Puppy essentials: What equipment do new dog owners need?

Being a dog owner is a rewarding experience filled with fun and love, but it also comes with responsibilities. To ensure the wellbeing and happiness of your furry friend, it's so important to have the right equipment. From daily essentials including food, bedding and dog grooming equipment to more adventurous items like dog agility equipment, there are many must-have products to keep your pooch happy and healthy.

Whether you're a first-time dog owner or have had many pups in the past, these recommendations will help you create a loving environment for your canine companion.

13 Mar 2024

What are the basic welfare needs of a dog?


To take proper care of your dog, you’ll need to understand their basic needs and how to meet them. These include:

  • Diet: feed your dog the correct type and amount of food for their age and weight. Puppies need different food to adult and senior dogs.
  • Behaviour: train your dog well so they’re under control at all times. A good recall can be one of the most important training elements to keep your dog safe.
  • Environment: provide a happy, warm house for your dog with a bed that’s theirs so they feel safe, plus an area to exercise and toilet in.
  • Companionship: dogs need to feel loved and safe. Socialising your dog can have many health benefits and reduce anxiety.
  • Health: protect your dog from pain, injury, disease and any suffering with regular vet checkups, immunisations and treatment when needed. Consider getting dog insurance to make sure you’re covered if they get ill.


What equipment do you need to take care of a dog?


Taking care of a dog involves having the right equipment to meet their needs. This includes:

  • Food and water bowls: provide your dog with durable, non-spill bowls for food and water.
  • Nutritious dog food: Choose a high-quality dog food suitable for your dog’s age, breed and health needs.
  • Collar and lead: buy a comfortable collar and ID tag and a suitable lead for walks. All dogs must have an ID tag with their owner’s name and address engraved on it.
  • Dog bed or crate: provide a cosy and comfortable bed or crate for your dog to feel safe. A round bed is great if your dog likes to curl up tight. The crate needs to be big enough so they can stand and move around.
  • Poo bags: always carry poo bags to dispose of any dog poo whilst out walking. Biodegradable ones are available, too.
  • Grooming equipment: brush your dog regularly and clip their nails to avoid any overgrown painful claws.
  • Toys: choose a variety of toys for mental stimulation and play including chew toys and interactive puzzles and games.
  • Seatbelt or travel crate: dogs need to be restrained in the car. A travel crate is a great way to help them feel safe and secure. But if you don’t have room for a crate, a dog harness that can clip into your car seatbelt can also keep them safe whilst travelling.
  • Microchip: every dog should be microchipped by the time they’re 8 weeks old. You need to register the chip and keep the information in a safe place so you can access it quickly if needed.
  • Medication and supplements: protect your dog from fleas and ticks by purchasing the right preventative treatment. Older dogs may need products like joint support supplements.

This essential dog equipment will help you fulfil your dog’s physical, emotional and medical needs, and promote a happy and healthy environment.


How to choose the right food for your dog?


Choosing the right food for your dog is a crucial part of their overall health and wellbeing. There’s a huge variety of dog food available to buy that suits different dietary needs, life stages and health conditions.

Here’s a breakdown of the various types and the recommendations for dog food at different stages of their lives:

Dry dog food (kibble)

Many owners feed their dogs dry dog food as it’s convenient and has a longer shelf life than other alternatives. Kibble comes in complete form which means you don’t have to add anything else to your dog’s food as it provides all the essential nutrients. It also helps with dental health as it promotes chewing. But some dogs can be picky eaters and don’t enjoy dry food. It also can vary in quality so make sure you choose a good quality brand with a high protein content.

Wet dog food

This contains a higher moisture content and helps to keep your dog hydrated. It’s often more palatable and suitable if they’re a picky eater. It can be more expensive than dry dog food, and once opened it has a shorter shelf life and should be kept in the fridge.

Raw dog food

This mimics a dog’s natural diet and helps with a healthy coat making it suitable for dogs with allergies. Raw food can help to regulate insulin levels in the body and can help with mood changes. It requires careful handling to prevent any bacterial contamination. 


Feeding Your Dog at Different Life Stages


Puppies need a higher protein and fat content in their food to support growth. This is especially true for larger breeds as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent any joint and bone issues. Always consult your vet when deciding on what food to give your puppy. You must follow the feeding guidelines based on weight and age.


Puppies will move onto adult food at around 12 months for most breeds. Ensure you give your dog a high-quality brand dog food to provide them with a balanced diet. Follow the guide on the bag to adjust the portion size based on their weight and age.


Dogs older than seven are usually considered senior dogs. Choosing a senior dog food may come down to what they find palatable. This food has a lower calorie content to prevent obesity and contains supplements for joint health. Senior dog needs vary, so consult your vet to help you choose the best one.

Specialised diets

Dogs may need a specialised diet if they have allergies, sensitive stomachs or certain dietary restrictions. Allergen-free diets and prescription diets for dogs with health conditions are available. Consult your vet to choose the right one for your dog.

Remember to always monitor your dog’s weight and health once you’ve chosen their food. Keep an eye on their coat condition, energy levels and overall health. If you have any concerns, talk to your vet.


What are the best dog coats for different weather conditions?


Choosing the right dog coat is essential to keep your dog comfortable and protected in different weather conditions.

Cold weather

An insulated winter coat made from materials like fleece or synthetic insulation with a water resistant outer layer will keep your dog warm on cold days. It protects from snow and rain and is ideal for short-haired or small breeds that are susceptible to cold.

Dark mornings and nights

A reflective, high visibility coat helps keep your dog safe during dark morning or evening walks. These coats are usually insulated and are great during cold winter weather.

Rainy weather

A waterproof raincoat is ideal for showers and heavy rain. These coats are made from waterproof materials such as a wax coating and have adjustable closures for a secure fit. They come with a hood or collar to protect your pooch’s head.

Hot weather

A cooling vest is designed with cooling technology, like gel inserts that you pop in the fridge first. They help to regulate your dog’s body temperature and prevent overheating. It’s a good option for hikes or unusually hot weather.

Whichever coat you’re considering, make sure:

  • It has adjustable straps and closures for maximum comfort
  • The material is breathable to prevent overheating
  • It’s easy to clean
  • You choose an appropriate size for your dog


What equipment do you need to exercise a dog?


Exercising your dog is vital for their physical and mental wellbeing and offers many benefits including:

  • Weight control
  • Improving digestive health
  • Supporting bone and joint health
  • Reducing the risk of diabetes
  • Combating the effects of ageing
  • Fighting boredom
  • Lowering anxiety
  • Reducing unwanted behaviours such as barking and chewing

All dogs need exercise. Some need more like labradors, border collies and springer spaniels. Others need less like English bulldogs, pugs and shih-tzus. The equipment you need depends on the exercise you want to give your dog. Basic exercise equipment includes:

  • Lead and collar
  • Harness
  • Long line lead
  • Interactive toys
  • Fetch toys
  • Outdoor play equipment

More adventurous equipment includes:

  • Dog agility equipment
  • Swimming equipment
  • Biking or running equipment
  • Hiking equipment

Remember, the key is to make exercise enjoyable for your dog while keeping safety in mind.


What equipment do you need to train a dog?


An effective, basic training program for your dog requires the right equipment to reinforce positive behaviours. You'll need:

  • Treats: rewards keep your dog motivated and interested.
  • Clicker: this helps to mark good behaviour in response to a command or when it occurs naturally.
  • Leads: training leads vary in length and allow your dog enough slack to stay close when on walks.
  • Harness: a front clip harness can help prevent pulling while walking.
  • Long line lead: this is ideal for use when practising recall with your dog and is a safe alternative to being off lead.
  • Crates and dog pens: useful if you need to contain your dog and prevent habits like chewing. They also provide your dog with their own safe space and help them feel secure.

Remember that positive reinforcement and consistency are key to successful training.

What equipment is essential for dog behaviour training?


If your dog has developed more challenging behaviours like separation anxiety, excessive barking, pulling or biting, you may want to consider equipment including:

  • Anti-anxiety equipment such as calming collars, pheromone diffusers or anxiety wraps can help create a calming environment and reduce stress, especially for separation anxiety.
  • Crates provide a safe and secure space for your dog when you're not around to reduce separation anxiety.
  • Interactive feeders and puzzle toys help to relieve boredom and can reduce excessive barking when you’re not home.
  • Bite-resistant chew toys help to provide a safe outlet for biting and chewing.


What equipment is essential for dog agility training?


Dog agility is when a dog owner and their dog complete an obstacle course as quickly and accurately as they can. It’s great exercise for you and your dog. Whether you plan to compete or just participate for fun, these are the best pieces of dog agility equipment to get you started:

  • Open tunnel
  • Jumps including hurdles, bars and hoops
  • See-saws
  • A-frames
  • Weave poles or cones


How much does dog equipment cost?


The cost of dog equipment in the UK can vary based on several factors, including the type of item, the brand, and the size of the dog. Here's an overview of how prices can differ and the factors that contribute to these variations.

  • Brand: well-known brands in the UK often come with a higher price tag. Premium brands often invest more in quality materials and design. Collars and leads may cost from £10 for basic brands and up to £30+ for more premium brands.
  • Size of the dog: small to medium beds may cost £20 to £50 while larger beds for larger breeds could cost £50 to £100.
  • Material and durability: the quality of materials used can influence the price of dog equipment. For example, basic nylon collars are more affordable while leather collars can cost £15 to £40.
  • Ongoing expenses: ongoing costs for items like dog food, grooming supplies and healthcare products should be factored into the overall expense of owning a dog.

Where to find high-quality dog equipment and accessories?

Prices can differ between physical pet stores, online retailers or speciality shops. You should compare prices to find the best deals for all your dog equipment. Asda offers an excellent range of high-quality, competitively priced essential products for your pooch. We also have a large selection of dog toys and beds to help your furry friend feel at home.


How do I protect my dog and how Asda Money can help?


Dog insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind in the event of unexpected vet expenses. Explore Dog and Puppy Insurance at Asda Money and protect your pet today. Choose the right insurance for you and your pup by comparing our different cover types without any confusing insurance jargon.




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