Bringing Home a New Puppy – What Do I Need?

January 25, 2020

​Bringing home a new puppy is a really exciting time for any family. However, with all the excitement, it's easy to find yourself overlooking some of the basic items that any new pup is going to need when you bring them home. We've put together a list of items below that ​all pup parents should consider before bringing your new puppy home.

​Plan for Food, Water, and Treats

​When you're planning your new addition, you'll need to be sure that you choose a food a water dish that's the right size for your new pup. This will be determined largely by the breed. If you're looking at a breed that will not get very big, you'll want to get a small set of dished. However, if you're looking at a larger bread, like an Australian Shepherd, you may want to consider an elevated dish, or even one that can be moved to an elevated position as they grow.

When thinking about feeding your dog, you may also want to consider an automatic food dispenser. ​These are good to help get your new dog used to a schedule.

If you have a pup that's a chow hound, and you find that they're eating too quickly, you should consider a slow feeder so they eat more slowly and don't get an upset tummy.

As you begin to think about dog food, there are so many varieties these days that it can be a bit overwhelming. If you're ​welcoming a young pup into your home, it's always best to ​stick with puppy food and move on to something else once they're a bit older.

If you're thinking of making homemade dog food you can find some great recipes here. Or we can also help you find some of the best high-fiber dog foods or even the best organic dog foods on the market today if you'd like to look at more organic options.

Once you're puppy begins to adapt to their new home, having training treats on hand as a reward for good behavior is always a good idea.

As you're puppy gets a bit older, it can also be a good idea to start them on a regular regimen of joint supplements, especially for larger dog breeds that are prone to issue such as hip ​dysplasia.

Cute Puppy in a Cup

​Choosing a Comfortable Dog Bed

​Just like people, dogs like a comfortable place to lie down and sleep at night. Even if you think he may be sleeping in the bed with you, it's still a good idea to have a bed that is all his. It can provide not only a place to sleep, but it can also serve as a place where he can feel safe if he's scared.

A dog bed, much like their bowls, should be sized according to the dog. Unless you plan on replacing his bed a couple of times as he grows, you will want to think about how large he may get as an adult and chose one that's sized correctly.

​Decide on Potty Training - Crate ​or House Training

​If you're planning to house train your new puppy, you need to make sure you're prepared. House training can be great in the end, but it's not without its struggles. To get through it, you need to make sure you have plenty of puppy pads.

You may also want to consider a door bell so he can let you know when he needs to go out, or even a doggie door so he can simply let himself out. Several companies now make some excellent ​self-activated doggie doors that trigger based on a device worn on your dog's collar.

If you decide to take the crate training route, and I understand as this is how I trained both of mine, you need to make sure you get a crate that's sized appropriately. Choosing the correct size i very important and many people tend to underestimate the amount of room their dog will need in a crate.

You'll likely want to pick up a separate bed to fit into the crate so that it's more comfortable. Once they're properly crate trained, you can also consider getting a separate food and water dish to keep in their crate.

Dog With Head Out Window

​Decide on Travel Accessories

​Regardless of whether you'll board your dog at a kennel when you travel, or if they'll be going along for the trip, you're going to need a good dog leash to take him on walks and for his routine checkups at the vet. In addition to the leash, you'll also need a dog collar and an ID tag. In some areas, tags are actually required by law. If your pup finds a way out of your house or yard, having your contact information available makes it easy for people to contact you and reunite you with your doggie.

If you decide that you'll be taking your puppy on car trips with you, you may want to protect your seats by picking up a seat cover for pets. While you may think you don't need one now, as he grows, so will his claws and they can do some real damage to your seats.

If you're going to be flying with your dog, you're going to need an airline rated travel crate. If you're dog is small enough, there are a number of fabric crates that you can pick up that will let you keep him near you while on the plane. It can also provide a familiar sleeping environment while you're in the hotel.

​Don't Forget the Toys

​Young pups will teethe just like a baby. Until they loose their milk teeth, you need to be prepared to have something for them to chew on so they don't chew up your slippers or good shoes.

Rawhide chews or antlers make a great consumable chew item for you new puppy. Just know that you'll have to replace them occasionally and as your puppy grows, this will likely become more frequent. Having something as a backup plan is always a good idea. There are a number of virtually indestructible chew toys that will let him chew until he's worn out.

You should also consider some interactive puppy toys that let you play with him, or even allow him to play by himself. The more you or your family interact with your new puppy, the quicker they'll adapt and begin to feel part of your "pack." Just don't forget, sometimes nothing beats a good game of fetch or tug-o-war.

​Grooming and Medical Supplies

​Keeping your new puppy well groomed is very important. That means you're going to need a good dog shampoo and a good set of nail clippers for dogs. If you decide to trim your dog's nails yourself, check out our guide on how to trim your dog's nails.

​While you may not need a set a grooming clippers, especially if you decide to take Fido to see the groomer, having a good dog brush on hand can be indispensable - especially if you have a breed with long hair, or one that tends to be a heavy shedder. If your dog ​will end up with a long thick coat, having a de-shedding tool is an absolute must. And yes, I'm speaking from experience as my Sheltie sheds like crazy and a good de-shedder isn't considered optional around our house.

Don't forget, you'll also need to keep his teeth and ears cleaned as well. For his teeth, you can start with some of the dental cleaning chews you can pick up from your local pet shop. As time goes on though, it can be a good idea to introduce a toothbrush and a dog safe toothpaste into their routine.

When cleaning his ears, you're going to need a good ear cleaner to make sure they stay clean and healthy. Be sure to check out our guide on how to care for your dog's ears for some tips on making sure they're kept clean and healthy.

Dog's ​have an uncanny knack of getting into things they shouldn't. Sometimes the only possible explanation for how they do it is that they​ somehow managed to control space-time. ​This ability to warp space-time means you'll need to take them to visit the vet to make sure they're okay. Just as with people, having health insurance​ may save you some money. Be sure to check out our guide on health insurance for dogs to learn more about what's covered and some of the ​top questions asked by ​doggie parents.

​Special Concerns

​Once you've brought your new puppy home, just remember, don't treat a 6 to 12 week old pup like they're an adult dog. You have to remember, at this age, they're still very much an infant, and should be treated as such by you and your family.

​He's going to need similar care, patience, some constant supervision, all mixed with a gentle touch and a lot of love. How you interact with your puppy during this critical time will play a key role in his social skills for the rest of his life.

Use these tips to help you out:

  • Don't bring your new puppy home if you're going to be away traveling for work or vacation. You're going to need to spend a lot of time with him in his first few days and weeks to let him get used to a daily routine.
  • Keep an eye on your puppy and interact and play with him regularly.
  • Be on the look out for signs that he needs to go to the bathroom. This is often seen as him sniffing around or making circling motions. If you see this, you should get him outside right away.
  • Just was with an infant, your new puppy will have little to no bladder control. Because of this, he will need to need to go potty almost immediately after eating, drinking, playing, or sleeping.
  • At night, he will need to go potty about every 3 hours. Be prepared for this, and if you're proactive about it, it can make things easier on bot you and your new pup.
  • Don't punish him for having an accident. If you scold him by pushing his nose into the waste, it may just encourage him to find places out of sight to do his business.
  • Feed you puppy food that was designed for him. Just like a baby needs milk, or infant formula, puppies have special nutritional needs as well to hep support their growing bodies.

​In case you can't tell by now, taking care of a new puppy requires a lot of work. Whether it's seeing after his grooming, getting him potty trained, or making sure he's on the right diet, it can be a challenge if you're not expecting it.

In the end, anyone who has every shared the love of a dog will tell you, it's worth it. We often treat them like out adopted children and love and care for them in much the same way.

​While you may not have thought about all of the items we presented here, hopefully now that you have a good checklist, you'll have everything you need to go shopping and get your new puppy off to a good start.

Even if you're not a kindred spirit to those of us who love to shop, getting the necessary supplies before your new puppy comes home means that you'll have that much more time to play and bond with them. And hey, you can always shop online and have everything delivered right to your door - what's not to like about that?

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