When you first welcome your new best friend into your home, chances are you’ll feel very nervous as well as exhilarated, after all, you want to feel as though you’re adequately prepared.
It can be especially nerve wracking if you’re a first time dog owner, because you’ll want to make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies to make their first week at home as comfortable as possible.
You needn’t worry, however, because we’ve compiled a guide for each of the different areas you need to consider when buying for your new best friend. Simply keep reading, as we take a look below.
Before you start thinking about items like toys for your puppy to play with, first, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the essentials that will get you through the first week with your new puppy.
The first thing that you’ll need to purchase are bowls for your new puppy’s food and water. It’s also a good idea to take a look in your local grocery store to find some healthy treats that you can feed your pup too.
You will also need to make sure to pick up a collar for your puppy that has a tag attached to it. This is integral because if your untrained pup gets out, you’ll have to rely on the kindness of your neighbors to return them home safely, and the tag will allow them to do so.
You can also purchase a leash, ready for when they’re able to venture outdoors for walks. The best kinds are those which are around 4 – 6 foot long, and are adjustable so that you have more control.
Along with the leash, you’ll need to purchase a harness. It’s only in recent years that you find more and more people opting for a harness rather than a leash, because a regular flat collar leash can prove to be dangerous for your little friend’s trachea.
The last thing which you’ll have to buy is a bed for them to sleep in at night. The first few weeks can prove difficult for your puppy when they’re first getting settled into their new home, so it’s important to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
All of these items are things that your dog will be using on a daily basis, so don’t skimp out because they’ll need to stand the test of time.
Your Puppy’s New Bowls
Although it may seem fairly straightforward when it comes to selecting food and water bowls for your new pup, there are a few things that need to be considered before making your purchase.
Because there will be lots of food and water collecting in the bowls, bacteria can develop on plastic over time. That’s why it’s best to avoid plastic based bowls and opt for ones that have been made from a sturdier material such as stainless steel or ceramic bowls.
These are guaranteed to last you a long time because of their durability. They’re also able to maintain a cooler temperature, so will not heat up as easily when the weather is warm outside.
Another thing to consider is that your new puppy probably won’t be the most dignified eater. Puppies are incredibly messy, and this involves their eating habits too.
If you purchase a bowl that has nothing securing it in place, it will likely travel around your floor as they’re eating, spilling food everywhere and potentially tipping over.
This is why it’s a great idea to purchase a bowl for your puppy which has rubber bottoms preventing it from slipping around the kitchen.
If you’re not able to easily find such a bowl, then you can just go ahead and purchase a silicone based mat, that you can simply place underneath the bowl, and voila! No food tipping whatsoever.
In addition to purchasing the correct type of bowl, you should also consider buying elevated ones if your puppy is of a larger sized breed.
You can purchase ones that are on a stand, so that they don’t have to crane their necks down unnaturally. This will be kinder to their joints, as well as aiding your new puppy with digestion.
Buying Food For Your Puppy
When you first enter the grocery store, and are faced with a whole host of different foods that you can purchase for your puppy, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. Especially considering that all of them seem to vary so greatly from one another.
The first thing you need to consider when purchasing food for your puppy is that you’re buying one that is of the highest quality.
You want to make sure that what you’re feeding them will set them up for a nutritious and long life. What they eat in the puppy stage when they’re still developing is very important, so you need to make the right selection.
Buying the right food for your puppy will also prevent a lot of stress and hassle down the line, with things such as medication, costs related to health, and veterinary bills. This is why it’s so important to do your research ahead of time.
There are lots of different options out there, some of which include kibble, dried food, raw, and cooked food. The type of food that you choose for your puppy out of these options will be largely determined by the type of breed they are. For example, a working labrador will have very different dietary needs to that of a chihuahua.
The best thing you can do for your puppy is to read up on their breed as much as possible online to refine your search for the best food brands for them.
If you have a puppy that has been mixed with two or more different breed types and you’re unsure, you can simply consult your veterinarian to get the best advice.
Whenever you’re purchasing food or treats for your dog, you should always read the nutritional information found on the back of the packet. I recommend that you avoid foods that have a large percentage of ‘filler’ items, such as soy, wheat, or corn, as they usually won’t be the most nutritious.
Bedding For Your Puppy
When you first bring your new puppy home, you’ll want their first night to be as comfortable as possible. This means making sure that you purchase the right kind of bedding for them. Again, the kind of bedding that you choose for your puppy will largely depend on what kind of breed they are.
For example, a plush and furry bed that gets warm easily may not be the best bedding for a german shepherd, that’s already covered in a coat full of fur.
Likewise, if you have a short haired dog, and you live in a cooler climate, it will be better to buy them something that will ensure that they don’t get too cold at night. You can help make your puppy as comfortable as possible again simply by researching their breed.
In addition to purchasing a bed for your new puppy, it is also a good idea to invest in a crate. Crates are beneficial for many different reasons, especially during their first week at home. Their crate will become their own personal space that they can retreat to if they’re ever feeling nervous or uneasy.
It will allow them to feel safe, as well as being an excellent tool for training your puppy in a whole host of different areas. These include potty training, building confidence, and aiding in separation anxiety.
Bathing Your Puppy
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re keeping your new pup squeaky clean, especially considering just how messy puppies can be.
You may be tempted to use your own soaps and shampoos on your new puppy, thinking that if they’re good enough for you, they’re good enough for them.
This just isn’t the case however. Human shampoos can contain a lot of different chemicals that can be irritating for dogs. The pH of dog skin is also different to human skin.
This is why it’s best to purchase a shampoo and soap that is specifically designed for dogs, these will have been perfectly tailored to your puppy’s needs.
If you do, however, still decide on bathing them with human shampoo, make sure that you read the label to ensure that it’s made from all natural ingredients, with no added chemicals. I would recommend only using a sensitive fragrance free baby shampoo.
Although as we previously mentioned, puppies can be incredibly messy, it’s best to avoid bathing them all the time at the beginning.
This is because their skin is so incredibly sensitive, that washing them too regularly can irritate their soft skin and cause it to become dry. In order to avoid bathing them regularly, you can purchase products to freshen up your puppy, such as sprays and wipes.
Perhaps if they are not too dirty you can even just rinse your puppy in warm water and dry.
It’s also important to invest in a good brush in order to keep your puppies’ locks smooth and tangle free. It may not seem all that important if your dog is a short haired breed, but they can still incur matting over time, so it’s best to pick up one that’s specifically designed for short haired dogs.
If your dog is toy sized, you can use a smaller brush on their coat, such as a cat brush. These will work perfectly on their small bodies.
Another thing to consider buying in order to keep your puppy in tip top condition is a little brush for their teeth. Oral hygiene is important for dogs too! According to the size of your dog’s mouth, you can purchase a suitable brush that will work for them.
I highly recommend finger brushes for all breeds and find that dogs often tolerate these better than traditional rigid brushes
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will prevent them from becoming yellow and discolored over time. It will also stop them from accumulating food in their gums, which is the most important thing to look out for when brushing.
Finally, brushing on a regular basis also will help to prevent gum disease as they age, which can become quite serious.
Play Items For Your Puppy
Now that we’ve considered all of the essential items that you will need to have at hand when you first welcome your new puppy into your home, let’s take a look at play items.
Keeping your puppy happy and diverted from mischief is incredibly important, especially in the first week as they may be feeling uncomfortable with their new surroundings. This is why it’s important to purchase a variety of toys to keep them occupied.
The best types of toys for playing with your puppy are ones that they can fetch for you, like a ball or a kong. Kongs are great too because of their rubbery material which allows them to chew away.
You can also put treats and food items inside kongs too, so it will be a fun distraction for them trying to retrieve their treat. It’s a great way for rewarding them for chewing the correct items, rather than your favorite pair of shoes.
In addition to this, you’ll want to purchase additional chew toys for your puppy at the beginning. They’ll be teething, and will need something to expend on to relieve their frustration.
This is what causes puppies to chew on furniture, or even you. Purchasing chew toys will be a salvation for you in those first few months.
It can seem a bit overwhelming at first when you’re planning on welcoming a new puppy into your life, it feels as though there’s just so much to buy. Read over this guide a few times and create a list of items to purchase.
You can then research the different items, such as food and bedding, in more detail, according to the breed of dog you’re planning on buying for. Do this, and your puppy will have the best first week possible in their new home.
I absolutely love this video from the McCann’s where they walkaround the store giving tips on everything they use.
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