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Monday
Oct252010

Essential Supplies Needed for a New Puppy

Getting a new puppy or a new dog means needing supplies to make your new dog feel at home. Here is a list of puppy and dog supplies to have on hand the day your new pup comes home.

  • Food
    If you get no other supplies beforehand, make sure you have some food! Ideally, get a bag of whatever he is already being fed.  Puppies’ stomachs can get upset when food is switched, so when you do switch, it is best to do it over several days to a week, gradually using less of the old and more of the new.
  • Food and water bowls
    Stainless steel holds up the best.  Dogs cannot chew them up, and they don't rust.
  • Flat cloth collar
    Your dog’s collar should fit with about two inches room to spare (about two fingers from your dog’s neck to the collar).There should not be enough room that the puppy can wiggle out, but enough that it is not too tight.  If you are getting a young puppy, make sure you get a nylon buckle collar that can be easily adjusted – your puppy will grow pretty fast.
  • An ID tag to go on the collar
    Even if your pet doesn't have a name yet, it's a good safety measure to get an ID tag. This is a good way to make sure your puppy is returned to you if he happens to escape.
  • Leash or lead
    You will find many leashes available to choose from. A leash that is 6 feet long is usually plenty. Leashes come in many materials, such as cotton, nylon, or leather.
  • Nature's Miracle or other enzyme cleaners
    You will want stain cleaners that neutralize any urine that gets on to floors or carpets.  Enzymes greatly reduce or eliminate the odor that draws the pup back to the same place, since he will want to continue marking the area he has already marked.
  • A crate, gate, or playpen
    You will need a way to create a small area the pup can stay when you are not able to watch him. Dog crates are great places to create a small den for your pup. Gates can keep your dog in one room with space to roam. Playpens allow your dog a little space to roam while keeping him within a small area.
  • Bedding
    You will need bedding for your dog’s crate. Something that can be easily washed would be easiest. You can start out with old towels or a bed with waterproof lining that is easy to wash. As your dog gets older, you can purchase a bigger bed to fit your adult pup. This be can be used in or out of the crate, whichever you choose.
  • Potty training supplies
    There are puppy pads that can be used for potty training. There are also items called “Doggie Doorbells” your dog can ring when he needs to go out. Whatever method used to potty train your pup is up to you.
  • Toys
    Puppies are curious creatures who love to play and explore. A great way to help your pup’s curiosity is allowing him to play with toys. A Puppy Kong, Nylabone, and a few other toys to help with chewing and teething would be a good idea. Be sure the toys do not have buttons or other things that could be hazardous if the puppy chews the toy to shreds.
  • Rawhides
    If you use rawhide bones, only get quality ones and only let the puppy have them while someone is watching.  Veterinarians have cautioned against rawhides, as sometimes large chunks can swell up in the dog’s stomach or get stuck in his digestive system. However, with proper supervision, rawhides can provide a great chewing outlet for your pup, while helping to clean his teeth.
  • Flea and tick control
    A flea control product for your new dog is recommended. You will want something approved for puppies if you have a young dog. If you got a dog that is no longer considered a puppy, you can use any flea products. Flea and tick products are important if you live in a flea or tick ridden area, especially during flea season.  Ask you breeder, place of adoption, or vet for advice on what to use.
  • Comfort
    A hot water bottle filled with warm water, wrapped in old towels, can keep the puppy happy at bedtime. A ticking clock can work, as well, since it will simulate the heartbeat of your pup’s mother.
  • Poop clean-up gear
    You will probably want a couple of ways to clean up the poop your puppy will be producing regularly.  If you will be walking your puppy in neighborhoods, you can use a little waist pack and some plastic bags.  For your yard, a long handled pooper scooper is very useful.
  • Grooming
    Shampoo and grooming supplies are recommended, as your pup will need to be bathed every few months. The supplies you need will vary with the breed of puppy. If you are buying grooming tools for a puppy, make sure to get items that specify they are safe for use with a puppy. If you are getting tools for a dog that is not considered a puppy, you are pretty safe in regards to your selections.

Something that is not necessarily a supply, but also very important, is to find a veterinarian whom will be willing to work with you for the next 15 years.  Make an appointment for your puppy's first exam prior to actually getting your dog.

With these tips and supply ideas, you should be well educated and well stocked when your new pup arrives home. Enjoy getting to know each other, as you will be family for a good number of years!

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