Planning Your Puppy's Arrival
Updated: Aug 13, 2018
As you know, adopting a puppy is a major decision and comes with a great deal of responsibility. Some planning will make your new puppy's arrival much less stressful. Here are some tips on what to get for your tiny pooch.
Remember about these essentials:
Food (canned and/or dry)
Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.)
Food and water bowls
Leash or harness
ID tag with your phone number
Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
Doggy shampoo and conditioner
Brush or comb (depends on your pet’s coat length and type)Nail clippers
Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
Plastic poop baggies (biodegradable ones are best) or pooper scooper
Absorbent house-training pads
Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
- Food (canned and/or dry).
Dog owners are presented with an overwhelming array of options, all claiming to be the best dog food on the market. The first skill you need to have as a dog owner is to learn how to choose dog food that is nutritious for your dog and light on your wallet ;)
Giving your dog canned instead of dry food, or vice versa, is a matter of choice and budget. Just don't forget to read ingredients and choose the nutrients based on dog's age, size and health. Also check if the label has the AAFCO (Association of AmericanFeed Control Officials) statement.
- The suggested amount to feed your pet, based on your pet’s healthy weight, can be found on the side of most pet food bags.
- If your dog has a particular health problem that is affected by diet (diabetes, kidney disease, food allergy, etc.) talk to your veterinarian about your pet's diet.
- When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed.
- Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.) They make dogs wag their tails in excitement and drool in anticipation. They also come handy, especially in early training days. Just remember that they should be nutritious and not just junk.
- Food and water bowls
Dog bowls and feeders come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours to suit your canine companion. You can even have them personalized. Some people prefer raised bowls for large dogs, so you do not have to lean down as far to fill them.
There is something almost magical in dog bowls. All you have to do is fill one and your dog comes running :)
Fill the food bowl on schedule, but always keep the water bowl topped up.
- Collar or harness. The type of collar you choose for your puppy will depend on their breed, age, and their energy level/how much they pull on the leash.
Flat collar (that is commonly made of nylon or leather and found in most pet shops) should fit snug around your puppy’s neck with enough room to fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy’s neck.
No-pull head collar can be compared to a horse bridle because the leash attaches to the dog’s head. It’s not a muzzle (the dog can still sniff and open their mouth) but a great (and humane) deterrent to leash pulling.
Harnesses (front or back clipped) have a fitting around the dog’s chest, sparing a dog’s neck and throat. They are designed to help reduce leash pulling by redirecting the dog.
Sharp prong collars and choke chains are painful and unnecessary tools for any dog, but especially for puppies. We strongly advise against using them.
- Leash. There’s such a wide variety of leashes, it can be difficult to know which leash to choose. When looking for a new leash, consider style and function.
Leather leash offers a lifetime of durability and strength but remember to keep it out of reach of puppies when not in use, as they will tempted to chew on it.
Retractable leash is a great tool for a small (or young) dogs. They can enjoy freedom to roam and sniff around. and the comfortable handle with brake button feels nice in your hand.
LED light leash is perfect for night time visibility.
- ID tag with your phone number
Dog tags give you a place to put your contact information, making it easier for your pet to be returned to you if they get lost. Pet ID Tags are one of the best ways to ensure the safe return or urgent medical care your pet may need. They come in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes so there is always a tag to suit your pet.
QR pet tags use the latest code technology - they can be scanned with a smartphone and any information relating to a dog (like his vaccinations or medical history) or his owner's details can be updated instantly via dedicated website service.
- Dog bed
Your pet needs somewhere to curl up at the end of a busy day. Dog beds and mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. Choose one that will help keep your pooch comfortable and cosy but also consider the following aspects:
Water resistance. You may wish to consider a waterproof dog bed which will be easy to clean with a quick wipe.
Elevation off the floor. For dogs with joint pains or whose bed is on a cold floor, this will be the ideal bed. It will keep your dog comfortable and warm.
Size. Just like Goldilocks, ensure the bed is a good fit, not too small and not too big, it should be just perfect for your dog.
Hardiness. Dogs are very playful and the dog tests the bed for destruction. If it does not stand the test of time and as a pet owner, I would want a long lasting bed which is not easily destroyed.
- Doggy shampoo and conditioner
Remember that human-grade shampoos and conditioners might contain chemicals that are too harsh for your pooch’s sensitive skin. Be sure to examine the ingredients listed on the bottle before making a purchase. Avoid artificial fragrances and dyes, which can irritate your dog’s eyes and skin, and rather look for natural fragrances. Puppy shampoos are typically gentler. For older dogs you might consider these factors: skin condition, fleas and ticks, tangles, fur colour and shine.
- Brush or comb (depends on your pet’s coat length and type)
There are different types of brushes and combs for dogs with long, medium, and short hair coats.
A basic bristle/ pin brush combo will suite most dogs for everyday stuff, but when it comes to dogs with heavier, thicker coats and those with an undercoat, you may want to grab a slicker brush or an undercoat rake.
Brushing can and should be a pleasant experience for your pet as the gentle stroking feels good on your pet's skin. The best way to build trust and make this a pleasurable bonding time for both of you is to brush your pet often, preferably daily. This prevents problem mats and tangles from developing.
- Nail clippers
There’s many different kind of dog nail clippers you can find on the market
guillotine nail clippers, scissor-shaped nail clippers, pliers-shaped trimmers.
So how to choose the right one for your dog? Generally speaking, the size of your dog and his nails will determine the size of nail trimmer to use, however the trimmers are many dog owners’ favorite. They are easy to use, come in different sizes, and most of them have a safety stop to avoid cutting the nail too short.
Whatever style you choose, you should always have some styptic powder on hand (it seals injured blood vessels within seconds).
- Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
The American Veterinary Dental College estimates that a majority of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the time they are three years old! This can lead to even more serious consequences, such as systemic infection, abscesses, and even heart disease. So brushing your dog's teeth is as much important as brushing your own.
Do NOT use human toothpaste on your dog. Many of them contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Even if you’re pretty sure your toothpaste doesn’t contain xylitol, don’t take a chance. Instead, choose from these made-for-dogs products.
- A baby/pet gate. Block off any area you want to keep the dog out of—simple as that! -proof the area where your pooch will spend most of his time during the first few months.
- A crate or kennel. I'm a firm believer that a dog (especially a brand new dog) needs a space to call his own and retreat if necessary. Crates also help with separation and house training, offering security and containment. Don't splurge on a huge one, either! If you have a dachshund, it should be naturally much smaller than the one for a great hound. Dogs feel safer when they are in a crate that fits their size—provided they can lay down and stretch. Think of it as a den. Some dogs especially like this coziness, so the crates with the plastic sidings or a blanket draped over the top of a wire crate are really great.
- House-training pads. Speaking of house-training accidents, these wee pads are an absolute must-have if you're bringing home a puppy. There is a pet-detectable scent on the pad that usually attracts your dog for bathroom breaks. Put the pad near the door where you would like to train your dog to wait when he needs to go outside, and you're two steps ahead of the house-training game.
OTHER USEFUL PRODUCTS:
I would also recommend these product to have handy (you never know how much training you'll have to reiterate when a dog is in a new environment):
Super-absorbent paper towels for when the accidents happen.
Sponge and scrub brush designated specifically to cleaning 'the mess' (for hygiene reasons).
Furniture protectant (Scotchguard for example) is something you should definitely consider before you bring the puppy home. Remember to spray it onto a clean surface, so get your couch or rugs cleaned first.
Distilled white vinegar. When your dog or puppy does have an accident, we would recommend cleaning it with a household carpet cleaner, then spray the area with a water and distilled white vinegar solution. Dogs don't like the smell of vinegar and may avoid using that spot as a restroom again in the future.
Bitter apple spray. Puppies of all breeds like to chew everything, including furniture legs and exposed wires. If you notice a pattern developing, spritz your puppy's off-limits chew spot (ex. your brand new wooden table's legs) a few times a day to break the habit. This product works best while wet, so you'll have to spray throughout day until they get bored with that area.
- Tap loose electrical cords to baseboards
- Store household chemicals on high shelves
- Remove plants (especially toxic to animals), rugs, and breakables.
The Last Note
Give your new dog a time to acclimate to your home and family and to familiarise himself with all the new items, one at the time without overwhelming him.