Bringing a New Puppy Home: Supplies Needed for Your New Dog
I remember bringing my very first puppy home. It was a thrilling experience, even though I had no clue what I was doing. I actually thought to pick up puppy food on the way home, but unfortunately, that was all I knew to get! Many years, and new dogs of all ages later, I have a fairly experienced grasp of what dog supplies are needed to get off on the right foot. Here are the new puppy supplies that I recommend:
1. A dog kennel. A dog crate is probably my highest recommended item and is extremely important when it comes to housetraining your puppy. There a number of reasons to crate train a dog, and having a crate will also give him a safe place to hang out when you are away from home. Get one big enough for your puppy when he is an adult, but keep in mind you will need to put in some sort of divider so it is smaller for a younger dog. The space available in the dog crate should be just big enough for your new puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down in.
2. Dog urine scent removing cleaner. These cleaners are infused with an enzyme that breaks down the scent of dog urine so that the puppy won’t smell where he has previously eliminated. Dogs tell where to “go” by the odor. If you do not remove the odor (remember, his ability to smell is a lot better than yours), he will be tempted to go again in the same spot. Just cleaning with regular cleaning liquid is likely to be ineffective.
3. Puppy training pads. If you intend to housetrain your puppy with training pads, you need them from the moment you walk in the door. Just be sure to not put them in a crate when crate training, as they are specially scented to encourage a puppy to eliminate on them—counter productive to teaching a puppy to NOT eliminate in a crate!
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4. Puppy food. This is fairly obvious, but what is not so obvious is which dog food to pick. The worst way to decide is to just choose the food you remember from pet food advertisements, no matter how healthy they make the kibble look on those dog food commercials. Commercials for sugary cereals look great, too, but no one thinks they are actually the healthiest dog food. Do a bit of research and pick the right dog food for your puppy, not what pays an advertiser more.
5. Toys. Believe it or not, chew toys are not optional when you bring home a new puppy. They are a necessity. If you do not have toys for puppies, they will create their own entertainment. Never underestimate the damage a teething puppy can do, no matter how small the puppy. A two-pound Yorkie puppy is perfectly capable of chewing through computer chords, socks, shoes, and couches, to say nothing of what a large breed dog can do! Make sure you have toys for a variety of games, such as tugging, chasing, discovering treats and gnawing. Make sure the size of the toy is appropriate for the dog’s size. And remember that large breed dogs need large breed dog toys that might overwhelm a smaller breed puppy.
6. A leash and collar. Make sure you have the proper size for your puppy. A large breed puppy like a Labrador retriever or German shepherd will outgrow the small collars and leashes pretty quickly, so while you want them to fit from the beginning, make sure he has room to grow, too. You will want to start leash training pretty early, so having them in hand when you come home with your new puppy is useful.
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7. Puppy shampoo. Puppy shampoo is like baby shampoo—made to be “tear-free”, or less painful if you accidently get it in the eyes. This doesn’t mean you should just dump it over your puppy’s head, but it can make bathing a squirming puppy much less worrisome. Look here for more on giving a long-haired puppy a bath!
8. Grooming supplies. It is a good idea to have puppy shampoo before you bring puppy home, but if you have a “coated” dog breed, meaning a long-haired dog that will need grooming, such as a Shih Tzu, poodle, or cocker spaniel, you will defiantly need supplies to take care of his or her coat from the beginning. Do a little research into how to groom your longer coated dog and the supplies you will need for your specific breed. This can include: brush, comb, clippers, shampoo, conditioner, and detangler. If you have a dog that sheds, something to remove dog fur from clothes may be a good idea, too!
Bringing home a new puppy is one of life’s most exciting experiences. A little forethought and planning can make a puppy’s transition to a new home less stressful for both you and your new pet.
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