It's essential to prepare in advance for the arrival of your new puppy. Whilst choosing the right food is important, there are also a number of other preparations you need to make, such as a space to eat and drink, a place to sleep and things to play with. Preparing a checklist of essential items is a useful way to make sure you have everything you need before your new puppy arrives.
Your puppy needs plenty of time to rest and sleep once they arrive, as it helps them to grow, so providing them with a comfortable bed or a puppy crate is essential. Beds should be positioned in a quiet corner where they have space of their own.
This will help your puppy get used to their new home, and give them somewhere to feel safe to fall asleep. Choose easy to clean bedding that is still thick enough to be comfortable, and perhaps add a rag with the mother’s scent to help your puppy settle more easily.
Food and water bowls for your puppy
Durable food and water bowls are important as your teething puppy will chew anything in sight, which can be a problem when using plastic bowls. Stainless steel food and water bowls are recommended as they are more sanitary and easy to clean, they also don't break or chip like ceramic bowls.
Find a permanent place for your puppy’s bowls that's quiet and safe, so they have a consistent area to eat. It's best to leave a little bowl for food and a bigger one filled with water.
Puppy grooming brush or comb
Your puppy will need a specialised grooming brush or comb to keep their coats healthy and tidy. Grooming your puppy regularly familiarises them with being touched and handled by people, which will make the task easier for both of you as they grow bigger and stronger.
There are a number of brushes or grooming mitts available for dogs. Grooming tools are designed for specific hair lengths so it's important to choose one that's suited to your puppy's coat.
Toys for your puppy
Providing toys for your puppy to play with is a good way to socialise and avoid them chewing on your furniture. It’s important to choose a toy that is appropriate for the size of your puppy. Toys should be twice the size of your puppy's mouth to prevent the risk of choking or strangulation.
Rubber dog toys tend to be the most durable, but should only be purchased from reputable pet stores or the vet clinic. Soft toys aren't indestructible, but some are sturdier than others. Soft toys should be machine washable.
It's important to never leave your puppy unsupervised with rope or material toys as they can become a choking hazard if swallowed, or cause an intestinal blockage. Bones should also be avoided as they can splinter and cause internal injuries. Once your puppy’s toys start to show signs of wear and tear you should discard them to avoid any accidents.
Puppy Collar and lead
Although they won’t venture beyond the garden in the early days, a collar and lead are essential so your puppy gets used to wearing them. Make sure the collar is snug enough so it can’t slip over your puppy’s head and includes a tag carrying your name and telephone number.
Having all the basic items prepared in advance will help your new puppy adjust more easily as you introduce them to their new home.