If you’re about to welcome a new puppy to the family, congratulations! We have created the ultimate puppy checklist to help dog owners prepare for the D-day. It details all the supplies you’ll need to keep your puppy happy and comfortable.
1. Dog bed
Whilst some dog owners like to let their dogs sleep in their beds, some prefer to designate a sleeping area. If you are the latter, start shopping for a soft bed that will make your new puppy comfortable.
Before your puppy is potty trained, it is a good idea to let him sleep in the crate. Get a bed that is ½ to ¾ the size of the crate. This is so you could use the rest of the space for training pads.
If your puppy is already potty trained, consider what size he will grow into for his dog breed, the bed should be big enough for him even when he is fully grown.
If you plan to crate train your new puppy, have one ready before he arrives. Using a crate is a quick and effective way to house-train your puppy. He will learn to control his bowels and understand that he needs to go somewhere else to potty. Your pup will also have a safe zone where he can enjoy privacy and comfort when he needs it.
As a general rule, the collar should be 2 to 3 inches wider than a dog’s neck circumference. Since you have a growing furry buddy, a lightweight adjustable collar is recommended. Choose a collar with clips that are quick and easy to use. You would not want to distress your pup with complicated contraptions. Also, a wide, flat type will be more comfortable for your pup’s neck. It should be as light and comfortable as possible so your pup will get used to it quickly.
The average lead length is 4-6 feet. The most important aspect of a puppy lead is its weight. Choose the lightest one you can find so that it is not stressful for your pup to work with. Nylon leads are the best lightweight options suitable for puppies. Check out this guide on dog lead types to know more about them and choose appropriately.
If your new puppy is a ball of energy and often lunges against the leash, then use a harness. The same is the case if your pup is very small and has a delicate neck. The harness is also recommended if you have a Pug or a Boston Terrier pup, which is prone to throat problems.
As your puppy is still growing, pick a harness that is adjustable so it grows with him. To help you weigh your options better, learn about these 3 considerations in choosing a harness.
6. ID Tag
An ID tag should have your number, address, essential medication requirement or allergies (if any). This accessory is also useful in ownership disputes if your new pup happens to resemble a neighbour’s lost dog.
7. Food and Water Bowl
The most recommended bowl is the stainless steel type because it is easy to clean. It is also the most durable compared to the plastic or ceramic types. You can also buy stainless bowls with rubber coating to prevent slipping.
If you have a very energetic or clumsy puppy, a heavy ceramic or weighted bowl is a more suitable choice. If your pup has long ears, pick a bowl with a smaller opening and wide base. This is so his ears will not dip into the bowl as he eats.
Usually, breeders will give you a small amount of food that they have been feeding your puppy with. As such, get the same type of puppy food so that your canine buddy will not have stomach issues.
If you wish to transition your pup to a new type of puppy food, you need to do so gradually. Never abruptly feed your puppy something he has never eaten before. Sudden changes in his diet will likely cause diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal issues. You can, for example, begin the transition by mixing the usual food he eats with the new one. Do this for the first 5-6 days. Start with a ratio of 90% old food with 10% new food. The next day, you can change the ratio to about 75% (old food) and 25% (new food). The third day, shift to 60% (old food) and 40% (new food). Then, move to 40%:60%, 25%:75%, and finally 10%:90%. On the seventh day, he should be eating the new food without mixing in the old one.
Treats are must-haves during training. Get treats that are appropriate for puppies. Giving treats as a reward not only provide positive reinforcement but also a bonding opportunity for you and your new dog. Even if you are not training, treats are taken as tasty little gifts of love from you. Just be careful not to overdo the treat giving, always follow the recommended amount on the feeding guide.
10. Baby Gate and Exercise Pen
Baby gates help keep your new pup from entering restricted areas. Use one high enough to prevent your pet from jumping or climbing over it.
An exercise pen or X-pen is a small enclosure that is like a playpen but for canine pets. The X-pen allows the dog to be in a specific area and still be part of the family activities. It also helps train your dog to be comfortable being alone within a certain space.
Toys are a great way to not only ease your new dog’s boredom but also help you build a relationship. Toys, like a ball, rope, or chew toy, also keep your dog busy and out of trouble. Chew toys will help prevent your pup from chewing everything in the house.
12. Grooming Supplies
Regardless of your new pet’s coat type, it will likely need grooming. What grooming supplies should be on your list?
- Dog shampoo
- Brush or comb
- Nail clippers
- Canine toothbrush
- Canine (vet-approved) toothpaste
- Sponge (or chamois wipes)
- Scrub brush
The things you need to prepare will largely depend on the type of dog you are getting. Some dogs will require a visit to the groomer on a regular basis.
13. Absorbent House-Training Pads
The so-called dog potty pads will help house-train your new puppy. It is ideal for those living in highly urbanised cities or have no yards. It also is a suitable choice for pet owners with mobility issues. Make sure you always put the pad in the same area every time and change it as soon as you find your puppy has done his business.
14. Pet Stain Remover and Deodoriser
Your new four-legged housemate is bound to make accidents while he is still being house-trained. To help you clean up after his accidents, have cleaning products specially designed for pet stains ready.
You can use DIY pet odour removers, such as vinegar and baking soda solutions. You can mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bucket or spray bottle. Pour or spray the solution on the soiled bedding, litter box, or carpet. Add the baking soda and let it dry on the affected spots. Vacuum it after it has dried.
To deal with pet odour quickly and efficiently, using ready-made pet deodorising products makes the job easier.
15. Poop Baggies
Poop baggies help you clean up your pup’s droppings easily when you are out on a walk. There are a variety of types available. There are the flushable types, while some are biodegradable. There also are the scented baggies that help mask the odour of the droppings. Some have handles that make it easier for owners to use.
16. Non-Toxic Cleanser
Your new puppy will explore the new world with his mouth and try to lick and chew things around him in the house. As such, use cleaning products that are not toxic so your puppy doesn’t get sick. There are a lot of pet-safe enzyme cleaners available in the market.
17. First Aid Supplies
You never know when your new dog gets in trouble or gets injured. So, keeping a first aid kit in the house and everywhere you take your dog is a must. It should contain the following:
- Dog cone (Adjustable so you can use it even when your pup grows up)
- Adhesive tape
- Eye and ear wash
- Wound spray
- Disposable gloves
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting in case your pup ingests poison)
- Medical records
- Essential phone numbers (veterinarian, poison control centre, vet clinic)
18. Dog Carrier
Canine pets must be restrained or kept in a dog carrier when travelling. Puppies also need to be in one when they frequently travel for pet care, especially if they are still untrained. The law also requires you to keep your puppy restrained in vehicles. If caught unrestrained inside a car, the owner could be fined up to £2,500. Dog carriers also prevent dogs from escaping and give them a sense of security while out in an unfamiliar place.
Getting a puppy is like embarking on a new and rewarding journey with lots of changes for both of you. Hope this checklist gives you more confidence in caring for your new pup.
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