Here is our ultimate puppy checklist so you can make sure you have everything you need for your new puppy.
Harness - This will help stop any damage being done to your puppy's throat and neck if they are pulling on the lead. Using one will also allow the puppy to get their head into a more natural position for sniffing, this will help slow down the walk.
Lead - (4-6 feet) This will help keep your puppy close whilst out walking and also aid training inside and outside your home.
Bed - Somewhere soft and comfortable for your puppy to get lots of much-needed rest.
Hot water bottle - To give the puppy something comfortable to snuggle up to.
Feeding Time Bowls - One for freshwater, one for food. Raised dishes are also available for large breed puppies.
Food - Raw, dry or wet or a mixture, the choice is yours. Do your own research and be sure you are feeding a well balanced, nutritious diet.
Treats - So many to choose from! Always read the labels. Our advice is, packs with the least ingredients are usually the best.
Treat pouch - All dog trainers (that whats you are now!) carry a treat bag, especially during those early weeks. You can easily get your puppy's attention and also capture those moments the puppy offers desired behaviours. It won't be long till the puppy realises all good things come from you (and your treat pouch).
Poo bags - Lots and lots of poo bags. We have an IMDT saying "Two is one, one is none". If you take 2 poo bags out with you, your puppy will go 3 times. It WILL happen trust us, we're dog trainers.
Puppy Pad - For puppies that can't go outside quickly, e.g. those living in apartment or flats. While we suggest that the puppy is taking outside to the toilet as often as physically possible, training your puppy to the toilet on the pads should be seen as an alternative option. TIP puppy pads are super absorbent - perfect to clean up the mess so cut a few up and keep them handy.
Enzymatic cleaner - Puppies will keep returning to the same area to do their business. These cleaners help to remove the odours and will therefore deter your puppy from this behaviour.
Pet-Friendly disinfectant - While enzymatic cleaner will help remove the smell. You will need to disinfectant the area first to get rid of bacteria as well.
MAKE SURE ANY CLEANERS YOU USE ARE PET FRIENDLY!
Brush and comb - Which type you need will depend on your puppy's fur type. Soft puppy brushes are available which are gentle enough to allow them to slowly get used to the feeling of being brushed.
Toothbrush and paste - Yes you read that right! Getting your puppy used to teeth cleaning in the early days is essential to their oral hygiene.
Shampoo/Conditioner - Make sure you buy puppy shampoo it is much milder for your puppy's fur and delicate skin.
Nail Clippers - All dogs need their nails clipped at some stage. However if you don't have experience doing it we honestly believe it is a job best left to the professionals.
Chew Toys - An absolute MUST for teething puppies. Giving a puppy a good quality, durable chew toy will save your hands, feet, furniture and shoes.
Rope Toys - Puppies love to get their sharp little gnashers into rope toys they are simply fun to chew through. They are also great for playing tug, during play you can also begin to teach the DROP/OUT cue.
Squeaky Toys - Soft squeaky toys are a fantastic way to teach fetch. Puppies will love chasing that squeaky toy. You may want to source a more durable one if you have a puppy who likes the chase and kill game. Terrier owners, you understand right?
Interactive Toys - Kongs, snuffle mats, balls that release treats, puzzles to name a few. Stimulating your puppy's brain is a great way to keep them entertained. They can be invaluable for crate training.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR PUPPY WHILE THEY ARE PLAYING WITH THEIR TOYS! The Trainer's Best Tools
Crate - Used correctly it can be the ultimate training tool! It can help speed up toilet training or be a safe place for your puppy to be when you can't fully supervise them. Most importantly it can become your puppies safe space or den. The place they choose to go to. Where they are happy to relax alone with their chew toys or to just get some much-needed rest.
Puppy Pen - In addition to their crate this can be a play area for your puppy to enjoy some interactive feeding or chew toys. It will mean they are safe when you can't physically watch them.
Baby Gates - A great way to block rooms or areas of your home that you don't want the puppy to access while they are still being house trained.
The Legal Stuff
Dog Tag and Collar - By law your puppy must wear a tag with your name and address written or inscribed on it when they are out in public places.
Microchip - This may be done by the breeder or research centre. If not, your vet will usually do it as part of your puppy package. It is however your responsibility to make sure the information help on the chip is valid and up to date with the microchip company. Dog licence - All dog owners in Northern Ireland must have a licence for their dog. You can only apply for a licence with a valid microchip number.
Car Seat Belt - This one usually is a surprise to dog owners. Rule 57 of the Highway Code states "When in a vehicle, dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving, or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly." Failure to do so could result in a fine.
Just a little food for thought
Insurance - Most, but not all vets, will offer you one free month of insurance. Please really consider insuring your new puppy after this free period runs out. We have see several puppies still in puppy classes that needed veterinary treatment, and it is not cheap! Puppies pick up and chew everything, the potential to swallow a foreign object is huge. We know some clients have been advised to save the money a month themselves. Puppy insurance can be as little as £10 per month. Say you saved that amount for one year it would not even cover the £140 charge you need to pay before you even get to see the emergency vet!
Puppy Training - Training will start the moment you bring your puppy home. Investing in puppy training classes or one to one sessions will be one of the best investments you will ever make. Early training and socialisation is so beneficial, not only for your puppy but for the whole family. Avoid trainers who use harsh methods. Teaching your puppy using kind training methods will help you build a loving bond with your puppy and is more effective than punishment! Training can be really fun and you and your puppy will learn so much about each other's worlds.
TRUST US and you will THANK US later.