Preparing to bring home a gorgeous new puppy is one of the most exciting times any animal lover will experience. The anticipation that comes with looking forward to bringing home your furry bundle of joy is huge, but it can sometimes be difficult to work out exactly what you need to make your puppy's transition to family life as easy as possible.
Especially if this is your first dog, the range of products and pet accessories available at your local pet store can be a little overwhelming. So to help make sure your puppy has everything he or she needs, here's a useful puppy products checklist with all the essentials.
Food and Water Bowls Your new puppy will need a food bowl and a couple of water bowls. There are plastic, ceramic and stainless-steel bowls available and they all have their own pros and cons. While plastic bowls are durable, some puppies can take a liking to chewing them. Ceramic bowls are heavy, which is great if your pup is a vigorous eater who pushes her bowl all over the floor, but they also need frequent cleaning. Stainless-steel bowls are probably the best option as they are easy to clean and they last for ages.
Leash A good-quality lead is essential to ensure that your dog is comfortable and also safe when you head out for a walk. Leads need to be sturdy enough to allow you to control your pooch at all times, while there are also longer retractable leashes available if you want to give your puppy a little more freedom to roam.
Collar You'll need a collar to take your dog for a walk (some larger dogs that like to pull may do better with a harness when walking), plus it can also be used for the attachment of your puppy's ID tag. A soft collar will be perfect to get your puppy ready for training and walking on a lead.
ID Tags These simple and cheap accessories can save you a whole lot of heartache if your puppy goes missing. Make sure your dog has an ID tag with your contact details clearly displayed.
Bedding Every puppy needs somewhere warm, comfortable and safe to sleep. A puppy's bed needs to be a place where they feel secure, where they can retreat to when they want to escape the world and have a rest. Depending on your living arrangements, you may wish to get an indoor bed and an outdoor bed for your four-legged friend.
In addition, you might want to invest in a crate to give your dog her own safe environment and also help with house training.
Food and Treats Take a wander through your nearest pet store and you'll be amazed at the range of dog food options available. There's dry food, wet food, food for senior dogs, prescription diets and more - it can be a little daunting trying to find the right cuisine for your growing pooch.
The best thing you can do to give your puppy the healthiest possible start to life is to feed a super-premium food designed for puppies. You can ask your vet which brand they recommend and why. It's also a good idea to find out from the dog breeder or animal shelter what your puppy's diet consists of before you take your pup home. You can then stock up on some of that food as well so you can minimise tummy upsets as you gradually introduce your pup to her new super-premium food.
Some tasty doggy treats are another must-have - not only are they great when you want to pamper your puppy, but they're also an invaluable training tool that can be used to reward your dog for performing desired behaviours. But remember, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, so don't overdo it when spoiling your puppy.
Toys Puppies love to play, so stocking up on a few toys will be money well spent. Chew toys are always popular with pups, while there are plenty of great interactive food toys on the market that provide mental stimulation and a tasty treat for your puppy. Boredom causes puppies to bark, try to escape and even dig up your garden, so keep their growing minds busy with a selection of fun toys.
Cleaning Products As your puppy learns how to become a well-behaved member of the household, you'll need to be prepared to clean up the occasional accident. Until your toilet training message gets through to your furry friend, it's good to have a good stain remover and odour neutraliser on standby for any messy emergencies.
Grooming Supplies Some breeds obviously require more grooming than others, so the exact amount of time you'll have to spend brushing and washing your pooch will vary. However, you'll need a shampoo specifically designed for dogs (human shampoo isn't good for your dog's skin), a brush and nail clippers. These will help ensure that your pup's coat is tangle-free and that he always looks his best.
Also Consider Other items you may need to purchase include a car harness, a de-shedder for longer-haired breeds, a toothbrush and doggy toothpaste. Flea, tick and worm control are also musts.
Now that you know everything your puppy needs in his new home it's time to start shopping.