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Your Puppy Checklist

Bringing home a puppy is super exciting and it’s easy to go spending a fortune on everything small, cute and fluffy, but what do you actually need on your shopping list before puppy arrives?

·      CRATE/PEN – Firstly you will need to consider what you bring puppy home in. A crate with some blankets might be useful. You might want to bring a spare blanket or two in case puppy has an accident on the journey. A crate or a pen at home is also useful, so puppy can have uninterrupted naps throughout the day. Much like a toddler, puppies aren’t capable of telling us when they are tired and need to go to bed.  However when you see they are getting tired they need to be put somewhere to let them get some sleep. A pen or a crate is also a great way to make sure they are safe and not up to mischief when you can’t supervise them. Make sure you introduce this positively and take your time teaching your puppy it’s a great place to be.

·      LIGHTWEIGHT PUPPY LEAD  This is different to your normal lead for walking. A light house lead can be useful for getting puppy out to toilet quickly and stopping them from getting distracted when they do get into the garden. It is also handy to use to guide your puppy away from something they shouldn’t be doing without the need to pick them up.

·      BOWLS – 1 for food and 1 for water. Depending on the size of your puppy these may need to increase in size as they grow!

·      PUPPY FOOD – your puppy will likely come with some food from their previous home and it’s good to keep them on this while they are settling in before weaning them onto something else.

·      CHEWS – One of the biggest challenges facing puppy owners is biting and chewing. Having a good range of chews of different sizes, shapes, textures and tastes on a rotation is really important to keep your puppy interested. Natural chews such as cow hooves, lamb horns, pigs ears, pizzle sticks and wood chews are all great healthy chews that last ages! We sell some here 

·      POO BAGS – the most common thing we always forget!

·      TOYS – When we think about toys it is important we have a range of different ones that meet different needs. Enrichment toys such as puzzles, Kongs and Licki mats are great for keeping your puppy mentally stimulated and for building their confidence and problem solving abilities. A top tip is to soak their dry food in warm water until it becomes a soggy mush and then mash it into the toy, topped with something tasty like banana or yoghurt. Interactive toys can help you and  your dog play together. These toys might have a long handle to protect your hands or a fluffy chaser on the end. These toys can be used on walks or during training. Comfort toys are typically soft toys, but could be rope toys, which your puppy has access to at home all the time, so they  can pick them up whenever they fancy. It is useful to be able to rotate these toys on a regular basis so your puppy doesn’t get bored of them.

·      COLLAR/HARNESS – It is useful to get your puppy used to wearing a collar and harness as young as possible. Harnesses are a little safer than collars for growing puppies who will move erratically when on lead and might injure themselves. Picking up harnesses second-hand while they are still growing is a much cheaper option!

·      IDENTITY TAG – By law your puppy must have an ID tag on their collar which contains the owner’s name, address and postcode but a phone number is also recommended.

·      CARPET/FLOOR CLEANER – Your puppy will have the odd toileting accident so make sure you have a suitable cleaner for your type of flooring. It is important that the cleaner is enzymatic to fully break down the enzymes in your puppy’s urine that make them want to toilet there again. Biological washing powder is a good cheap alternative!

·      TREATS AND A TREAT BAG – You need your treats to be around a quarter of the size of your little finger nail when your puppy is tiny so you can deliver multiple treats without giving your puppy an upset tummy. This might mean you need to do some chopping up at home with the treats you have bought! A treat bag is also a great investment so you can continue to train on the go.


Other things to consider

·      Make sure your garden is clear of poisonous plants or other hazards. If you have stoney areas in your garden you may want to consider blocking these off as a curious puppy will likely turn stone collecting into a great game at 11pm at night!

·      Check your puppy’s microchip details have been changed over into your name.

·      Find a local vet that comes recommended by other pet owners. It is also worth checking that they use the same vaccine as your breeder/rescue’s vet so you can continue their vaccination programme. Having to start vaccinations again can delay your puppy going out for walks and socialising.

·      Find out where your nearest out of hours vets is in the case of an emergency.

·      Book your puppy into classes as soon as possible. Don’t wait until they are vaccinated as most puppy classes get booked up fast! Puppy classes are important not only to teach basic obedience, polite greetings, recall and loose lead walking but also to teach your puppy to be able to work around distractions and ignore other people and dogs. Even if you know how to train your puppy the class experience is vital for their socialisation.

·      Plan and research pet sitters, boarders or walkers in advance and find out if they have availability



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