Bringing home a new puppy is always an exciting event for a household. Having the necessary basic puppy supplies on hand before your bundle of joy arrives home means that you won’t have to leave the homecoming celebrations and make a last-minute run to the store to purchase something.
Food and Water Supplies
If adopting your new puppy from a breeder or a shelter, find out what kind of food he's currently eating. Sudden dietary changes can really upset a puppy’s delicate digestive system. Gradually start feeding him your choice of puppy food, preferably a high-quality, healthy food that meets the nutritional guidelines put forth by the American Association of Feed Control Officials. The Partnership for Animal Welfare recommends using stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes. Plastic often harbors nasty bacteria and absorbs unpleasant odors. Select bowls big enough for his muzzle to fit inside and stable enough that he can’t easily tip them over. Avoid using any dishes with a painted interior. Don’t forget to add doggy treats to your shopping list! Puppies love eating treats and they make wonderful training aids.
Whether you decide to let your doggy sleep in bed with you or want to try crate training, start establishing your puppy's sleeping space his first night home. If you go the crate route, select one large enough for your puppy’s predicted adult size. Make sure it comes with dividers to temporarily create a smaller space. You can move the dividers to increase space as your puppy grows. DogChannel.com suggests using a wire or a hard plastic dog crate, both of which are durable enough to withstand your puppy's chewing phase. Make his sleeping space cozy by cushioning the floor with a fleece mat, soft blanket, fitted pad or a little doggy bed. Make sure all bedding is both washable and thick enough to feel comfortable.
Puppies get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with their toys, but doggy toys also provide young pups with plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity. Purchase a variety of high-quality, puppy-safe toys, including rubber balls, long ropes, rubber bones and sturdy squeaky toys. Have a selection of chew toys as well to help with those tough days of teething. Interactive dog toys that dispense treats or make sounds are also wonderful stimulation for your youngster. Many puppies enjoy the comfort of cuddling with a soft stuffed toy, while others immediately tear plushies to pieces. Never leave your puppy unsupervised with his toys until you know how much of a chewer and shredder he is.
Groom your puppy every day or so for the positive bonding experience. You will need a soft-bristle puppy or kitty brush and a fine-tooth comb. Purchase a doggy shampoo specifically designed for a puppy's delicate skin and a dental kit that includes a finger toothbrush and doggy toothpaste.
An adjustable puppy collar with ID tags is essential for your new puppy. The Partnership for Animal Welfare folks suggest using only leather collars or those made from non-stretchy materials. The collar should be "two-fingers snug" and tight enough that it won't slip over his ears. Purchase at least two light, thin double-ply woven or leather leashes with strong clasps so you can take him outside for walks.