Getting a puppy is a huge responsibility, and prospective pet owners need to ensure they are properly prepared before their new friend comes home. From puppy food to dog beds, there’s definitely a lot to think about! James Wellbeloved have put together this useful puppy guide for new owners, with everything you’ll need to welcome your new canine companion to the family.
New puppy checklist
There are so many different puppy products on the market that it can be overwhelming for new pet owners. In this handy checklist, you’ll find the most essential items for your new puppy:
Food and water bowls
Food and water bowls should be shallow enough for small mouths to eat and drink out of. You can get bowls with rubber on the bottom to stop them slipping – or place them on a mat to make tidying up any food spills or mess easier.
Collar or harness with tag
Small adjustable collars are best for puppies, though it’s important to build up their time wearing these and not leave them on while your pet is unattended to begin with. Legally dog tags must have the owner’s name and address (including postcode) on them. Adding your phone number is a good idea, too, as this will help others contact you if your pup gets lost.
There are many types of dog lead available, but a simple thin lead will be fine for puppies. You’ll only be taking them for short walks to start with, but once they are older you can think about getting a different type of lead.
Dog poo bags
Although you won’t be able to take your puppy outside until they have been fully vaccinated, it’s still a good idea to buy dog poo bags beforehand. You’ll need plenty of these, so stock up – and try to go for eco-friendly options where possible.
Puppies love to play, so making sure they have lots of puppy toys is advisable for all that playtime you’ll be doing with your new friend. Check that any toys you give your puppy are age-appropriate, chew-friendly and don’t have small parts, which can break off and pose a choking hazard or foreign body obstruction. Rope toys are ideal for puppies to chew on, but you should take care to ensure they don’t ingest bits and not let them play tug of war until their teeth are stronger. Puppies love chewing, and by providing them with chew-safe toys it can help to keep your clothes, shoes and possessions safe from little teeth.
Dog bed or crate
Dogs are den animals, so they feel most at home with something to sleep in. A crate or bed will ensure your puppy has its own safe area to sleep in and feel secure.
Grooming brush or comb
A playful and curious puppy often manages to make a mess, so a grooming brush or comb will be essential, especially for breeds with longer or thicker fur. You may also wish to purchase some special dog shampoo for when you give your puppy their first bath.
Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
It’s a good idea to start brushing your puppy’s teeth from a young age, so they have time to get used to it. You can start by gently using your finger to touch your puppy’s mouth, getting them used to the process. Once they are comfortable with this, you can put a small dot of dog toothpaste on your finger, before progressing to a dog toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste or toothbrushes as these can be harmful.
It’s likely that there will be a few accidents in the first few months of getting your puppy. A carpet cleaner or pet-safe household spray will come in handy if these do occur around the home before your puppy is toilet trained. If and when accidents happen, don’t scold or shout at your puppy. Instead, praise them when they get it right.