Excited for your first puppy? Here are a few things you may want to purchase beforehand to be a hundred percent sure you are all set!
First and foremost, your puppy will need food that is nutrient dense, full of essential vitamins and minerals, but easy to digest.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing dog food. Choosing the wrong ones may lead to complications like bone damage from food containing too much calcium.
The ideal dog food contains meat, internal organs, vegetables, fruits, and grains; unless your dog has specific allergies or digestive problems.
According to the American Kennel Club, the label to look for is “complete and balanced”. This means that the product has in fact been checked by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Dog food may also be dry or wet. Basically, dry dog food is more convenient than wet dog food. It can be stored easily, requires no refrigeration, and is more available and affordable.
However, dogs may enjoy wet dog food better. Then again, it is more expensive and needs refrigeration once opened. The dry option is a more convenient option then.
Another consideration when choosing dog food is the breed of your puppy. Small and large puppy breeds differ in their nutritional needs.
Dog foods in smaller bite sizes are best for small breeds while food promoting musculoskeletal health are best for large breeds. Nonetheless, a number of dog food are already available that are suitable for all puppies.
2. Food and Water Bowls
Your dog may not care too much about which type of bowl you choose. Nonetheless, it is most advantageous that you choose one that is safe, durable, and non-slip.
Stainless steel bowls with a rubber base is a perfect option. They are safe for dogs, they will not alter the composition of your dog’s food, they are dishwasher-safe, and they will last a lifetime. These typically cost around $20.
They will not spill their contents because of their rubber base. And most notably, your dogs will not be able to destroy them like they do to plastic alternatives.
You may opt to choose smaller food and water bowls initially then buy bigger ones when your puppies grow. If you plan on traveling with your puppy, collapsible dog bowls are also available with a starting price of around $5.
Another thing to add to the checklist is a comfortable crate. Even if you wish to let your pet run free, this is still a must.
Your pet needs a place to rest in. A number of crates are already widely available but there are two things to consider when choosing the best:
- Crate Size
You should choose a crate that is suitable for your puppy. And think about how big it might get. There should be enough space for your puppy to sit and stand.
You can choose to buy a small crate initially and buy another one when your puppy grows. There are also adjustable crates available that cost less than $100.
There are three materials choose from: plastic, wire or fabric. In general, soft-sided fabric crates are the lightest option but they are only ideal when traveling because they are hard to clean and enclose your puppies too much. They too are the least durable.
Out of the three, wire crates are the most long-lasting. They are also easier to store since most of them are collapsible. Wire crates give your puppy a better view too.
Plastic crates tend to be closed on the sides, like soft-sided crates while wire crates are easier to clean. If your puppy poos or pees, it drops to a tray which you can remove and wash easily.
4. Pet Training Pads & Cleaner
Next up is pet training pads and cleaner because it is inevitable that your puppy will poo and pee just about anywhere. These are important especially if your puppy has not yet been potty-trained.
When choosing a dog pee pad, make sure it is leak-proof and quick-drying to avoid urine from spreading through your floor. Also, make sure it is tear-resistant as you don’t want your puppy destroying the pad and spreading pieces everywhere.
Make sure your pads also neutralize odor or else your house will smell like urine and feces. A built-in attractant helps too. This encourages your puppies to pee or poo at that specific area.
You should also purchase a good enzyme cleaner for the accidental spills your dog might make inside the house.
5. Collar & Leash
Your puppy will also need a collar and a leash if you plan to walk it around. It is best that you purchase a harness instead of a standard flat collar, especially if your puppy is short-nosed. Good brands cost around $40.
This is because if you use a standard flat collar, some dogs may easily slip out of them. This may also be dangerous for dogs prone to tracheal collapse.
When picking your leash, use the standard straight leashes and not the retractable ones. Puppies may not yet be very good with leashes yet. At this time, using retractable-type leashes will not teach them proper walking.
There are a number of leash options. If your planning on evening walks, reflective ones are even available. What we recommend are just the standard nylon ones that cost $8 to $12.
6. ID Tags
Although collars may not be a safe option for walking, it is still important to hang identification tags on to. ID tags help just in case your puppy gets lost.
The classic stainless-steel dog tags are good enough. They cost around $8. They may be engraved in the front and back. However, others may find them noisy as your pet moves.
An alternative would be a slide-on stainless dog tag. This does not create any noise at all but can only be engraved at the front. Since puppies are very active, this may be a better option. They cost around $10.
7. Anti-Chew Spray
Once home, some puppies find it fun nibbling on your things, especially when they’re teething. As such, it is crucial to protect your things right away.
Anti-chew sprays do the magic. There are a number of options already available.
These are usually solutions that leave a bitter taste on items to discourage your dogs from chewing or licking them. They are non-toxic and safe.
After a week, your puppy will be trained to stop chewing your things.
You should also buy your new puppy toys. This way, it will no longer prey on your things. This will also allow you to bond with your dog better and encourage it to exercise.
When you suspect that your puppy is teething, hard rubber toys will help. They are hard to destroy but are enjoyable. Some of the best ones are from Kong with starting price at $7.
Toys that allow you to fill it with treats are also a plus. Just make sure they come in a size that cannot be swallowed by your puppies to avoid blockages.
Your puppies may also enjoy thick rope toys. Just make sure their fibers do not pull off. These toys start at around $5.
Basically, when purchasing toys for your puppy, make sure they are not destructible. Toys made of foam and soft rubber-like squeaky toys should be avoided.
9. Grooming Supplies
Your pets will also need grooming. This helps keep your puppies clean and prevent health complications.
Here is a checklist for the most important grooming supplies:
- Brushes and combs. Whether your puppies are short- or long-haired, you will need to brush their coat. This will help remove loose hair you don’t want around your stuff. For all dog hair types, the best option would be a combo brush like the Oster Combo Brush for Dogs which is priced at around $7. This allows you to detangle your dog’s hair and remove dirt.
- Nail clippers. This is also a must. If left untrimmed, your dog’s nails will be a source of discomfort. This will also lead to wounds when your dog needs to scratch an itch. Untrimmed nails will damage your furniture which is a disadvantage for both you and your dog. When choosing nail trimmers for your new puppy it is best that you choose the safest one possible like the GoPets Nail Clipperthat amounts to around $16.
- You will also need to bathe your puppies at least once a month. Some breeds may need fewer baths though to avoid dry coats. Hence, you will need a pet shampoo that moisturizes their coat. Your choice will depend on your dog’s hair type. If you’re unsure, it’s best you ask your vet. Be that as it may, a safe option for all hair types is an all-natural one. This will assure you that it contains no ingredient that will irritate your dog’s fur and skin. Earthbath offers a good oatmeal & aloe shampoo at around $20.
- After bathing, you do not want your dogs to spread water all over the place. Thus, you’ll need towels to pat them dry too. Your old clean towels will help as long as they’re absorbent.
10. Pet Insurance
It is also vital that you acquire pet insurance for your dogs. This will help you in the long run especially when your dogs suffer from accidents or acquire certain diseases.
You can’t tell when your dog may have health problems. When the time comes, without question, the majority of the procedures are expensive. But if you have pet insurance beforehand, hospital costs become a tad bit lighter.
There is a variety of pet insurance available in the US. These companies also have websites where you can compute your rates.
After reviewing the feedback from different pet owners, you may want to compute your rates at Healthy Paws and see its dog insurance packages.
Have fun with your new pet!