Dogs turn a house into a home. If you’re adopting a dog or your puppy has grown up, there are a few things you’ll need around the house to keep your dog happy and healthy.
At the very least, your dog needs a bed, toys, food and water bowls, and a good-quality dry food. But there are other things you’ll need to keep your dog happy and healthy…
Raised sides dog bed recommendation: Barkbox 2-in-1 Memory Foam Dog Bolster Bed from Amazon
Price range: $53.99 – $94.99
Flat dog bed recommendation: Furhaven Pet – L-shaped Chaise Couch from Amazon
Price Range: $20 – $110 depending on size
I find that my small-medium-sized dogs love to snuggle in a dog bed that has raised sides, as this makes them feel safe and gives them support. Each bed gets a baby blanket that my dogs can snuggle in or lie on top of.
Larger breeds tend to prefer flat beds, as they feel the heat easily and often enjoy lying flat out on their sides rather than curling up like smaller dogs.
If your dog is anxious (whining and crying at night) or gets terrified when there’s lightning or fireworks, consider getting this Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid. It’s a plush puppy to cuddle that has a real-feel heartbeat, so your dog thinks there’s a friend lying there with him/her.
Oh, and I only ever buy dog beds that can be washed in the machine because I throw them in the wash once a month for a good clean.
My recommendation: 18 Piece Dog Toy Sets Supporting Non-Profit Dog Rescue from Amazon
Price range: $21
The toys your dog loves will depend a lot on his breed (is he a digger, a retriever, a sighthound?), how much attention and exercise your dog gets every day, and if he has another dog to play with.
I’ve found that getting a pack of toys for one low price is the best way to find out what toys a dog likes to play with, before buying any more. I have one dog that loves balls and squeaky toys, and another dog that ignores them completely.
Once you know what toys your dog loves, then get more of these types of toys and don’t worry about the rest.
My recommendation: Royal Canin Dry Dog Food from Amazon
Price range: $15 – $65 depending on dog size and bag size
I’m a big fan of the Royal Canin brand. If your dog is a mixed breed, you can use the dry dog food for small, medium, or large dogs. If you have a purebred dog, check to see if they have pellets for your specific breed.
I get the pellets for small dog breeds, which both my dogs eat, because I don’t want to buy two different bags of dog food.
I really like the balance between this being a high-quality dog food and the affordable price. Plus, my dogs love it.
Dog Food Bowl
My recommendation: Slow Feeder Dog Bowl from Amazon
Price range: $9 – $15
If your dog is a greedy little thing and gulps down food, it’s a good idea to get a slow feeder. My boy still uses a slow feeder at every meal.
These feeders have ‘puzzles’ in them, so your dog has to dig out food between the puzzle lines. This really slows down the eating process, which is much better for your dog.
Many people buy their dogs a steel food bowl but mine have never liked steel. I think it bothers them when they knock it with their teeth.
Dog Water Bowl
My recommendation: Dogit Water Bowl – Non-skid from Amazon
Price range: $16
I want my dogs drinking lots of water, so I give them what they love – big water bowls that get filled with fresh water daily.
I recommend getting a water bowl with rubber underneath, to stop your dog from pushing it around and tipping over the water bowl.
Or you can get a silicone feeding mat like this one from Amazon to put under the food and water bowls, which should keep the bowls in place and make cleaning up easier.
When it comes to anything your dog eats, be sure to buy brands you know and trust. Please don’t ever buy cheap treats online because you never know what’s going into the treats (and into your dog). Remember that people can brand anything and sell it to you online, so don’t just trust that what you see on the box is what you’re going to get.
If it’s too cheap to be true, it probably is!
I buy all dog treats with my regular groceries from the store. I look for anything that’s on sale to buy in bulk and I only buy brands I recognize.
Some dog treat brands you can trust are: Purina, Zukes, Old Mother Hubbard, Full Moon, Pupford, and Greenies.
Alternatively, you can make your own dog treats at home if you have the time. There are many recipes available online.
I only use shampoo from my vet – your vet will be able to recommend the best shampoo for your dog.
I personally don’t like putting sudsy chemicals on my dogs and making them smell like berries because I don’t believe that’s natural or good for their skin.
If you do want to use a hypoallergenic, organic shampoo for dog baths, then the 4-Legger Certified All Natural brand is very popular on Amazon.
Remember not to wash your dog too often, or you’ll upset the natural balance in his/her skin.
Flea and Tick Treatment
My recommendation: Frontline Plus from Amazon
Price range: $25 – $70 depending on dog size and number of doses
I never miss a flea and tick treatment.
Why? Because my dog once had ticks crawl into her ears and she ended up at the vet, under anesthetic, so he could get them all out for her. It wasn’t fun for her and it wasn’t fun for my bank account – it’s much cheaper to prevent fleas and ticks than fix them later.
I dose the dogs with Frontline on the first of every month. Just be sure to get the right box for your dog’s size and check how often to dose. With Frontline, you just empty the little container on to the dog’s back, between the shoulder blades where they can’t lick.
There are cheaper options available than Frontline. I’d stick with the more well-known brands (Frontline, K9 Advantix, and Seresto) because I’ve heard stories of cheap, fake products causing more harm than good.
If in doubt, ask your vet or local pet store for the best quality and lowest price product they can recommend.
My recommendation: Bayer Chewable Quad Dewormer from Amazon
Price range: $21 – $47 depending on dog size
Worms – there are quite a few types that love dogs, so it’s better to get a dewormer that kills them all (tapeworm, whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm).
Make sure you get the right tablet size for your dog as this affects the dose they need.
If your dog isn’t fussy you shouldn’t have a problem getting him/her to chew the deworming tablet like a treat. I have one that loves them. For the other dog, I have to break up and hide the deworming tablet in cheese, meat, or any other tasty snack to get my dog to swallow it. She’s a master at eating the food and spitting out the tablet.
One word of advice – give the tablet to your dog in the morning and let him/her spend time outside during the day. These tablets give my dogs diarrhea, so I give them the day to sort it out.