We got our dogs years ago and I was missing so many essential pet supplies in those first few weeks. I can admit it took me longer than expected to figure this whole dog mom thing out. Until I met my husband (a total dog person) I had only ever had cats. Cats are easy. Give a cat a bowl of food, a bowl of water, a litter box, and a few jingly toys and he’s happy. If you really want to spoil them you toss a little catnip their way now and then but that’s it. They do their own thing and are independent little creatures.

A dog can be a great addition to the family and there are a lot of tremendous benefits to pet ownership. That being said, before you bring a dog home you'll want to make sure you're ready with these 5 must-have items.

Brandon already had a dog when we got together and instead of getting a cat, we decided to adopt a second dog to build a pack. Suddenly, I was a person with no cats and two dogs. That was 5 years ago so I thought it would be a good time now to share with you 5 of my top pet supplies if you are a new dog mom.

If you're thinking about getting a dog make sure your home is stocked with these 5 must-have items first. #dogs #dogsofpinterest #dogowners #dogessentials #puppies Via Honey and Pine

A Dog Crate

I know there are a lot of crate-haters out there but I firmly believe a crate is essential. It’s their little piece of the house and a comforting sanctuary for them. We have two crates (one for each dog) and they are decked out with pillows and blankets. Chihuahua’s love to burrow so blankets are a crate necessity. I say “it’s bed-time” and my dogs jump up from wherever they are, run into the bedroom, and curl up in their crates. They know that’s their territory. Besides, I’ve been told that in the ‘pack’ the ‘pack leader’ usually sleeps at a higher elevation than the rest of the dogs.

If your dog sleeps with you then you’re elevating them to equal status and that’s not good. Crate training isn’t difficult and your dog will feel much more secure in his environment.

crate training your dog and other pet supplies

The Right Food & Water Bowls

Don’t snicker and think this is an obvious part of pet supplies because people often purchase the wrong kind of bowls for their dogs. You shouldn’t use plastic bowls because of the possibility of toxins. As of the time of this writing there are no regulations regarding the use of plastics for animal bowls. It’s possible your pups could be licking up some pretty gnarly stuff. Pick up ceramic or stainless steel bowls for your dogs instead to reduce their risk. If you have a large breed dog, pick up bowls that sit in a riser because they better for the dog’s posture and digestion.

Training Treats

Training treats are an absolutely essential item on my must-have pet supplies list. My dogs were incredibly hard to train which I didn’t expect from such small breeds. Little did I know that the chihuahua and the dachshund are two of the most stubborn hard-to-train breeds out there so I really got screwed on both dogs. I tried a million treats to train my dogs and I found that some were better than others. My dogs finally went insane for CORE treats and within a month they learned “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Leave it.” I break them into small pieces so we can work on a command multiple times.

A Collar / Harness and Leash

Yesterday on Oddly Lovely, Jenn from HelloRigby shared a post about 5 things that most dog owners hate. In her post she included retractable leashes which I used before switching to my new favorite leash. I’m also a huge proponent of a dog harness instead of a collar because I don’t like having the pull around the dog’s neck. It puts less strain on their neck which is safer for your dog. I recommend that you do the same, even if you have big dogs.

A dog can be a great addition to the family and there are a lot of tremendous benefits to pet ownership. That being said, before you bring a dog home you'll want to make sure you're ready with these 5 must-have items.

Lots and Lots of Patience and Love

Like I mentioned earlier, cats are easy. Cats don’t really want anything to do with you most of the time but dogs? Dogs want your undivided love and attention AT ALL TIMES. It can be a bit overwhelming to people like me sometimes. I work full-time outside the home and then I work part-time at home on my blog and my freelance writing career. My dogs sometimes try my patience and it’s been critical for me to be aware of the time I’m spending away from home and the time I’m spending work on other projects and be sure to schedule some ‘love-time’ with the dogs. They need it. We’ll go on long walks (helps to tire them out), we’ll play 20 minutes of fetch or tug-o’-war, sometimes we’ll just sit out on the back porch and hang out together. Either way, make sure you have lots of love for your dogs.