Congratulations! You’re welcoming home a new puppy. This furry bundle of joy won’t just add fun and excitement to your day, but could also help you reduce stress, get out to socialize, and even lower your blood pressure. They’ll do everything for you, so it’s important to do your part as a pet owner and give them everything they need to thrive.
Puppy Supplies: The Basics
Don’t forget these puppy care essentials.
- Collar, ID tags, and microchip: It’s a sad fact of pet ownership: dogs get lost and stolen all the time. With collars, identification tags, and microchips, lost pets stand a far greater chance of ultimately finding their way back home. Put your contact information (including phone number) on their identification tags and make sure to update this information if you move. During your puppy’s first veterinary visit, talk to their doctor about microchipping. This quick and inexpensive procedure involves implanting a small chip under a dog’s skin. Once you’ve had your dog microchipped, register the chip in the appropriate database.
- Crate and bed: Crates are a valuable training resource that can also provide a comfortable personal space for dogs. Purchase a crate that your dog can grow into to ensure you don’t need to buy one or several replacements as they age. A comfortable bed can help make a crate more inviting.
- Food and water bowls: Specially-formulated food will help your new puppy get healthy and strong. Don’t forget food and water bowls! Options range from plastic and stainless steel to metal and stoneware, but be sure to pick something sturdy, since puppies can have voracious appetites.
- Treats: More than just a tasty snack, treats can serve as a valuable tool throughout the training and socialization process. Plus, it just feels nice to pamper your puppy.
- Leash and poop bags: Walking is great exercise for puppies and pet owners alike. Pick up a sturdy leash at the local pet store and plenty of bags to clean up after your pup. Disposing of dog waste isn’t just the right thing to do. In many areas, it’s the law!
Toys for Puppies
Toys aren’t just about fun and games. They’re often a valuable training resource that can help encourage good behavior, discourage unwanted behavior, and strengthen the bond between you and your new puppy.
- Puzzle toys: Offering mental and physical stimulation, puzzle toys provide hours of fun while keeping pups engaged. They’re an especially great choice for pet owners who are concerned about leaving their puppies alone for long periods. A puzzle toy is often a great antidote for boredom and separation anxiety in dogs.
- Fetch toys: Fetch is an old standby for a reason – dogs love it. If you’ve got the space for your dog to run and fetch, pick up some balls and provide an opportunity to exercise and get rid of excess energy.
- Chew toys: As they lose their baby teeth and grow their set of adult chompers, young puppies will gnaw on just about anything they can get their paws on. Durable chew toys provide an appropriate outlet for what could otherwise prove to be destructive behavior.
More Tools and Gear for Puppy Owners
You may not need to grab all these pet care resources on Day 1, but they’ll help you considerably throughout your dog’s puppy years and into their adulthood.
- Brush: Count on regular brushing if you’ve got a dog with a thick coat. Some breeds will require grooming sessions several times a week to keep them comfortable and cut down on excessive shedding.
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush: Introducing proper dental hygiene early is essential for safeguarding the health of your dog’s mouth, teeth, and gums. A staggering number of adult pets suffer from diseases related to poor dental hygiene. Your puppy may never enjoy having their teeth brushed, but introducing the process early can help them learn to accept it. Don’t reach for the toothpaste in your medicine cabinet! Pups require toothpastes developed specifically for their health needs.
- Cleaning products: Accidents happen. Despite your best potty-training efforts, you’ll probably need to clean up some messes during your puppy’s childhood. Stock up on products designed specifically for pet stains.
Have fun with your new puppy and don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you have any questions big or small.
Click here for our printable puppy essentials checklist.