Suggested Puppy Supplies

The Basics

  • Crates: for larger dogs, get one (plastic or nylon) to fit Puppy now for the car. Get a second crate (wire, with 2 doors & a divider panel) for the house. Make it large enough to be comfy for your puppy to lay down, stretch out, stand up & turn around in — as an adult. Use the divider panel to adjust the crate size as Pup grows. Grant Pup more space in her crate as she matures & learns not to soil it.
  • Separate food & water bowls: Stainless steel or heavy glass bowls are healthier than plastic or glazed ceramic ones.
    Food & treats: Get a high quality diet from your vet, breeder, feed store or online. Ask your trainer for healthy treat recommendations. Avoid brands sold in grocery & drug stores.
  • Exercise pen: For confinement indoors and outside. For flexibility, get a wire expen with a door in one of the panels and a wire top to use as needed.
  • Baby Gate: To block doorways, halls or stairs. Get the tallest one you can find. Look for one that’s pressure mounted, metal, with vertical bars & swing-open door.
  • Leash: 6-ft, comfy in your hands (not chain) & durable. Cotton web leashes are nice, but not chew proof. So keep them out of Pup’s reach when you can’t supervise.
  • Collar: Flat, slider adjusted collars are great for small, hard to fit puppies. But the clasp can pop as Pup grows & gets stronger. Switch to a buckle style collar as soon as you can.
  • Flexi retractable leash: 26 ft. – To exercise Pup under leash control. Only to be used on a harness; NEVER a neck collar. (Use your 6-ft. leash to teach a loose leash walk by your side.)
  • Grooming tools: Discuss best options with your trainer, vet or groomer.
  • Nail trimmers: Ask your vet, groomer or trainer to show you what kind to get & how to use them.

Chew toys:

  • Faux lambswool or canvas stuffed squeaky toys (Canvas is tougher.)
  • Sterilized bone: You stuff these hollow bones to keep Pup busy. If Pup tries to chew thru the bone from the center outside, discontinue. It’s too hard for her teeth to be chewed that way.
  • Kong: There are endless ways to stuff Kongs to keep Pup happy & busy!
  • Tennis ball: There are small ones for petite pups, extra thick ones for heavy chewers & jumbo ones for big dogs.
  • Rope toy
  • Nyla or Guma bones: Puppies love these. Adult dogs may turn their noses up to them.
  • Bully sticks, antlers & Himalayan chews: These are the newest & healthiest animal-product chews on the market. Preserve their novelty factor by only offering them to Pup when you want to occupy her. Remove them to prevent Pup from going thru them too fast. (Bully sticks are smelly, but that works in your favor to occupy Pup.)

Chew toys to avoid:

  • Small rawhide products
  • Pigs’ ears
  • Cooked poultry & fish bones
  • Small, plastic squeakies
  • Thin latex toys & painted toys (usually from China & toxic)
  • Stuffed toys with features that can be easily chews off & swallowed

Toy tips:

Always have lots of toys available for Puppy. This increases her chances of choosing the right item to chew. Provide toys of the varied textures, sizes & types. Dogs think big; even the little guys like a toy they can muscle around. And, Pup’s chewing preferences will vary from moment to moment. Don’t give Pup toys that she can easily shred, swallow or eat. Always supervise her with a new toy. Then you’ll know it’s safe for her, and you can get her excited about playing with it via praise & interaction. Get involved & be enthusiastic. Make her chew toys more interesting & available than your slippers!

Suggested reading list

This is the short, starter version of our more complete list. Puppies can be overwhelming, and so can reading material. So we narrowed it down to the best of the bunch for beginners.

“Before & After Getting Your Puppy” by Ian Dunbar  This is a classic. But Dr. Dunbar can make you feel like you need to train & socialize 24/7. Impossible, of course, but he does help you realize how critical early, non-overwhelming puppy socializing is. Read it & keep it handy as a resource. Don’t let it stress you. Keep it in perspective.

“Way to Go! – How to Housetrain a Dog of Any Age” – A booklet by Patricia McConnell
(Check our house training tips, too!)

“The Whole Dog Journal’s Handbook of Dog & Puppy Care & Training”  This is a great book that covers many subjects. Use it as a resource to pick up & read as you please. The Whole Dog Journal magazine is great, too. They don’t accept advertising, so their food & product reviews are trustworthy. If you subscribe, you get access to all of their back issues on the site. Fabulous, invaluable info! They also have a nice newsletter & many terrific e-books by the best in the biz. Subscribe & consider this a go-to site for your dog’s life!

“Raising Puppies & Kids Together” by Pia Silvani & Lynn Eckhardt. Includes socializing techniques, positive training techniques and important rule to teach your child. Read this “for a safe, sane & happy household”.