If you’re reading this, chances are you’re welcoming a new furry friend to your household. Raising a puppy can be a very exciting experience, but time consuming and stressful. To take the stress off of your plate, I’ve compiled a list of must have items every puppy owner should have to help take care of their new dog.
The idea of a crate scares a lot of people, but don’t let it’s looks frighten you. The crate is used to help your dog to be potty trained. The crate is also a great place to put your dog when you cannot watch them to keep them out of harms way. A great example of this is when you’re cooking dinner and you are unable to watch the dog. You can place him in the crate with his favorite chew to keep him busy instead of roaming the house unsupervised. Roaming the house alone could lead to potty accidents and inappropriate chewing. A great crate that is safe, sturdy, can travel with you or be easily folded up and put away when company comes over are these Folding Metal Dog Crates available in any size for any dog.
During the house training process you will want to purchase a dog bed that will fit into your puppy’s crate. The puppy can lay on the bed while in the crate for naps and when sleeping during the night. The bed will make the crate a cozier place to help your dog feel more secure. If you want your dog to be super comfortable consider one of these Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Beds.
3. Food Bowl
Your puppy will have a hungry appetite while they’re growing, so it’s important your dog has a familiar food bowl used everyday for their meals to be placed in. Some plastic bowls are easily mistaken as a toy and puppies are prone to playfully knocking it over. I suggest purchasing a dishwasher-safe ceramic bowl for your dog. I found my ceramic bowls in the kitchen aisle at my local department store for a lot cheaper than the pet store’s ceramic dog bowls.
4. High Quality Puppy Food
It’s important to feed your puppy food labeled specifically for a puppy because it’s designed with the nutritional needs for a growing dog. Ask your veterinarian how long you should feed your new dog his puppy food. Typically your puppy should be fed puppy food until he is 6 months to a year old. Talk to your local pet store associate or veterinarian staff for food recommendations. It’s important to find a food with the proper blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to support a healthy growing dog.
5. Water Bowl
I suggest purchasing a dish-washer safe ceramic bowl for your dog to drink water from. Just like with the food dish, you don’t want puppy to confuse meal times with play times. Plastic bowls may seem like toys. Fresh water should always be available for your dog and the bowl should be cleaned frequently.
The dog leash, or sometimes called a lead, connects you to your dog. It’s your dog’s safety line back to you that keeps him out of harms way. Even if your family has a fenced in yard a leash is a must have item for many reasons. A leash helps during potty training to guide your puppy away from distractions during potty breaks. Your dog will need to be leash trained when he needs to be taken to see a veterinarian. It’s also important to have a leash for walks around the neighborhood. You may have a yard but walks keep your dog entertained and stimulated and are an important part of the human/puppy bonding/training experience.
7. Identification Tags
Personalized pet ID tags are a must have item because if your dog were to ever go missing he would be able to find his way back home thanks to the information engraved on the tags. Think of your dog’s identification tags as his ticket home when he’s lost. Your dog cannot communicate where he lives, who his owners are, or what their phone numbers are. At all times you need to have a collar on your dog with his name and his owner’s phone number so when someone does find your dog they know how to contact you. Other optional information to include on an identification tag would be owner’s address, additional phone numbers, owner’s names or social media handles. I recommend placing the identification tags on your dog’s collar that he wears every day.
I recommend a leather dog collar with buckle for your dog to keep his identification tags on him at all times. This goes with the information above that if your dog were to ever go missing he would have a way back home thanks to the information engraved on the tags. The collar must be sturdy and a metal buckle is hard to break. Too many dogs have been lost or injured with those nylon collars and plastic buckle clips. They just aren’t reliable.
During walks on a leash it’s important to use a harness instead of a neck collar. Neck collars put a lot of painful strain on the neck’s muscles and trachea. There are many different options for harnesses a person can buy such as a body harness, chest harness, or face harness. I suggest body or chest harnesses for smaller to medium dog breeds and face harnesses for large breeds. Depending on your dog’s personal style these different harness types are available in all dog sizes. A harness helps give an even amount of pressure along the device and some harnesses can help with pulling issues.
10. Poop Bags
During walks with your dog it’s important that you pick up all feces with dog poop bags so that you can keep the environment clean. Puppy and adult dog stool can sometimes carry intestinal parasites or disease so it’s important to clean up the feces so that another person’s dog does not get infected.
Dogs have natural urges to chew throughout their entire life. Chewing gives your dog a job to do and it keeps him busy. There are many different types of chews you can buy for your dog. Some people mistake toys as being chews, but they are two different items. Chews are considered rawhides, bones, bully sticks, and hooves. Some dogs however have GI upsets towards these products. If your dog has stomach upsets look for alternative chews made from rubber, antler bone, yam, cheese, sweet potato, nylon, and corn starch.
Dogs need activities to keep them entertained and their minds stimulated. There are many different types of dog toys you can purchase for your dog. Balls to play fetch, tug of war toys, plush toys with squeakers, and puzzle toys are all great items to purchase for a puppy.
13. Training Clicker
Clicker training is a method of dog training that uses a click noise to tell your dog that what he did at that exact moment you made the click noise was the right behavior to do. Because you make the click noise with your dog training clicker he is now going to get a treat for that behavior. Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement and can be used to teach your dog all types of commands. I recommend scheduling your new dog for puppy obedience classes with a dog trainer to instruct you on how to properly train your dog.
Treats are very important to have with your new dog to use in positive reinforcement dog training. I recommend purchasing a small soft chew dog training treats to use during training. Always use small pieces of a treat in training so your dog does not become over fed with treats. Your dog will have specific flavors he enjoys more and preference will vary depending on your dog’s unique personality.
15. Car Safety Harness
Last but not least, purchase a safety harness or car restraint for your dog while in the car. Car safety is very important for your canine companion in case you were to get into a car accident. When your dog is a puppy they have the tendency to move around the car. Sometimes when dogs are scared they go underneath the car seats, which could be very dangerous while you’re driving. Having a car safety harness will ensure that your dog is secure and in one place. There are booster seats available for smaller dogs and safety harnesses available for larger dog breeds.
These are your must have items every dog owner should have when getting a new puppy. Purchase these products before you bring your puppy home so you are prepared in advance. Having these items will help prepare you to keep your puppy happy and safe throughout their life.