So you got a new puppy… Congratulations!! Or, maybe you’re planning on bringing home a puppy, or adopting a foster dog. However you’re welcoming your new canine best friend, congratulations! It’s so exciting to be bringing home a new companion. That’s why we’ve compiled 15 items for your New Dog Shopping List:
- Dog Crate
We crate train all of our puppies, if you’re bringing home a puppy by yourself (without anyone to hold on while driving home), you’ll want to have some place safe for the puppy to stay in the vehicle. I love the Midwest Life Stages Crates because they allow for the crate to grow with the puppy (in most of the larger sizes), thanks to the moveable divider. To save money, purchase a crate the size that your puppy will be full grown, just make sure there is a divider to help shrink the crate down as he grows.
- Dog Toys
Puppies love to play, and they love to CHEW. Fill up your dog toy box with lots of different textured toys, from soft to nubby, strong fabric to rubber. The Kong Puppy toys allow for chewing that’s soft enough, but strong enough that the puppy teeth can’t tear it apart. Have a larger plush toy that can be rubbed on momma and littermates to bring the scene of the puppy’s family home with you to alleviate some separation stress.
Heads up: Puppies like to chew. And, when they’re looking to chew, they don’t discriminate. It’s a common complain of new puppy owners. But, it’s important to realize that chewing is healthy for the puppy—he’s maturing and trying to shed his puppy teeth. Avoid rawhide chewies and start with natural chews like bully sticks, antlers, Himalayan chews, etc.
- Collar & Leash
This should probably be at the top of the list, because hopefully you have something to bring your puppy home with. However, a nice flat collar that has lots of room for adjustment is a nice place to start. Then, I recommend a leash that is called a “drag line” that you don’t mind if the puppy drags it through dirt outside—it’s used to help you catch the puppy when outside and working on recalls. Then, a leather leash can be used for walks and training classes. Collars don’t need to be fancy—after all, he’s going to grow out of it quickly.
Purchase a nametag to include on your collar to help identify your puppy until you can get him microchipped at your vet clinic. Talk with your veterinarian about a suitable time for microchipping (some prefer to do the microchip while the puppy is under for spay/neuter procedures for ease).
When you go to pick up your puppy, most breeders might send you home with a “puppy blanket” which has been rubbed on the litter and mother and has that familiar scent to allow for comfort. However, I recommend taking one with you do to so, just in case. Then, have a soft, but not too big or overwhelming bed for the puppy to learn that’s his spot in the living room or in his crate. Place the puppy blanket on the bed for comfort.
- Puppy Food
Your breeder will most likely recommend a food to start feeding your puppy right away. Follow the breeder’s instructions until speaking with your veterinarian. We feed Purina ProPlan and know what works for our dogs and what doesn’t. Do not switch food cold turkey. Again, this is an important question to ask your breeder and your vet within the first day.
- Food and Water Bowls
We use stainless steel food and water bowls, and those are generally your best, and easiest, bet for your puppy. I like the ones with the rubber padding on the bottom for the younger dogs, to help mute the noise a stainless steel bowl can make on hard flooring. These are easy to clean and disinfect.
- Training Treats
Puppy training starts from the moment he comes home. So, have some simple, small treats to start training your pup simple things like responding to his name, coming when called, potty training and obedience learning.
- Dog Brush/Comb
The type of grooming gear you need depends on the breed of puppy you have. Again, speak with your breeder as to the best tools to combat tangles, dry skin and toenail trims.
- Lots of “Dog Towels”
We have a cabinet full of old towels that are now “dog towels” ready for whatever we might need them for—drying a dog after a bath or aftercoming in from the rain, cleaning up slobber or cleaning up urine accidents. Don’t be afraid to hit Goodwill to pick up some extras, or make this a good reason to update your bathroom towel sets!
- Paper Towels and Cleaning Supplies
Puppies will be puppies, and they will make a mess. Having lots of paper towels on hand and cleaning supplies like bleach will help keep things cleaner.
If you have stairs, or you want to restrict access to rooms, invest in some gates to block doorways or a playpen to allow for more controlled free time.
- First Aid Kit and Medications
Talk with your veterinarian about what flea, tick and worm preventatives will be best for your puppy, and when you should start those protocols. You’ll also want to create a Puppy First Aid Kit to have on hand for accidents and illnesses. (Post to come to outline what we have in ours later.)
- Professional Training
Once you bring you new fluffy bundle of joy home, contact Erin at Frontier K9 to set up a Puppy Evaluation. We’ll help you get started as a new pair on the right paw…err, foot as we help set you up for success. We’ll work on basic obedience commands and how to have a puppy that’s a good citizen. Start training your puppy early—young minds soak up information so much faster!
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has some great tips for your puppy shopping list as well.