July 21, 2016
You are now the proud caregiver of a new puppy! Over the next several weeks, months, and years you’ll come to learn and experience so many wonderful things. But one of the keys to success is preparation. Make sure you have these new puppy checklist items on hand before you’re distracted by a licking, happy ball of fur in the house.
Growing puppies need a dog food that is specially formulated for their developmental stage— the “puppy” life stage. Puppies need certain nutrients to grow strong bones and muscles, to feed their developing brains, and to build their immune systems without overdoing it on the calorie count. Look for large breed puppy foods for puppies which will be 55 pounds or more once fully grown as an adult.
Dog treats are the highlight of a puppy’s day. They can make dog training a snap and improve the human-puppy bond through a positive reinforcement program. However, because it’s easy to overdo, make sure dog treats are small enough to be a tiny bite of flavor … not a meal replacement. In fact, treats should not account for more than 10 percent of your puppy’s daily calories.
Teething puppies have an intrinsic need to chew. If you don’t have an adequate supply of dog chew toys on hand, you can kiss your shoes, purses, and furniture goodbye. Inappropriate chewing is annoying, expensive, and possibly even dangerous, so set your puppy up for success with dog-appropriate chew toys.
Puppies should have a safe, comfortable, clean spot to sleep. Many owners find crate training an indispensable tool in the house training process, and this solves the problem of both house training and a designated slumber spot. The Pup-Pee-Poo-Palace is a great alterative to traditional crate training when it comes to small and medium sized puppies and we send it home with every new puppy!
Dog gates are an excellent way to block doorways to rooms you’d like to keep off-limits to your puppy. Some may even be configured as a personal play pen.
Puppies are messy, no two ways about it. They rip things up. Puppies have “accidents” (hint: enzymatic cleaners are very helpful in these cases). They sometimes vomit on the rug. A good supply of cleaning supplies is indispensable. However, choose cleansers that are designated “pet safe” to ensure that even if Fido sneaks a lick, they will be fine.
Your puppy will certainly be in need of a bath at some point. You will need one specific to dogs, as their sensitive skin is easily irritated by the cleansers in shampoos designated for people. Have a good brush on hand as well to get your puppy used to being groomed and to keep their puppy coat in tip top shape. We carry Tropi-clean and Pet Head brand products to keep your pet smelling super fresh. Brushing helps keep the coat shiny and healthy by spreading the oils in their skin through the coat.
Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash. Training them to get used to a dog leash (and collar) early is an essential socialization skill. For puppies still learning manners, make sure your leash is short enough that they will be in your control. If you have a small dog — under 20 pounds — you may also want a travel carrier.
Dog collars should be snug enough that your puppy dog can’t back out of them, but large enough for 2-3 fingers to slip comfortably underneath. Remember, a growing dog will need a new collar several times during the puppy stage as he or she gets bigger.
People often don’t think about starting dental care at the puppy stage, but it’s really the only time to start! Getting your puppy used to brushing their teeth and/or using water based tarter control is much easier than getting an adult dog to let you root around in their mouths! And having a set routine for your dog’s dental care will only save you money and time in the future by not having expensive teeth cleanings or (eek!) tooth removal at your veterinarian’s office. Check out our more advanced dental care blog here.
Well, that will about do our essential puppy checklist! Here at PetCenter, we specialize in making sure you have everything you need to be successful for your new puppy as well as all the extra supplies they need as they grow into adulthood. And you don’t have to purchase a puppy from us to be able to enjoy how knowledgeable and friendly our Pet Counselors can be when it comes to all things four-legged (or feathery!) So come on down to our store today!
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