Being a parent of a new puppy is like having a new baby in the house. If you’re not prepared, it will be very difficult, stressful and challenging for you and the puppy. You and your household will have to make some adjustments to keep the puppy comfortable and at home. Remember, this pup left her mother and her littermates, and will be joining her first human family. Make a great home for your puppy starting by providing her with basic needs.
Shopping for puppy stuff can be so much fun, and there is a lot of stuff to choose from. From dog leashes, to dog beds, and dog toys to dog food – it will be tempting to splurge on your doggy. However, you need to start with the basics first, so your puppy’s homecoming will be a smooth transition. Here are some of the basic items you need to bring home with your new puppy:
1. Puppy crate
Crates are important for puppy owners, so you can monitor and house train your pup more easily. When you need to leave and you can’t watch over them, a crate gives them a place to stay safe and out of mischief.
The best type of crate for home use is the metal crate because it is durable and will last longer than its plastic and fiberglass varieties. Plus, it gives your puppy enough ventilation and air so they won’t feel cramped. When picking a crate, make sure your puppy can stand up, lie down, turn around and stretch inside. Also, provide a comfy bedding to place inside for your puppy to sleep on.
2. Dog Bed
While house training, you will have your puppy sleep in her crate or kennel. But after housetraining, you can put your puppy in a real dog bed. You can choose from a wide range of cushions, pillows, dog-sized couches and memory foam mattresses that can suit your interior décor. Select dog beds with a washable, removable and waterproof cover, and choose small to medium sized beds to make your dog feel cozy and secure.
3. Food and water bowls
While you have your plates and glasses, your dog will need food and water bowls. There are many varieties to choose from, such as ceramic, plastic, stainless steel or even glass – but all of these have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Plastic bowls are your cheapest and most colorful option, but plastic can be chewed on by your puppy. Also, it can harbor bacteria when dented or scratched on the surface. If you choose to go with plastic, pick something that is dishwasher-safe, hard and durable; and replace it right away when it starts to show signs of wear and tear.
Ceramic and glass bowls are classy and heavy, and they are less likely to become chew toys by your dog because of its hardness. But it is breakable and expensive, so make sure you only give it to well-behaved puppies.
Stainless steel bowls are your best option, though they are generally more expensive. These are scratch-free, dent-free, durable and easy to clean. When buying stainless steel bowls, make sure you pick those with heavy rubber bottoms so they stay on the spot to avoid spills.
4. Puppy food
Your puppy’s biggest need is nutritious food to develop strong bones and healthy organs, skin, and coat. Puppies have a big appetite and big feeding demands while on a tender age. The first 12 months of a dog’s life must be sustained with a diet that supports her energy and nutritional needs, as well as the fast-developing bones and muscles of your puppy.
Choose dog food that is formulated especially for puppies, because these provide nutritional requirements of a growing puppy. Make sure your puppy food has the right blend of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
5. Puppy treats
When training your puppy, tasty food treats are your best choice for rewards. Make sure you keep tasty and nutritious treats in stock. Dogs are motivated by food, and when they know they can expect a great treat from obeying you, you will easily train your pup in no time.
6. Leash and collar
You need a collar and a leash so you can keep your puppy safe under your control while you walk them out. A collar holds up your dog’s identification tag, and it is attached to the leash, which you need to walk your pup.
It’s best to pick an adjustable leash with a two-piece buckle so it can be usable as the puppy grows bigger. The collar must fit snugly, not too tight or too loose. You must be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the puppy’s neck. The leash should be strong and well-made, as well as the hardware that links it to the collar. A good leash and a collar is important when enrolling them to obedience training.
7. Identification tag
Your puppy will need some identification because let’s face it – you never know if your dog could get lost. An ID tag is a medallion that can be made of plastic or metal that contains important contact information. If in case you lose the puppy or they run away, you and your dog can still be reunited if someone finds your dog and contacts you through the information on her ID tag. An ID tag must contain your address, ZIP/postal code, phone number, and the name of the puppy (if you like). Some include only the owner’s name and phone number with no information about the dog or the address for safety reasons.
8. Grooming supplies
While your puppy is still young, take time to groom her. Your puppy’s coat needs regular bathing, combing and brushing. Her teeth and ears needs to be kept clean, and her toenails needs to be kept trimmed. And grooming is not just a matter of keeping her clean – it’s also a bonding time for the two of you so she get used to your touch and learn to behave during the process. It is very important so that when it’s time to bring them to a vet or a pet groomer, they will be comfortable with being touched all over.
To groom your puppy, you will need the following tools and items:
- Dog shampoo
- Combs and brushes
- Nail clippers
- Cotton balls
As you train your dog to be used to grooming, give your puppy praise and treats so they can associate grooming with positive things.
9. Cleaning supplies
Before and during the first few weeks of potty training, your puppy will bring the inevitable, accidental pee and poo in your house. And if they can smell in an area that they’ve been there before, they will most likely do it again on the same spot. So be prepared and bring home some cleaning supplies to remove traces of urine, pet stains and excrement.
10. Chew toys
Puppies love to chew a lot. Sometimes, they seem to prefer chewing your shoes, the TV remote, and your books more than anything else. Keep your possessions intact and free from your dog’s chewing attention by providing them with toys to chew on. And while you’re on the mission of keeping your dog away from your things, make the toy serve a dual purpose by choosing chew toys that can support teething and cleanses teeth.