What You Need For Your First Puppy
You’ve got a new member of the family! They’re adorable, full of fun, a bundle of energy, and the centre of attention. Your new puppy is a delight, and it’s no surprise that everyone is excited about the new arrival.
However, puppies (just like babies) come with bags of ‘stuff’ that they need to keep them happy, healthy, and well fed. If you’ve never had a puppy before, here’s a quick checklist of the things you’ll need to make sure they settle in and are looked after properly in those vital first few months.
Food and water bowls
Giving your puppy their own food and water bowls isn’t just about having something to put their food in. It’s part of their early training programme, and teaches them where to find their food (and to leave other dishes alone!). Pick dishes that are easily cleaned and chew-proof, but make sure the lip isn’t so high that the puppy has to strain to get to the food. As your puppy grows, you may have to get larger bowls, but don’t be tempted to get adult-size bowls straight away, as it’ll make meal times difficult for your puppy. Heavy-bottomed bowls are also harder to knock over. A washable mat is a good idea so it’s easy to mop up messy mealtime spills.
Microchips and collars
By law, all dogs should have a collar with a tag stating the owner’s name and address (a telephone number is also a good idea). Make sure you buy a puppy-sized collar that won’t slip off. Micro-chipping is a great way to make sure your puppy can always be reunited with you if it’s lost. The process is quick, painless, and can be done by your vet when you take your puppy in for its first round of jabs.
If you don’t want your furniture to be chewed to pieces in seconds, make sure you get your puppy some chew toys to sink their little teeth into. Dogs love to chew, it’s instinctive for them, so give them something that’s safe, non-toxic, robust, and suitable for puppies. Or start planning on buying new furniture…
Puppies are like children – they love to play. Toys keep them alert, interested and curious, as well as fit. Things like frisbees, balls and rope tugs are great fun, and they also give you a chance to bond with your puppy, and keep them fit with plenty of exercise.
Vet bills, even for a tiny puppy, can be astronomical. Make sure your puppy and your pocket are looked after by taking out pet insurance as early as you can. The alternative, even for something like a sprained paw, could run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Pups love to be cuddled, but like kids, they may not behave when you’re trying to groom them. Use soft brushes that won’t drag at their skin but will get rid of tangles. For bath times, look for dog shampoos suitable for puppies, rather than adult pets.
There’s going to be trips to the vet and days out, but having an excited puppy bouncing around in a moving car is a very bad idea. Travel crates and cages are the safe way to transport your pet, and can be used indoors as a sleeping pen, too.
Stairs can be a challenge for puppies, but you already know that your pup loves adventures, including a set of stairs! Keep them off limits until they’ve got a better sense of balance and coordination by fitting a stair gate.
A new home is unsettling for a puppy, so to make them feel more comfortable, ask the person you’re getting the puppy from to provide you with some of the food they’re used to. If you’re going to change their diet, do it gradually over a week or so, as sudden changes can upset their stomachs. Pick food that’s designed for puppies, as it will have been nutritionally balanced to cater to growing dogs.
Other things you’ll need include poop bags, for when you’re out and about with your pup, and training leads, harnesses and a water-resistant dog bed for those early day mishaps. Get your puppy used to the lead indoors before you go out for your first walk (after they’ve had their jabs). Collect a stack of newspaper, for those little accidents at home (they’re inevitable in the early days!). A dog first aid kit is useful too, including tick removal devices.
Most importantly of all, make sure your puppy has lots of cuddles, attention, and love!
By Raised By Humans