What to Buy for a New Puppy
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Whether you are seeking help for dog training, Los Angeles Boot Camp or looking to adopt a puppy from your local humane society or shelter (that only advocates fear-free, positive reinforcement behavior and training), the list of items to acquire and prepare for before you bring home your new dog largely remains the same. We have made a list of some of the things you want to make sure you have before you buy, foster or adopt a dog and some extra special items you may want to pick up as well.
Dog Training, Dog Boarding, and Pet Services
Besides items and things to buy for a new dog, most importantly start doing research about the unregulated dog training industry and conduct thorough due diligence and establish relationships with educated fear-free, behavior knowledgeable Certified Dog Behaviorists, Trainers, Nutritionists, dog walkers, pet sitting and dog boarding places near you.
Don’t wait until you need a dog boarding, dog training, or dog walking service. Fix a roof when it’s sunny outside not when it’s raining.
Nearly all parents work for a living. But your puppy doesn’t. Puppies are time intensive and need extra care during puppyhood. All dog’s needs have to be met to ensure they are happy and healthy regardless of their age.
This equates to exercise, walks, exploration, playing, dog grooming, veterinarian care, dog training, dog boarding, and all other pet services.
Now is the time to find a person and relationship that you trust and want to build a relationship with for the life of your dog.
Our exclusive members-only club offers just that. I have clients (now friends) that I have worked with for decades! Focus on establishing long-term relationships for you and your dog’s health. This will make all of life’s unforeseen surprises, natural disasters, work, illness, travel, emergencies, socializing, etc., go smoothly and stress-free for both of you.
For those pet parents not in Los Angeles, we offer a very popular Phone/Video Consultation for dog parents all over the world. For a list of all of the pet products listed in this post, you can also bookmark this page and visit our updated Fun Paw Care Amazon pet products page that I use for my own pets and that I recommend for all dogs and cats.
- A professional dog walking, pet sitting or dog boarding company that is licensed, bonded and insured to the highest amount possible and certified in CPR for dogs, to take care of your puppy whenever you will be gone for more than 4-6 hours or when traveling.
- A Fear-Cree, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) to make sure you and your puppy are learning and practicing the most up-to-date, scientific, positive reinforcement dog training utilizing gentle methods, operant and classical conditioning (aka, conditioning and using high-value food rewards to encourage desired behaviors), never use electric shock or vibration collars, choke chains, pronged collars, hitting, jerking, forcing, kicking your dog done by punitive, confused traditional dog “trainers.” Dog training and your education is the single most important thing to invest in for your dog’s life. Choose the wrong teacher, and you could set the stage for innumerable behavior problems, health issues, and lots of stress down the road.
- The best dog training and education to prepare your puppy to become an emotional support animal, therapy dog team, service dog or to prepare for the Canine Good Citizen test
- A Fear Free Certified veterinarian that is up-to-date with their dog training and behavior suggestions as well as their medical training. An educated and ethical veterinarian will only recommend force-free and fear-free positive reinforcement dog training for your pet. Make sure your veterinarian does not provide archaic unhealthy advice to sequester your puppy before they have had all of their vaccination shots. Nothing could be more harmful to your puppy than keeping him inside and not providing him with safe socialization and outdoor, life experiences during their sensitive period. Read more about puppy vaccinations and socialization from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). Make an appointment with your vet as soon as you adopt or buy your dog to get a wellness exam and a titer test.
- Find emergency after hour’s veterinarian hospitals near you that are open 24/7 and have all of these phone emergency phone numbers on hand at all times.
Pro Tip – make sure you know what is food is healthy and dangerous food for a dog to eat.
Things to Buy Before Getting a Puppy Dog:
(These are puppy and dog essentials in one form or another)
- A dog crate (Vari Kennel) so your dog has a safe area that he/she can escape to and have a quiet, non-stressful environment to call their own. Consider a high-end Vari Kennel called Gunner Kennel (although it’s very expensive) if you plan on using your kennel for multiple applications or extensive use.
- Baby gate barrier (having more than one is helpful)
- Exercise pen also called an Xpen
- Dog bed (at least two, preferably more) one for the crate, one for her pen area and a dog bed for another room. However, puppies that are not potty trained yet, or that are still biting and teething that will destroy the bed consider cheaper options like this hammock bed and crate bed to start out with until your puppy stops destroying their bed. We use all of these dog beds depending on the dog. A plethora of dog beds are very important, but even more vital if you don’t plan on letting your dog on your bed or couch with you.
- Dog mat for traveling, camping, planes, trains, restaurants or anywhere you are with your dog. A dog mat will make your dog feel comfortable and understand where you want him to rest when at home or on the road. This may be thought of as a portable “bed” that’s easy to take with you when traveling.
- Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) – Research shows that DAP helps working dogs such as gundogs, to display fewer nights of whining and crying distress.
- Buckle collar for holding a dog’s tags and information, not to attach a leash to. And a fabric martingale collar if your dog has a large neck in proportion to their head size or if your dog tends to get spooked or has fear anxiety or stress when on walks.
- Dog identification tags – Non-metal dog ID tags or metal dog tags
- Dog Leash (six feet is a good length, preferably with reflectors built in so you are seen at night, sturdy and durable, washable, and a carabiner clasp is a big plus) This dog leash is also less expensive, nice and versatile.
- Dog long lead – Don’t forget this very important training and socialization lead. Start with a 15′ leash first before jumping to a 30′ or longer leash. These long leashes take time to get used to. Practice reeling it in and letting it out before you attach it to your dog’s harness. I typically use this as my main leash or always take it with me as a second leash to allow a dog to run ‘free’ in a park or beach. It is helpful in so many ways, to give your dog more space and work on their training in open areas. Stay away from Flexi or retractable leashes. Although they may be useful in some places and applications, they are more harmful than helpful for your health, your dog’s health, and dangerous around others.
- Front attaching dog harness to help if your new puppy pulls on the leash. Since most dogs you may adopt from the shelter or buy from a breeder are not adequately trained and are not well behaved, this is an important tool to use in order to make your walks more manageable before training begins. This is not a substitute for dog training, but it will make your walks more pleasant while you are training your dog or until they have proper leash skills/manners.
- Dog backpacks – This is the best dog backpack based on its durability, functions, fit, weight, design, etc. It’ expensive but it will last a very long time. Primarily to desensitize and habituate your puppy to the backpack now, but primarily used for when your pup gets older (for high energy and working dogs)
- Dog sun protection cooling vest for hot and sunny climates and for summertime.
- Dog training pouch – I typically use two at a time depending on the dog but at least have one per person in the family.
- Non-Slip, Water bowl for the home and a retractable/collapsible water bowl for traveling or when on walks around the town
- Food bowl (Do not buy a traditional food bowl. Only buy your puppy an enriching food bowl once he/she is socialized, well-trained, and has impeccable household manners) Use an enriching food bowl as a substitute for a traditional bowl. However, ideally, you should use ALL of your puppy’s daily allocation of food (kibble) for training around the house and outdoors. Also, make sure to purchase several food extracting dog toys)
- Dog food holder to keep your puppy’s food fresh and your home rodent and bug-free
- Healthy dog food questions to ask. Make sure it is safe for your dog to eat and has an AAFCO statement and do not use anything imported or made in China or any other country.
- Dog treats (healthy types) experiment with some of these dog treats that pet’s usually love (and your dog’s food) to find out what your unique dog loves to eat. Don’t try and ‘teach your dog’ to like what you already bought, just donate it to a shelter and buy a different type. Do not use any treats or food that are imported or made in China or any other country.
- Squirt cheese/peanut butter/liver
- At least six chew toys to stuff with kibble and treats. Puppy Kong toys are perfect for teething puppies and will teach wonderful chew toy habits while slowing down digestion and providing mental stimulation. Also great are Biscuit Balls and rubber dog bones. After your puppy gets older you can switch to adult Kong toys.
- Dog supplements and tools for a puppy dog with anxiety, or more nervous puppies.
- Healthy filtered and purified water so you can ditch plastic (especially one-use plastics). A Berkey water filter is great in emergencies, for camping, and for everyday life.
- Rope tug toys
- Dog Balls
- Interactive toys
- Plush (squeaky) toys or these toys
- Dog Shampoo or good old Dr. Bronner’s
- Nail clippers
- Microchip information and keep this information and registration up-to-date.
- Dog Ear cleaner
- Furminator or brush for grooming
- Enzymatic dog cleaner spray for when accidents occur
- Puppy and dog vacuum – This an expensive investment but well worth it. Mine is going on 8 years and strong. Most puppies and all dogs shed. Yup, even ‘hypoallergenic dogs’. But if you have a Golden Retriever, German Shepherd or any dog that sheds a lot this will be a valuable tool you will use daily for keeping your home (and vehicle) clean.
- Environmentally friendly dog poop bags
- Puppy pee pads, green turf or sod
- Earplugs for your sanity and sleep, when you are teaching your dog independence and crate training
Other items for consideration:
- Dog training camera and audio to allow you to watch your puppy when you’re not home and to train your puppy remotely. Not just when you are not home but from other rooms, etc.
- Dog hammock for car rides with large dogs that don’t fit in a dog crate
- Dog life vest for teaching a puppy how to swim or any dog that sinks (Bulldogs and other non-swimming breeds)
- Dog paw protection for hot and cold climates, or dog boots
- Organic coconut oil (great for skin and fur, in small amounts)
- Dog baby wipes to wipe off paws and inguinal area
- Canine music (through a dogs ear) relaxing music for your pup when you want them to settle down or time for bed
- Organic lavender oil and chamomile oil has a calming effect on pups. See more details about this in my Separation Anxiety article.
- Organic Neem oil (extract, soap, and spray) to naturally keep mosquitos off of and away from your pet
- Head halter to help with your adopted dog’s pulling. It would be best to get help from your CDBC and dog trainer for conditioning your pup to the head halter and to learn how to use it properly
This is not an exhaustive list but these are essentials that will help get you started before you bring home your first dog. Please let me know how I can help you achieve your goals and improve your relationship with your new or older pup with my Phone/Video Consultation or if you’re in Los Angeles, dog training in person!
This page contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means that if you click on one of the product links, Fun Paw Care will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support Fun Paw Care and allows us to continue to write for you and to support homeless dogs and cats. Thank you for your support! For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.