Updated: Apr 26
Just as you prepare for a baby, there is a lot to plan ahead for your new fluffy bundle of joy and the puppy will send you to several stores to get a few essentials, and of course, some cute absolutely non-essential items to splurge on. To make your transition to puppy parenthood easier, here is a list of items I recommend you get ahead of your puppy's arrival so that you are all ready ahead of time and can spend more time with the puppy rather than driving or clicking around.
Be ready to open that wallet 🤑as the costs extend far beyond the cost of your puppy – you have to think about all the essentials and fun items to buy for your dog, in addition to monthly costs for food, regular veterinary services, grooming, boarding and training.
I am not a veterinarian. Any recommendations, tips, product ideas, food, treats, suggestions or advice are simply my opinion as a professional trainer. Please use your best judgment on what works for you and your puppy and please send your suggestions, comments.
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A crate is essential to keep your puppy safe and calm and to potty train. Make sure it is the right size- not too small and not too big. Plan ahead and get one with a divider so it grows with your puppy.
For miniature breeds, small puppies- from 2- 10 pounds, crating is also super critical for potty training, resting time and separation anxiety prevention so here is the smallest model I recommend with the matching crate bed to fit perfectly in there.
A comfy, soothing bed that fits inside the crate, and one you can easily wash and dry. Accidents will happen! Get one that fits inside the crate and better yet, get 2 so you can rotate when one is in the washer/dryer.
A soft crate is another option especially if you travel. I love the sturdy and smooth zippers which helps to zip fast when you have a door dasher. The mesh doors are super convenient for breathability. Feels like your dog very own personal tent! Check the size first
For a 25-30 lbs dog get the 24 H x 21 W x 31 L
For a 40-60 lbs dog get the 28 H x 24 W x 36 L
This A+ Must have is one amazing soothing toy which eases the transition from the puppy environment with his mom and siblings to yours. It will help soothe other behaviors resulting from anxiety, such as whining and barking through natural instinct, not medication. I especially love that it recreates intimacy with physical warmth and a pulsing heartbeat which eases crying, loneliness and separation anxiety. Well worth the $40.00.
A super comfy dog to lounge in outside of the crate.Don't you wish they made one large enough for you?
This one is genius to help with crate training. It secures to your dog's wire crate to make crate training easy by encouraging licking and reducing stress. PERFECT FOR PEANUT BUTTER: Easily spread-in xylitol-free PB, freeze, and voila! I love that it's also EASY TO CLEAN: Food-grade rubber washes easily after use
It's a little pricey but worth every dollar as it provides a safe toy to make the crate a lot more enjoyable.
Look at those two famished doggoes aka babushkas
Feeding bowls- I love stainless steel as it is super easy to clean, it goes in the dishwasher and is low maintenance. For little upchuckers, eating vacuums aka famished puppies, I much prefer stainless steel options for slow feeders as it is easier to clean than their plastic material counteparts since I don't ever put plastic material in the dishwasher as it releases toxic chemicals such as BPA and Phthalates. See below the several bowl options including a non Spill Skid Resistant Silicone set- Works well for puppies and smaller dogs.
A feeding mat will protect your floor and keep the bowls in place. Select the right size and have fun with all the colors offered!
Flat-nosed or brachycephalic dogs, such as Frenchies or Pugs are forced to use their tongue to get to their food instead of their snout so they also enjoy a licking bowl.
For small breeds, or Frenchies/ Pugs, I recommend this slow feeding bowl
For medium size dogs, I recommend this slow feeder bowl (in stainless steel)
For large size dogs, I recommend this one:
I love those especially to calm puppies during zoomies, or in their crate. Just spread peanut butter, pumpkin, greek yogurt or their favorite treats. I like to freeze it so it lasts even longer.
A leak-proof portable Water dispenser that is a one-hand operation so it's very easy to hydrate your pet on the go without resorting to public water fountains or bowls.
A Collapsible Feeding Bowl comes in super handy and I always leave one in my car too.
Carabiners- Can't ever go wrong with an extra set of those for road trips, camping, hiking, etc. Super practical to anchor your puppy to a safe place, or to your belt!
CHEWING TIME- For more on this, click on my Link in Bio for the Professional Chewers Must Have List
A chewing toy- Puppies need to chew and exercice their biting and this is much better done on this toy than on your shoes or your skin!
Make sure you always supervise your dog when using any toy and match them to your puppy chewing strength. Dont use a knock-off brand as they are not strong or durable. Check out this video for some great advice on how to use the Kong.
For puppies, I like the smaller versions like these
For larger breeds, or adult dogs, go with the classic medium size :
For champion chewers aka Shark Teeth, a good clean antler may provide more and longer chew satisfaction to keep your gnaw buddy busy, out of trouble and away from your shoes. Not to mention, they help keep teeth and gums clean by scraping plaque and tartar build-up.
Just don't look, there is sometimes hair still on those.
Turf- Perfect for those who work long hours or live in apartments, or who only have patios, concrete or pavers in their yard. This turf mat offers a spot for your pets to relieve themselves indoors. I love this one as this is a 3-Piece System with a tray that allows liquids to drain to the bottom base tray, so the grass is always dry and ready for use, It's easy to clean up and it dries fast. Get an extra set of replacement mats so that you can have fresh new ones at the ready.
A collar- With this choice of colors, you can accessorize to your own taste or outfit everyday. make sure to get the right size, and get an assorted leash. Ask me for details on how to introduce the collars to your puppy so it's a great experience. I recommend keeping the collar on at all times and attaching and ID tag to it.
When your puppy is fully grown, go all out, and get him some serious jewelry you love!
One of the most important item to get is a dog ID, preferably in a durable, resistant stainless steel material. Whether your puppies accompany you on shared adventures, or unanticipated solo missions, identification is a necessity to ensure their safe return. I also like to hear where they are with the sound of the medals clinging, so they can't hide for long. And the same sound helps alert cats and squirrels too so they can get out of the way!
A 6 ft nylon leash- Get one that matches the collar! - You can't beat the value on this one. Get several of those- Keep one in the car, one by the door, and one by the crate.
I also like a rope leash with high density nylon webbing and a more durable metal leash hook for stronger puppies. The rope structure with neoprene handle offers more control and is more comfortable and I love the easy-to-grab neoprene handle!
A Harness- comes in handy for training, and car trips.
The chest strap is not adjustable. For a safe and fit purchase, check the neck and chest size. Not recommended for bulldogs or pits- see below recommendations for breeds with a large neck and torso. Check the chest size before ordering
Best for large chested dogs such as bulldogs, this simple one click system lets you know if you have the right fit without all the frustrations that fitting other harnesses can cause. As easy to use as a collar, with all the benefits of a harness.
For small-sized dogs: 12-23 lbs
For medium-sized dogs- 23-42 lbs
My car is the ultimate puppy mobile, and it shows. :-( Invest in a cargo mat that can easily be washed, if your dog travels in the cargo area.
A seatbelt teether will keep your puppy safe in the car. Our favorite car tether is a click-and-go that attaches to a dog harness and then clicks directly into your car's seatbelt attachment.
Car seat protection- Puppies will chew up anything, including your car seats, armrests, and sink their teeth into any leather, fabric and plastic for permanent damage. Invest in protection.
Puppy Shampoo- Most breeders use Dawn to wash puppies ??? Well, coming from the Product Development side in personal care, I put more trust in a personal care brand like Burt Bees to have done their due diligence on finding the gentlest and safest formulas for puppies. And it does not hurt that a trusted friend and talented formulator Abena is behind this product! Until Les Pawtounes Cleansing and Refreshing Puppy formula is launched...
Wipes- If you don't like your puppy to bring all the outside dirt inside. Keep a pack of wipes by the doorway and in the car. So practical!
A super soft grooming brush to quickly scrub away dirt, dead skin and loose fur. It leaves pet skin clean and helps restore sheen and luster to the coat. It won’t pull on hair making it a perfect brush for puppies with sensitive skin. Our dog bath brush also increases the effectiveness of shampoo lathering, allowing less product to go further. Achieve a deeper clean than shampooing alone. Love this!
For the in-between baths much needed refresher cleansings, this dry shampoo is a must Its PH balanced, botanical based and it delivers: The rich foam lifts up the dirt and oil to cleanse and refresh without water and it leaves your puppy's fur clean and soft. Great to use during colder weather or for puppies who don’t like getting a bath.
Nail Clippers to clip those sharp razor blades from scratching your skin. I like the safety stop blade that reduces the risk of cutting nails too short! Yes, you can do it, it takes a little practice.
A 15 to 30 ft lead to keep track of your puppy
Great for teaching your puppy recall and other obedience skills, use it as an indoor backyard dog leash, for off leash dog training, and more. I recommend always keeping your puppy on lead to prevent them from getting into trouble, chewing on unwanted items, hiding under sofas or hard to reach places, eating poisonous plants, bothering your cat...
Food is high on the trading list, so you kinda need it on you all the time, especially during walks. Better use a Treat Pouch than have your pockets full of treatos smashing inside.
And now for the fun times, I selected a few favorite toys, the more interactive, the better.
but then again, some of the best toys are the empty plastic salsa tubes from TJ...
No-Stuffing Squeaky toy collection to keep your puppy stimulated.
Those squeaky toys also contain a practical bag for storage so you can take them on the go. Stuffing is such a hazard that it's best to avoid it, even the smallest puppies manage to rip to the stuffing and it not only makes a mad mess but it's a choking hazard.
Sniffing mat for the top sniffers. Keep' em entertained for hours.
For those who want to keep an eye on their pup when they leave the house
A Pet Cam with HD video, wide angle and night vision to check on your puppy anytime 110° and clear night vision. Love the instant push notifications when the camera notices suspicious or abnormal activities. The Key is to position the camera at the right spot so you have a clear view of the puppy activity
FOR YOU TIME
There are a few books I recommend you read ahead of getting the puppy, as great reference materials. Ideally you read these before the puppy gets home. If you don't know where to start and which breed to get, I recommend you contact me for Pet Selection Counseling and read on the complete dog breed listed below.