25 Essentials You Need Before Bringing a New Puppy Home
When you look at the gleaming eyes of a puppy, there’s only one thing you think, “Aw, isn’t he adorable?” There’s nothing as cute in the whole world as the sight of a puppy tumbling around the floor, running towards you with its ears flying or falling asleep in your lap. So, if you’re planning on getting a new puppy sometime soon or you’ve just brought one home, you need to be well prepared to handle the responsibility. Amidst all the excitement of welcoming a four-legged bundle of joy, take some time to go shopping for the newest member of your family. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a list of all the essential supplies to have at hand before your puppy arrives.
Getting a collar for your pup is important. Your pet’s collar should have an ID tag at all times, with his or her name and your contact information. Most places require your dog to be on a leash, and for that you’ll need a collar. Always make sure they’re wearing one in public so it’s easy to control them when they try and run away or pounce on strangers. A cute collar can also make our furry friends look good!
Dogs can be unpredictable. Who knows what’s cooking in that little head of theirs? When you take them out for a walk, you need to keep them under control if you want to keep your little one safe. Random smells, bike riders and squirrels are powerful distractions so it’s important to keep your puppy on a leash each time you step out to avoid any unpleasant incidents.
As soon as you slip on your pup’s collar, attach a pet ID tag to it. Keep it fastened to its collar at all times complete with your pet’s name, your contact number and your vet’s phone number as well. This will be extremely useful if Fido decides to wander off chasing after a butterfly, runs off somewhere on his or her own or suffers an injury when you aren’t around. An ID tag is is your puppy’s ticket to a safe homecoming. As a pet guardian, protecting your puppy from getting lost is your highest priority.
Puppy Food (Dry)
A dog’s body needs different levels and types of nutrition depending upon age and overall health. So, it is important to feed them food that’s correct for their developmental stage and breed. This is especially important in larger breed dogs. They can develop joint problems due to insufficient or unevenly distributed nutrition because they tend to grow at a faster rate. Consider taking your veterinarian’s advice before selecting your puppy’s food. Your puppy’s nutrition can have a long-lasting impact on its overall health.
Puppy Food (Wet)
As a pet parent, you will have the option of feeding your puppy dry food, wet food or both. The idea is to offer enough to fulfill Fido’s nutritional requirements, while also appealing to the taste buds. A popular option is mixing together both kinds of foods. This will take care of any dietary necessities your puppy has. Wet food is great to keep your puppy hydrated if he or she doesn’t drink much water. Alternate between dry and wet foods or mix them together for a meal. You will be able to determine after a few days what you puppy likes and then feed him or her accordingly.
Dogs lick their coats in order to keep them clean but that isn’t generally enough. You have to use a suitable brush for your pup and brush his or her coat at least once a week. If your puppy has longer fur (Wheaton Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Collie, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, etc.) brush them more frequently to keep their coat healthy and knot-free. A brush is the most essential grooming tool for your pup. It will take care of any excess hair on Fido’s coat and also distribute the natural oils of his or her skin evenly. Regular brushing means less fur on your furniture and a healthy coat for your pet. Brushing also gives you a chance to examine if there are any tangles, ticks, fleas, etc in your pup’s coat.
Puppies will roll in the mud if they want, step in puddles chasing after flies, or dig a hole in your garden and come out all covered in dirt. Regular baths will help keep your puppy’s coat clean, shiny and tangle-free. Use a mild but effective shampoo that leaves him or her sparkling fresh. It’s better to use an herbal shampoo that doesn’t irritate the eyes. Bathing your dog at regular intervals will keep them healthy and help eliminate parasites. Shampooing will also make them smell great and can soothe any allergies or rashes.
Dentastix are a godsend when it comes to dental care for dogs. It is almost impossible to use a toothbrush on puppies because they’re so full of energy. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect their oral care. Dentastix are an excellent way to keep tartar and plaque in check. Use them as a part of their daily dental routine and you’ll reduce bad breath too. The X shape of the sticks will clean the gumline. Just pick the right size for your puppy according to his or her breed.
Puppies sleep. They sleep a lot. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like dog hair all over your bed then you need to get Fido one of his own. Buy the right dog bed for your puppy where they can nap, roll around, or just be lazy. A bed will provide a soft, safe spot and warmth in winters. Invest in a good quality dog bed so you don’t have to keep replacing it frequently. Keep a couple of bed covers handy and wash whenever required.
Teething puppies will chew on anything in sight. You will be surprised at how much these little balls of fur can destroy around your house! Unprepared puppy parents can get ready to say goodbye to their favorite piece of furniture, best pair of heels or anything else a puppy can wrap its mouth around. The only way to survive the arduous puppy teething phase is by keeping some strong, durable teething toys on hand. Let him or her chew on toys instead of your stuff. Discard (and replace) torn, broken or chewed up toys right away.
Even the most meek and docile dogs can’t resist a squeaky toy. It’s their favorite play thing (well, for most dogs). Noisy toys are a great way to keep your puppy distracted and engaged elsewhere. Invest in a rubberized dog toy with squeakers. They’re easy to clean and sanitize. There are few toys that will hold your pup’s attention for long, but squeaky toys will almost always remain a favorite. Make sure to replace the toy when it starts coming apart so your pup doesn’t run the risk of ingesting any hazardous parts.
Dogs are fond of stuffed animals. It’s not unusual to see them walking around the house with their favorite plush toys held safely in their mouths. Some even use them as pillows. Give names to Fido’s plush toys and he’ll start recognizing them soon. Make sure to watch your pup when he or she is playing with a stuffed toy. Things like the eyes, nose, etc. on a plush toy can cause internal damage if ingested by your puppy.
Cater to your dog’s chewing needs by engaging him or her with chew toys. It’s important that you have an ample amount of these at home, in different colors, shapes and sizes to build up the pup’s interest. Dogs use toys as a tool to explore their environment and socialize. If you’re trying to encourage your pup to start using one, try coating the toy with some peanut butter or liver or cheese spread to make the toy more desirable. Stuff treats inside if the toy has a hollow space. Chewing on a toy will also utilize your pup’s unused energy.
Dogs just love treats! We all know that. Treats can be crucial in teaching etiquette to your little pup. Potty training and basic commands can be retained faster when taught in conjunction with delicious treats. You just need to know the right ways to use them and you can have a well-behaved, obedient puppy in no time. Treats are also great to establish and improve your bond with the new puppy.
Some long-haired breeds like have beautiful long coats that tend to get tangled quickly if not properly cared for. They require regular brushing and detangling so the pup’s coat is healthy and shiny right from the start. A puppy’s coat changes frequently, so it requires extra care. When they grow up, the coat may not get tangled quite so often or badly. But it is still important to groom and free them of tangles and knots on a regular basis using a conditioner or special detangler formula.
Pet Stain Cleaner
With pets, come many responsibilities – and messes! Pet parents deal with all kinds of stains on their carpets, floors and furniture. From food spills to urine, your home is going to take a beating. Cleaning pet stains can be tough without the right products. So keeping an effective cleaner handy at home will help clear up those nasty stains immediately before they begin to set. To stop your puppy from going and messing up the same spot again or getting rid of the smell, use a stain remover that deodorizes. Make sure once you clean the spot, your pet cannot smell what was there before it got cleaned up. Otherwise you will have a repeat performance.
Keeping your new puppy away from all the expensive furniture and décor can be quite a challenge. Puppies start teething in a few weeks and their aggressive chewing knows no bounds. You want to be prepared in advance for such a situation. When you’re not around, use a furniture repellent to keep Fido off or, or away from, the furniture. These repellents contain strong scents that dogs do not like, so they leave your furniture or a sprayed area alone.
If you have a dog, you’re going to have to deal with poop. You have to be extra careful while walking your puppy outside to clean up after him or her. The easiest solution is to bag it and dispose of the bag in a waste bin or flush the contents of the bag down the toilet. Poop bags will save you from embarrassing stares you’re likely to get if you don’t clean up after Fido. Using a poop bag also makes it convenient and mess-free for pet parents. With the right-sized bag and the right technique you can scoop, tie and toss in a few seconds. What’s more, you’re helping to keep the environment clean.
Most dogs wear their nails down when they go play and walk on hard surfaces. Adult dogs and pups that don’t go out a lot, or who usually play on grass or inside the house have no natural way of wearing their nails down. If you let your puppy’s nails grow too long, they will start putting strain on the paws and toes. Long claws can chip off easily making them sharp. These sharp, uneven nails could scratch you while playing with the pup. Don’t overlook keeping your puppy’s nails clipped. Do not use a regular nail clipper for your dog. Use a specially designed dog nail clipper and do some research (or speak to your vet) before trimming your puppy’s nails. It’s easy to accidentally cut a nerve that could result in bleeding.
Puppy Water Station
A pup should drink fresh water from a fixed location. Make sure it is readily available at all times. Using a water station, like the one above, for your little pup is a good alternative to the usual water bowl. You won’t have to refill it as frequently and it doesn’t create as much mess since the station can’t be moved around by slight pushes and tugs. The stainless steel bowl (attached to the station) is hygienic and easy to clean. Never let your puppy drink from the toilet – it’s probably obvious why this is a bad idea.
A food bowl is one of the most important things you should have at home before you bring in the new member of the family. You want a bowl that’s slip-resistant, easy to clean and hygienic. Avoid plastic if possible, as plastic bowls are a great breeding ground for bacteria. Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are preferable and generally dishwasher-safe.
Supplements are given to puppies to encourage growth. There are mixed opinions on whether puppies should be fed supplements or not. Most vets agree that a proper, balanced diet is usually good enough for your puppy to get the required nutritional values. Ask your veterinarian if supplements are recommended before adding them to your pet’s diet.
Puppy wipes are a must for new pet parents who want to avoid giving their pets daily baths. Puppies love playing with everything, rolling in the mud, burying their face in smelly corners and generally getting dirty. Soft pet wipes will come to your rescue when you need a quick clean up. Choose a pack of herbal, alcohol-free wipes that will be gentle on your puppy’s skin. Carry them to the park, or when you’re visiting a friend with your puppy for instant cleaning. They make keeping your puppy clean and fresh-smelling a snap.
Wee Wee Pads
It takes some consistent training for puppies to learn where to relieve themselves or to start doing it outside. Till then, using training pads for your little ball of fur is an excellent alternative. If you’re going to leave him or her at home for long periods of time, spread some wee wee pads near their pen. A few treat rewards when they use the pads will get the point across quickly. Many of the pads are also infused with attractant to give pets the right idea. Puppies needs to relieve themselves first thing in the morning but if you’re not an early riser, teach him how to use a pad. Housebreaking your puppy can be quite a challenge. Regular, appropriate training will help them learn rapidly.
Puppy Travel Crate
Dog carriers and crates are important early purchases for new puppy parents. You’ll need a sturdy, easy to load and unload, carrier for trips to the vet and groomer. And if you intend to crate train your puppy, you’ll want to start from day one. Having your crate on hand and full of soft blankets and toys the very first day will help both you and your puppy get a good night’s rest.
Make your experience of bringing home a new puppy a happy and memorable one. This list of must-haves will help you to be prepared well in advance so you can take care of your pet’s needs and avoid untimely trips to the pet store. Equip yourself with the right products for every occasion. Welcome, new pet parent!
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