Whether you are seeking help for dog training in Los Angeles or looking to adopt a puppy from your local humane society or shelter (that only advocates force free, positive reinforcement behavior and training), the list of items to acquire and prepare for before you bring home your new dog largely remains the same.  We have made a list of some of the things you want to make sure you have before you foster or adopt a dog and some extra specialty items you may want to pick up as well.


Things to Buy Before Getting a Puppy:

  • A crate (Vari Kennel) so your dog has a safe area that he/she can escape to and have a quiet, non-stressful environment to call their own.
  • Baby gate barrier (having more than one is helpful)
  • Exercise pen
  • Dog bed (at least two, preferably more) one for the crate, one for her pen area and one for another room
  • Buckle collar (or a fabric martingale)
  • Identification tag
  • Leash (six feet is a good length, preferably with reflectors built in so you are seen at night and a sturdy build)
  • Front attaching harness to help if your new dog pulls on the leash. Since most dogs you may adopt from the shelter are not adequately trained and don’t have proper behavior, this is an important tool to use in order to make your walks more manageable before training begins.  This is not a substitute for dog training but it will make your walks more pleasant while you are training your dog or until they have proper leash skills/manners.
  • Water bowl for the home and a retractable water bowl for traveling or when on walks around the town
  • Food bowl (Only buy your pup a food bowl once he/she is socialized, well-trained, and has impeccable household manners)
  • Healthy dog food, make sure it has an AAFCO statement and do not use anything imported or made in China or any other country.
  • Dog treats (healthy types) experiment with this and your dog’s food to find out what your unique dog loves to eat. Do not use any treats or food that are imported or made in China or any other country.
  • Squirt cheese/peanut butter
  • At least six chew toys to stuff with kibble and treats. The Kong Company’s Kong and Biscuit Ball and sterilized long bones are the best.
  • Rope tug toy
  • Balls
  • Interactive toys
  • Plush (squeaky) toys
  • Shampoo
  • Nail clippers
  • A veterinarian that is up-to-date with their dog training and behavior suggestions as well as their medical training.  An educated and ethical veterinarian will only recommends force free positive reinforcement dog training for your pet.  Make an appointment as soon as you adopt your dog to get a wellness exam and a titer test.
  • Secure emergency after hour’s veterinarians open 24/7 and emergency phone numbers
  • Microchip information and keep this information and registration up-to-date.
  • Ear cleaner
  • Enzymatic dog cleaner spray for when accidents occur
  • Puppy pee pads, green turf or sod
  • Ear plugs for when you are teaching your dog independence and crate training
  • A professional dog walking, pet sitting or dog boarding company that is licensed, bonded to the highest amount possible and certified in CPR for dogs, for when you will be gone for more then 4-6 hours or on vacation.
  • A force free, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) to make sure you are employing the most up-to-date, scientific, positive reinforcement dog training utilizing gentle methods, and operant conditioning (aka, using rewards to encourage desired behaviors)  not electric collars, choke chains, pronged collars, hitting, jerking, forcing, kicking or abusing your dog done by punitive, uneducated “traditional” dog trainers. This is the single most important thing to prepare for in you and your dog’s life. Choose the wrong teacher and you could set the stage for innumerable behavior problems down the road.


Other items for consideration:

  • Coconut oil (great for skin and fur)
  • Canine music, (through a dogs ear) relaxing music for your pup when you want them to settle down or time for bed
  • Lavender oil has a calming effect on pups
  • Neem oil (extract, soap and spray) to naturally keep mosquitos off of and away from your pet
  • Dog backpack for when your pup gets older (for high energy dogs)
  • Dog training and education to prepare him/her for the Canine Good Citizen test
  • 30 foot dog training leash for more advanced training
  • Furminator or brush for grooming
  • Head halter to help with your adopted dog’s pulling. It would be best to get help from your CDBC and dog trainer for conditioning your pup to the head halter


This is not an exhaustive list but will help get you started before you bring home your first dog. Please let us know how Fun Paw Care can help you achieve your goals and improve your relationship with your new or older pup.

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