First thing’s first – congratulations on your new puppy! With this new addition to your family comes equal parts joy and responsibility and a lot of unconditional love. We’re sharing the essentials that all puppies need in their new home.
1. Appropriate Food
Nutrition is always top of mind for us, so it will come as no surprise that this is the number one item to consider when bringing your new puppy home. Growing puppies require quality nutrition and adequate vitamins and minerals to help them grow properly and thrive. Be sure that you choose a food that is complete and balanced and either puppy-specific or listed for “All Life Stages”, which means it contains the nutrients your pup needs! Learn more about choosing a diet for your puppy and how long your puppy should eat puppy food.
2. Food Bowl and Water Dish
As food is a must, so are bowls for serving the food and water. We always recommend cleaning bowls for food and for water with warm water and soap in between each feeding / filling – this is a good practice regardless of what food type you feed. Stainless steel bowls are most often recommended as the best choice as they are easy to clean, generally antibacterial by nature and durable. Ceramic bowls are also a popular option, but we do recommend checking to be sure that any ceramic bowls you are considering are lead-free.
3. Collar and Leash
As walks are a must for all dogs and puppies, a collar and leash are two essentials that all pet parents must get. As your puppy will grow, it can be more economical to buy a collar that is adjustable so that the collar can continue to fit your pup as it ages. When purchasing a leash for your puppy be sure to take into consideration leash training so that your dog can learn to work properly on a leash (and not pull you in all directions). For leash training we recommend starting with a standard flat leash (versus a stretch leash or retractable leash) that is 4-foot long, offering more control than longer leashes. You’ll want to get your puppy comfortable with wearing a collar at a young age, it’s best to put the collar on when your puppy is distracted (such as when playing with them) so they do not get concerned or scared of the collar. Similarly, when putting on the leash do things to associate the leash with playtime.
4. A Crate
Crates are critical when it comes to potty-training and helping puppies safe in their new homes. Dogs are natural denning animals so a crate to a puppy is a peaceful place. Make sure you get a crate that is an appropriate size for your puppy as a crate too large won’t fully offer that denning effect and a crate to small will be uncomfortable or one your puppy will quickly outgrow depending on breed type.
5. Dog Bed
Having a comfy and welcoming place for your new puppy to sleep is important. As your puppy is growing, they will spend a lot of time sleeping; having a designated and comfortable space in which to do so will keep your puppy happy and healthy! Note that some puppies will prefer their crate so during nap time you may end placing the dog bed in the crate.
6. Grooming supplies
Grooming needs and the associated supplies will vary by the breed, but all dogs will need a brush, a toothbrush, dog toothpaste, dog shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers and ear cleaning solution to help keep them healthy and thriving. Brushing your dog improves the quality of their coat and is a natural bonding experience for them.
While it will take same time to figure out just which toys your puppy prefers, a rope toy and some balls for fetch training are really great places to start. Toys keep puppies occupied and offer a great way to expend some of that endless puppy energy. Make sure the toys you buy are durable and safe for your dog to prevent choking and other hazards.
Puppyhood is the ideal time to train your dog. This is especially true when it comes to potty training! Treats can be a vital part of training as they provide positive encouragement for your dog in the form of a reward. We offer a variety of dog treats that can act as training treats, including our freeze-dried raw Carnivore Crunch and bite-sized Crav’n Bac’n Bites.