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All dogs deserve and require food, water, and human companionship.

Listed here are additional items most experienced dog owners agree are necessary or helpful.  If you have never had a dog, please take the time to learn about and perhaps acquire these items so your pet experience will be easier, right from the start.

When it comes to heartwom and flea prevention, we are NOT providing medical advice.  Our only goal is to let people know what we have personally found to be safe and effective, at the lowest cost.  Do your own research and ask your vet.

Necessary Items

Collar Most dog collars are made of nylon or leather.  Nylon is often cheaper and can lost longer.  If you have a growing puppy, an adjustable collar may work best.  When you adopt from IPA, your pet will come with a collar.
Leash A short leash 4 or 6 feet often works best for daily use.  A dog on a short leash is easier to control.  There are longer leashes such as 25 used for training. 
Tag All dogs should have a tag on their collar at all times.  Do not remove it for bathing or whenever the pet is outside the home.  A microchip is also required, but a proper tag will return a pet home more quickly.  When you adopt from IPA, your dog will have a stainless steel, silent, liftetime guaranteed Boomerang Collar Tag.  These are the best tags, largely because there is no need to ever remove them.  They are silent and will not be damaged by water during grooming.  NEVER REMOVE A DOG'S COLLAR AND TAG.
 Crate A dog crate is not required for all dogs, but it makes caring for the vast majority of dogs easier and safer.  It can be a safe place for a dog to be kept while you have visitors, while you are away, or for sleeping.  If you need to evacuate your home a crate can be a home away from home.  There are two basic dog crate styles: metal and plastic.  Collapsible, metal crates with two doors can be the most convenient and easy to transport.
 Stainless Steel Bowl  Stainless steel bowls are great for feeding and watering.  Bought from a pet store, they can cost a dollar or two and last for years.
 Nature's Miracle Expect dogs to potty in the house occassionally.   Enzymatic cleaners are effective for most messes.  We have found Nature's Miracle current formula to be the most effective and least expensive enzyme cleaner.  To save money and make usage convenient, buy the largest 1.5 gallon size and transfer to a plastic spray bottle.
 Flea Prevention There are many types of flea prevention treatments.  Some are much more expensive than others.  Frontline seems to be the most popular brand, but this may be because it is sold by veterinarian offices.  The active ingredient in Frontline Top Spot, Fipronil, recently had its patent protection expire, and at least two generics are now available: TopArmor and FiproGuard.  Be careful with some forms of dog flea prevention which can be deadly to cats.  IPA is using primarily FiproGuard because we have been able to buy it cheaper than Frontline or TopArmor.
Heartworm Prevention All dogs in Iowa should be treated with heartworm prevention all year.  Heartgard is the most popular product, perhaps because it is sold by veterinarian offices.  The active ingredient in Heartgard is now off patent, so generics are available.
Seatbelt / Car Harness All pets should be restrained while traveling in a vehicle.  A seatbelt or car harness is easy and convenient.  IPA requires all pets in temporary homes to be restrained while traveling, and we will provide a seatbelt if necessary.  There are some models which include a clip, and others which have a loop through which the seatbelt is inserted.  Some seatbelts claim to be crash tested and they can be more costly than others.  The seatbelts we have found with the lowest, everyday price are these from


Nylabone - Dura Chew Most dogs will chew.  For heavy chewers, we have found Nylabone Dura Chew to last the longest.  Part of training a dog is to remove items the dog is chewing from the dog, and giving the dog something appropriate for chewing, such as a Nylabone.
Kong - Black Xtreme If your dog is left alone, especially in a crate, or hs excess energy, a food toy can help.  The Kong Black Xtreme is the most durable we have found.  Fill it with a spoon of peanut butter, freeze it, and it will be ready the next time your dog needs to be distracted.  Less aggressive chewers may be fine with the less durable Red.




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