When you are about to get a puppy, you are making one of the best decisions of your life because you are basically welcoming a new member of the family into your household. But, just like when you are preparing yourself for a new baby, you also need to prepare yourself for a puppy. So, what equipment does a puppy need if you are planning on getting one?
There are plenty of different pieces of equipment that you need to prepare when you are about to get a puppy. These include bedding, bowls, toys, food, and other similar equipment depending on your dog’s needs and on your lifestyle.
Starting out as a puppy parent for the first time is never easy because there are plenty of things you need to get for the puppy and there are things you need to learn as well. But, fortunately, we got you covered so that it will be easier for you to know what your puppy needs to have before you even bring it home for the first time.
Essential equipment your puppy needs
Housing or den
When you are taking a puppy home for the first time, it will be quite common for you to notice that your puppy still doesn’t feel secure and safe in its new home. After all, it lived all of its life with the rest of its siblings in an entirely different home especially if you got your puppy from a breeder instead of from a pet store. As such, your puppy needs to feel safe and secure at first before you try to make it adjust to its new surroundings.
One of the best ways to help make your new puppy feel secure in its new home is by providing it housing or a den. It could be a cage or a crate as long as your puppy is safely confined in that area. This will serve as its safe zone because nothing in the outside world can come in to harm or touch your puppy. In that sense, it will be easier for your puppy to adjust to the new environment it is seeing around it if it has a safe space it could retreat to whenever it doesn’t feel secure.
In the past, most owners would agree that letting their pups feel free to roam around the house without any kind of restriction was the best way for them to adjust to their new environment. After all, the goal here is to make sure that the puppy can feel as free as possible. But that is no longer the popular belief today.
These days, most experts would agree that a den or a crate is now an essential piece of equipment for a puppy. The reason is, again, you need to give your puppy a safe space for it to call its own especially if it doesn’t feel too safe around the house when you just simply allow it to walk free. Puppies need a safe space, and that is why most puppies try to find a corner or a spot wherein they could feel secure if you are not giving them a crate or a cage.
On top of that, housing your puppy in a cage or a den is a good step towards crate training especially when you are looking to train your puppy to know where to do its business. It is also great for house-training your dog and whenever you want to make sure you get to train it to recognize a certain spot as its own safe space later on when it becomes an adult.
The more versatile crates or cages are the ones that tend to be more expensive. Not only do they serve as great homes for your puppies but they can also be used for traveling as well. So, if you could afford the more expensive ones, there is no harm in going for them especially because of how much more versatile they are. But if you are tight on cash, a good and sturdy crate can already be enough to serve as your puppy’s safe space at home.
Like humans, puppies shouldn’t just be allowed to sleep on the hard floor or leave it to find a safe spot wherein it could sleep comfortably. You actually have to give it something it could sleep on especially if you want your puppy to feel safe and warm while it is still adjusting to its new environment.
That’s why beds are essential equipment for your puppy. It keeps your puppy warm and it allows it to feel comfortable while it is still adjusting to its new home. You wouldn’t want your puppy to associate your house with an uncomfortable feeling whenever it is trying to sleep. You also wouldn’t want to make it difficult for the pup to find a place where it can sleep at night comfortably.
For those who are still letting their puppies stay in their own crates or cages, the steel flooring might be a bit too cold and hard for the little fella. In that case, you can purchase a bed that’s small enough to fit inside the puppy’s den. You can also use a soft blanket instead of a bed as long as the blanket is padded enough to make your pup feel comfortable.
But if your dog isn’t sleeping in its crate anymore, the best type of bed to purchase should be one that is far bigger than your pup. The reason is that you would want to make your dog grow into its bed and to give your pup enough room to feel comfortable.
You may also want to purchase more than one bed so that your puppy can have a bed to sleep in whenever you just washed the other one. But it might not be ideal to get more than two beds because you would want your puppy to adjust only to one or two beds at the maximum. Remember that dogs are creatures of habit and are more likely to feel comfortable sleeping on something they are already used to. If you try to introduce a third bed that is still foreign to it, your pup might not feel as comfortable in it as it would be in its other beds.
Of course, a puppy needs to have bowls where it can actually eat its food and drink its water from. The bowls for the food and the water should be separate from one another and you should make sure that you know which one is which because your puppy will associate one bowl as its food bowl and the other as its water bowl.
When choosing a bowl that’s appropriate for your dog, make sure to factor in the puppy’s size. Go for one that isn’t too big for it because your pup might find it difficult to eat and drink from bowls that are considerably larger.
Go for bowls that have a non-slip bottom so that it won’t be easy for your dog to accidentally topple them over. On top of that, you should also go for bowls that are made from ceramic or stainless steel because they are much easier to clean than plastic and they don’t tend to keep bacteria that much.
You can also go for a feeding mat where you can keep your bowls in so that it won’t be too easy for them to suddenly topple accidentally. After all, you wouldn’t want the dog’s food and water spilling over to the floor. This will not only make a mess that you have to clean up but your puppy might begin to think that it’s okay for it to let its food and water spill over to the floor.
Make sure that its food and water are always fresh or else bacteria will begin to build up on them and eventually make your dog ill. Its water should always be replaced as much as possible because bacteria tend to build up faster in water.
A collar is one way of giving your dog its identity because the collar will signify to people that it is not a mere stray if it happens to get lost. On top of that, having your puppy wear a collar as early as possible will make it much more receptive to wearing a collar as it reaches adulthood. Dog owners who tend to delay giving collars to their dogs usually end up having furry pals that are not too comfortable wearing their collars.
So, in a sense, putting a collar on your puppy will also make it easier for you to leash train it later on when it is ready to be trained. Put a collar on your pup as early as possible so that it will adjust to it rather quickly.
However, when choosing a collar, it is essential that you pick one that is a bit bigger than your pup’s size because puppies tend to grow rather quickly. Make sure that you can easily adjust the collar especially when you feel like your puppy is starting to get bigger and bigger. Checking on the collar every single day might be a good idea for you. And if the collar eventually ends up becoming too tight for your puppy, it’s time for you to get a new one.
It is also important for you to choose a collar that is actually comfortable for your dog because there will be certain collars that may end up irritating the dog’s skin. A nylon buckle collar might be good enough for your puppy while it is still young but you can choose a new one later when it has already outgrown its collar.
If you can and if you want to, a doggie harness might be a better choice instead of a collar because harnesses were made to be wrapped around the body instead of worn on the neck. This decreases the risk of a collar getting too small for your puppy’s neck. Of course, harnesses are more expensive. So, you might want to shell out more money to purchase a high-quality harness for your puppy.
Of course, collars should come with name tags because those are what will indicate the dog’s name. You can have a name tag specifically made for your dog through different online stores. If you have already thought of a name for your puppy before you brought it home, you can even order the name tags ahead of time so that they will be ready to be delivered shortly after you bring the dog home.
One of the most exciting parts of being a dog owner is walking it around the neighborhood or the nearby park to give it some much-needed outside exposure and some exercise. You can even start walking your dog outdoors as early as its puppy years if it is already old enough to go outside and be trained.
However, the most important element of walking your dog outside is its leash. If your dog doesn’t have a leash, you won’t be able to properly walk the dog and you won’t be able to securely and safely allow it to walk around the neighborhood. That’s why a leash is a piece of essential equipment you need when you are about to purchase a new puppy.
A leash is also the most important part of leash training your dog. Leash training is an essential part of basic obedience training because you want your dog to be able to walk with a leash safely and well-behaved. And most puppies can be trained to walk with a leash on as early as 12 weeks old. The earlier you leash train your dog, the earlier it will learn how to walk well-behaved with a leash on.
When choosing a leash, it is important that you take into consideration the size of your dog. You don’t want a leash that is too short or too small for a puppy that will eventually end up growing to a large dog. In the same way, it would be overkill if you used a large leash on a really small puppy.
In that regard, it might be enough for you to buy a leash that is about 4 to 6 feet long if you have a puppy. Nylon leashes are great but you can also go for a leather leash if you want to. It really depends on your choice.
In some cases, dog owners live in regions that can get a bit too cold for their puppies. This is quite common in northern areas, where short-coated dogs can easily get too cold during fall or winter. You don’t want your puppy shivering at night especially when it is yet to adjust to the climate in your area.
So, to make sure that your dog is also protected from the weather, you may want to provide it with clothing. This is a great idea for short-coated dog breeds that aren’t used to living in colder northern regions or high-altitude areas. Coats or fitted jumpers may be sufficient enough for your puppy. Try to focus more on clothes that can be worn over the pup’s body instead of letting it go through the dog’s head.
It is also essential that you make sure that the clothes fit the dog properly or else you might end up suffocating the puppy. This is important because pups tend to grow rather quickly. So, in that regard, you may want to buy clothes that are bigger than your pup’s current size so that it won’t end up outgrowing its clothes too fast.
Dogs are playful and active creatures that tend to require a lot of playtime and exercise to help make sure that they are kept mentally and physically activated. So, on the part of you the dog owner, you need to be able to open up enough of your time to play with the dog and to keep it stimulated. A few minutes a day may already be enough.
So, if you want to play with your dog, toys are essential equipment for you to prepare before you even purchase your puppy. Toys are great at providing your dog the mental and physical stimulation it needs because of how you can use the toys to actually play different games with your pup. Catch or fetch can be great games to play with the pup but you can also use the toys for basic obedience training when the dog is old enough.
If there are instances where you are too busy to personally play with your puppy, there are plenty of different toys that will allow the pup to play by itself so that you don’t always have to be there to mentally and physically stimulate it. Chew toys are great choices for you because you can just basically leave your dog to chew on the toys.
You also have to consider that, at some point in the puppy’s life, it will start teething when its teeth are beginning to grow out. To help ease the discomfort your pup feels, using a chew toy that it can chew whenever it wants to is a good way for you to prevent it from chewing on your personal belongings at home. After all, puppies are notorious for chewing on anything they can get their teeth on.
Choosing a toy shouldn’t be too difficult for you as long as you trust that the toy is safe for dogs to chew on. Also, make sure that the toys are of the appropriate size for your puppy or else you might end up choosing a toy that may be too big for your little friend’s jaws. The pup might end up injuring itself if it tries too hard to chew on a toy that’s too big for it.
Of course, your puppy needs the proper kind of nutrition for it to grow properly and healthily. And if you must know, just like babies, puppies have different nutritional needs in comparison to adult dogs because of the fact that their growing bodies require different nutrients and minerals while they are still very young.
So, in that regard, you have to make sure that you have already purchased puppy food as early as possible and before you even brought your dog home. That’s because you should be able to provide your furry friend with the appropriate puppy food as soon as you bring it home for the first time.
But when choosing the right kind of puppy food, make sure that you take into account the age of the pup because there are different puppy formulas that were specifically made for puppies of different ages. Also, make sure that you also study how much food you need to give your pup and how often you have to feed it on a daily basis.
The truth of the matter is that taking your puppy to the groomer can be quite expensive especially if you have a pup that requires grooming more often than other dog breeds. So, in that regard, while your dog is still young, you can groom it yourself instead of taking it to the groomer.
Of course, when you are looking to groom your pup, you need some grooming items that were specifically formulated and designed for puppies. There are plenty of different puppy shampoos and puppy brushes you can buy in your nearby pet store. As long as you are choosing the right kind of grooming items, you can be sure that you are doing things the right way.
However, if your puppy is already at an age where it might be a bit difficult for you to groom it by yourself without the help of a professional such as when you need to trim its nails, you might need to consider taking it to the groomer from time to time but you may still groom it at home if you can.
Non-essential but useful equipment
If you are living in a duplex home or if there are certain areas you want to restrict your puppy’s access to because of how it can endanger the little fella, you might want to go and get a puppy gate.
Puppy gates are great at keeping your pup away from a certain area when they are still too young to jump over them. In most cases, puppy gates are made for stairs because you wouldn’t want your little fella to fall off the stairs and injure itself when it tries to climb up or go down.
Travel harness or travel crate
For those who are always on the go and traveling or if you don’t want to leave your pup at home on its own, you may want to purchase a travel harness or a travel crate that will allow you to travel with your puppy in your car without endangering the little guy.
Travel harnesses are safe to use for puppies because it keeps it firmly in its place in the car without restricting its movement too much. Meanwhile, crates are also great to use for traveling because of how they will allow the puppy to move around safely in its own crate without you worrying too much about its condition while you are traveling.
Stain and odor removers
Stain and odor removers are much more for you than they are for your puppy. In case you didn’t know, puppies defecate and urinate a lot and are prone to doing their business in different places if they are still too young to be potty trained. This will require you to clean your place a lot.
Of course, it can be a bit too difficult to remove the stain and odor left by your puppy after it does its business in a certain place in your home. That’s why you might want to purchase stain and odor removers ahead of time so that you’ll be ready to clean your home whenever the puppy does its business. But make sure that you are using stain and odor removers that are safe for your puppy instead of the ones that contain plenty of harmful chemicals.