There’s nothing quite like the excitement of bringing home your new puppy. All of the cuddles and play time that is spent with them is second to none. However, it’s crucial to be prepared to care for them as well. Here are some of the basics that are needed to take care of a new puppy:
Ulti-Mutt List | FAQ: What to do When Bringing Home a Puppy
Start With the Basics
There are some everyday items that your new puppy will need as they settle into their new home. These include a collar, I.D. tags, a four to six-foot-long leash, food and water bowls (consider an elevated bowl as it can help your dog with digestion and posture problems), a high-end puppy food suitable for their breed, a harness (a collar can cause damage to a puppy’s trachea when the leash is pulled), a nice comfy bed for them to rest in, and a crate for crate training. These are basic everyday essentials for your new pup, and should be some of the first things that you buy for them. To get a more detailed list, check out this article out from trainer, Hannah Richter of Andrea Arden Dog Training.
Picking your dog’s Food
Nothing is quite as daunting as trying to figure out which food to buy your growing pup. You want them to have the best, but it’s hard to distinguish which food is genuinely great for them. After all, ensuring they have a proper diet can help prevent some vet visits, medications, and other expenses. So what should you look for?
Today there are many options, it’s no longer just kibbles or canned food. Now you can incorporate cooked food, freeze-dried meals, or even use a raw diet. However, it’s important to research the brand before purchasing since not all dog food is created the same. It’s always good to stay away from brands that include by-products or any fillers in their ingredients list. Many dog food brands have begun touting “grain-free” diets, but a study by the FDA has shown these could be linked to canine heart disease (the research is still ongoing, however, you might want to avoid these brands just to be on the safe side).
Plus, if you’re not sure which food to get you can always ask your veterinarian and they can help recommend the best brands for your new puppy.
Keeping Your Puppy Clean
The first thing I would recommend for new puppy parents is to purchase flea shampoo and give them a bath when you get home. If they do happen to have fleas you can be dealing with fleas all over your furniture which you don’t want.
Even if you’re planning to take your puppy to a groomer, all owners can expect to do some grooming at home. One of the big things is brushing your dog regularly. This helps keep their coat shiny and helps prevent any matting from happening. It’s important to choose a brush that’s appropriate for your puppy’s coat (short, long, de-shed, double, etc) and matches their size.
Accidents Will Happen
It’s inevitable that your new pup will have an accident. Although it can be frustrating, having the necessary items on hand can make the situation a little better. You’ll need paper towels, pet-safe enzyme sprays for stain and odor removal, poop bags (poop bag holders are a great easy accessory to not forget them on your walk), pee pads, and a pet-safe disinfectant.
Plus, cleansing wipes are also super useful for clean-ups! You can use them to wipe your puppy’s paws, spot clean, and help with potty training.
Here are some good products that cover all of the above:
While your puppy is growing it’s important to have toys for them to play with to deter them from chewing on furniture and other things while they’re teething. Check out one of our dog trainer’s top picks for teething toys here.
Toys that dispense food are also great since they help keep your puppy entertained while also rewarding them for good behavior. Helping stimulate their brain, while keeping them distracted from chewing on your favorite shoes. Similarly, food puzzles are a great way to slow down quick eaters and give your pup even more mental stimulation.
There are so many wonderful things about taking care of a puppy! Despite the little bit of extra work they require, there’s nothing like raising your furry friend from just a pup. If you’ve adopted a puppy before be sure to share your advice below.