Getting a canine partner-in-crime can be a dream come true for any dog lover. However, just like babies, puppies will need more than just a stable home. So, today, I will cover the essential things you need to buy for your new puppy.
Wondering which are the 13 essential things you should buy for your new puppy? Aside from a roof over their smooshy heads, you’ll need to think in terms of food, containment, and health. You should consider investing in:
- Metal crates and beds
- Leashes and harnesses
- Healthy food, food, and water bowls
- ID tags
- Pee pads
In researching this article, I found a lot of useful information on taking care of your new puppy. Keep reading to find answers to many of the questions you may have.
I’ll mention my recommended pick under each subheading.
1. Metal Dog Crate
Here’s the deal about crates. To us, they might seem like doggy jail. But that’s not how your new canine pal thinks. To them, it is more like a den – someplace where they will feel safe and secure. Dogs like to get away from the noisiness of the household for naps. And regardless of their age, most dogs love having this kind of enclosure to tune out the world.
A crate isn’t a way of punishing your dog, so you can make it as cozy and relaxing as you want. For instance, you could add some stuffed toys and chews to it. One bit of advice, invest in a metal crate that will comfortably house the fully grown version of your dog. You can add a divider for when the pup is still small. A metal crate should be first on your list of what to buy for a new puppy. It serves as a safe space to keep your pup when you don’t want them left unsupervised or underfoot.
Additionally, crates can make it easier for you to travel with your new pup. They will stay snug even on a plane if there’s a crate. But these structures are also useful on the road. Say, you get into an accident while driving. The box will ensure that the furball doesn’t get hurled around or injured.
Finally, if you dream of entering your pup into shows and competitions, crates are a great choice. The pooch can hang out with the other contestants. And, they can also lounge or nap when they want to!
2. Puppy Leashes
The next thing that should be on your list is a leash. Go with one that is lightweight and durable. Pups notorious chewers with needle-sharp teeth, so the leash needs to be durable. Nylon leashes tend to be sturdier than cotton and less expensive than leather. Choose a leash that is easy to attach and has a heavy-duty metal hook and a classic loop handle.
Aside from that, you’ll also want to keep the leash short. A good length would be about 4 to 6 feet. You want to allow your puppy some freedom of movement without too much space for roaming into trouble.
Another factor to consider during leash-shopping is its thickness. How big your puppy is their age will both matter here. For larger sized pooches, a thicker and heavier leash would be better. Most brands also offer these products in various colors. You can pick one that you think suits your dog. Lastly, here’s why a good quality leash is one of the essential things to buy for a new puppy. It will be great for daily use, but it will also serve you well when training them.
3. Food and Water Bowls
Fish gotta swim, puppies love ta eat—food and water bowls as essential items. Moreover, having a familiar bowl to use every day helps give your puppy a sense of belonging.
Puppies being puppies, all the world is a toy on which to chew. Don’t purchase anything they can easily knock over or chew. Sturdy bowls made of stainless steel or ceramic are harder to tip over and are less likely to be eaten. Additionally, dishes that have a rubber strip around the bottom won’t slide around easily. Choose bowls that are dishwasher-friendly. Ceramic is easy to wash by hand, as well.
Finally, once you consult with a vet, you’ll know how much food your pet will need. But bowls that can hold a liter of water are usually a safe bet.
4. Puppy Food
Typically, your dog should eat puppy food for up to six months or a year. Your vet will have specific recommendations for your puppy. Generally, a growing dog needs a balanced diet. That means choosing a brand of puppy food that provides them with the right proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
5. ID Tags
Due to the onslaught of thunderous noise, thousands of dogs go missing every year around the 4th of July. A personalized ID tag is a must-have for emergencies. If your pup were to go missing, the tag would have your information on it. Anyone who finds them could follow it to you. When considering what to buy for a new puppy, ID tags should be on your list. Think of them as your new puppy’s ticket home if they’re lost. Helpful information to include on the tags would be:
- Your name
- Their name
- Where you live
- Your phone numbers
- Social media handles (optional)
- Additional phone number (optional)
Since the canine cannot talk, your info will help someone who finds them contact you.
The best spot for the placement of an identification tag is on your dog’s collar. However, remember that collars can get lost. Therefore, plan for that situation by having your pet microchipped. Since a vet will implant the chip, it is the best way for you to ensure that your lost baby comes home.
A collar is a good option for a puppy that doesn’t pull on or fight the leash. However, collars can sometimes be stressful on the neck and throat. A harness distributes the pressure placed on your dog more evenly and without stress to the throat or neck.
While traveling with your dog, you should secure them in one of two ways:
- Ideally, place them in their crate or get a fixed car cage.
- Or, secure them with a car seat harness.
With the first option, your puppy will feel more relaxed and be safer because they have their own space during the journey. Even so, many vehicles might not have space for a crate. In that case, you don’t want them to feel confined while surrounded by a pile of luggage. A bit of research will show you that different options are available for harnesses. That means you can choose between a head halter, body harness, or chest harness. For small-breed dogs, chest and body harnesses will work fine. But if your pup is on the larger size, you might want to opt for a halter or leader.
7. Poop Bags & Scoops
Walks and daily exercise are healthy for growing puppies. But we’d suggest not forgetting the other main reason for taking them outside, e.g., pooping. You should always be prepared to pick up your dog’s poop when outdoors. Not only will that keep the environment clean. But it also protects other people’s pets who might come across it. The thing is that dog stool can contain various intestinal parasites or diseases. Leaving it as is increases the chances of other dogs catching those!
So add poop bags to your list of things to buy for a new puppy. Oh, and don’t get any old thin, flimsy bag. We suggest that you stock up on leak-proof bags to keep the waste where it belongs. Environmentally-conscious pet owners should know that there are environmentally friendly poop bags too! Finally, if you have a backyard where your canine buddy can potty, add a pooper scooper to your list.
Just as cats will scratch on every piece of furniture available to them, a dog’s natural urge is to chew. Even when your puppy grows up, consider chewing part of their daily lives. You will want to provide them with something acceptable to chew on before they decide for themselves. Also, don’t mistake a toy to serve as a chew because the two aren’t the same!
Since many different types of chews are available, you will have a lot of choices. For example, you can select a real chew or a synthetic one. Real chews include:
- Bully sticks
- Sweet potato
- Corn starch
Synthetic ones, such as the hand-knotted rope chews, rubber, and nylon chews, are okay to use too. Just observe your dog’s behavior when they take it for a test drive. Any signs of GI distress would indicate you need an alternative. What’s more, you can get your vet to guide you on the type of chew best for a developing puppy.
Essentially, a clicker is a device that makes a sound. Training a puppy with it requires teaching them to follow a command when you use the clicker. Since it is a type of positive reinforcement, reward your puppy each time you click. The click means that what you did is correct; here is your treat.
You can use a clicker to teach your puppy various things. For instance, they can learn:
- The meaning of sit, down, and stay.
- Fetching the remote.
- Getting the paper or your slippers.
Toys are an essential part of your puppy’s mental enrichment! The chew is more for keeping them from wrecking the furniture than fun. For the latter, you’ll need to get more creative. We mention several options below:
Puzzles provide places for you to hide treats. Your puppy will need to figure out how to get at the treats. It is a mentally stimulating game that can keep your dog engaged for quite some time, depending on the puzzle. Besides these advantages, a puzzle also helps to lessen any separation anxiety that a dog may feel when you’re at work. Look for puzzles that can easily be frozen to add to the challenge. Aside from exercising their minds, these puzzles will also keep the pooch busy when you want some quiet time.
How about this one?
These toys will let your pup get all their excess energy out. You might not always have time to take them for long walks. Chase toys can ensure your dog exercises even inside!
Most of us love to cuddle. Your puppy might like it too! Indulge them by buying them plush toys. Other than being fun to play with, plush toys are good for two more reasons. One, they can calm down stressed out pups. And, two, imagine how cute your fur baby would look toting around a stuffed teddy or bunny!
Puppies will need a bed for more than just sleeping. It will also help them feel secure. My suggestion would be to look for a bed that is removable, machine washable, and has a waterproof base. Most of these qualities will be helpful for when the dog has an accident on the bed! Something that withstands their sharp teeth will also work!
However, since they will most likely grow out of it, don’t spend a fortune on their first bed. As long as it’s comfortable and durable, any good quality bed will do.
12. Dog Camera
Of course, you should take thousands of pictures of every cute thing your puppy does. But I’d recommend also getting a dog camera. For the initial few months, employ it to keep an eye on your dog. See how well they’re doing with being in a new place. Find out how they deal with being left alone.
A camera that has good audio and video, a wide lens, and night vision would be a good choice. Splurge and get one that comes with two-way audio. It might come in handy when you need to calm down a stressed-out puppy! Some also send bark alerts to your phone. Should an intruder, for instance, alarm your dog, you’ll know instantly!
13. Pee Pads
The American Kennel Club reports that it can take months to potty train puppies. Even after that, they might still have accidents and go where they’re not supposed to go. And during training, the dog will need time to get used to the going outside routine to pee. Fortunately, you may prepare for this with pee-pee pads.
These useful items will not just absorb the pee. They will also resist leakage and control odor. If you have trouble potty training your dog, check out these tips from the Animal Humane Society.
I’ve recommended the items mentioned above in regards to what to buy for a new puppy. Carefully, I mixed in things that are good for your pup’s health, well-being, and survival. Finally, make sure you have these essentials before you bring your new fur baby home. Because it’s all about helping them settle in and know they’re loved!