You’re getting a dog! What is essential equipment for dogs?

by Isabel,

You’re getting a dog and are already excitedly looking forward to it? Congrats!

But even if you are still in the middle of planning a new four-legged family member, this is the right place for you. A dog should be thoroughly planned and besides the ongoing costs of a dog the cost for essential dog equipment is one of the main price points. We don’t want you to forget anything important and want to make sure that everything you chose fits your and your dogs needs – that’s why we have summarized what you need as part of your essential dog equipment or essential puppy equipment in this magazine article!

Transportation of your dog: An important part of essential dog equipment

No matter if you pick up a puppy from a breed or bring a dog home from a rescue, your dog must be transported.

Generally speaking, there are two main ways to securely transport your dog in the car:

A dog transport box or dog seat belt.

The main point of this is that dogs are considered cargo when transported by car. Therefore they need to be secured accordingly. Transportation is allowed on the back seat, behind the passenger seat or in the trunk.


Dog boxes are available in different sizes and from a variety of materials. So how do you choose the right one? Besides the later placement in the car, you should also look at your dogs size. Your dog should be able to comfortably lie down but shouldn’t have too much space to not be flung around in the box in case of an accident. We recommend getting advise from specialist staff!

In case you chose a dog seat belt, you should make sure to choose one with a GS-certification (Geprüfte Sicherheit) and connect it to a stable well-padded chest harness with particularly strong buckles. There are harnesses specifically designed for this as the use of an everyday harness might not be sufficient.

Either way, you should make the trip for your dog comfortable. This can be achieved through a blanket or a flat dog pillow. If you transport them on your backseat the use of a backseat cover can make sense.

Traveling by bus and train with your dog

For your first trip together, public transport might not be the first choice. Later on, it makes sense to get your dog used to travelling by bus or train. Before taking a trip together you should check with your local operator to see what kind of ticket your pup needs. Additionally, depending on the operator and where you live your dog might be obligated to wear a muzzle.

When choosing a muzzle, make sure that it fits properly: It must not slip into your dog's eyes, must not be too big, but also not too tight. It is ideal if your dog cannot take it off, but can still pant without any problems even when muzzled.

Walkies & on the go – this needs to be part of your essential dog gear

Part of your new everyday routine: a lot of walks with your new best friend!

In order to be properly equipped for your adventures together, a dog collar, dog harness and dog leash should be part of everyone’s essential equipment for a dog. But those aren’t the only things you should get as part of your new dog gear.

Dog collar or dog harness?

Specifically, if you are a first time dog owner you might wonder, should you get a dog collar or dog harness? Our answer: both!

Most experienced dogs are walked using a dog collar but during the exciting start of your time together a dog harness can give both of you more security. Additionally, as part of essential puppy gear a harness can help to protect the sensitive neck and throat area of puppies and young dogs that don’t have proper leash walking skills yet.

A special case are rescue dogs that might need a safety harness which has a third band across the smallest part of the dogs body. This way even the most skilled breakout artist can’t get out!

Collar or chain collar?

It’s likely that you’ll automatically choose a dog collar made from commonly seen materials such as nylon, paracord, biothane or leather. Each of those materials has their own set of pros and cons and of course your own preference and taste also plays a big role.

Chain collars have three main advantages that you might not know about yet:

  • Durable and sustainable - with proper chain selection and care, a chain collar will last a dog's lifetime.

  • Easy to clean - they can be cleaned easily and even when wet they do not smell and do not rot.

  • Safe - with the correct choice of material, wire gauge and chain type, they are the right choice even for very large and heavy dogs. Compared to fabric collars they do not wear out and are particularly safe because of their high break load.

Our ClicLock fastener offers additional security and easy handling on selected chains and our other collars. Made from a sturdy stainless steel housing and a high-quality, seawater-resistant plastic part, it has a guaranteed breaking load of 200 kg and offers that little bit of extra security.

What dog leash for the essential dog equipment?

Just like with dog collars dog leashes also come in a variety of materials. More important than the material is however the kind of leash:

  • Dog leash with or without hand strap in different lengths

  • Adjustable dog leash

  • Drag leash or tracking leash in different lengths

  • Retriever leash

  • Flexi leash

Over time we have learned one thing – you’ll need more than one kind of dog leash throughout your dogs life! To start an adjustable leash that matches your dogs size and weight is a goof choice. After that you’ll quickly see what other leashes fit your lifestyle and training goals and therefore make for great additions!

Additional dog gear for walks

Additional dog gear such as flea collars or other parasite and tick protection for dogs are an advisable addition for your adventures.

Besides that, treats and treat bags are a must according to most four-legged walk buddies.

As dog owners, we also have the responsibility to take care of our dogs' waste. Accordingly, you should no longer leave the house without a dog poo bag. By storing them in a dog poo bag dispenser, which you can attach to your key, pants or dog leash, you'll always be on the safe side.

We at SPRENGER want to make the disposal of your dog's waste more sustainable. Everywhere the consumption of plastic is reduced, and we want to contribute to this. Our SPRENGER dog poo bags are 100% plastic-free and compostable. Thanks to the two handles, the poop bags are easy to knot and carry.

Sleeping & eating: the basic needs as part of essential equipment for dogs

At home should be your dogs safe space. To achieve this you should provide a calm and comfortable place to sleep. Whether you want to use blankets and dog pillows, specific dog beeds or baskets or a dog crate is up to you.

In regard to keeping your dog well-fed you’ll need dog food and dog treats that fit your dogs needs. Additionally, two bowls are a must. Both the water bowl and food bowl should be made from an easy to clean and durable material. Depending on the surface you place the bowls on a dog bowl mat might be helpful to protect your flooring and prevent slipping if your dog starts its breakfast a little too enthusiastically.

You’re always on the go? In that case a foldable dog bowl or dog water bottle might be a good investment.

Train & play – a necessity as part of essential dog equipment

In order for your dog to successfully integrate into our society training should be on your mind already while shopping for your essential dog equipment. Generally, we always recommend to work with an experienced dog trainer.

We’ve listed possible training equipment that you can familiarize yourself with in advance or ask your trainer about here:

  • Dog whistles – for optimizing your dogs recall

  • Tracking leashes – as part of training your dogs recall or for tracking

  • Food dummies or retrieval dummies – to train fetch with your dog

  • Clicker – for training without treats

Helpful before training to get rid of energy, or as part of the training as a reward is playing together.

You'll have to find out for yourself what kind of game and toy suits your dog best!

Care: is often an afterthought in essential dog gear

How do you properly care for your dog? The answer is more than just walking, feeding, training and loving your dog. Especially the physical care is often underestimated. While you might pick up a dog brush when shopping, particularly if your dog has long fur, that’s far from all you need.

Depending on your dogs type of fur you might need a dog currycomb, dog comb or dog scraper in addition to the brush.

A pair of claw clippers, tick tongs and a first aid kit for dogs are also useful purchases.

Our grooming tip for your essential puppy gear:

Grooming needs to be practiced from puppyhood!

Because whether it's grooming later on, cutting claws or examinations at the vet - a dog has to learn to keep still. The right grooming utensils can help you do this. Soft brushes make it easier to get used to the process, while rubber currycombs can even be used for massages, making the first experiences particularly positive and pleasant.

Special case: puppies first equipment

In case a puppy moves in there are some particular things to keep in mind when planning your essential dog equipment. In some cases your puppy might already come with some bits and pieces of essential dog equipment from the breeder. We’d recommend speaking to them well in advance to be sure of what you’ll still need to purchase and to avoid double buying.

Regarding dog collars and dog harness you should look at their adjustability. Choosing adjustable gear allows you to use your gear for longer and avoids having the rebuy every time your puppy has a growth spurt.

Additional puppy gates might help you protect your home and belongings from a curios puppy in case you have to step out of the room for a couple of minutes.

PDF "Checklist essential dog equipment" download

You have already forgotten half of the products mentioned? No problem!

We created a neat PDF overview that you can download:

Download our "Checklist essential dog equipment" as a PDF here.

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