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Supplies for your new puppy: With this checklist you and the new family member have a successful start into your life together.
Before my dog Pepper moved in with me, I read and researched endlessly. Of course, you don’t want to do anything wrong and be prepared for any situation. There are countless tips and information. After now four months with the little Pepsi I have determined which things the two of us really need, which were useful at the beginning and which were missing on the first checklist of puppy supplies.
Checklist: The ideal first supplies for your puppy
Food and water bowl
The food and water bowls are essential. The size of the bowls should be chosen according to the current size and weight of the puppy and to the expected final size. It is best to see how many grams your dog needs to eat per meal and if the meal fits well in the bowl. If you buy the bowl directly in relation to the final size and thus future meal sizes, you won’t have to buy a new one later. I personally recommend a larger bowl for water and a food bowl of the same size or slightly smaller in relation. So I never run the risk of providing too little water.
The bowls should also not be too high, otherwise the puppy may not be able to reach the food and water well. It is also important that the bowls are easy to clean – preferably dishwasher safe. For Pepper, I have two individual bowls in two different sizes that sit on a mat. Since he is a dachshund mix, I chose bowls that are low.
A topic that is essential, of course, but which raises very divided opinions: Ideally, you give your puppy exactly the food that he / she ate in the first weeks of life. The move is already change enough. A direct food change causes unnecessary stress and can lead to stomach and intestinal upsets in your little one. When your dog has settled in after the first few weeks (or even better, after the first few months), you are welcome to change the food. Then it is completely up to you how and with what you want to feed your dog. With Pepper, I slowly changed the wet food after about 5 weeks. I always mixed the new food with the previous food. Initially, very little of the new food and gradually switched the proportions. So it was very gentle on the stomach. With the dry food I handle it differently since I still feed the same.
Although you can train and reward super with the usual dry food in the beginning, chewables are important. Especially for stress relief and teething, buffalo rumen, chew bones and/or coffee wood chew sticks can be a great support for your pup. These three are also Pepper’s biggest favorites – so I can fully recommend them. Pups will otherwise look for other chewing options to alleviate toothache and stress – in the unattractive case, that’s your furniture, shoes, or anything else lying around.
No matter whether the puppy should sleep later strictly in the crate or not. It is worth its weight in gold, especially in the beginning, which is why I can only recommend it for the puppy’s first supplies. Right on the first evening I got Pepper used to the crate with treats. From the first night he slept in it in my bedroom. He was so close to the bed that I could put my hand in to calm him down, he was not alone and still in a safe environment so I knew nothing would happen to him. Especially the first night is stressful and you worry a lot. There you do something good for yourself, if you know the new family member can not chew anything, fall down somewhere or something fall on her / him.
Another advantage: Dogs usually announces when he/she has to get loose, as soon as he/she has accepted the crate as a sleeping place. So she/he wakes you up at night and also you do not find puddles etc. in the apartment in the morning.
Pepper sleeps in a crate, which I can put for long distances also ideally secured in the car. Thus, the perfect 2 in 1 solution. Even tough our crate works both ways it is not ideal for transporting him in the car. The ADAC recommends some good dog boxes. Since these are more expensive, it is worth buying when the dog is fully grown that is why I chose to do the 2 in 1 option for now and buy the better car box when he is older. For optimum safety, you can of course buy one with the initial supplies.
If you have the opportunity to drop off a blanket either shortly after the birth of your new family member or a few days before picking it up from the breeder, feel free to take advantage of this opportunity. A blanket is great for the dog because he can snuggle up in it. If the blanket smells like mom and siblings, he/she will not feel so alone in the new environment and will have something to feel safe. If you don’t have the option, I still recommend buying a blanket. Whether in the crate, in the bed or simply on the floor, so the puppy feels immediately more comfortable.
In the beginning I recommend a harness and not a collar. If you don’t already get a harness that fits perfectly, it’s best to go to a specialty store after a few days of arrival and get advice. It is important that the harness fits perfectly. This way you protect the joints of your new family member, make sure it is not too loose or too tight. I do not recommend a simple collar for walks in the beginning. When the puppy pulls on the leash, it puts a strain on the neck and spine. With a harness, the pull is distributed over the entire body. However, it makes sense to get the puppy used to both from the beginning. But this does not necessarily have to be from the first day.
The choice of leads is endless. Ultimately, it also depends on personal taste. From the beginning Pepper had three different leashes. A short leash, which is mainly used for the training of the leash leadership. Additionally he has two drag leashes. With these he has more room to run around and still the little puppy is secured. This way he can’t get himself into any dangerous situations. The drag leashes are each 5 and 10 meters long.
A simple but nevertheless enormously important point. It is not only good manners to pick up the dog’s droppings, but you also protect other dogs from diseases. In some cities, there are also free poop bags to take away in many public places. The organic dog poop bags from The Sustainable People are my personal favorite and I can’t imagine everyday life with Pepper without them. They are sustainable, do not tear and neutralize the smell relatively well.
Less is more. The puppy is quickly overwhelmed at first if you give him too many stimuli. He/she is already experiencing so much in the new home with his/her new family. Focus on two toys for the first few days. A harder toy that the puppy can chew on and a softer toy like a cuddly toy. If you decide for a chew toy with nubs, this also massages the gums. So you have a 2 in 1 gadget again. With cuddly toys it is important to buy one especially for animals or dogs. Other cuddly toys may contain toxins or small parts that can be swallowed. In addition, dog toys are often more robust. Pepper has a lion from Hunter, which is still intact after all this time.
If you practice grooming right at the beginning, your new family member will get used to it better. Above all, it makes life easier for you later on. In addition to combing out tangles or dirt, brushing also helps to examine the coat and skin. Especially in the summer months a tick can be discovered quickly. I combed Pepper with a double-sided brush. One side has rounded metal bristles. These glide ideally through medium to long fur. The other side has bristles. These not only promote shine in short and medium length hair but also supports blood circulation through the massage effect.
Dog first aid kit
A dog first aid kit should not be missing on your puppy checklist . There are already assembled sets or you put together the dog pharmacy yourself. Ask your veterinarian what he/she recommends to have in the house. Since Pepper is a little vacuum cleaner and also often has problems with nausea etc., I now always have activated charcoal tablets and sauerkraut at home. In addition, a means for ear and also eye care, tick pliers and bandages have proven helpful for me.
Optional dog / puppy gadgets for the first supplies
Probably a gadget that each thinks of first. However, in my opinion, it is essential only if no crate or box is purchased and that is the only place of sleep and rest for the little one. It is also convenient if you are in different rooms at the beginning.
Puppy play pen
A gadget that is not necessarily essential in the initial equipment but can still be helpful is the puppy play pen. In the beginning Pepper had the play pen in the living room around his basket. So he had a place where he had 100% peace and was also left alone by all people, but I also had security when I went briefly into the kitchen or the hallway.