For dog lovers, there are few things that match the excitement of getting a new puppy. They’re a new addition to the family. A friend for life and a companion you can always rely on to be by your side.
Puppies are crazy, cute and provide countless of hours of entertainment. But, unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games. They require plenty of attention and a lot of preparation. If you’re prepared, the early days of puppyhood are likely to be a lot easier.
Before we get into the essential puppy checklist, it’s worth mentioning a few things first-time puppy parents should consider. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the puppy eyes and tiny paws, but it’s always important to ask yourself: are we ready for a puppy? Here are a few things to bear in mind.
Annoyingly, money always comes into contention. It is, however, really important. Dogs can be an expensive investment, so it’s a good idea to assess whether you can afford to look after one, both now, and later down the line
Do you have enough time for a puppy? As mentioned, they require a lot of attention, time and effort. If you’re a young professional who works a lot, and late, getting a puppy may be a nice idea, but it may prove to be impractical. A lack of time spent with your pup will only put you under stress and make your puppy upset
- Is your home suitable?
Does your home meet the demands of a puppy full of energy and curiosity? Consider things, like size, space, stairs and other pets. You need to make sure it’s puppy proof
As dog owners, it’s our responsibility to make sure we buy puppies from safe and registered people or places. There are a growing number of illegal puppy farms throughout the UK, which fail to meet the standards puppies need in their first few weeks. It’s down to dog owners to double-check the breed and thoroughly research where our pups come from
These are just a few things to consider before you dive into puppy parenting. Above all else, make sure you’re able to support and love your puppy in the long-run.
Before we take a look at the essential puppy checklist, there’s one final thing: registering your puppy it with a local vet. Puppies are explorers and risk-takers, which means they sometimes end up in some tricky situations. It’s always good to have a vet who you trust, on hand to deal with any hiccups.
The Essential Puppy Checklist
Now you know what to consider, and you’ve puppy-proofed your home, you probably can’t wait to go and get yours. So, here’s exactly what you need. While the following objects are all essentials, there’s one thing all puppy owners need: patience. If you’ve got this, you’ll do just fine.
1. Healthy Puppy Food
What you feed your pup is the most important part of puppyhood. The food they eat in these early stages determines how they develop, helping the growth of muscles, teeth and bones. This means it’s vital they’re eating the right stuff.
The question is, what should I be feeding my puppy? If you get your pup at a young age, you’ll have to go through the weaning process: the move from milk to solid foods. At around 8 weeks, your pup will be ready to eat dry food. This needs to be food high in calories, lots of protein and nutrients, and the miracle ingredient, glucosamine. It’s an odd situation to be in though, as not long after researching what you should feed your pups, you’ll be wondering when can puppies eat adult dog food. Beco pets do a great article on that exact topic here. It is also vital to look into the specific ingredients for what your dog should be eating, as there are so many things to look out for which are often overlooked or not known about at all.
2. Dog Bowl
The perfect partner for your puppy’s healthy food. Dog bowls are great for two things. Firstly, they teach our pups some table manners, and let them know where it’s okay to eat. This will hopefully stop them from chewing on the curtains, and hovering at the food table – but there’s no guarantee.
A strong and sturdy bowl will also help keep your house clean. Pups can be messy eaters, so anything that keeps the mess to a minimum is worth getting.
3. Dog Toys
Toys are a must-have. Pups demand a lot of attention and never want playtime to end. Sometimes you need a break, which is where the trusty old dog toy comes in. Throw them a chew toy or something to snuggle up to, and they’ll be occupied for the time being.
A range of different toys also teaches your dog about the different textures and materials they can chew or tug. These are also great for jaw development and making teeth strong.
Now you’ve sorted out feeding and playtime, it’s time to keep track of your pup when out and about. Because pups are so inquisitive and full of energy, they love to try out new things and meet new dogs. Sometimes, though, the last thing you need is your puppy running off and disturbing others.
A leash keeps everything under control. You can opt for a small one that keeps your pup close, or an extendable version that allows your dog to roam free – or so they think.
You won’t get very far with a leash, unless you have a collar. There are plenty of stylish ones on the market, but remember, your pup is only going to get bigger, so don’t spend too much – they’ll soon grow out of it. A name tag is always a great additional accessory. If you were to ever lose your pup, you’ll be far more likely to find them if you attach a name and contact number.
6. Poop Bags
Another must-have, when out and about, are dog poo bags. Not cleaning up after your dog is an illegal offence. It’s, therefore, vital you’re carrying something that allows you to pick up after your dog. A dog poop bag dispenser is also a great addition. There are many types of bags on the market; selecting the right one is up to you.
Compostable poop bags are a great option. They’re essentially biodegradable poop bags, that degrade when placed in warm and moist compost piles. They mimic the strength of normal plastic, offering a reduced impact on our environment – a greener way to clean up after your pup.
7. Dog Brush
A different way to keep dogs clean and tidy, but just as important all the same. Depending on the breed of your puppy, their coat may get tangled and knotty from time to time. A simple dog brush is a great way to keep a well-groomed coat.
Now you know what you need for your puppy, you’re good to go and get yours. Along with all the essential accessories and preparation, it’s important to remember that puppies only want your love and care. If you do this, you’ll sail through puppyhood.