There are a number of things you should have in place before you bring home your puppy for the first time. Be prepared!
Choosing the right products for your little new pet can be an exciting experience and there is plenty to choose from. If you take a stroll through any pet department store, pet boutique or big-box retailer, you will come across aisles and aisles of premium food, toys, plush beds, and treats of every size and shape. Yes, it will be tempting to blow away your money on your pup, but she really deserves it. Whether you are a novice dog owner or not, here are five accessories that you need to have in place to make your furry friend’s homecoming nice and smooth.
Leash and collar
Your puppy will need a leash and a collar the day you bring her home. A leash, which attaches to the collar, is required when you walk your pup. A collar, fancy or plain, carries your pup’s identification tag and dog’s licence (in the US), which lists your contact information. Make sure you invest in a collar that will fit your puppy perfectly, and you may even want to look into an extendible one so you do not have to purchase another collar as the puppy blossoms into a large dog. For your comfort, look for a leash that has an easy-to-grip loop.
Containment and crates
Your puppy also needs a crate for feeling safe and to have a little house of her own. Not only is it a key aspect in potty training, but also a great place to keep your puppy safe while you are not home. Besides a crate, you will also need a playpen exercise pen, or gate upon bringing home your new friend. When selecting a dog carrier or crate, make sure your puppy can stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch properly inside. Although dogs prefer small spaces, they also like a little bit of room to properly relax and feel comfortable.
Puppies love to chew, and they will literally chew anything they come in contact with. By having multiple chew toys in place, you are ultimately protecting your precious belongings from being torn down and ensuring the dental and overall health of your puppy.
The first night your pup comes home, she will need a cozy place to snooze. While you are housebreaking her, you will need her to sleep in her own kennel or crate. Smaller bumper beds and regular beds covered in sheepskin or fleece are designed specifically for this purpose: to keep the little dog cozy and warm while she naps.
Once your puppy is fully trained and ready to be transferred from her kennel to the real dog bed, you can choose from a diverse variety of pillows, dog-sized couches, cushions, and memory-foam mattresses to match your home décor. If your puppy tends to chew her bedding out, immediately replace it with a towel or blanket to prevent choking hazards.
Foods and treats
She may be tiny, but she will certainly have a big appetite. To satiate her big calorie demands for maintaining energy levels and for ensuring the development of healthy skin, organs, coat, and bones. There are a number of special diets formulated for puppies that encourage ‘development and growth’. These diets contain all the essential nutrients, like fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. If you are unsure of which diet is best for your puppy, talk to a pet nutritionist, breeder or veterinarian.
Make sure you already have set up these accessories in advance, mainly because you will be too busy playing with her!
Brad Smith is a family man, lover of animals, and writing enthusiast living out of South Florida. During his free time, Brad can be found spending time with his friends and family relaxing by the sea. Brad currently servers as the content director for TherapyPet.org.