Getting ready for a puppy can be both exciting and stressful! Whether you are a seasoned canine owner, or one of our first-time Woodlot puppy forever families, we have created a list of a items that will start helping you prepare for your new furry family member. These items are merely a suggestion to get you started. There are plenty of other lists out there, and some items you may find that your puppy doesn’t take to or perhaps you find non-essential. However, since we get hundreds of texts throughout the year asking about basic items to prepare for your puppy’s arrival we figured this list would help get you started!
What food should I feed my puppy?
Your puppy has been fed Nutrisource Puppy Food from the moment he or she started weening off of their mom. If you want to stay with this puppy food it is available on Amazon but may not be available at your local pet supplier.
for our mini designer dogs such as mini Bernedoodles, Mini Sheepadoodles, and Mini Goldendoodles, please order this Nutrisource food for small-medium breed puppies:
For larger breed puppies such as our Bernese Mountain Dogs, Goberians, and English Cream Golden Retrievers, this large breed puppy food by Nutrisource is what they’ve been eating:
What is the best collar and leash for my puppy?
Because your puppy will grow out of their first collar and leash, we love these 2 options found on amazon. They are matching sets and come in an array of colors and have been field tested by Kimberly in her puppy training camps for sturdiness. Before you buy an expensive leash and collar set, these are friendly on the budget as your puppy continues to grow!
We encourage everyone to be a good canine citizen and clean up after your pet! Keeping your yard as well as your neighborhood clean is not only good practice to keep the grass in tip top shape, it’s the most sanitary way to protect your puppy and other animals from contracting any parasites or diseases commonly found in feces.
Should I Crate Train My Puppy?
Crate training goes hand in hand with potty training and also provides a safe, comfortable place for your puppy when you travel, or it needs to stay in your home or someone else’s home alone for a short period of time. Although our Woodlot Companion puppies don’t live in crates or cages during their stay in our kennel, teaching your dog how to enjoy sleeping and relaxing in a crate is essential to their foundational training that will keep developing them into being a versatile adult dog as they grow.
A 24” crate to start with is great. If you opt for a larger crate, get one with dividers to make it smaller. This company supplies a divider for free if you opt for the 2 door version! For a cover- we love to use a blanket that has been lightly used by the family so that it smells like your puppy’s new pack and brings them comfort through the night. There is no need for a fancy crate cover unless you want one.
Do I need to get my puppy a dog bed?
While learning how to potty train through the night, we recommend using old towels in the crate for easier clean up. Your puppy will likely ‘nest’ the towels or old blankets to make it feel like he or she is sleeping with their litter mates and make their crate their own.
Having another bed or a few different beds around the house for your puppy to lounge on is a great idea. They often turn into miniature play areas for your pup while the rest of the family is doing their own thing. We love this style of dog bed because it cuddles your puppy and mimics the feeling of laying with their litter mates- soft and snuggly all the way around!
Is there a preferred food bowl for a puppy?
Anything will do so don’t think you need to be fancy, however keep in mind that certain breeds, like Bernedoodles love to play in water and can be sloppy drinkers. Having bowls that don’t tip over easily might help keep your sanity during their curious puppy years. Although elevated dog bowls are all the rage these days, your puppy will be too short for elevated dog bowls. Research has also shown elevated dog bowls come with the risk of increasing bloat by 20%-50% depending on the breed. We love the style and angle of these bowls for feeding time!
How do I groom my new puppy?
We love any product made by Isle of Dog. Their scents are delicious and will make your puppy smell yummy for days. To check out our full grooming guide with our favorite essential grooming products, read all about it here!
Why is my puppy chewing on everything?
Every puppy is different in what entertains their chewing tendencies. Get a variety of textures to keep them busy and to also help them naturally lose their baby teeth by 6 months. We have yet to find a puppy who doesn’t love the taste and chewing texture of a bully stick. These ones are odorless and unlike rawhide or processed plastic bones are natural and easily digested:
Bento Balls have the best of both worlds- a hard edible surface to give your puppy an entertaining challenge and also a softer nubby texture on the underside that can hold extra treat surprises!
Nearly everyone has heard of kong toys and for good reason! They are durable for the most aggressive chewers and also fillable for treat surprises! Put your favorite natural peanut butter, chicken flavored paste, or cheese whiz into the cavity to keep your pup entertained for hours. Kong toys can also be put in the freezer for a soothing summertime treat and toy combo!
What toys do you recommend?
Get a variety of toys that have different textures and make different sounds. A variety of sizes to keep your puppy’s growing brain curious and engaged in play is what you are looking for and each puppy will have their own preferences! We love this all-natural dog toy because most puppies love the taste and texture of both leather and wool:
Many of you have seen this plush puppy be the surrogate friend to our own litters in our photos and video updates. There is a reason why it is so loved by all and also a reason why this toy is highly rated on Amazon!
Another toy you may have seen our puppies play with is this newspaper. They love the crinkling sound this toy makes and it’s the cutest to see puppies already picking up on a time old dog training tradition of fetching the morning newspaper!
If you have ever had empty plastic bottles laying around and needed to put them to good use-most pups love the sound and destructive play of a plastic bottle. These fun plush covers keep your pup safe and come in a variety of styles and sizes to not only entertain them for hours, but upcycle a common household item!
Investigative problem-solving puzzles not only entertain your puppy, but they also challenge their little brains to keep growing too! Hide treats in some of the pockets and watch their canine noses get to work!
How do I get urine scent out of my house?
There are dozens of products on the market that will take out the scent of urine from the house- but many don’t disinfect for a plethora of viruses and germs at the same time. Why spend double the time cleaning the same spot when you can do it all at once? We love the platinum version of Nature’s Mircale that does just that!
Cleaning carpets can be tricky. We do recommend renting or purchasing a steam cleaner for porous fabrics and materials your puppy may pee, play, or poop on. Between steamings, this pet stain remover does a great job not only with the unsightly visuals, but also the unfriendly smells!
Why Are There Common Items Missing from This List?
There are common puppy related items on this list that are purposefully not included. If you have questions about certain items, or additional items you were considering, we would encourage you to schedule a call with our preferred Puppy Trainer Kimberly, as so many items out on the market influence your training experience with your puppy and can have either a positive or negative effect. She has a wealth of information on additional items she uses in her puppy training camps, as well as thoughts on commonly used products such as puppy pads, harnesses, and play pens. Please contact her here or reach out to Gladys to get her cell number directly.