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The New Puppy Checklist! Are You Prepared?


new puppy checklistWhen you bring home a new baby from the hospital, you probably already have a nursery with brightly painted walls, a dresser full of clothes, a crib with cute bed linens and a mobile.  You also will probably already have a bin full of soft, safe plush toys for your little newborn to cuddle.  Bringing home a new dog, at any age, is not really much different.  Your dog will need toys to play with, a place to sleep, his own dishes and and more.  Are you truly, fully prepared to bring home your new furry baby?


It’s So Confusing!

Being new dog owners, it can feel very complicated. Don’t become overwhelmed with the vastness of the pet supply market when trying to decide what you need or don’t need for your newest pooch.  If you already know the size and age of your newest family member, picking out his belongings at the store will be easier than you think, as there will be no guessing room on collar and harness size, the size and type of bed, as well as size and types of toys.  When you know the size your dog is currently, and if he is a puppy what he will be as an adult, you have enough information to begin purchasing his newest things to help welcome him home!

The New Dog Checklist

Not everything within the checklist is an absolute requirement, but for the majority of dogs these items are essential.  Somethings, such as deciding between a collar or harness, is fully dependent upon your new dog and your comfort.  When in doubt, get both and try them out!

  •  Crate – A dog crate is used to help your dog or puppy feel safe and have a place of his very own to retire to when he needs to feel secure. It is also used in house training, as a means to prevent him from developing a bad potty habit when you cannot watch him. Never to be used as punishment, the crate is a place dogs enjoy. It is important to crate train your dog correctly to make sure it serves the purpose it is supposed too.
  • Crate pad, bed, or blankets – These items are used to make the crate more comfortable and inviting to your pooch.
  • Dishes – Your new dog should have his own set, if not multiple sets, of food and water dishes. These need to be cleaned daily, so having 2 sets can make life easier!
  • Collar – Even if you don’t want to walk your dog with a leash attached to his collar, having one on him with ID tags during outings is a way to make sure he is always identified as your pet should he ever get lost.
  • ID tag – These metal or plastic tags attach to your dog’s collar with your name and phone number in case he is lost and a stranger finds him. They can then contact you instead of the local police to pick up your pet.
  • Harness – Dogs of all ages and sizes, but especially puppies and small dogs benefit greatly from a harness. An assortment is available to choose from, including regular nylons, breathable mesh, and no-pull harnesses. What is best for your dog and the area he will be walked the most.
  • Leash – You can use a 4 foot leash, 6 foot leash, 2 foot traffic leash, hands free leash, braided, rope or flat nylon. It’s your choice! The leash should match your dog’s size and your need to keep him close or let him sniff the area around you.
  • Towels – Your dog will need a bath either every 6 weeks or whenever he gets really dirty. Most people do not like to use their own bath towels on the dogs, and buying a towel made just for drying wet fur can help a lot!
  • Doggy poop bags – If you ever take your dog outside of your home, you will need something to clean up any messes he may leave behind. By picking up and throwing away your dog’s waste you are being a responsible dog owner and allowing other people and their pets to enjoy a clean environment.
  • Grooming items – Depending on your dog’s fur type, he may need a wire slicker brush, comb, undercoat rake, or wide toothed brush. Talk with a professional groomer on the best type of brush to help your dog’s coat stay tangle, dirt, and debris free! Meanwhile, all dogs need nail clippers and ear cleansing wipes unless you will be paying for the services of a professional groomer at least once a month!
  • Top quality food – Your dog needs to eat! He should ideally have 2 meals a day, but the quality and freshness of his food lies on your shoulders! Learn about dog nutrition, grain and no grain kibbles as well as raw and fresh homemade diets before you decide what food is best for you and your new pet!homemade dog treats
  • Emergency contacts – You will need a short list of phone numbers to keep on hand.  These should consist of an emergency veterinary clinic that is open 24 hours a day and near by,  a pet poison control center hotline, and your regular veterinarian’s office phone.  Expect you new puppy to chew on everything you never know when an emergency may pop up and having that number handy can be a life savor!
  • Toys, toys, toys – Your new dog may be a soft chewer or may be overly destructive with toys. It may take some trial and error to figure out what he loves most, so in the meantime choose safe toys of different types from plush, rubber, rope and balls to peak his interest.
  • Treats – You won’t be able to train your dog without a solid reward system! Choose a healthy and high value treat such as those that use real meats or cheeses, are grain free, and made in the USA. I know people like to give dogs bones. This is fine but you want to make sure to get safe bones. You can ask you vet on what they suggest, I recommend deer antlers for your dog.

The checklist may seem daunting, but these are the basics of what you will need as a new dog parent to help your canine companion feel welcomed into his new home, feel safe, and make adjustments both for you and him so much easier!

Resources: Center Veterinary Clinic

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