Adoption Supplies Checklist
So you’re ready to open your heart and home and adopt a pet? We love that! Let’s make sure you have all the supplies you need before you bring your new family member home. Just follow the Adoption Shopping Checklist below. This checklist should work for all new dog owners.
First, a quick note before you begin shopping. It’s a good idea to wait until you select your new dog before you begin shopping for supplies. For example, some items, such as food and water bowls or collars and harnesses, depend upon the size of the dog you will be adopting. Also, be sure to find out which food your dog was eating in the shelter or foster home so that you can provide the same in the beginning. Suddenly switching a dog’s food can cause digestive problems so if you want to switch brands you need to ease the transition by mixing the old and new and gradually increasing the portion of new food. Choosing food is important and not all brands are equal. Make sure you talk with your veterinarian about switching to the food of your choice to make sure it’s the right brand for your grown or growing dog.
Adoption Shopping Checklist
Once you’ve selected your dog, here’s a checklist of supplies you may need and some guidelines for picking the best product:
Food and water bowls
- For tall dogs, select ones that come with a stand so they don’t have to strain their necks when eating and drinking
Food (canned and/or dry)
- Depending on the age of the dog, sometimes soft food is recommended – especially for puppies as their teeth develop
- Dry dog food is the most popular and less expensive option, but try to go for the more natural brands and always check the recall list to make sure any brands you buy aren’t there
- Some dogs have food allergies just like people do – so if your pet seems to be itching or gets hives it might be time to change brands.
Collar and ID tag with your phone number
- No dog should be without an identifying collar! If your dog ever gets lost, having a color can get him/her returned quicker.
- Make sure the collar is appropriate for the size of dog. Generally you should be about to fit at least a finger between the dog’s neck and collar comfortably, but shouldn’t be loose enough to slide over their heads.
- All dogs need exercise and if you’re getting a dog that needs training you certainly need a leash to help in this endevor. Most states also have leash laws as well.
- We recommend leashes four to six feet in length. For obedience training, twenty feet leashes are helpful as well.
Hard plastic carrier or fold-able metal crate
- Many people assume crates are “cages”, but they are actually “homes”. They are a place where your pooch can find a secure and comfortable resting place and many dogs actually prefer sleeping in their crates. Just be sure you never use a crate as a punishment.
Dog bed or two
- Dog beds are wonderful as padding for crates and to keep your dog off the furniture or the bed so they can sleep comfortable as well as you
Doggy shampoo and conditioner
- Dogs need baths too. Make sure to get ones that aren’t full of chemicals as these can irritate a dog’s skin.
- Yes, you need conditioner to moisturize their skin and fur after the oils are stripped with shampoo.
Nail clippers (optional)
- If your vet clips their nails at their yearly checkup and if you get your dog groomed then you can skip these, but if you’re comfortable doing it yourself then get a pair.
Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
- Don’t use regular toothpaste, it must be made for canines.
- Be diligent about brushing your dogs teeth to keep them in good shape or you’ll be paying some hefty bills to have them cleaned or pulled.
Brush or comb
- The type depends on your dog’s coat length and type so look for brushes that are recommended for your breed or coat length.
Super-absorbent paper towels
- Dogs make messes so you need to be prepared. These are great for messy drinkers, spills, and accidents.
Sponge, scrub brush, and non-toxic cleaner
- If you have carpet then these are musts. Make sure the cleaner you get is safe for use around pets.
Enzymatic odor neutralizer
- This stuff is specifically formulated to eliminate odor from pet urine that can often seep into carpet and leave a smell even after cleaning the surface. It’s important to use if you don’t want your dog to keep marking your carpets or furniture.
Plastic poop baggies (biodegradable ones are best) or pooper scooper
- A responsible pet owner always has these on hands to pick up after your pet and to keep your yard clean.
Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
- Not all dogs like every type of toy, they can be picky, so grab a variety of toys.
- We recommend getting toys without stuffing as your dog can make a mess or eat the stuffing and get sick. Also, don’t get small toys that you dog can accidentally swallow.
Variety of treats (such as small cookies, etc.)
- Just like toys, dogs can be picky about treats. Try to avoid those with sugar, artificial ingredients, and never feed your dog chocolate.
- Avoid Rawhide, they can be dangerous for any size dog.
- Not all medicine that’s safe for humans is recommended for pets so grab some pet safe first-aid supplies for those just in case moments.
- If you don’t want your dog exploring the entire house or falling down stairs then you’ll want to pick up a few baby gates. Make sure to get ones that will still contain you dog even as it grows so you only have to buy them once.