What shall I buy for my puppy?

It's always exciting to wait for our new family member to come into our life. You need to make sure everything will be ready for your puppy.


Microchip: You must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip by the time it's 8 weeks old. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog is not microchipped.

https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped


Insurance: choose lifetime insurance instead of yearly because if your dog has any lifelong medical issue (diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, atopy, osteoarthritis, urinary tract disease ..etc.), yearly insurance won't cover it.

 

Daily life

Food: normally, puppies come with a small amount of that food what the breeder gave them. If you wish to change in the future, choose a good quality brand of dog food and not use the shops' own-brand foods. Make sure you need to swap the old food with a new one step by step, mix a small amount new with the old one and increase the new until the old completely gone. Sudden change can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Food and water bowls: plastic (cheapest, but dogs can chew easily), ceramic (most of the dogs like it, but can break easily), stainless steel (cheap, but some dogs are scared because of the shine and noise of the food inside), elevated dog bowls (comfortable, but it has higher risk to cause bloat in large/giant breeds), automatic dog bowls (comfortable for the owners, but non-programmable can cause obesity, programmable the dogs can break it to get more food, better to feed in person), slow feeder (recommend for the dogs who are eating too fast their food and this habit lead to vomit or excess gas).

Crate/bed: Most owners buy a crate for their dogs, especially for the puppy age. The crate should be a safe place for the puppies, as a den in the wild. Make sure it can't be too small because that can cause stress for your dog. When you buy a bed, buy a bigger one instead of changing every stage of your puppy's growth.

My dogs didn't have crate; from their puppy age, they were sleeping close to me in their bed, and slowly I moved their bed to the final place. When I needed to leave them alone at home, they had access only in the corridor, so they had freedom, and because our corridor didn't have any hazards, they were in a safe place, too.

Playpen/Baby gate: these are the best option to leave your puppy safe when leaving your home.

Puppy pads: if you plan to use them for your puppy toilet training, you need to buy puppy pads. Do not put too many inside the house; choose only 1, max. 2 places because of too many cause confusion in your puppy and takes longer the toilet training. Do not move the training pads once your puppy knows the place(s). If you have a garden, better start teaching your puppy from the first day to go out to do their business.

Collar and tag: All of the dogs needs to wear a collar with a tag. You need to write on the tag: dog's name, your phone number, your address (if room allows), medical needs (if room allows and need it). The collar needs to be fit for the dog; you should fit two fingers underneath it.

Harness: choose a safety harness because puppies can easily take out themselves from some non-safety harnesses. Do not use a harness inside the house for your dog; they don't need it, and it can be uncomfortable for them to wear all day. If you teach your dog to accept the harness, use only 10-15 minutes in time but not all day.

Toys: dogs don't need too many toys. It's not a point to buy 20 toys, but none of them is interactive for your puppy. Do not forget quality (good material) is more important than quantity. Toys need to include some chewing and some interactive toys, too. You can buy soft toys for your dog, but do not forget those less interactive toys for dogs.

I recommend KONG products (my dogs are using them, too). They have some non-familiar brand toys as well what they love, but all of them are interesting to them.

Brush/comb/nail clipper: choose a brush/comb that fits your dog's coat type. If you are unsure how you need to cut your dog's nails, ask your vet to show you; if you are not trusting in yourself, bring your dog to your vet or a groomer when they need a nail cut. Too long nails can cause pain and discomfort (curl over the dog's paw, break...etc.).

Toothpaste/Toothbrush: Dental care is really important for dogs. Feed your dog with dry kibbles (not only wet food), use a tooth cleaning product, and regular dental check-up can prevent dental issues. You can find many products in the market - many kinds of toothpaste with flavour, finger or normal toothbrushes or liquid dental care.

Dog shampoo: Buy shampoo for dogs, not human shampoo! Dogs skin are very different from human skin. Choose the right type of shampoo - puppy shampoo, flea shampoo, sensitive skin shampoo...etc. If you run out of shampoo and your dog is dirty but have baby shampoo at home, you can use it, but make sure ASAP to buy a dog shampoo. Do not give a bath to your dog often (if it's so dirty, of course, you can and need), but it depends on your dog breed, coat type...etc. Normally try to do not earlier than every 4 weeks, but if the dog is not smelly or dirty and summertime, for example, every 6 weeks can be ideal. (between the bath times, you can help yourself use wipes/wet towels to clean your dog after every walk). Over-bathing could strip too much oil from the skin and disrupt this process.