Are you adding a new furbaby to your family? What an exciting time! And if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a puppy – or this is your first time ever – then you might forget how overwhelming that first week can be.
Let me start by saying that I highly recommend browsing this whole list before printing it off and heading to your nearest pet supply store. I also highly recommend that you get the majority of your supplies at least a few days before your new pupper arrives.
The only supplies that will truly depend on your individual dog for sizing will be the collar or harness that you choose, as well as a crate the appropriate size. The rest of the supplies can be purchased and set up in advance.
You don’t want to find yourself struggling to put together a crate only to realize it doesn’t fit between the bookshelves. So, there you are, moving furniture and rearranging your living room while your new pup wanders the house unattended. Not only will you likely end up with several piddle puddles to clean up when you’re finished, but you might end up with a destroyed shoe or a frightened cat being chased by your excited new pup!
So! Let’s go through some of the general items you’ll need for your new pup!
1. Food dish
While choosing a decorative food bowl that matches your home décor might be a personal thrill for you, keep in mind a few practical thoughts.
Stainless steel bowls are often easier to clean and sterilize.
Bowls with a rubber bottom will help tremendously when it comes to your enthusiastic new dog scarfing down his food, shoving the bowl across the kitchen with his nose and often spilling it everywhere in the process.
Ceramic bowls can easily get broken in the aforementioned scenario.
2. Water bowl
Keep in mind the same considerations when it comes to the water bowl. Additionally, consider a larger water bowl than food bowl, as your pup will have free access to water throughout the day, and you won’t want to have to refill a tiny water bowl two or three times a day.
3. Spill mat
Even if you plan to put your dog’s food and water on a hard surface floor, a spill mat is still a good investment. All dogs dribble water around their water bowl after drinking, and spills are inevitable. Either way, keeping kibble and water puddles limited to an easy-to-clean spill mat is much better than water damaged hardwood, mildewy carpet, or sticky tile.
Most modern dog trainers recommend utilizing a crate for training purposes in the first year of your dog’s life at home with you. Even if you don’t intend for your dog to use your crate to live and sleep in, a crate is not just a convenient way to contain your pup when unsupervised. Crates also can be used to make potty training more effective. A crate is also a safety tool for many realistic scenarios.
I recommend a wire sided crate with a removable bottom tray for easy cleaning. They also often come with a wire divider that can be moved to size the inside of the crate smaller for your puppy and larger as she grows.
But, feel free to browse the fantastic modern furniture solutions that double as a pet house. Side tables and bookshelves with built-in pet houses are a gorgeous way to include your pet’s home in your own home décor.
4. Crate Bedding
Start with the cheapest you can find, or just use towels for the first few weeks in case pup chews them! Buying blankets from a second-hand store is a great way to keep cost down on an item that’s likely to be peed on, pooped on, and chewed on. Many puppies chew and shred bedding for up to their first year of age. Some dogs do it their entire lives.
Ingesting stuffing can be deadly for a dog. Trust me – I’m just one of the thousands of pet owners that spend thousands of dollars on exploratory or rescue surgery for their dog that ingested bedding or clothing.
Your pup doesn’t NEED super soft bedding right away. You’ll spend plenty of time cuddling her in your lap or on the couch with you, so save yourself the hassle and danger of elegant bedding inside the crate.
5. Comfy bedding
You might want one nice pet bed for relaxing outside of the crate or bedtime. Here’s where you can go for the cute and cozy plush bed, if you’d like. This bed can live by the couch so that in the relaxing evenings, your dog can have a comfy place to chew a favorite toy or nap. Or, you can keep this next to you bed to train your dog to sleep next to you at night rather than being crated.
6. Food storage bin
You’d be surprised how much easier this will make your life than digging in and out of a dog food bag. Bags attract mice and pests to burrow through the bottom and steal your precious pet food! You can find screw top bins from pet stores or large Tupperware bins at general supply shops.
Note: Spring Naturals foods come in a heavy-duty plastic that’s more resistant to being chewed through by pests. It’s also resealable with a zipper closure, making it much more convenient than traditional paperish pet food bags.
Invest in a high-quality dog food. You don’t want your dog growing up eating junk food, or he will have the same health problems that a human child would if he or she grew up on fast food daily. Obesity, heart disease, and joint problems are all possible illnesses that can be partially prevented by feeding high quality dog food.
Spring Naturals foods are grain-free and low carb – pets just don’t need the high carbs any more than we do! Our foods are high protein, made with only whole meats – no by products or meals. Lastly our foods include 6 superfoods, including healthy fruits and vegetables for optimal pet health and tasty treats! Shop here: www.SpringNaturals.com
Collars are preferable to harnesses, as harnesses are not designed for your dog to wear all the time, and they can be difficult to get on and off a squirming puppy. Harnesses also make training calm walks on leashes much more difficult. Your pup’s collar should be tight enough that it can’t slip over his/her head or get caught on furniture. If you can put two fingers between the collar and the skin while the collar remains tight, you’re all set. Pet store employees are often trained to help size properly.
You’ll want a traditional 4 or 6 foot leash for training purposes. Retractable leashes are convenient for letting your dog have a little extra freedom to roam and sniff, but they’re difficult for controlling your dog while around other dogs and distractions. I personally use both type of leash at different times.
10.ID collar tag
11. Nail clippers
12. Puppy friendly flea shampoo
Many monthly flea and tick treatments aren’t healthy for puppies, so for the first couple months, offer regular baths in flea shampoos to control these annoying pests that can infest your home and cause YOU to itch, too.
13. Carpet /Floor cleaner
Messes are inevitable with any pet. We recommend Simple Solution Stain & Odor cleaner.
14. Baby gate or Exercise pen (optional)
Determine the best place in your home for puppy’s crate and bed, and which areas might need to be off-limits due to hazards or delicate furniture/décor (in case pup decides to make it his new chew toy!
Optional Training Supplies:
- Training treats These are tiny pieces of tasty treats that are highly drool-worthy and soft enough to swallow quickly during training sessions.
- Treat pouch Pouches you wear around your waist that hold the treats make training sessions much more convenient. And trust me on this one from personal experience – don’t put treats in your pockets. A dog will sniff it out of your laundry pile and chew through your pants to get to the crumbs.
- Clicker Research clicker training to see if this is the type of training you want to learn with your pup.
- Training lead This is a very long leash, usually 20 feet or so long, that you can use in various training scenarios to be hands-free while the long lead drags on the ground within reach of you stepping on the end to stop your pup from running too far off.
- Pet Corrector Air Spray Some trainers have great luck discouraging nipping and jumping puppies by spraying a burst of air nearby with the Pet Corrector spray bottle. Condensed air doesn’t harm anyone, it simply makes a noise as air whooshes out of the can – enough to interrupt bad behavior and discourage it from happening again.
A final note:
Don’t forget to puppy-proof areas of your home that will be free of electrical cords, breakable items within reach, and other hazards (very similar to baby-proofing your home!)
Enjoy your new pup!