How To Care For A Dog


You’ve just adopted a dog. Congratulations! Along with adopting a loving, loyal companion, you’ve saved a life and given a rescue dog a home.

But if you’re a first-time dog owner, you might now be wondering how to care for your dog. After all, dogs need food, exercise, and a regular routine, plus toys, treats, dog beds, leashes, and other gear. This growing checklist can feel daunting for first-time dog owners, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Follow this checklist to make sure you’ve got what you need to give your pup his best dog life.

12 Things You’ll Need To Care For A Dog

A Dog Carrier

Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

One of the first things you’ll need is a dog crate or carrier to transport your dog to his or her forever home. Our durable On The Go Pet Carrier is a convenient way to carry your pup, and its safe, portable style is also perfect for camping, travel, and road trips. Include a comfy blanket and snuggle toy to make your dog’s freedom ride extra cozy.

  • On The Go Pet Carrier
  • Snuggle Paws’s Fleece Pet Blanket
  • Slumber Jack Dog Toy
  • A Cozy Dog Bed

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    Once you arrive at your house, introduce your new pet to his own space, which should be a cozy, quiet corner where he can sleep, relax, and feel safe. If your dog is a puppy (ie not quite housebroken) this area could include a crate with blankets and toys where he can practice crate training. If your dog is full-grown, a comfy dog bed is a better option, especially if your dog’s feeling the aches and pains of old age. The Animal Rescue Site Store carries a wide selection of dog beds, including orthopedic options, built with senior dogs in mind.

  • Raised Breathable Pet Bed
  • Orthopedic Microvelvet Snuggery Pet Bed
  • Ultra Plush Luxe Lounger Pet Bed
  • Faux Fleece & Chenille Sofa-Style Pet Bed
  • Dog Food & Bowl

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    Feeding your dog isn’t as simple as just filling his bowl with kibble. What (and how often) your dog eats will depend on his age, size, and breed. According to the ASPCA, adult dogs eat 1-2 meals per day, but growing puppies should be fed 2-4 times daily, depending on their age. Consult your vet to choose a quality dog food that best suits your dog’s nutritional needs, which vary depending on his life stage. Regardless, your dog will need pet food and water bowls to enjoy his chow, which should be served up at the same time each day. Dogs love routine, which includes knowing when they can expect their next meal.

  • Copper Sunset Ombre Pet Dish
  • Smart Digital Feeding Pet Bowl
  • Pet Life® Pud-Guard Water & Food Bowl
  • Messy Paws Absorbent Pet Dish Mat
  • Exercise

    Photo: Pixabay

    Dogs need daily exercise, although some breeds require more activity than others. Not only do regular walks help dogs stay physically and mentally fit, they help dogs burn energy, stress, and relieve destructive behaviors, like excessive chewing. Plus, daily walks are an excellent way to bond with your pet, especially if you’re working on training. Fit your pup with a comfortable collar, harness, and leash from the Animal Rescue Site Store to kickstart your fitness and bonding.

  • Signature Comfort Reflective Dog Collar
  • Dog Helios® Dura-Tough Leash & Collar
  • Pet Life® Geo-prene Leash & Harness
  • Microchips & ID

    Photo: Pixabay

    Whether your outfit your dog with a collar or harness, your dog should also wear ID tags each time she ventures outside. It’s also wise to microchip your dog because collars fall off and dogs easily get lost, especially during moves and other changes that require nervous dogs to adjust to new living situations. Microchips with up-to-date contact information are one of the best ways to bring these wayward dogs back home.

    Vets & Vaccines

    Photo: Pixabay

    Another perk to adopting a dog is that shelter pups are typically neutered, spayed and vaccinated prior to adoption. But that doesn’t mean that your pup won’t need extra vaccines and boosters, as well as a trusted vet to monitor his health as he grows. Meanwhile, give your dog’s health a boost with nutritional supplements. Our PawsGive Omega-3 Fish Oil Soft Gels bolster dogs’ skin, coat, joints, heart, immune system, and may even help with anxiety. Other soft chews keep tummy troubles and joint pain at bay. Visit the Animal Rescue Site Store for vitamins and supplements that help dogs their best dog life.

  • PawsGive Omega 3 Fish Oil Softgels for Dogs, 180 Softgels
  • PawsGive Hip and Joint Complete for Dogs, 120 Soft Chews
  • Omega Complete Skin & Coat
  • Training

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    Another perk to adopting a shelter dog is that your pup may already be trained, depending on his or her backstory. But if you adopted a puppy (or dog who learned bad manners in his old home), we also have products and tips that make training a breeze. If you’re looking to train your dog with minimal fuss, consider an Ultrasonic No-Harm Dog Training System from The Animal Rescue Site store. This humane device uses ultrasonic sound waves, clicker sounds, and positive reinforcement training to help your puppy become a good girl or boy while retraining dogs to stop barking, chewing, howling, and other bad habits.

  • Ultrasonic No-Harm Dog Training System
  • Pet Life® Neo-Craft Training Dog Leash
  • Grooming

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    A clean pup is a happy pup, and the Animal Rescue Site store is filled with grooming supplies that help your dog put his best paw forward. Our Tearless Puppy Dog Shampoo includes aloe vera, lanolin, and other soothing ingredients that keep puppies clean and tear-free. We also have combs, brushes, pet toothbrushes, grooming wipes, and absorbent towels perfect for drying muddy pets who’ve been playing outside.

  • Healthy Breeds Tearless Puppy Dog Shampoo
  • PawsGive Chamomile and Oatmeal Soothing Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs
  • PawsGive Aloe and Oatmeal Grooming Wipes for Dogs and Cats, 70 Large Wipes
  • Pet Life® Flex Series Dual Grooming Pet Brush
  • Snuggle Paws’s Ultra Absorbent Pet Shammy Towel
  • Fleas, Ticks, & Mosquitos

    Photo: AdobeStock

    Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos love to latch onto our furry friends, particularly during the summer months. But these biting pests are more than just pesky hitchhikers. Fleas cause your dog extreme discomfort, itching, and scratching, while ticks and mosquitos can infect your dog with deadly Lyme and heartworm disease. Protect your dog with preventative Flea & Tick treatment and get a flea & tick comb to pluck these dangerous parasites from your dog’s fur. Meanwhile, dress your dog in an insect-repellant bandana (because citronella and DEET-based repellants are toxic for dogs) and avoid walking your pup in wooded or marshy areas where mosquitos thrive. Learn more about protecting your dog from fleas, ticks, mosquitos and common bug bites.

  • Insect Shield Dog Bandana
  • Flea & Tick Treatment for Extra Large Dogs
  • Pet Life® Grazer Handheld Flea & Tick Comb
  • Dog Toys

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    Toys aren’t just fun – they provide your dog with healthy enrichment. But not all dog toys are created equal. Consider your dog’s age, size, energy level–as well as the manufacturer’s safety record–when choosing dog toys, because poorly made toys (including tennis balls) can pose safety hazards. Is your dog an extreme chewer? Keep him busy with the Bruiser Extra Tough Dog Toy, which isn’t just indestructible; it comes with room for dog treats. Is your puppy teething? Buy her Nylabone® Puppy Teething Chew Keys, which safely sate your pup’s innate chewing instinct. Does your dog love to play ball? The Petsport USA Giant Tuff Ball Dog Toy was built to survive a brisk game of fetch without the choking hazards of your typical tennis ball. Visit the Animal Rescue Site Store for toys that will delight and entertain every type of dog.

  • Bruiser Extra Tough Dog Toy
  • Nylabone® Puppy Teething Chew Keys
  • Throw & Tug Dog Toy
  • Petsport USA Giant Tuff Ball Dog Toy
  • Treats

    Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

    Treats are a must for both dogs and their owners, who find treats an excellent way to encourage their pups to practice good behavior. But we’re not talking about passing your dog scraps from the dinner table, because many human foods are toxic for dogs. Fortunately, the Animal Rescue Site Store is stocked with tasty, dog-friendly treats so delicious your dog won’t know they’re good for him, too. Welcome your rescued dog home with a Happy Adoption Day Pup-PIE or another popular treat from The Animal Rescue Site Store! Happy Gotcha Day!

  • Riley’s Organic Peanut Butter and Molasses Dog Treats
  • Jerky Bites Chicken & Rice Recipe Dog Treats
  • 6″ Grass Fed Braided Bully Sticks
  • Organic Beef Jerky Rolls
  • Veggie Rawhide Strips
  • Happy Adoption Day Pup-PIE Treat
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