Essential Puppy Checklist

Essential Puppy Checklist

Melbourne, 13 Jan 2019 - Firstly congratulations on the new addition to your family! Now, I'm going to be totally honest; when we adopted Duke, we went completely overboard on buying puppy 'essentials' (up to the sum of $800!) that we didn't need. I did the thing that all new parents do, I panic bought. I thought I needed to have every possible single item when in reality I only needed a few key things. And let's face it, if you suddenly realise you need something you don't have, you can just run out to the local shops, or order online.

Here's my list of things to buy/organise before you bring your puppy home;

1. Dog bed 
I went overboard buying an orthopaedic dog bed (that I made my father-in-law bring over from America)....and Duke destroyed in about a month! I suggest going with something cheaper to start with, and if your pup doesn't destroy, you can upgrade at a later stage, if your dog is like Duke, you are going to go through 8 beds in a year. 

2. Dog food
Ask your breeder what food they are currently feeding your pup, and do your research. If you decide to go with a different brand, buy a small bag of your pups current food, and slowly transition over to the new food. 

3. Dog collar and leash
As well as a collar and leash you also need to get a tag cut with your contact details - just in case your pooch goes for a little adventure. Check out our range of collars and leashes; they feature a double lock on the collar. 

4. Book puppy pre-school
Book puppy pre-school through your vet's clinic. Puppy pre-school is designed for pups between the age of 8-16 weeks. It gives them the opportunity to socialise, and puppy parents the chance to learn basic training techniques and health tips from the vets. We had no idea about worming tablets, injections, etc., these classes helped to cover the necessary information that we needed (bonus - you get to play with everyone else's puppies too!). 

5. Puppy specific toys and treats
Don't go overboard! Research the types of rewards you want to give your pup -  your vet and breeder will provide you with advice. I highly recommend the Kong Puppy Toy and the Kong Knot Collection

6. Toilet training 
Puppy pads, and/or puppy toilet. If you have grass, the puppy pads should service (1 option from Pet Circle), if you have a courtyard then you may also want to invest in the puppy toilet (1 option from Pet Circle). 

7. Dog bowls 
Dog bowls and stand - depending on the breed of dog. If your pup will be indoors and outside, you will need bowls for both areas. If you're getting a larger dog, consider getting bowls with a stand - we bought this raised dog bowl for Duke, and it's been great as we've been able to slowly adjust the height of the bowls with his growing legs.  

8. Grooming items 
Brush and puppy toothbrush. The type of brush you get will depend on your pup's hair type. As Duke does not shed, we went with this rake it style brush. If you're getting a dog that will shed hair, our friends with a German Shepherd have raved about the FURminator. Again, ask your breeder for their recommendation. Puppy toothbrush - dog dental work is expensive! If you can get your pup used to brushing their teeth early on, it could save you a lot of money in the long term. We purchased our toothbrush from our vets. See below 'other items' for additional grooming items to consider. 

9. Sprays
No-chew and no-wee spray. We used the Rufus and Coco sprays, but again, do your research and decide what products are best for you. 

10. Walking
Walking bag and poop bags. I bought a bumbag on sale, and it's honestly been one of the best buys. My partner and I wear it every single walk. It holds a supply of poop bags (buy these in bulk, check out these bio-degradable poop bags), a ball, and treats (remember to take treats out at the end of each walk and place back in fridge or cupboard), plus has space for phone and keys. 

11. Pet Insurance
If we didn't have pet insurance, we would be out about $7000 (and Dukes only 15 months). Pups like to eat things they shouldn't. Friends from the dog park have consumed keys, corn husks, socks, raisins etc. One puppy friend was bitten by a spider, another has required dental work, and another needed surgery on their shoulders. It honestly pays off. 

Other items to consider 

  1. Crate - if you decide to crate train. 
  2. Outdoor dog bed - if your pup will spend a lot of time outdoors. 
  3. Kennel - if your pup will sleep outside.
  4. Blanket - you might have an old blanket that you decide to donate to your pup, or you may wish to buy them something new to keep in their kennel/dog bed/section of the sofa that they are allowed to sit. 
  5. Towels (again, you might have some old towels laying around that you can use). We keep a towel in the car, and by the front door (post-park mud sessions/post-beach sessions). Towels will come in handy when you're cleaning up pee, and if your pup's a messy drinker, you might like to place one under the water bowl. 
  6. Dog seatbelt/harness - if you're pooch is going to be in the car with you. 
  7. Collapsable dog bowl  - for long walks/car journeys etc. 
  8. Join a breed specific Facebook page. We are part of AirNet Australia - a page for Airedale owners. Breed specific pages are a great place to ask other owners questions, share photos, and arrange meet-ups. 
  9. Other grooming items. Nail clippers -  I would suggest holding off until you have seen the vet. We have never cut Duke's nails (as he has a few black ones), the vet does it for us, and to be honest, all the walking helps to file them down. Shampoo and condition - ask your breeder and vet what they recommend. Depending on the breed of dog, and how much your pup likes bath time, you may only get them washed at the groomers. 

Remember to look on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree for second-hand items, and ask your friends and family too. I've just donated half a pack of leftover puppy pads to my best friend (for her puppy), and we've had a friend from the dog park donate her puppy loo. People are always willing to see their old/leftover items go to a good home. 

Good luck! 

Essential Puppy Checklist

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