All the things you need for your new puppy

Adding a new furry friend to your family is a huge cause for celebration! If you’re trying to find ways to fend off excited fidgets while you wait for your new fur child to come live with you, we suggest a little retail therapy. Dogs don’t need much, but what they do need is important for making them comfortable and happy in your new home.

Toys, toys, toys!

Your dog doesn’t need a ton of toys, just a few old reliables they can always play with and chew on. Choose sturdy toys made for hard wear, and consider a mix of hard, rubber, and soft plush toys. I like starting with a rope toy, a high quality Kong ball, and a stuffed animal or two. Pick toys that will be the right size for your puppy, since too-big toys will be hard for small pups to play with and too-tiny toys can be a choking hazard for larger breeds. Always supervise your pet when they’re using toys to make sure they aren’t in danger of choking.

Pick a quality crate.

Crates aren’t meant for punishment. Think of them as your dog’s room. A crate is their place to rest, nap, or take a few minutes for themselves if they get overwhelmed. Find the right size crate—a pet store or pet clinic can help you choose what’s right for your dog—and add a few cozy blankets or towels. If linens are old, clip any frayed pieces since they can be choking hazards. In addition to a crate, your pup should have a cushy, appropriately sized bed for resting time outside their kennel.

Dinner time!

Get one set of good quality food and water bowls for your dog. Ceramic bowls may be decorated with cute designs, but they are also dangerous because small pieces can crack off and harm your dog. Our favorite dog bowl is by Durapet. It’s metal, easy to wash, and has a nonslip rubber grip on the bottom to keep floors dry. Talk to your local pet clinic or animal hospital about the best type of food for your pet and how to start transitioning them to the brand of food you and your veterinarian choose.

Mark your territory.

Every pet should have a comfortable, safe, clearly visible collar with their name tag and contact information easily available. These great collars from Kong are soft, simple to adjust as your dog grows, and have a sturdy buckle. Couple your collar with a well constructed leash to get your dog used to walking outside as soon as possible.

Grooming supplies are a must.

Even if you plan to take your dog to a groomer, you should be prepared to brush them regularly. Choose a brush that suits your pet’s fur—curly or straight, fine or thick. Brushing cuts down on shedding and tangles and is also a great bonding opportunity between you and your animal. If grooming at home, consider investing in a nail dremel over clippers, which will reduce chances of cuts and makes nails less sharp than guillotine clippers. This model is inexpensive at just $25 and does a great job.

You don’t need much for your new pup, but having these items on hand will ensure they come home to a welcome place where they can feel like part of the family right away.

Brent Bilhartz

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