Bringing A New Puppy Home: Checklist of What You Need

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You step into the petshop. But you're overwhelmed! There's so much to choose from! What do you really need for your new puppy?

Right, so it’s puppy season! And if you’re reading this you’re no doubt preparing to bring your new puppy home! YAY! I love puppies. OK, I know, who doesn’t? (Except if you’re the breeder who is at the 7.5 week end of having a litter of 10 puppies, I’ve been there too. I get it. It’s fine, no judgement from me! It’s not that you hate them, you’ve just had enough for a few months.)


OK, so what do you need to have so that your puppy gets off to the right start? What’s the essentials? What’s the nice to haves? What’s the luxuries? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered!


The bare necessities:

(Or the essential items are)


A flat collar. Personally I like the Rogz brand of collars. They come in a range of pretty colours.


A leash. Again I like the Rogz brand of small leads. They’re long enough to give pup ample room to move. Obviously they won’t be strong enough for a large-breed puppy. Then, look at getting a biothane leash from the start (I like them as thin as possible, but that’s just my preference.


A crate. A small crate that suits your puppy’s immediate needs is fine. This probably won’t be your ONLY puppy ever, so store it away for the next time you’re raising a puppy. You can always upgrade later to the right size for your dog. I like the wire crates of an airline approved crate. The soft sided crates are way too easy for monster puppies to damage and escape out of!


A water bowl. This is essential! Your puppy should have acccess to fresh, clean water. So make sure you have a decent water bowl. It’s easy for pup to start playing with their water bowl if they’re left in an area with it, so make sure it’s nice and heavy or give pup regular access to the water without leaving the water bowl in their crate or area. I personally prefer stainless steel, as it’s easiest to clean thoroughly.


A food bowl. This is not something you’ll probably use every day, but it’s still a good item to have. We recommend feeding your puppy out of their boredom buster toys. But, you also want to feed your puppy out of a bowl from time to time. And it’s good to use in training 🙂  I personally prefer stainless steel, as it’s easiest to clean thoroughly.


Two boredom buster toys. I like to feed my dogs out of boredom buster toys. It keeps them busy for longer and it gives them something to do while I’m busy. You can check out our blog post on Boredom Buster Toys to give you an idea of which ones will be best for your dogs.


Nail clippers. Oh these are a must have, especially for training your pup to learn that getting their nails clipped is a non-event. You shouldn’t need to take much off. But it’s good for your pup to learn that regular nail trims are part of their routine.


Brush. Same with brushing. Unless you have a dog with a long coat that needs daily brushing, you probably won’t need to brush your dog more than once a week, unless it’s shedding season then we might be talking 10 times a day (this would be short-single-coated breeds like Dobermanns, Staffies, Foxies, etc. or short-double-coated-breeds like Stock Coat German Shepherds, Labradors or Huskies). Either way your puppy should learn that brushing is an important part of their routine. And there’s no better time to start than the puppy stage!


Good quality food. Your dog’s diet is as important as your own. Now, it’s not for us to decide what your dog should eat. But, we’ll just add that it’s important to do some research. I prefer feeding a diet as high in meat, bone and organ content as possible and as low in plant based additives as possible. For large breed puppies, make sure you get a proper large breed puppy food with the calcium to phosphorus ratios correctly (as that’s one of the contributing factors to Hip Displaysia).


A puppy harness. I prefer to move my pups around on harnesses until I’ve taught them to walk nicely on a leash. It keeps their neck receptive and I’m not adding conflict, because later when I add tracking and scenting into my dog’s curriculum they can continue to pull into a harness, however, I want no pulling on their collar.


The Nice to Have items:


(The ones that you don’t need immediately and can add when you need)


A Dog Bed. Well, you can add this later, because your pup can start off sleeping on old towels. You also want to remove all bedding if your pup is chewing their bedding, because it’s a dangerous habit, and also you want to break the habit as quickly as possible. The best way to break it is to take away all chew things while they’re in the crate so that they learn that they can actually relax and sleep and don’t need to be constantly entertained.


A ball on a string. I like to use this as a reward for more advanced training, once pup understands how to play correctly. I don’t like playing fetch, because I don’t really think it adds value to my relationship with my pup. Plus, fetch can actually damage your pup’s joints. So, it’s not the best game to play. Instead of fetch, I teach my dogs to sit-stay and then hide their toys to find. This game uses their noses and because there aren’t sudden changes of direction at high speed, this is much better for their joints. And you’re adding brain work, so it’s way more tiring too!


A quality tug toy. I love playing tug of war with my dog. I use this as a reward for training or just for a fun game to build our fitness! Awesome workout and this is definitely something I add to my training kit. It’s not really necessary from the get go, you can add a quality toy once your puppy is done with their teething.


Soap. A good quality soap to wash your pup with is always good to have! I LOVE the Washbar soap, it smells SO GOOD! And after trial and error, I actually prefer to lather up my dogs with bar soap than shampoo. But the choice is totally yours.


Medical kit. I like to have some Micro Shield (I get my vet to dispense some for me), a bandage, scissors, vetadine, tweezers, saline solution and cotton pads in a kit. It’s the items I use the most when I need to deal with minor cuts at home. Always have your vet’s number handy. If your dog is suddenly lethargic or not eating or drinking get them to the vet ASAP, as these are some of the first signs of trouble!


The Luxury Items:

(The stuff that you don’t really need, but you want anyway)


Well, really everything else falls into this category. You don’t need me to tell you! Do you really need it? No. Do you want it… possibly. So really just peruse the shelves of your local pet shop and add throw anything else into the trolley. Who cares when money is no object!


Now that you’re armed and ready with the right equipment, don’t forget to grab your New Puppy Survival Guide below and start enjoying your puppy!


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Hi, I'm Luzelle! I help dog owners, just like you, learn how to enjoy your dogs. Because not only will you benefit as your dog's guardian, but your dog will feel happier and more fulfilled as well! The reality is that naughty dogs aren't fun to take anywhere. And I know your dog really wants to be a good dog, they just don't know how! So, stop getting frustrated and embarrassed by your dog's bad behaviour, and give us a call! Because Life is just better with an obedient dog and good dogs have more fun!

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