Getting ready to bring a new puppy home is no different to preparing for a new baby. Shopping for puppy basics in advance means your new furry family member will be able to acclimate quickly and settle in.
Stocking up on Treats
While you may be thinking about collars, leashes, and beds, in fact, treats need to be top of your shopping list. Positive reinforcement is the best way to introduce your puppy to novel things in his new adventure playground – your home! So, whether it’s getting used to a crate, or a comfy bed, adjusting to being on a leash or a harness, or, even getting used to being brushed and combed, treats send a positive message from the get-go that your puppy is doing it right. These are important first “puppy steps” to creating an awesome human-animal bond. Zuke’s Puppy Naturals are ideal as they are tasty, low-calories morsels made with protein-rich salmon, pork, or lamb.
Shop online for Zuke's Treats or discover at a store near you!
Make sure your puppy checklist includes the following:
All dogs have an innate denning instinct, and a crate simulates this and allows your puppy to have some personal space.
“Rather buy bigger and block of part of the space with a big cushion,” suggests dog trainer Harrison Forbes. “That will rule out the necessity of having to buy a second one when your puppy is fully grown. At any point in time, your dog must be able to stand up with his head forward and be able to turn around comfortably. It should also be long enough for the dog to be able to stretch out on its side to sleep,” he advises.
A Comfy Bed
Apart from a crate, your puppy will enjoy having a comfy dog bed to snooze on. Beds with bolster sides give dogs a place to lean against and rest their heads.
Food and Water Bowls
Stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowls are hygienic because they as dishwasher safe and thus easy to keep clean. Select ones with a rubber base that holds them firmly in place as your puppy eats or drinks. A drinking fountain is an excellent idea to ensure there’s a constant supply of fresh running water.
Collapsible bowls are ideal for taking with you when you go places whether it’s to grandma’s house or, later, when your puppy is old enough for outdoor adventures.
Collar and ID Tag
A soft nylon collar with a quick-release clasp is an ideal starter collar for a young puppy. Puppies have sudden growth spurts, so, consider buying the next size up at the same time. Apart from being microchipped, an ID Tag is a lost pet’s ticket home. Inscribe your name and phone number and add the word “microchipped”. Make sure all your info is up to date in the microchip database.
Harness and Leash
A soft harness that has hardware for the leash attachment below a dog’s should blades means there is no pulling on the neck area as your puppy learns to walk on a loose leash. Look for one that opens and closes on the sides and not under the tummy as its easier to put on and take off. A six-foot leash is an ideal length especially if you plan to introduce your puppy to outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping.
Every puppy needs a well-stocked toy box and there’s no shortage of fabulous toys that cater specifically to a young dog’s needs.
Special dental toys made up of a combination of hard chewing materials and ropes are excellent for teething puppies as they ease aching gums and promote healthy teeth. Several toys can be placed in the freezer for an additional soothing effect.
Apart from these, ensure the toy box contains a variety of three kinds of toys. Action toys such as balls, Frisbees as well as fun-shaped throw toys for endless games of fetch. Distraction toys that consist mainly of hard rubber shapes that can be stuffed with treats or tidbits keep puppies busy for hours when home alone. Soothing toys such as soft cuddly animals with squeakers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Young puppies will appreciate sleeping with something warm and cuddly.
“If you have young children in the household, be sure that whatever you consider a comfort toy has a different texture and feel to your children’s toys,” warns Forbes. “This way, you can control and train your puppy about what can be touched and chewed and what is off-limits.” Again, treats are a great reward when he gets it right.
Be sure your tool kit includes:
- A wire slicker brush that can remove tangles without irritating skin.
- A wide-tooth comb for removing burrs and tangles, especially in long-haired dogs.
- A curry comb, a tool with long rubber teeth that removes loose hair and massages the skin.
- A good pair of nail clippers.
Puppy First Aid Kit
A pre-packed first aid kit will have all the essentials you will need if your puppy gets into a scape away from home. Every vehicle should have one.
For Outdoor Adventures
If you are planning to take your new friend on lots of outdoor adventures, whether its long walks, hiking, kayaking, and, ultimately camping, add some special outdoor gear and accessories to your shopping list.
Collapsible Camping Cot
Such an outdoor bed is great to use anywhere outdoors, whether it’s in your own backyard by the pool, at the beach, or when your puppy is old enough to accompany you on camping trips. Keeping him off the ground prevents him from getting dirty and helps keep ants and bugs from getting on his fur.
Similarly, a puppy tent will give him his own shade whether you’re at the beach, by a lake or exploring nature anywhere.
Doggie backpacks and special doggie flotation devices are something to consider when your puppy is full grown and ready for outdoor action.
Let the puppy adventures begin!