How To Prepare For A New Dog

You’ve made the decision to adopt a furry, new family member. Preparing for a new dog is very important.

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Download our Shopping for your New Dog Handout for a list of what you’ll want to buy in preparation for the puppy or dog.


Getting your home ready for the dog helps to make a happy and safe environment for both your family and the new pet.

Food: To help give your dog healthier teeth and gums, buy him or her dry food. Pet experts and Banfield recommend high quality diets like Royal Canin® brand diets. Be certain to buy the diet designed for your dog’s age.

Bowls: Always have fresh water in a bowl available for your pet. Buying stainless steel and ceramic bowls without paint on the inside are best. They are typically easier to clean and don’t absorb odors.

Leash: A basic, six-foot leash is best when getting a new dog. Save the retractable leashes for later, when he or she is trained to heel properly.

Treats: Buying pet specific treats are best for your dog’s health. Giving him or her people food as a treat is unhealthy, with too many calories. You can also buy treats meant to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Give him a chew toy like Pedigree Dentabones®, which are entertaining and health conscious.

Kennel: You will want a kennel for either traveling in or sleeping in. Either way, make sure to buy a kennel large enough that your puppy will be able to stand, turn around, and lay down when he or she is full-grown.

Collar & ID tag: For the proper collar size, measure your dog’s neck and add two inches. You should be able to insert two fingers into the collar once it’s on your dog’s neck. Be sure to purchase a dog tag for the collar, inscribed with your address and phone number.

Chew Toys: Giving your dog chew toys can really help with dental care.

Grooming Aids: There are a number of grooming tools you’ll want to keep your pet and home clean.

  • Nail Clippers. Guillotine-style clippers are best to keep your dog’s nails trimmed.
  • Bleeding Inhibitor. Have an inhibitor, like a styptic pencil, nearby in case you trim your dog’s nails too close.
  • Flea comb. This will not only help you keep an eye out regularly for fleas, but it is good for your dog’s skin.
  • Pooper-scooper. Most cities require you clean up after your dog. A pooper-scooper makes this a little easier.
  • Wash mitt & brush. Using both of these tools to clean your pet will help keep your dog’s coat healthy.

With these items, your dog will feel safe at home after adoption. For more ways to properly welcome your dog into your family, read the article on creating a dog considerate home.

Learn More

If you have further questions about preparing for a new pet, or about dog health care, contact your local Banfield Pet Hospital. Our pet health experts will be happy to give you answers, or help set up an appointment for your new dog to see one of our veterinarians.

Also ask about our Optimum Wellness Plan. Each plan is built around your pet’s specific needs. The puppy plan also comes with deworming and the spay or neuter surgery.

Learn more about your pet’s health by reading in the Preventive Care section of our website, or by reading these suggested articles.