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Throwing puppy showers hasn't quite caught on yet, so new pet parents need their own checklist of puppy supplies to ensure their new best friend has what he needs to grow up healthy. The following puppy supplies are sure to prepare anyone for all the fun (and commitment) that comes with being a new dog parent.
Wearables and Edibles
Start gathering the basic puppy supplies every new pet parent needs: food, collar, leash, and cleaning supplies. You should have an adjustable collar and short leash ready to keep your little guy close to you at all times. These two items hardly break the bank, but it's important to remember that as your dog grows, you may be replacing these things several times to keep up with him.
Before you introduce your new best friend to his new home, be sure to have some puppy food on hand! Your puppy's previous parents may have suggestions on what he prefers, but you should always check in with your vet to ensure he's getting the nutritional value he needs. If your vet recommends a different food, be sure to work out a transition schedule to help ease your pup into his new dog food. Too much change too quickly can upset his young tummy!
You should also be ready with food and water dishes, too. Stainless steel bowls work great for pups because they're less likely to get chewed apart and can be cleaned in your dishwasher. You may also need an elevated tray in the future if he grows tall.
Cleaning and Training
Speaking of cleaning, keep in mind you may be doing a bit more of that as a new dog parent—puppies can get messy! Be sure to have rolls of paper towels, rags, pet-friendly cleaning products, and a mop readily available.
Although training a young dog can take a few months until you truly see results, there are a few puppy supplies that can help you form consistent habits in your four-legged companion. Toys, treats, gates, and bedding are items that need to be on your puppy checklist if you're going to train him correctly.
When choosing toys and treats, aim for fun things that don't have multiple parts your dog could chew apart and choke on. Check your local pet store for natural training treats and dental sticks that are specifically designed for the size and stage of your dog's life. Not only should the stuff your dog chews on be considered safe, but so does the type of bedding you provide. Most puppies find a way to destroy their dog bed at some point, so you don't have to invest too much into the most fashionable sack on the shelf; above all, make sure you know what materials are inside the bedding. This is especially important if you decide to crate train with your little guy!
Gate It Off
In addition to training your puppy how to sit, when to heel, where to sleep, and to let you know when he has to go out, you have to make sure your puppy knows what areas of your house are off limits. Gates help train your dog to stay in certain areas of your home, and allow you to contain him in a safe area while you're not home. As your puppy learns good behavior, you can expand the areas he is allowed to venture into. Gates can range anywhere from $15-50 and come in a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic. Pick those that are easy to relocate, but are also stable in case your dog attempts to break through it.
Once you have the basics and all the necessary items for healthy growth, don't forget to treat him appropriately. PetMD suggests treat theory—among other training tips and tricks—truly work to keep your puppy motivated to learn the rules of his home.
When It's OK to Splurge
The last items on your puppy checklist are those you should feel free to spend the extra money on: a good veterinarian and reputable groomer. Although some breeds can get their grooming needs met at home, it is important to start your dog out with a groomer so you can learn the proper ways to trim nails and hair on your own. After a few visits, you can decide if bathing and grooming your dog at home is something you can do yourself or if a day at the groomer is more advantageous. Do your research and ask other dog parents when looking for both a good vet and quality grooming service.
Your Shopping Checklist
Here's a handy list you can take with you to help you stay on task in the puppy aisle:
- Dog Food and storage bin
- Collar and ID tags
- Pet-friendly cleaning supplies
- Gates and/or crates
- Dog bed and/or bedding materials
- A veterinarian you trust
- Flea and Tick Medicine (Ask your vet for recommendations)
- A groomer and/or grooming supplies
- Dog poop bags
Rest assured these puppy supplies will prepare you to be a puppy parent. Of course you might want to add one more item to their puppy checklist—a camera. As you start this new adventure, savor every moment and capture as much as you can. Even a cellphone camera can come in handy so that you are ready to snap a shot of him catching his first Frisbee® or other fun milestones.
Chrissie Klinger is an educator, writer, and mother to two wonderful children, three active dogs, and three crazy cats who enjoys living an active and eco-friendly lifestyle.