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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I browsed through the stickies and other threads of the forum, but I didn't find something like this. Feel free to delete this thread if I'm repeating something that already exists somewhere else.

I just wanted to make a list of items I'll be needing before having a dog. Most of these are expenses only for the first year, but I thought a list would put the cost of having a dog into perspective. I marked with a * items that need to be purchased more than once. The itallics are for updated suggestions. Let me know if I'm missing anything.

House Items:
-Something to hide exposed wires.
-Baby-proof drawers and electric outlets.
-Container for dog food.
-Dog food.*
-Crate. (The size the dog will grow up to, with a divider to make it smaller)
-Play pen
-Dog bed.*
-Kongs (2x?) and other feeding games (buster cube).* (I suppose you buy bigger kongs as the dog grows)
-Water bowl (two if garden).
-Misc. toys (balls, skinneeez, soft toys, rope toys, toys with squeakers [careful they don't chew the squeaker out], softish rubber toys that can be chewed on -toys for later: flirt pole)*
-Plenty of absorbing paper. (wee wee pads?)*
-Enzymatic cleaner.*
-Doggy Shampoo.*
-Soft rubber brush (as they grow old, a brush for its type of fur).
-Nail clipper.
-Doggy toothbrush.*
-Doggy toothpaste.*
-Plenty of treats.*
-Doggy Blanket
-Toddler gate(s) (the distance between tubes should be shorter than the dog's head to avoid getting stuck/breaking through)
-Toy box
-Bitter spray.
-Food Bowl

Outside Items
-ID tag.
-Doggy bags.*
-Doggy bag container.
-Treat bag.
-Towel? (for drying after being out in the rain).
-Outside use toys.*
-Portable water bottle.

Human Gear
-Waterproof shoes/wellingtons. (It's Holland so it rains all year round.)
-Good rain gear.
-Ear muffs?
-Bag to carry dog things.
-Easy to put on shoes. (I think I have these)

Other Expenses to be Covered Within a Year
-Puppy training lessons.*
-Pet health insurance.* (Monthly fee)
-Vaccines (4x shots the first year- depends on area, ask vet).*
-General health inspection.*
-Dog walker (emergencies).*
-Doggy hotel (in case of vacations).*
-Heartworm pills
-Flea/tick preventive

Thank you for the suggestions so far and let me know if I'm missing anything.

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Wow! That's a pretty complete list!
- You might also want a baby or toddler gate, if you would ever like to confine your dog to a certain room or certain part of the house (most dogs don't like the isolation of a completely closed door).

- Kongs can grow as the dog grows, our pups love peanut butter in their kongs, sometimes we just stuff dry treats in, sometimes a combination of peanut butter and treats. You can also use the dog's kibble. And, you can stuff them with cottage cheese or yogurt. Freezing the stuffed kongs overnight makes it harder for them to get the good stuff out, so it takes longer! :)

- Toys: we like a variety, and we're always searching for new and interesting toys. But, we always have some kind of rope toys, some squeaky toys (be careful that you monitor these, lots of dogs like to chew the actual squeaker out....), some Skineez (like a stuffed animal but without the stuffing), balls and other things that bounce! Different dogs like different types of toys, so start with a variety, and you will soon find what your dog likes the most!

- "Odor masking cleaner": be careful here, you don't really want "odor masking", you want an enzymatic cleaner that will actually break down the enzymes in the urine or feces, so the stain is completely gone. Lots of household cleaners may SAY they are for pet stains, but, if they aren't "enzymatic" cleaners, they may only be masking the stain, removing enough of it so we humans think it's gone. But, dogs have a much stronger sense of smell, so they will know it's still there!

- Doggy blankets: our dogs are "digging" breeds, so they LOVE to dig and nest in blankets. They are small breeds so we get regular fleece blankets and cut them down to a smaller size and hem them. Actually, we usually just go to the fabric store and get yards of fleece and hem them. We have them all over the house, so the dogs can have their own cozy blanket to snuggle with!

You sound very prepared! What kind of dog are you planning for?

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3,679 Posts
Our pup is 18 wks now -- so I'll just speak from our experience

Crate. Make sure you get one for the size of the dog as an adult, with a divider to make it smaller while the dog is smaller. You might also consider getting an exercise pen. We brought the puppy home, and couldn't have him instantly crate trained for that first night, so we did the crate in the ex-pen. We still have that set up, but the ex-pen is half the size as we're transitioning him down to JUST crate since he doesn't ever pee overnight anymore.

Dog bed. This is something that will probably need to be purchased more than once. Our dog is growing out of his puppy bed, and we ended up getting him a second bed because he'd drag his bed out of his crate into the living room during the day. He is systematically destroying that one. We hope to get him a "nicer" one when he's done teething.

Kongs (2x?) and other feeding games.* (I suppose you buy bigger kongs as the dog grows) We started with x-small and now we're up to medium.

Water bowl. We've got multiple of these too - both in the house, and we have a big one outside to fill when we're playing outside.

-Misc. toys (any ideas of what should be in this category?)* Our pup loves soft toys, rope toys, toys with squeakers, and softish rubber toys that are easy to chew on. Buy an assortment of inexpensive toys at first to figure out what the pup likes, keep an eye on them, checking them regularly to make sure they aren't becoming dangerous (pieces breaking off, etc...), then if you find favorites you can buy the more sturdy, expensive versions. We learned this after spending a bunch of money on expensive toys that he ignored.

-Plenty of absorbing paper. * Weewee pads work great for cleaning up accidents. They are SO absorbent, they really suck the pee off the floor/out of the carpet.

-Odor masking cleaner.* You'll want an enzymatic cleaner - not something that just masks odor.

-Dry shampoo.* Haven't found the need for this. Our pup isn't stinky. He gets a bath about once a month.

-Brush. The soft rubber brush thing has worked best for us since our pup has super short hair. He doesn't even shed, we pretty much just use it to get him used to the sensation.

Doggy toothbrush. You'll need to replace these over your dog's lifetime!

Doggy Blanket? As of now, our pup still sees blankets as a convenient place to pee in the house, so he can only have them if he's cuddling with us.

These you'll also probably replace over time. We're on our second harness, third collar, and second leash in 10 weeks. (grew out of the first harness and collar, second collar broke, first leash's clip isn't big enough for the D ring on the harness + collar together) Don't forget an ID tag!

-Vaccines (4x shots the first year).* This could be more or less depending on the age of the dog and which vaccines are appropriate for your area. Hamilton has had 5 so far since I've had him - one bordatella, 3 distemper, one rabies - and the vet recommended a lyme and lepto series, which would be 4 more shots. Haven't decided on these yet!

For other things -- shoes that are quick to put on to go out! A toy box for all your pups toys. Maybe some bitter spray if he's chewing things you don't want him chewing (no amount of distracting or redirecting could save wicker baskets from my pup!!). You didn't mention food bowl. For health expenses there's also the spay/neuter, heartworm pills and flea/tick preventative. Depending on what kind of dog you're looking for, there may also be grooming expenses. You might need a travel crate or dog seatbelt if you will have the dog in the car. I'm sure there's more I haven't thought of too! It's amazing how much stuff my dog has.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright! Those are nice additions! I'll edit the main post to add them to the list.
I'll also change odor masking cleaner to enzymatic cleaner.

Thanks so much for the suggestions!
We are considering a Golden Retriever puppy. My only experience with puppies was with my mum's Maltese and I left home when she was just a puppy... I've never had a dog that big before, so I really want to do it right from the start. It's very difficult to change the old ways of a dog, I think. My mum's dog is a handful to train... then again, since she lives with my mum, any progress I make is lost the moment she sees my mum.

We don't really have a garden to put a second water bowl, but maybe a portable water bottle for when we go out?
I'll remember to buy the less expensive toys/bed until she grows/chooses which toys she likes best.
I had never heard of wee wee pads before, but looking it up I see they're part of some indoor potty machine. I suppose I can buy them separately and just use them, right?
I can change the dry shampoo for regular shampoo. I remember when my mum got her dog they told her not to bathe her more than once every six months, which is why I thought dry doggy shampoo would do better.
Those were amazing suggestions! I'm really grateful for your feedback!

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People use them here for a place for their dog to potty inside. I just found they were awesome for sucking all the pee off the floor when the dog had an accident!! (vs. using 10 paper towels, or a bunch of rags)

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've downloaded it. Still need to read them through, but I'll do it, soon. I'm an avid reader.
I know it's going to be a challenge making her stop biting things I don't want her to... but I've always wanted a dog that has an actual interest in chew toys. Even when she was little, my mum's dog would just sniff them and ignore them. Then again, she has never been too motivated when it comes to playing. If you try playing fetch with her, she'll rarely do it (and after three times she'll decide she's had enough and goes off). Most of the times, she sees you trowing the toy, she'll look at the toy and then she'll look at you like "and what did you do that for, huh? Silly human" and she walks away...
Do you think one of those pet fountains (like the ones people have for cats) could prevent her splashing in the water dish?
I might not have the space for a kiddie pool, but we live really close to the beach and it was my hope I could take her for walks there (except if the water is frozen). My husband says his previous Golden used to love diving in the water so much she would jump into almost every water body she saw. Though I don't want her to be that crazy about water that she runs off without me allowing it, I'm hoping that if she gets some quality time in the water every week, she'll be calm about it and listen to me. I mean here where I live, there's canals every other block...
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