 Must-Haves to Grab Before Adopting or Rescuing Your New Dog

There is no more fulfilling act of service that adopting and housing a dog who needs love in its life.

Your family increases by a few more paws, and there's a sudden abundance of joy that you get to cuddle with every day! However, bringing a new pup into your home isn't just chewy bones and rainbows. There are some important dog essentials that you'll need to make the transition smoother and ensure that you're taking the most optimal care of your pup, especially if this is your first time being a dog parent!

5 Dog Essentials To Grab Before Adopting

1. Toys!

dog with tennis ball in mouth

In all honesty, this one is more for you than your new pup. If there isn't something that's going to keep your teething puppy or anxious older dog stimulated, they'll resort to making your furniture or footwear their toys instead. These toys can also be used for training purposes, or even brain games to help stimulate your dog's mind! When it comes to what kind, we suggest getting a variety of dog toys, such as balls, stuffed toys, hard bones, and others, so that the options can let you know what they like and don't like.

2. A Crate

small dog in crate looking at owner

There's a misconception about crates in the dog parent world. Are they cruel? Are they like doggie jail? Actually, your new pup will LOVE having a place to sleep and feel safe in! Many dogs see crates as their sacred space to retreat to when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. As long as it's jazzed up and made comfortable, it will come in mighty handy for training and sleep purposes, especially if you're rescuing a pup that previously suffered anxiety-inducing circumstances. Having the tools to properly train your pooch is certainly a dog essential.

3. Proper Food

Food is certainly a dog essential, but what kind of food? If you're inexperienced with dog ownership, you may not realize that specific ages and sizes of dogs require very specific kinds of foods! For example, older pups may need foods that will cater to their bone health, while younger dogs may need something more specific to their growing bodies. It's also important to be aware of whether or not your dog suffers from diabetes or any specific intolerances! When it comes to rescues, you may want to start out with the same food that they were eating before switching to something potentially higher quality to help ensure that the transition doesn't upset their stomach.

4. Supplements

dog taking supplement from owner


Taking proper care of your new dog is crucial, and while this of course includes having the proper grooming tools, leashes, dog tags, and bones, this most especially includes supplements that they may need to cater to their specific health necessities. Many rescues can provide insight on whether your dog has something particular to be addressed, such as joint issues or dry skin. Make sure you have those supplements handy to pick up where the rescue left off!

5. Breed-Specific Necessities

dog with special wheels for walking


And of course, every dog and their individual story is going to need something specifically catered to them— especially if you're bringing home a pup that suffers from any disabilities! Dog essentials won't always be run of the mill items. It's important to be fully versed in what your new family member needs in order to provide them the most optimal care. This includes pee pads if you're bringing home a puppy, a baby gate if your dog tends to be destructive, or a mobility ramp for senior or handicap dogs. If you're adopting a special needs dog, ask the rescue in advance if there's anything they recommend or that the dog's foster home has previously used.

Do you have suggestions for what to buy when adopting or rescuing? Tell us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: Common Issues in Rescue Dogs & How You Can Help