We all love our pets, and the thought of adding a new (or even a first) furry edition to your home is a very exciting one. You also want to make sure that when it happens you are prepared to take them into your home with all of the things they will need to be comfortable, happy, and healthy, and to bond with their new family.
Here is our basic what-you-need-for-a-new-puppy checklist!
Crate or Cage
The most important part of bringing a puppy home is making sure they feel secure with their own safe place to retreat and be alone when they get overstimulated or tired. Having this safe place for a new puppy is detrimental in bonding with their new family and surroundings.
You can get a crate or wire cage at your local pet store, or online on any pet retailer (even Amazon and E-bay!) you want to make sure the crate has enough space for a bed or blanket and for the dog to comfortably lay, but not too much open space that they feel exposed.
Some pet owners even opt to “crate-train” their pups to stay in their crate when no one is home or during the night. This is personal preference, but it’s always a good idea to have a portable safe spot for traveling or occupying the dog if necessary.
Puppy Playpen or baby gates
Those who don’t wish to crate-train their dog when they are not supervised, you may not want them to have free reign over the whole house either…
For this problem, it’s popular to get baby gates to fence them into one room of the house, or a puppy playpen to fence them into a smaller area while they’re unsupervised. In this area, you should keep Water, toys, and several blankets or a doggy bed so they are comfortable and entertained while you’re not there.
Dog Bed and Blankets
Of course, you want your pup to be comfortable wherever they may land. It’s a good idea to have a dog bed and some blankets for your pup in several places in the home. We recommend having one in their play pen area, their crate (as well as wherever else they sleep for the night), and in the place where the family spends the most common time.
When bringing home a new puppy, it’s important to bring them outside every 30 minutes to give them ample time to acclimate to the area and establish a routine as well as them getting comfortable enough to tell their humans that they need to use the bathroom. But in this adjustment time, and especially when you leave the house it’s good to have puppy pads that you can place to give them a spot that it’s okay to use the restroom if they need (instead of EVERYWHERE)
Be sure to not overuse the puppy pads when the pup is being supervised or gets regular potty breaks, or they will get too comfortable in the house and it will be counter productive to potty training. Best to use them for emergencies only so your pup doesn’t get used to going in the house.
Food and Water Dishes
Now when you’re getting a new pet this may seem like a no brainer. But ensuring that you have high quality food and water dishes is very important to your pet health and happiness! Ceramic and steel dishes harbor less bacteria than plastic, but some pups may avoid steel due to their collars clicking on the dishes, or (yes really) some may be scared by the reflection from a steel dish. If you find your pup is avoiding the dishes or not eating as much as they should try to swap the type of dish you’re using.
High-quality, age appropriate food
Up until your puppy is one year old, he will need a high-quality puppy food specially formulated for his age, size, and development. It is very important to get age appropriate high-quality food for your pet. There are Different formulations and Ingredients depending on what breed and size of dog it’s for, so pay close attention to the packaging and ensure you’re getting the correct food for your specific pet. Also ensure that the ingredients are high quality with no unnecessary fillers.
Talk to your vet to find out when and how to wean your puppy onto adult food when the time comes.
Collar and Leash
Your puppy is new to “wearing” things, so when picking out a collar, look for a soft, adjustable one that won’t irritate their sensitive neck. If you make it as comfortable as possible for them they’re less likely to pull when training or walking, or just trying to get the thing off!
Be aware your puppy is going to grow and age, so get an adjustable collar with a sturdy leash so it can grow with them and you can avoid changing out the collar every 3-4 months as your pup grows.
You should start out with one short leash and one long line to practive walking and tricks with more room. Hold off on Retractable leashes until you’ve established boundaries and a good routine with your pet as they can be stressful to a new training relationship.
If you have a bigger or more high-spirited pup it may be a good idea to invest in a good harness to reduce the pull, and make walks more comfortable and manageable for both of you. Dogs sometimes like these better than walking with just a collar.
If you choose to use a collar, or harness make sure you put it on your pup to wear around and get used to before you go for a walk.
With a new puppy, it seems like it’s TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN to get them acclimated to the new place, learn to go on walks, and learn fun tricks and commands that make life easier. This will be easy with some quality treats that your pup loves.
Since you will be using these almost daily in the beginning training stages, it’s important to get a healthy treat, that’s also soft enough for your pups tender teeth.
There are also Teething chews that help keep your dog away from the furniture and shoes when teething time comes around.
The American Kennel Club recommends 5 to 6 puppy toys that you can interchange, keeping your puppy on his paws and busy at all times!
Of course once your puppy eventually deflates or destuffs those, you can have a revolving line of different toys to find out what they like best! We recommend getting toys that you can use to play interactively with your pup, as well as some they can use for Solo play so they don’t get bored when you’re not down on all 4 with them. Treat dispensing toys can be a fun game for those pups that just can’t wait for dinner!
Grooming and Healthcare tools
One of the single most important parts of being a pet owner is making sure that your pet is getting quality grooming and hygiene care on a consistent basis. The easiest and cheapest way to do that of course is to purchase tools yourself and educate yourself on how to provide the quality care at home in a stress-free environment. The most common tools you will need are Toothbrush, brush, nail trimmers, Dog Shampoo,
The right grooming brush depends on the age and hair type of your dog. A Soft Bristled Brush Is a good beginner brush to get the dog used to grooming and good for most hair types. However, if you have a long or thick haired dog you may want a Wire brush to make sure the coat is groomed properly and no mats occur as soft bristled brushed may not get deep enough down into the fluffy coat and they may get matted.
Bitter apple spray and an Enzyme cleaner
These supplies are often overlooked, yet extremely useful. You can purchase dog safe bitter apple or Cayenne spray to discourage dogs from biting on furniture or chewing up carpet. Enzyme cleaners will remove the pheromones of dog urine (accidents are bound to happen right?)
These inexpensive items will prove invaluable to training and keeping your pup out of trouble.
And there you have it! These are the supplies that we recommend when adding a new furry friend to your household. Have these on hand, and the experience will be much better for the whole family!