Have you ever wondered what you need to get when getting your first puppy ever or even a new puppy? You're not the only one, a lot of people have this problem, getting a puppy can be a bit hectic. Figuring out what food you should get or if you should get a kennel for them to sleep in can be a difficult decision. There are many other things that you need to decide on for your new pup as well. The best starter kit I've discovered that works best for a first or new puppy goes a little bit like this.
Food for your new puppy!
If you're getting from a breeder find out first what they are feeding your new pup, once you find that out if you feel its a good food then you can stick with that one. If you feel its not the food you'd like dogfoodadvisor.com is an absolutely amazing resource for dog foods. It gives you the star rating, ingredients, as well as a way to be contacted about recalls on any foods! It's an extremely helpful site! You may be thinking "what if I want to start my pup on a new food? How do I do that?" The best way to avoid tummy troubles from switching foods too quickly is to start off a majority of the old food and a little of the new food and gradually fade out the old food. Same goes for if you're adopting from a shelter so that way you won't have any tummy troubles when they first come home.
Finding the right kennel and bed for your puppy!
If your puppy is a large breed it's not always a bad thing to get a larger kennel than you need at the time. Most have kennel separators that way your pup doesn't have way too much room and have accidents often in the kennel when you're working on potty training. If you don't want to get a huge kennel you can always get a smaller kennel then later on upgrade as your pup grows, a good brand that I've found is Kong. Beds are pretty simple to pick, figure out the best size for your puppy and how you'd like the bed to feel and you've got the perfect bed for your puppy. There's flat and fluffy beds, but be careful of heavy chewers for fluffy beds. If you don't it'll look like a fluff tornado came through! My pups personally prefer beds that are flat in the middle and have sides all around.
"What about first collars and leashes?"
To start I don't ever recommend retractable leashes; I don't like them and I wont use them. Too often they cause problems and pups can get hurt if they are allowed to far, they also often break easily. Regular 4-6 foot leashes are absolutely awesome! For puppies when getting a new collar you usually just need a size small for them. Awesome thing about collars and leashes if you want them to match you absolutely can get matching collars and leashes for your new baby!
"How about food and water bowls?"
Well depending on if you'd like to free feed or not you can get just a regular bowl, either a medium to large bowl, or just start off with a small puppy bowl. All my pups start with a medium to large bowl and their food is measured out. If you decide to free feed you can always get one of the plastic food dispensers, they can always work for water as well. To be completely honest with the amount of dogs I personally have and the size they are they have a large bucket for water.
"Should I get pee pads?"
I personally don't recommend it for potty training since a lot of the time puppies can be a tiny bit stubborn about going potty consistently outside if they are taught on potty pads. One thing I do recommend though are potty bells! They are super simple to teach your pup how to use. Simply have your puppy paw or nose the bells hanging from the door they go potty out of each time they go outside. This will teach your puppy that any time He/She needs to go potty that the best way to let you know is to ring the bells.
I absolutely hope this helped you guys out! if you have any questions or would like some extra help putting together your first puppy starter kit feel free to contact me!
Britney Lippke Owner and trainer of Koba's Four Paws Institute, LLC