The Best Basics to Have Before Bringing Home Your New Puppy
Bringing home a puppy can be the one of the happiest moments of your life, but making sure you have everything you need can be stressful.
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Here are our top 13 things you need when you take home a new puppy:
1. Food and Water
This one seems pretty obvious but it is important! When purchasing dog food be mindful of your dog’s age, size and breed and your own budget and lifestyle. Talk to your vet or an expert and get advice on food types, brands, and quantities. Usually, puppy formulated foods will be higher in calories to help with their growth. Make sure to double check that all food given is puppy safe.
Try not to feed them human food, especially not fast food, onions, grapes, chocolate and other foods that may be toxic. For a list of Toxic foods you should never share with your dog read HERE.
Also make sure your puppy always has access to fresh water.
If your dog does eat chocolate, call your vet ASAP.
2. Water and Food Bowls
You need a place to put your food and water! People bowls, like plastic ones, may tip over when an overzealous pup tries to dig in. I got a nice stainless steel one for Kilo like these ones on Amazon. You may want to start with a shallow one.
Bowls with a stand can be useful to help keep everything in place so that puppy food doesn’t end up all over your floors. I raise Kilo’s bowl as apprently it can also help avoid bloating. I like the look of this set I found on Amazon.
A mat for under your food and water bowls is also a good idea in case they get a bit messy learning how to eat different types of dry and wet food and drink water.
3. Collar or Harness (and ID Tag and Microchip).
I use a harness with Kilo the Pug as he pulls and I don’t want to hurt his sensitive throat. Other people prefer collars. Do your research on the type and style of harness or collar and make sure it fits well, not too loose and not too tight. You may want to check local by-laws as certain collars are banned in some cities. I took Kilo to try on his and tend to replace them annually. You want to get a tag with your dog’s name along with your phone number so people can get in contact with you if your pet were to ever get lost. This can be made at many pet stores in a machine. Make sure your puppy is Microchipped and the information is up to date.
How to walk on a leash is one of the first things you will probably teach your puppy. Many puppies love walks and they can be great for bonding, socialization and exercise. Buy a leash that is size appropriate, and keeps your puppy close to your side. Check local by-laws as retractable leashes are not allowed in Toronto.
I create trained Kilo the Pug from the day we started fostering him. It is very important to make your crate a friendly, safe and inviting space. It should not feel confining or intimidating to your puppy. A crate should be fairly large and fit your puppy comfortably (even better if there’s room for them to grow). Kilo’s crate has a soft blanket, a very comfortable mattress, a small dog bed he curls up in to sleep, and several toys. He loves his crate now and takes himself to bed when he is tired. Never leave a puppy (or dog) in a crate too long. They need regular potty breaks, exercise and attention every few hours. For more information on crate training, read HERE.
If you would like to buy a crate like Kilo’s through my Amazon Affiliate link:
Petmate Sky Kennel Portable Dog Crate Travel Items Included 6 Sizes
You might also want a play pen so your puppy stays safe in the house with a bit more room.
IRIS 4-Panel Pet Playpen with Door, size 35.25″L x 35.25″W x 24″H
6. Pee Pads
Kilo has a small bladder and hates going outside in the rain and snow. To avoid accidents, I leave pee pads around. Be sure to choose the size of your pee pad based on the size of your dog, lest you have overspill or over flow.
AKC Training Pads, 100-Pack
Puppies are just learning how to control where they go, so size up if possible.
For more information on potty training or house training your puppy, read HERE.
7. Toys for Puppies
Physical and mental activity are very important for your puppy and toys can help manage their energy levels. A good game of tug can be really fun and then chewing on a plush can be relaxing.
Multipet Lamb Chop Dog Toy 10″
Interactive toys that combine treats with play are also great to keep your dog occupied.
Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy – Engaging and Interactive Treat Dispensing Game for your Dog’s Toy Box
If your dog is teething, some chews or cold gel puppy teethers are a great way to prevent teething nibbles on your hands and feet. A stuffed frozen Kong can provide hours of soothing fun.
8. Dog Beds
Purchase your bed based on the size of your dog, nothing is funnier than a big dog in a tiny bed. The bed should be firm but soft and comfortable like a human mattress. It should be placed away from direct heat or cold vents. Again, think of how big your puppy will get when choosing a bed. I like the look of this one for a bigger dog. Kilo would enjoy it for lounging during the day and Cookie my lab would have loved it.
Kilo has a relatively large orthopedic mattress then a small bed he likes to curl up in for sleeping at night in his crate. I like the look of this little donut bed for him on top of his mattress.
9. Training treats for your puppy
Treats are used to give incentives while training and puppyhood is prime time to teach basic commands as well as proper behaviour. Good habits start as soon as your puppy gets home. Make sure to reward them for being a “good puppy”! You can use kibble for the first weeks as you make sure they are adjusted to their new home and diet.
10. Cleaning Sprays
Accidents are going to happen so it is good to be ready for when it does! It’s best to look for sprays with stain and odour remover in them. Sometimes when a puppy has to go, they HAVE to go, so pee stains should be quickly taken care of.
11. Grooming supplies
Start grooming your puppy gently when young so that they will be used to a routine by the time they’re older. This can include a bath when things get messy (with doggy shampoo).
Hertzko Soft Pet Brush for Dogs and Cats with Long or Short Hair – Great for Detangling and Removing Loose Undercoat or Shed Fur – Ideal for Everyday Brushing & for Sensitive Skin
Other things to pick up are a brush, some nail trimmers, and a doggy toothbrush/toothpaste formula. Do not use human shampoos or toothpaste.
12. Poop baggies and holder
Sometimes we forget these, even though they’re vital when we need them! Pick up some biodegradable baggies and put them everywhere t be safe: your car, purse, jacket pocket, front hall…you name it!
Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags, 270 Extra Thick and Strong Poop Bags for Dogs, Guaranteed Leak-proof, Lavender-Scented, 18 Rolls, 15 Doggy Bags Per Roll, Each Dog Poop Bag Measures 9 x 13 Inches
13. Travel equipment
Your dog will be by your side a lot, so make sure to pick up the right travel accessories to keep them safe for trips. This may include a carrier, a travel harness, seatbelt attachments, special water bottles and seat covers to keep your car fresh.
For tips on travelling with your puppy, read HERE.
What are your questions and essentials for taking a new puppy home? Let us know in the comments!
And just to make you smile and relieve your stress even more, here are some cute puppy memes.