New Puppy Checklist: What to Buy Before Your Furry Friend Comes Home
Having a new puppy at home is definitely a fun and enjoyable experience. Dogs are men’s best friends, after all, and raising one from a puppy into an adult ensures you have a bond that’ll last a lifetime. Of course, because you’ll have to take excellent care of your new pet, it’s important that you’re prepared and have the necessary items prepared before you finally get to bring the puppy home. You have to feed him, love him, teach him, and make sure that your new pet is well taken care of. Make sure that you go through this new puppy checklist and have all of these important items ready before the dog’s arrival.
1. Puppy Food
One of the most important things you need to prepare is the food. Keep in mind that your new puppy will most likely search for food when he gets home, and because no one would want to move into a new house on an empty stomach, you should be ready with at least a suitable dry food for him to try. There are various types to choose from with kibbles and canned foods, but in general you want the food to be smaller to fit the puppy’s mouth. Your breeder may also recommend that you continue feeding the food he or she was giving the puppies. If you’re not sure which dog food to purchase, you can talk to your vet about which pet food is the best choice. Just be sure to get food specifically meant for puppies; they have very different nutritional needs from adult dogs, and puppy food often has about 30 percent protein along with other critical ingredients for health.
2. Food Bowls
Puppies have to eat three times a day, sometimes more. To ensure that yours get to eat clean, fresh food, you need to have bowls where you can put the food and water. Always see to it that the water bowl is full. In choosing a puppy bowl, try a product made from stainless steel. This is widely preferred by pet owners because this material doesn’t support the growth of bacteria like plastic bowls and it’s more durable and safe than glass.
3. Dog Crate
Just like humans, dogs also need a home to feel cozy. As much as they want to be with their masters, they also thrive by spending time having their own space. That is why it is essential that you get a crate. Find a crate of an appropriate size for your pet. This will highly depend on the breed. If the crate is too huge, your pup won’t benefit from feeling safe and secure. But if it’s too small, your dog might have a hard time moving. You also need to add bedding to make it comfortable. You can either use towels, sheets, or a small dog bed. This makes your pet’s home more comfortable, and because a new environment can be stressful, it gives him a safe respite from all the action.
4. Chew Toys
Many pet owners who don’t give chew toys to their dogs end up with their shoes, furniture, and other household items becoming puppy toys. You have to keep in mind that a new puppy is more likely to chew any old thing that he can see. Whether it’s your expensive shoes, clothes, or even electronic wires, your dog will definitely chew or bite them. It’s essential that there are toys on which he can focus his attention, and this teaches him good play habits. Dogs love to have many chew toys, including stuffed animals and rubber balls. This saves you from a lot of worries over your items being damaged. Just be sure that they’re safe and don’t present a choking hazard.
5. Leash and Collar
Another important pairing that you should not forget is the leash and collar. Your new puppy must have a tag, too. On this tag, you provide necessary information should your puppy get lost. You should include the name of your puppy, your personal address, your name, and your contact number. It’s like your dog carrying his own wallet. In the event that your puppy gets lost, the person who finds him can easily contact you.
You also need to ensure your puppy has a suitable collar. It shouldn’t be too tight or too wide, as this can hurt him or make it difficult for him to move his neck or lie down comfortably. A good rule of thumb to remember is that you should be able to slide two of your fingers between the collar and the puppy’s neck without it feeling too tight.
Ideally, you should also get your puppy a harness, not a regular leash, for walking. You may want to wait until the puppy is home so you can try on harnesses at the pet store.
6. Wee-wee pads, poop scooper, and waste bags
When nature calls, it’s essential that you’re prepared. Make sure that you have lots of waste bags. This way, you don’t have to worry when your puppy needs a bathroom break on a walk. Aside from waste bags, you also might want to buy a poop scooper to make cleaning your yard easier. Consider using wee-wee pads inside when your puppy is being housetrained as well. Although he might not know to go on them at first, you should place him on them when you catch him relieving himself in the house so he associates that activity with the pad.
7. Bitter Apple Spray
Your new puppy will try to chew almost any item at home, but you don’t want to scare him or use negative reinforcement to punish him if you catch him in the act. To keep him away from causing damage, use bitter apple spray. You can use this spray on various household items without ruining them. Dogs don’t like the taste of this spray, so they won’t chew on things when they taste it. This is a good puppy-proofing product that you can use.
8. Enzyme Cleaner
One of the most difficult things to do is potty-train your pup. Chances are if he has already gone in a particular area, he is more likely to relieve himself there next time because of the smell. This is definitely not a good thing, especially if you want to maintain a neat and tidy house. To prevent this, it always helps that you have an enzyme cleaner that you spray as you clean up the bathroom mess. This erases the odors that dogs smell.
9. Optional Supplies
Aside from the mentioned items for your checklist, there are a couple more things you might need. Depending on your dog’s coat type, you may need necessary grooming supplies. He needs a brush to keep his fur from matting. Other hygiene items include a dog toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers, bristle brush, and puppy shampoo.
Having a new puppy at home is a rewarding experience. However, it also entails responsibility. As such, you have to be prepared before your new puppy finally arrives. Dogs, just like humans, need food, shelter, love, and care. Buy the items on the checklist and you’ll be off to a great start in providing for your new pet.