If you’re welcoming a new little guy or gal into your home, then it’s good to be prepared before they arrive. I’ve adopted animals unexpectedly (yes, I’m a sucker for those that suddenly need a place to call home), and I’ve had to make do with what’s in the house until I could get what I needed for them.
At the very least, your new puppy will need a bed, toys, food and water bowls, and a good-quality dry food. But there are other things you’ll need to keep your pup happy and healthy…
My recommendation: Barkbox 2-in-1 Memory Foam Dog Bolster Bed from Amazon
Price range: $53.99 – $94.99
Cheaper option: Furhaven Pet – Calming, anti-anxiety round dog bed from Amazon
Price Range: $18.99 – $59.99
I find that puppies love to snuggle in a dog bed that has raised sides, as this snuggling makes them feel safe.
You also want a puppy bed that can be washed in the machine because who doesn’t like easy cleaning?
If you have a small- or medium-size breed, then simply buy a bed with raised sides that should be big enough for your dog when he/she grows up. Add blankets for your puppy to snuggle in, and you won’t have to buy another bed when they get older.
It’s worth investing in a good bed as this is something your dog will use every day for many years to come.
Adult large breed dogs tend to prefer flat beds without raised sides, as they feel the heat easily and often enjoy lying flat out on their sides rather than curling up like smaller dogs. If you have a large-breed puppy, they’ll still need a snuggly bed with raised sides to snuggle in until they get older.
If your puppy is anxious and struggles to sleep (whining and crying at night), or gets terrified when there’s lightning or fireworks, consider getting this Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid. It’s a plush puppy to cuddle that has a real-feel heartbeat, so puppy thinks he’s with his mom or sibling. There’s also a warming pad for cold nights.
I work from home, so I’ve never had to use puppy training pads. I have had to wake up several times a night to take a puppy outside for toilet breaks though…
If you go to work during the day or you want to sleep through the night, you can give your puppy training pads to use when nature calls (and they can’t get outside).
I searched Amazon for the highest ratings and best price, and these charcoal puppy training pads tick all the boxes.
My recommendation: Dog Chew Toys for Teething Puppies (14 toys) from Amazon
Price range: $19
All puppies get teeth. And when puppies grow teeth, they need to chew on things like a teething baby does.
You want to give your pup lots of things to chew on before he/she chooses things you don’t want chewed (anyone seen my new pair of shoes?)
I’ve found that getting a pack of toys for one low price is the best way to keep your pup entertained and to find out what toys he likes to play with, before you buy any more. I have one dog that loves balls and squeaky toys, and another dog that ignores them completely.
I’ve tried real teething toys for human babies, iced in the fridge, but my dogs didn’t bother with those.
At the very least, look into getting this Nylabone beef-flavored puppy chew from Amazon, so your puppy has something good to sink his baby teeth into.
My recommendation: Royal Canin Puppy Dry Dog Food from Amazon
Price range: $16 – $40 (2.5 – 13 lb)
I’m a big fan of the Royal Canin brand for puppies and adult dogs. They have pellets for x-small, small, medium, large, and giant breed puppies, and options for many specific breeds, such as French Bulldogs, Poodles, and German Shepherds.
I really like the balance between this being a high-quality dog food and the affordable price. Plus, my dogs love it.
Puppy Food Bowl
My recommendation: Slow Feeder Dog Bowl from Amazon
Price range: $9 – $15
If your puppy is a greedy little thing and gulps down food (hint: most puppies are), it’s a good idea to get a slow feeder. My adult boy still uses his puzzle for every meal.
These feeders have ‘puzzles’ in them, so your pup has to dig out food between the puzzle lines. This really slows down the eating process, which is much better for your dog.
Many people buy their puppies a steel food bowl but mine have never liked steel. I think it bothers them when they knock it with their teeth.
Puppy Water Bowl
My recommendation: Dogit Water Bowl – Non-skid from Amazon
Price range: $16
I want my dogs drinking lots of water, so I give them what they love – big water bowls that get filled with fresh water daily.
I recommend getting a water bowl with rubber underneath, to stop your puppy from pushing it around and tipping over the water bowl.
Or you can get a silicone feeding mat like this one from Amazon to put under the food and water bowls, which should keep the bowls in place and make cleaning up easier.
Puppy treats are smaller than regular dog treats so puppies can chew them (their mouth and teeth are smaller than an adult dog’s). Puppy treats are also made with ingredients to give puppies the vitamins and nutrients they need to help them grow.
When it comes to anything your dog eats, be sure to buy brands you know and trust. Please don’t ever buy cheap treats online because you never know what’s going into the treats (and into your puppy). Remember that people can brand anything and sell it to you online, so don’t just trust that what you see on the box is what you’re going to get.
If it’s too cheap to be true, it probably is!
I buy all dog treats with my regular groceries from the store. I look for anything that’s on sale to buy in bulk and I only buy brands I recognize.
Some puppy treat brands you can trust are: Zukes, Old Mother Hubbard, Full Moon, Pupford, and Greenies.
Alternatively, you can make your own puppy treats at home if you have the time. There are many recipes available online.
I only use shampoo from my vet – your vet will be able to recommend the best shampoo for your dog.
I personally don’t like putting sudsy chemicals on my dogs and making them smell like berries because I don’t believe that’s natural or good for their skin.
If you do want to use a hypoallergenic, organic shampoo for puppy baths, then the 4-Legger Certified All Natural brand is very popular on Amazon.
Remember not to wash your puppy too often, or you’ll upset the natural balance in his skin.
My recommendation: Rogz H-Harness from Amazon
Price range: $19
Walks should be part of puppy’s life to get out all that energy, discover the world, and to socialize with other dogs and people.
But you don’t want puppy running off and getting lost.
I’m not a fan of step-in harnesses (sorry to all of those who are). I wasted money on these harnesses and ended up throwing them away because my dogs would just climb out of them mid-walk.
I’m a Rogz H-Harness girl – all my dogs have an H-Harness and lead because they CAN’T get out of these harnesses and disappear on me.
These harnesses come in different sizes and can be adjusted, so you might be able to get away with buying one that your pup can use in adulthood too.