Bringing home a new puppy is a fun and exciting time. To make the experience successful for you and your new companion, here are some things that can make this experience as positive as can be.
Food & Treats
Food is, of course, the number one item to buy. But what kind of food? There are a few things to consider when choosing the right brand. Don’t assume that more expensive means better quality. If you are going to change your puppy’s food from what your breeder fed, you want to make sure that you gradually change their food over time. An abrupt change from what the puppy has been eating to a new brand can cause stomach upset and the runs. Consult with your vet and discuss their recommendations.
Food and water bowls are also needed. The pup should be able to eat out of the bowl easily. Shallow bowls with steep sides seem to work best. I prefer stainless steel to make cleaning easier. There are also water bowls with no-spill lids that may help keep their watering area dry. Lastly, treats are great to have on hand for rewarding good behavior and for bonding with your new pup.
Collars, Tags, & Leashes
Collars that are adjustable make a lot of sense since puppies grow so quickly. Bella Loma K9 can make you an adjustable collar that is sure to fit your pup while it grows. You also want to make sure that the collar is adjusted so that your puppy won’t easily slip out of it, but not too tight as to impair their movement and breathing. Another consideration is a harness. Typically, you should be able to place two fingers between your harness or collar and the dog’s body.
For leashes, we offer custom sizing and color options and we also have a large variety. A leash should be long enough that your puppy can roam but also short enough to keep them at your side during training. A thicker leash or biothane should be considered so that teething puppies can’t easily chew through it. Retractable leashes are not recommended since they can injure you and offer poor control.
An ID tag with your pup’s name and contact info is a good place to start, but ideally you would have your new pup microchipped. I’ve known many folks who have recovered their lost pup due to the microchip. The combination of an ID tag and a microchip gives you the best chance at recovering your pup if it makes a great escape.
If you have an idea at how big your dog will be, you can choose a bed that will fit them once they are grown. Chew-proof and easy to clean are also something you should take into consideration since ideally the bed would last them into adulthood.
These items are essential! Most pups will try very hard not to soil in their den area. A crate is a perfect den area and can be a great aid for house training. The crate provides your pup with a place of its own that it can retreat to. The crate should be large enough for them to stand up, turn around and stretch out. Many crates come with dividers that you can put in place while the puppy is small. The crate should always be a positive place for your dog and never used as a punishment.
Training pads are also helpful. You will want to have cleaning cloths and paper towels on hand because there will be accidents until they are old enough to be able to hold it and they understand the house rules.
Don’t forget the fun stuff! There are so many options and Bella Loma K9 has many to choose from. Toys can double as dental cleaners and some like our Hand Knotted FLeece Tugs can be soaked in water and then frozen to help sooth your puppy when it is teething. Whatever you choose, keep an eye out for choking hazards.
Bathing & Grooming Supplies
A puppy may not need a bath till they are a few months old but don’t wait too long to start a bath routine. The earlier you start, the more comfortable your puppy will be with it as they grow older. Some items for puppies would include puppy shampoo, a non-skid mat, dog towels, and a brush.
Nail clippers are also a good item to have. As with the bathing routine, starting this early is a great way to get them used to the routine.
Lastly, don’t forget their teeth! Dog toothpaste and a toothbrush are also items to have. Do not use human toothpaste.
MOST OF ALL, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW PUP!