All The Pet Accessories You Need for a New Puppy
So, you’ve decided to bring home a new puppy. Congratulations! Puppies can revitalize any household with love, joy and laughter, and can really enrich your entire family dynamic. These power pockets of energy may be high-maintenance, but they will reward your hard work tenfold with unlimited sloppy kisses and a lifelong sense of loyalty.
Little ones crave stability and structure, so you’ll need to ensure that you’ve set up a welcoming home space before the big arrival. To make your humble house a fantastic fur-ever home, ensure that you’ve equipped yourself with all the necessary pet accessories in advance. Here is a list of everything you will need to welcome a furry friend into your life.
Not all owners will opt for crate training, but it is a common method used to introduce structure and boundaries to fresh-faced puppies. Pups may feel wary of their crate at first, but with the appropriate training, they can come to view it as their own personal space—not unlike the way their wolf ancestors viewed their dens.
When helping your pup acclimatize to their crate, patience is key. Acknowledge that this process will take time. In essence, the training consists of forging positive associations with the crate. Food-based behavioral reinforcement will work on almost every dog. Ensure not to rush the process, and ensure that your dog enters the crate in comfortable conditions. For example, do not commence crate training if your puppy is in a playful mood. In fact, your pup may view the crate as a comfy place to rest after a run in the park.
Never leave your pup in their crate longer than three hours at a time. If you intend to leave your dog in the crate overnight, you may need to release them for periodic bathroom breaks. Finally, when selecting a crate, ensure to choose one that your pup will grow into. Puppies grow very quickly and you wouldn’t want to splurge on something that will last only a number of weeks.
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Bed or Bedding
Unlike cats who can sleep anywhere, dogs tend to like having a consistent place to sleep. There are many dog beds available to suit varying sizes and fur types. For a new puppy, we would recommend something small- to medium-sized. Whilst you want to allow room to grow, you’ll also want to ensure the bed is comfortable for a pint-sized pup! If you want to go the whole hog, dog bedding can include everything from mattresses to pillows and blankets. You could even select decor to match your home aesthetic. Just ensure to pick something with your pooch’s comfort in mind! If you’re using a crate, ensure to select something that is size-compatible.
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Food and Water Bowls
Growing puppies need plenty of hydration and good grub. Get this sorted with some high-quality food and water bowls. These bowls come in a variety of materials, but most dog owners opt for stainless steel. It’s sturdier, safer to use, and easier to clean! Other varieties include plastic, glass, and ceramic. The latter two are breakable and can be dangerous. Cheaper plastic is less resistant to bacteria and is also not recommended.
If you want to turn snack time into a game, you can also invest in a licking mat. These segmented silicone plates contain grooves to spread food into. Your dog will focus on licking the food from every last nook and cranny, providing mental stimulation and slowing down the digestion process. This is not a necessity so much as an additional accessory to keep your pup entertained and stimulated for a few extra hours.
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Food and Treats
Those food bowls won’t be much chop without some actual food to put in them! Fuel that boundless energy with some puppy-appropriate food. Puppies will not have the same nutritional requirements as adult dogs, and their needs may vary depending on their size and/or breed. Feed your growing dog the correct amounts of macronutrients-including vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. If you’re unsure of the specifics, you can always seek doggy dietary advice from your vet.
If your puppy is really young, they may be unfamiliar with the concept of ‘treats’. Treats are a strong behavioral reinforcement tool at the heart of most canine training, so ensure to introduce your pup to treats. They will likely thank you for it!
Collar, ID Tag and Leash
Collars, ID tags and leashes are basic essentials for any dog! Collars are like ID badge lanyards for dogs, providing safety and security via identification. If perchance someone finds your pup going walkabout, a collar will immediately tell them that they have a home and are not a street dog. Ideally, the kind stranger will catch a glimpse at your dog’s ID tag displaying their name and a contact number. This is the simplest way to return a dog to their owner without involving the city council or—worse—the pound. A collar will also display your pet’s council registration tag, further legitimising your pup’s status as part of a household.
A dog collar will almost always feature a buckle to attach a leash to. Leashes are essential for walking your puppy! When walking your pup, start with a short leash. Longer leashes can come later, as your puppy grows larger. Bear in mind that collars and leashes will be a new concept to your dog, so give them a bit of time to acclimatize to them. It’s all part of the training process.
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A Scoop, ‘n’ Poop Bags
As a responsible dog owner, never leave for a walk without poop bags—preferably biodegradable ones. If you’re too squeamish to make second-hand contact with the waste, then a scoop can be a great alternative here. Ensure to dispose of the soiled poop bag thoughtfully!
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Grooming and Cleaning Supplies
Unlike cats, dogs will not self-groom, so it’s on dog owners to maintain their dogs’ coats and general cleanliness. Dogs love playtime and getting their paws dirty-especially if they’re puppies. More often than not, we need to bring in the clean-up patrol! For dog cleanliness, you will need a comb, shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers and tweezers, and even a toothbrush with dog toothpaste. It’s important to bathe dogs regularly, keep their nails short and sharp, and maintain their dental hygiene. If your dog makes a mess in the house, it’s always useful to have paper towels handy, as well as enzyme cleaner to alleviate any unpleasant smells.
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It’s no secret that doggies love chewing things. Oftentimes, your shoes can be a casualty! Dog toys can give playful pups a chewing outlet without forcing their humans to go barefoot. If you’re opting for chew toys, ensure to choose ones made from durable rubber. Aggressive chewers can tear through plastic, and the resulting particles can be dangerous if swallowed.
Balls or other toys are great for a game of fetch. Ropes and tugging toys are fun and can actually floss your dog’s teeth as they play. Plush toys can provide comfort to puppies, but please beware that these toys are not recommended for more aggressive chewers.
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There you have it: a list of all the accessories you will need for a new puppy. The first year of a dog’s life is a highly formative one, so ensure to provide them with plenty of love, playtime, discipline, training, and security. Having the right equipment is an essential part of helping your new friend feel at home. If you can provide a positive environment from the get-go, you’re setting your dog up for a happy life where they can feel secure. Every journey will vary slightly, and don’t be afraid to ask your vet any questions if you’re unsure.