First and foremost, congratulations on your new puppy! Bringing a puppy home is an exciting experience that will lead to a lifelong friendship with your furry bundle of joy that begins straight away!
However, there may also be a little trepidation as you try to figure out how exactly you'll become a puppy parent. Fear not, we’re here to help with our new puppy checklist that will cover house prep and all the things you need for a puppy.
We'll help you ensure their health and safety, cover the training and grooming tools you'll need, and all of the other important stuff to make sure your new friend feels welcome and safe, and you can focus on enjoying the many, many hours of playtime ahead!
Let’s begin with a list of essentials that are part of the bringing a puppy home checklist:
DOG TOYS FOR COMFORT & TEETHING
Let's start with the most important thing on the list from your puppy's point of view; toys! Every puppy needs something to play with (and essentially destroy). Here are some of the best options to consider:
- Calming Toys: Life may be overwhelming for your puppy initially, especially on the first night, and calming toys are designed to reduce anxiety. They are often plush toys that include elements like a heat pack or pulsing heartbeat.
- Puzzle Toys: Entertain your curious pup for hours with puzzle toys which can also lessen separation anxiety by giving your new friend something to do while you’re working, occupied or heading out for the night.
- Chew Toys: Your puppy's teeth are developing quickly, and with growth comes chewing. Chew toys help to reduce boredom, as well as create a diversion from your shoe collection getting destroyed. They’re also been known to help relieve any pain your puppy may be experiencing as their teeth develop.
- Chase Toys: Help your pup burn some energy with the classic game of fetch, but save your energy with toys such as a petsafe ball launcher that does the hard work for you, and keeps your puppy entertained for hours!
- Interactive Toys: Interactive toys, such as snuffle mats create a game for your puppy that requires them to problem solve and exercise their brain during the process. Snuffle mats create a rewarding foraging game for your pup that leaves them feeling quite satisfied by the end.
- Plush Toys: They may not survive for long, but plush toys are perfect for puppies who love to cuddle. They are comforting and super fun when they feature a squeaker.
COLLAR, ID TAG AND LEAD
A comfortable (and stylish) collar with a nametag is strongly recommended for immediate visual identification of your pup should they ever get lost. A standard flat collar with a buckle or clip should sit snug around your puppy’s neck, allowing two fingers of space to ensure it isn't too tight. Your puppy will be growing quickly, so be sure to check this frequently!
For walks, we recommend a harness that is front-attaching. Avoid attaching the lead to the collar, as this can put a strain on your puppy's neck when going for exciting walks. If the leash hooks on the front, it makes it easier to teach your friend to heel next to you. Leashes are available in many different lengths and materials. A retractable leash is an option, but these are better suited for older dogs who have already been trained. Also, unlike a standard leash, it can be harder to retract the leash during a dangerous situation. If you’d like to learn more about lead training a puppy, have a read of our article: A Guide To Teaching Your Puppy To Walk on a Lead.
FOOD & WATER BOWLS
Separate food and water bowls are a necessity, and there are many sizes, materials, colours, and shapes to choose from. The primary options include:
- Plastic bowls: A cheap option, but not a great one if your pup loves to chew! This option is fine, but expect to replace them frequently with younger dogs.
- Stainless steel bowls: Easy to clean and more durable; opt for a non-skid rubber bottom to avoid a dining puppy who tours the house!
- Stoneware or ceramic: For something far more stable, opt for a heavier bowl that cannot be flipped (best for bigger dogs).
- Slow-feeding bowls: These are great for dogs who gulp down their food too quickly. They contain maze-like ridges that will slow feeding time right down.
- An elevated feeder:Best for bigger (or adult) dogs, these bowls can reduce stress on the neck when feeding.
FLEA, TICK & PUPPY WORMING TREATMENT
All new pups should be covered for the four main parasites:
- Intestinal worms
It is important to note that not all parasite preventatives cover the above four parasites, so you may require a combination of products. These will also likely have varying treatment frequencies. Always make sure the preventative dosage is appropriate for your pup's weight range and speak to your vet to confirm which products and amounts are best suited before giving your puppy a shot of any kind.