There are a lot of items to purchase when you have a puppy coming home, but we have pulled together a list of the top 10 essentials that you need before you bring a puppy home.
A CRATE (AKA BEDROOM)
Whether you intend to crate train or not, a crate is an excellent idea to have in the puppy stage. Don’t think of a crate as a ‘cage’, but rather your puppy’s bedroom or safe place. You don’t have to lock them in there or even close the door. Just cover the back, top and sides with a large blanket and throw some treats inside to get them used to this being their special place. Check out Kmart before spending big dollars at the pet store.
Chances are that your puppy will have lots of accidents when toilet training and old towels or rags are a great go-to for clean-up. Just make sure they’re all washed in hot water after wiping a spill. These also work great as crate liners instead of blankets or dog beds. Keeping a nappy bucket in the laundry (with a lid on!) filled with some Napisan will help keep all your rags in one place until you have enough to do a full load.
Let me explain. The very best place for your puppy to go to the toilet is OUTSIDE, but it’s a good idea to have a pack of puppy pads when you bring your new guy home for their crate. Put the pads underneath an old towel or two so you can’t see them. This way, if puppy toilets in their crate and it’s dry by morning, you will be able to lift the towel and see the stained pad!
WATER DISH + FOOD BOWL
Don’t splash a lot of cash on these until your pup has fully grown. You might come to learn in the following months that your pup doesn’t like drinking out of a bowl, but rather prefers to drink from a fountain and they like their dinner off a plate. Spoiled much?!
Every puppy needs blankets to snuggle into! Make sure these are easily washable in case you have any accidents on them. Also choosing a fleece fabric rather than a woven fabric is a better idea as little puppy claws and teeth have a way of pulling threads (that goes for your favourite jumpers too!)
Choose your toys carefully. Some cheaper toys are easily destroyed and ingested by puppies resulting in trips to the emergency vet. Your pet store can give you advice on the particular toys that could be right for your little fluff ball.
COLLAR & LEASH
This is the most fun thing to get for any new puppy - their first ‘official outfit’! Collars are important because if your little guy happens to go wandering around the neighbourhood, they'll always be able to find their way back home. Leashes are equally important to keep your puppy safe from cars and people, and also from larger dogs while out walking. Barker and Bone have you covered in this department!
HARNESS FOR THE CAR
It’s illegal to travel in the car with an unrestrained animal, so it’s safer for everyone that you have a harness for the car. Some people choose to lay a towel on the back seat of the car and connect their harness to the seatbelt with an adaptor, and some people buy a special car seat. There is no right way, as long as puppy is clipped in with a harness.
GOOD QUALITY FOOD + TREATS
To start with, you should use the food that your breeder gives you for the first few weeks until your little guy settles into life with you. After this if you would like to switch foods, do so slowly over the course of a week or two. Sudden changes in diet can upset puppy’s tummy. If you want to supercharge your toilet training efforts, only give your puppy treats when he goes to the toilet in the right spot.
I know, you’re thinking “what?!” – you need a torch to help with toilet training at night-time. Puppies are very VERY close to the ground and at night it can be hard to tell if they’re actually going to the toilet or if they’re standing still for a second. This can be made even more difficult if your puppy is black.