Puppy Supplies to have on hand before puppy comes home
We highly recommend the following two books to help you learn about and raise your new family member:
- Perfect Puppy in 7 Days by Dr. Sophia Yin
- Woof it Up! Guide to Happy Dogs and Happy Owners by Angel Wasserman, CCBC
Preferably the same food the breeder or shelter was feeding. Dogs can get stomach upset from a rapid food change. If you don’t like the particular brand of food your puppy is currently using, you can transition to a new food by following the directions on the dog food bag. The transition should take roughly 7 days.
Food and water bowls
Stainless Steel bowls are easy to disinfect and are virtually indestructible. Your breeder may recommend a water bottle instead of a water bowl for some toy breeds such as the Shih Tzu. Ask your breeder or veterinarian for their advice if you are unsure which type to purchase.
Obtain from the breeder or person you are getting the puppy from, a stuffed toy or piece of cloth that has been rubbed on the puppy’s mother, littermates, or the individual person too, so that it will have their smells on it. This can be very comforting to the puppy when it goes to its forever home.
Collar and Leash
A flat cloth, buckle or snap cloth collar and a lightweight six-foot leash are recommended.
For safety sake, an ID tag with your contact information (including cell phone number) should be placed on the collar right away, even if you haven’t named your puppy yet. Tags can be engraved at most pet stores for just a few dollars each.
Regular household cleaners may remove pet stains but the odors remain for the dog even if the humans can no longer smell it. Puppies will continually return to areas in which they’ve gone to the bathroom before and repeat their “accident” unless enzyme cleaners are used. Our tried and true favorites are Urine Off and Zero Odor (available in most pet stores and on-line.)
Crate and gates
You will need a place to put puppy when you can’t supervise him. Crates are ideal and they have the added benefit of creating a safe place or den for puppy. When selecting a crate, consider purchasing one that will be large enough to accommodate your dog when he is fully grown.
A dog should be able to stand up, turn around and stretch out completely without hitting the crate walls. Most crate companies offer dividers so that the crate can be made larger or smaller. If you prefer to contain puppy to one area, baby gates are ideal. Note: Unless your puppy is a toy breed, we recommend purchasing extra-tall baby gates.
Virtually all dogs will be able to jump over the standard size gate but even our wildest jumper hasn’t been able to get over the Kidco brand, extra tall baby gate.
Create a nest for puppy by placing bedding material in the crate. We recommend lightweight, easily washable items such as towels or baby blankets for the first week. If you are using crate pads or crate cushions, consider purchasing two of them so that puppy has a bed to sleep on while the other one is being washed.
X-large Stuffed Animal
One of the fastest ways to get your puppy to sleep through the night is to provide him with a simulated littermate. Purchase the largest, tallest, stuffed animal that will fit in the crate. It should be large enough to mimic mom and allow the puppy to snuggle into it and/or lie on it. Note: Stuffed animals should be filled with cotton batting not beans, which can become a choking hazard.
It is advisable to remove any loose or sewn on parts such as glass eyes or button noses. Snuggle Puppies is a unique line of stuffed animals made specifically for this purpose. They come in a variety of sizes and have battery-operated heartbeats, which may be soothing for some pups.
Things to chew on
Puppies need appropriate things to chew on and lots of them! Consider purchasing a puppy Kong toy, toys made especially for puppies that are teething, and several natural animal products such as dehydrated beef tenderloins or bully sticks. Flavored Nylabones are a good choice for safety purposes but some pups won’t chew on them as they offer little flavor and chewing resistance.
A multitude of pet waste bags styles and colors are available at pet stores. These bags are very convenient for picking up after puppy. A pooper-scooper may also be handy to clean up waste in your own yard. Tip: Get a 5 gallon paint bucket with lid from your local home supply store and place 2-3″ of kitty litter on the bottom of the bucket. Place your used waste bags in the bucket and keep them there until trash day. This keeps your yard clean and tidy, reduces smells and keeps flies from invading your garbage can.
A soft bristle brush should be used to get your puppy accustomed to handling and grooming. You will want to introduce puppy to brushing immediately so that he accepts your touch and brushing as something that’s normal and natural in his world.
Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste starter kits
One of the best things you can do for your dog’s health is to brush his teeth, and the best time to introduce him to this procedure is when he is a puppy. Kits are available in most pet stores. Note: Never use human toothpaste on dogs, fluoride can be toxic.