We all know that puppies are adorable, fun and full of playful energy. If we’ve recently adopted a puppy, we also know that they pee and poop a lot, sleep a lot, and chew up our things if we turn our backs for even a moment. Ah, the joys of sweet puppies!
If we’re ready and we’ve given it a lot of thought, what better day to adopt our new furry best friend than today, National Puppy Day, March 23rd? Remember to avoid supporting puppy mills and backyard breeders by buying a puppy from them. Instead, adopt your puppy from a shelter or rescue group.
And whether we recently adopted a puppy or we are thinking about it, there are supplies that we need to stock up on if we want to keep our new family member healthy, happy, occupied and out of our stuff.
First Day Necessities
The first stop we should make after we adopt our new puppy (or even before) is for essential supplies. These items are what I consider essential and should be the first purchases made for a new puppy:
- Well-balanced and Nutritious Food. This is the most important choice we can make for our new puppy’s lifelong health. We should choose a good food for our new puppy, which means avoiding the cheap grocery store brands. We should plan to spend a little more on our pet’s food and if that means spending less on fancy collars and beds and puppy clothing, so be it.
- Food and Water Bowls. Focus on bowls that will be easy to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher.
- Collar, Leash and ID Tag. These are essential tools if we want to take our puppy anywhere, like on walks or to the park. It is also extremely important to have a collar and tag in case your puppy gets out of your house or lost. You can make an ID Tag at any Hollywood Feed location, and learn what discounts you can get at Hollywood Feed when you bring proof of adoption with you!
- Crate and Crate Mat/Bed. A puppy’s crate or kennel should be big enough for him to stand and move around a little in, and should be big enough to grow with him. Crates come in very handy for puppies who like to chew.
- Training Pads, Poop Bags, and Pooper Scooper. Go ahead and stock up on a good, quality pooper scooper for cleaning your backyard, and poop bags for cleaning up after your puppy on walks. I think we should all housebreak our puppies right away, and here’s how. However, training pads really do make messes easier to clean up, and will be helpful when our new puppy has to be left in his crate for more than a couple of hours.
- Treats, Chews and Toys. Pick out some baked treats, jerky, bully sticks, bones, Kongs that can be stuffed with treats, soft and cuddly toys, rope toys, or whatever strikes your fancy!
Appointments and Medical Needs
After we have picked up our first day essentials, it’s time to start scheduling appointments.
- Initial Veterinary Check-up. Make sure your new puppy is healthy, and worm-free!
- Microchip Appointment. This is a great tool, if it is kept up to date, for finding a lost pet.
- Flea and Tick Product. Start your flea and tick product around 6-8 weeks of age. Read the instructions on the product you purchase. I like Seresto collars.
- Schedule Spay/Neuter. We should do this around 6 months of age. It’s good for our dog’s physical and mental health, as well as our sanity if we spay and neuter. It also prevents unwanted litters!
Training is an important part of having a new puppy. We have to train them to use the bathroom outside, to not chew on our things or be too mouthy with us when they play, to listen to us when we give a command and follow it, to sit and stay, to walk at heel, and to sit quietly in a crate…among other things! We should start training early and regularly.
- Training Treats. These should be extra delicious and small for training purposes!
- Clicker. A clicker can be an essential training tool.
- Poochie Bells. These are hung on the doorknob of the back door and help us to housebreak our new puppy more quickly by allowing us to know by the ringing of bells every time our puppy tries to tell us she needs to go in the backyard.
These supplies are necessary from time to time. Dogs need regular dental care, nail trims and ear cleanings, so it’s best to get them started at a young age so they can learn it’s just a necessary part of life and they don’t have a choice in the matter!
- Brush. This is necessary for medium to long-haired dogs and essential to keeping our puppy’s coat soft and beautiful!
- Shampoo and Conditioner. For when our dogs inevitably get dirty and stinky.
- Nail Clippers and Styptic Powder. Trim your pet’s nails at home, and it will save you trips to the vet and scratches on your furniture.
- Toothbrush and Dental Chews. Start keeping puppy’s teeth healthy early, and you will be happy you did later in life.
- Ear Cleaner.
When we adopt a new puppy, then we are inviting messes into our lives for quite a while. Be prepared to deal with any mess with these supplies!
- New York Made Cleaning Solution. This is great for cleaning up urine and bodily fluids, even off of fabric furniture and carpet.
- Non-toxic Cleaning Products.
- Kurgo Car Covers. These are the best way to keep the car clean.
- Wet Paws Mat. These rugs are great for absorbing water off of dog’s feet on rainy days, or for putting under the water bowl of a messy drinker.
- Tall Tails Towel/Blanket.
- Paper Towels and Old Towels. These are great for cleaning up messes and wiping down wet dogs on rainy days.
These items may make your life a lot easier.
- Pet Gate. These are lifesavers with my pet-sitting business, especially at dinnertime when I divide dogs up to eat their meal. They are also great for keeping a puppy out of the kitchen while you’re cooking, or out of the dining room while you’re eating.
- Food Bin. This will help keep your puppy’s food fresh, making it more appetizing after the bag has been open for a while. It also helps with storage and with containing the smell of fishy foods.
- Outdoor Shelter. If your puppy is going to be spending a lot of time outside, whether it’s hot or cold outside, then you need to provide a shelter in your yard, as well as water.
- Travel Crate. Do you plan to take your puppy on vacation or lots of car rides? Get an easy to use travel crate. Here’s more pet travel advice.
- Jacket or Sweater. If your puppy gets cold easily.