Are you ready for your new puppy? Don’t even think of getting a puppy until you check this must-have essentials, to welcome your puppy home.
1. Dog Toys
Toys are a great way to help direct your puppy’s energy when they starts teething. Remember to get lots of different textured toys ideally before you bring them home. To rub a plush toy on their littermates and mama. So that you can bring the scent of your pup’s family back home with you. To provide as source of comforting familiarity, while introducing your puppy to their new home. Check out the Snuggle Puppy which also includes heat pads and a ticking heart to help your puppy sleep at night.
2. Dog Crate
Have a crate gives you to have a strong foundation for your puppy’s house training. More importantly helps you prevent any puppy accidents, before they happen. Especially when their young, we as their parents have to set them up for success. We know that they have some issue finding their potty routine. Crate training your new puppy, is not just a good way of containing your puppy. It’s also a great way to give them a home base to start from, when exploring their new home.
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Unwanted chewing is the biggest challenge for your puppy to overcome. It can often strain the new forming relationship with our puppies. Luckly, you can avoid all that unwanted biting, by simple redirecting that energy. Providing them a treat that they can really sink their teeth into. Our favorite dog chew for both our puppies and older dogs are Bully Sticks
4. No Chew Spray
If your puppy has already started biting on furniture. You can quickly nip that in the butt. By using safe No Chew Spray to deter that behavior. It’s very important to not let the problem go unchecked. Even if they don’t do it often you can spray a little on at risk spots on furniture.
Two leashes excellent for new puppies:
- A short drag line which is a light weight 4 or 6 foot nylon leash (we usually get the “small” 6 foot leash or the “medium” 4 foot leash)
A leather training leash – we like these convertible leather leashes we’ve been using since raising our first guide dog puppy
We don’t get too fancy with our puppy collars. A simple nylon buckle collar does the trick. After all they’ll out grow their collar in no time.
The two essentials we include are the puppy’s name and phone number. Also, make sure you get your puppy microchipped just in case he loses his collar. Our shelter microchipped Linus before they sent him home with us.
8. Puppy Blanket
We also bring a blanket to rub on our puppy’s litter mates then we put the blanky in the crate so our puppy feels a little more comfortable his first few nights in his new home. We use the same snuggle pet blanket from our Snuggle Puppy Starter Kit.
9. Puppy Food
Get in contact with the reputable breeder, before you go to get them. Find out what food they feeding the mother and puppies. So that you can, plan to ease them onto your favorite choice.
QUICK UPDATE: We recently started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! We recommend The Farmer’s Dog if you’re interested in feeding your puppy fresh food. Get 50% off your first order.
For puppy be sure to soak the kibble thoroughly. Because, kibble expanses in water and your dog’s stomach. Which helps them feel full, but they have to drink a lot of water. Puppy often don’t drink enough water. Then, the kibble ends up adsorbing their bile in thier stomach. Which cause them to puke yellow fluid and can damage their health. Boiling water for about 30 minutes. Cold water for 3 hours, then just heat it in the microwave for a couple seconds to take the chill of it.
10. Dog Bowls
A simple stainless steel food and water bowl will do the trick. We got these basic ones when we first brought home Linus (the rubber pads have long since worn out). One thing we like about these simple bowls compared to others is it’s difficult for your puppy to accidentally flip them over.
QUICK TIP: Make sure you get the right size bowl for your puppy. We get the 8 cup bowl for our Labs and Goldens.
11. Stain & Odor Remover
Guess what? Your puppy is going to have accidents in the house. Even if you stick to a strict potty training schedule there will always be a miscue. Never fear Rocco & Roxie makes a great stain & odor remover that we use with our puppies.
QUICK TIPS: Always use an enzymatic cleaner that will completely eliminate the smell of urine. Your dog’s sense of smell is thousands to millions of times better than yours so make sure you have a cleaner that does the job right like Rocco & Roxie.
When do you start training your puppy? The day you get him! Whether or not you decide to train your puppy with treats it’s still important to have treats for your puppy. We discovered Happy Howie’s at last year’s SuperZoo Trade Show.
13. Dog Brush/Comb
Find out what type of coat your breed has. Most dog breed have a double coat. Meaning that they have two hairs thoroughout their coat. Firstly, thicker human like hair called guard hairs. Secondly, undercoat fine hairs that shed rapidly. That’s why contrary to popular belief, it’s not good idea to have your dog’s hair cut routinely. Even during summer because, their undercoat thins during the summer. Cutting their hair, cuts the slowing growing guard hairs.
Depending on the breed you may need specialized brushes and combs to keep a well-groomed coat. If not, your dog’s fur can get knotted in a short time (not really an issue with the Labs). We have 5 brushes/combs we use with our Goldens and Labs:
Basic Two-Sided Pin Brush – we got for Linus, but have used with all of our dogs.
Slicker Brush – for removing mats and tangles our Golden Retriever, Raven’s long coat.
Zoom Groom – mostly used with our Lab, Stetson.
Flea Comb – every once in a while we use this comb to check for fleas.
Furminator – we’ve had ours for years and use it with both our Golden and Lab to help reduce the amount of fur flying around the house.
14. Puppy Shampoo
You don’t want to use harsh human products or even a dog shampoo might be too much for your puppy’s delicate skin. Linus came from the shelter and desperately needed a bath when he got home. Stetson came from the Guide Dog school and had a bath right before I picked him up. However, he had an accident on the car ride home and needed a bath again once we were home.
We don’t always have bedding for our crate and find that blankets, towels, bedsheets can all be a good alternative. We even had one friend build us bedding for our crate using those egg crate foam. A word of warning: not all, but many of our puppies have decided the pet bedding would make a good chew and shred toy.
16. Dog Bed
Again blankets, towels, bedsheets, and even pillows can be used as a dog bed. Several of my puppies have loved the sofa-style dog beds. Actually, Stetson has taken over our sofa. 🙂 One thing we’re looking for in our next dog bed is one that is easily washable. As you might imagine, puppies often have accidents on their dog beds.
17. Puppy Pee Pads
We train all of our puppies to potty outside. However, I know that potty training outside is not always an option. So, when do we use pee pads? We use them when Raven has a litter of puppies.
18. Poop Bags
We don’t use them as much now that we have a large backyard and pooper scooper. However, whenever we’re out and about with Stetson or Raven we grab our favorite Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags. Remember to always have something to scoop the poop when out in public.
Gates are a great way to keep your puppies confined to only certain rooms in your house. We actually purchased this Regalo Gate many years ago to keep Stetson and Linus out of the kitchen. Guess what? Many years later we can now use it as a baby gate!
Not essential, but if you can’t keep a close eye on your puppy and you don’t want to crate him then take a look at the Carlson Portable Pet Pen. An ex-pen would also work well in the house.
21. Nail Trimmer
Before using clippers on your dog. Make sure their nails to moist. Especially if you live in dryer climates. Making the nails moist before clipping prevents their nails from breaking and chipping. That’s why it’s best to clip their nails after you bathe them. If they have already had a bath recently. Be sure to dip their paw in water.
Remember to clip going back from the tip. Very important, dog’s nail bed grows with their nail. Don’t clip there paw to the size you want their nail to be. Slowly over weeks retract their nails to the size you want.
Lastly and most importantly, strike true. Use the most leverage of nail clippers possible. Holding from the furthest down the handle. Once you have it aimed clip with authority. While taking your time to aim properly on each nail. Aim twice, strike once.
22. Dog Toothbrush & Paste
We like getting our pups used to the toothbrush and toothpaste, but usually don’t introduce them on day one. When we get a new puppy we always buy the toothpaste/toothbrush/finger brush combo pack for our pup.
Dog snapping on their leash with collar can causes micro fractures in their neck. Dog can get distracted on walk are to bolt while on their leash. A harness allows you to walk your dog without worrying about a sudden change in your dog’s behavior. It is still important to be aware of your surround when being on walk with your dog.
Having both leash on a harness and leash around their head, just behind the ears. Will give you more control over your puppy’s posture. Keeping their head up, walking with confidence. Make sure when your on a walk, to walk with purpose. Walking them to the park without stopping and letting them sniff first. Have them focus on the walk to the park. Practicing their focus. Then once you reach the park allow them to explore while on the leash. Then on the walk back try a balanced approach. Walking slower, allowing them to sniff the air. On the walk back they can sniff the grass a little bit. Focus first, Reward and play, then relaxed calm leisure walk. Keeping it that order will help them focus and teach them focus is rewarded.
Clickers is not a one size fits all. You can experiment with clickers as train your pup. Get clicker to have a wristband so we can let it hang freely when working with our pups.
QUICK TIP: While we recommend this FRISCO clicker we also recommend having a variety of clickers. Box clickers are usually fairly noisy and you’ll also notice there are very quiet clickers for sensitive dogs. Depending on your pup he/she may respond better or worse to different clickers.
For the past eight years, we’ve been clicker training all of our puppies. It’s a very effective way to train and communicate with your puppy, but if you want to clicker train you’ll need a clicker and a….
25. Gentle Leader
Gentle leader is definitely a must when it comes to training your puppy. This allows you regain the focus from the the ground in gentle manner. When the gentle leader goes over their nose of your puppy it brings their focus up in a subtle way.
26. Food Container
We like having a food container to keep our dog food fresh. Our container is a little dated and I’m not so sure it’s still airtight. I think after 10+ years that happens. I’m on the search for a new improved dog food container stay tuned
QUICK TIP: Did you know that it’s a good idea to keep your food in the original bag? The bag is made specifically to store dog food for long periods of time. You’ll also be able to maintain the instructions, expiration date, and if there’s a recall you’ll know the lot number of your bag.
27. Pooper Scooper
Pooper scooper is a definte must. If you have a house with with backyard. Cleaning up their poopy becomes no problem at all. Pro Tip: If the poop is moist don’t use the comb part. Use the side of the flat side of pooper scooper to drag the poop away.