Finding the perfect products for your puppy is an exciting time – It’s very tempting to buy the whole of the store! There is a lot your pup will need to make sure they grow up happy and healthy. So we have compiled a list of 10 essential items for your puppy checklist!
Remember this is a huge commitment (12 years on average!) and you need to be 100% sure that you can give your time, money and love before you make this life-changing decision. Are you ready to get a dog?
Preparation is key, so make sure you have the essentials ready for your new pup to join the family. Pet supplies are expensive and your pup will grow surprisingly quickly and won’t be housetrained yet so make sure not to waste money on the things that aren’t necessary or that can be outgrown within a few weeks! Try to stick to the basics with a few extra bonuses and then acquire the luxurious things as they get older.
Now, let’s begin our puppy checklist!
Food (& Bowls!)
Obviously a number one priority! What you feed your new pup has a huge impact on his health, so it’s important to do your research and find the best brand with all the nutrients and vitamins they’ll need. It’s important that for the first few days you feed them what they were fed at their previous house (so they feel more comforted and it wont upset their tummies!) Make the transition over 5-7 days slowly introducing the food that you will be feeding them.
You have to put their food somewhere, right? 2 bowls, perhaps ceramic as they’re weighted and less likely to get knocked over by clumsy paws or clumsy feet! Plastic bowls can become chew toys rather easily which can be harmful for teeth and gums, the tooth marks left are a haven for bacteria! There is also non-slip food and water bowls which can also work well on tiled or wood floors. If they’re still messy eaters you can also get the dog mats for the food to go onto making cleaning up easier than ever.
Your pup needs somewhere safe and familiar to return to every night. Whether you choose to crate train or designate a bed is a personal choice (even though they will most likely end up taking over your bed – who can resist puppy eyes?!). With crate training make sure they have enough room to move around comfortably but feel secure. Either way they will grow and this needs to be taken into account when buying a bed or crate as you’ll have to purchase another when the time comes. There are plenty of beds to choose from, have a look at choosing your dog bed.
What is better than puppy toys?! Squeaky, rubber and colorful toys to play with are essential! Not only will it distract your dog from chewing your possessions it’s a great bonding experience to share with your new family member. I suggest a few key toys rather than overloading straight away. Teething chews are a must! Puppies come with super sharp teeth and a talent for chewing everything! Focus their attention on positive chewing to keep them occupied – if this doesn’t work, there are sprays available to combat unwanted chewing. Kong is a great one as it keeps your puppy busy and has the soft rubber for teething – have a look at the puppy Kongs here.
Treats are crucial for early training and bonding with your puppy. Take them everywhere you go! Whether it’s to meet new people, puppy classes, walks (once they are vaccinated), whilst potty training… basically everywhere! If you find you are using too many treats, you can always use their kibble as little treats in large quantities – just make sure at their dinner time you adjust it accordingly (although who doesn’t love that fat puppy tummy!) Try not to buy in bulk until you’re sure of the treats he likes.
Don’t be fooled by the cute puppy eyes – these pups get messy! Preparing an area in your house for them to be is advantageous with a new puppy, whether it be a play pen or a blocked off area. Stair gates also come in handy when you aren’t there to supervise either to keep them in a particular area or to stop them attempting to climb the stairs! Puppy pads are a great way to start the training process, normally about 20 minutes after your puppy has had a drink they will want to go out so make sure you’re available to assist them in the garden when the time comes! Poop bags are also imperitive – because leaving poop on the side walk or in the grass is a big NO! Make sure to get plenty of floor cleaner for any accidents to be cleaned up quickly.
Collar, Leash & ID Tag
ID tag just in case you forget his name! Just kidding, put your contact info and name so that if he does run off someone can return him to you. By law, it must be shown to have your name and address. Have him micro-chipped as soon as possible, its quick, permanent and effective and will make the process easier if your dog does run away! Collars are needed for whenever your dog is out the house (or inside – that’s up to you.) Your puppy will outgrow his first collar quickly so here is your chance to get something super quirky and cute to keep as a memory! As they grow make sure it never gets too tight you should be able to fit two fingers underneath with ease. Whilst he may be trained in the house there are lots of other distractions outdoors – so a leash is crucial to keep your dog safe. To get him used to a leash as he can’t be walked until he’s had all vaccinations, try and practice as soon as possible in the house or garden so that when the time comes for the first walk outside he is as comfortable as ever and isn’t running in circles around you!
Although you may think grooming products are solely for untangling and making them look the part, brushing your dog creates a bond early on as it reminds them of their mothers. Pick up a comb or a brush that is right for your pup’s breed hair length and thickness. Nails are another important thing to get used to right away to make the experience in the future less traumatising! You’ll also need to give your dog regular baths so pick up some puppy shampoo. Try not to bathe them in the first week or so as they’ll be comforted by the fact they still smell like their mother.
Adding to our puppy checklist is an important one – Car safety! It is a part of owning a dog many people seem to overlook. By law, some sort of harness/seatbelt is required, if not a crate or divider for the boot. They’re easy to use and the harness clips right onto the seatbelt! It also keeps them in place in the car as it’s dangerous to be driving with a dog trying to get about in the car and distracting you.
Getting a Vet
Preparing a vet beforehand and booking an appointment is preferable however if you have already got your puppy make sure to make an appointment as soon as possible. Make the trip fun with lots of treats and lots of fuss so that it becomes a pleasurable experience rather than scary! Perhaps even take your pup down there just to say hello. When you’re at your vet, ask for flea, tick and heartworm treatments – heartworm can be caused from only a mosquito bite and can be a miserable time for your dog and an expensive time for you! Ask about any other vitamins or supplements they may need from your vet to be sure they are as healthy as can be. Getting pet insurance is a must! We try and do our best but sometimes our crazy pups injure themselves and it’s best to be prepared so we aren’t stumped by thousands of dollars in bills!
The first few days can be a really stressful time on your puppy. Leaving all his mother, brothers and sisters can be scary. There are some really good calming pheromone collars,sprays and diffusers nowadays that make it really simple to keep your dog calm. They are natural scents emitted by mother dogs to relax anxious pups, totally safe and very effective. There are also calming treats and chews that you may find effective. These can come in handy if you realize your dog is anxious of roads and cars, and can be fed out on your walk to keep him calm.
So this is it, we hope you found our puppy checklist helpful! You have all the bits that you need and now the fun starts! For the commitment, money and time they need, they will bless you with many extremely happy and love filled years – it really is priceless. I hope this checklist have helped with your new arrival. Good luck!