It’s that time of year when it feels like everyone is getting a puppy – or perhaps it’s because I am a dog trainer and everyone I speak to wants to talk to me about puppies!!
Either way – NEW PUPPY!!!! How incredibly exciting and awesome. Puppies are pure joy and a whole lot (a lifetime in fact) of fun.
But… the key to the joy, fun and the good bits is good preparation. One of the most common questions people ask me when we chat is “What do I need to prepare for a puppy?” and that is the best question.
Why? Because if there is one thing that I love nearly as much as I love dogs, it’s shopping for dogs.
So here are my unusual eight things you need to buy to prepare for your new puppy. I picked these as there are so many lists out there giving you the ‘essential things to buy for your puppy’ but most of them say the same things over and over again. Bowls, leads, treats – yes, sure. But these eight things are puppy must haves and always get missed off the list!
Looking for a full list of must have items for your puppy? I have a long list in PDF format which I’ve sent to a clients and comes as part of the handout for our Be Brilliant Dogs Puppy Classes and One-to-One Training.
But even if you aren’t a client, you can still drop me an email on Jen@BeBrilliantDogs.co.uk and ask for the puppy handout and I’ll send it over to you! Totally free.
Eight Essential Things You Need For Your New Puppy
- A waterproof coat. For you that is! Come wind, rain, snow, sleet, ice… you now have a puppy relying on you to let them out for a wee, stand with them whilst they find the best place to poop (yup that is a thing) and to exercise them come what may. So invest in a really good wind proof, water proof coat which dries quickly! Then, when the wind is blowing a and the rain is whipping at your face, you’ll pull up your hood and thank me that you don’t just have some terrible fashion coat from Topshop to keep you warm!
- An OS map of your local area. When puppy is young, your walks will be short and the local park will feel like a huge space to explore. But as Pup turns into teenager and then to full blown hiking dog buddy, you’ll want more than a few laps of your local park to keep you both entertained. An OS map will help you discover footpaths, bridle paths and rights of way which will open your local area up to you in ways you couldn’t of imagined. You thought you were preparing for a puppy, but in fact you have a life-long four paws explorer at your side.
- A long line. You might have already brought a lead, but I promise you – you need a long line. Don’t go out and buy a retractable lead – buy a separate long line for your walks. A long line is an essential bit of kit when you are working on your puppy’s recall and makes sure your puppy and other people’s dogs stay safe. I recommend a flat biothane long line without a loop – lightweight, easy to clean, dries easily and no loop to get caught along the floor. I bought a number of my biothane long lines from: https://www.biothanebert.dog/buy-now
- Kongs – KongS – multiple! You can by these on ebay in batch and you absolutely should do. Fill em, freeze em, pop em in a crate, drop one on the bed when you’re on a Zoom call, give one to pup while you’re watching the finale of Great British Bake Off… stuffed Kongs give your dog something to do, allow puppy to sooth their teething pains, keep their brain busy and all you to enjoy some chill out time. If you have brought one – GREAT! But go get yourself 3 or 4 more. Then you always have one in the freezer, one in the dishwasher, one ready to be filled and one you lost under your bed…
- Water Bowls – yup I really did just put this on a list of ‘unusual essential things you need to buy for your new dog’ and nope, I’m not mad. You need to buy multiple types of water bowl made from different materials! Some dogs will happily drink out of any what way bowl, but I’ve seen many puppies dislike metal bowls, or not want to drink from huge ceramic bowls, or dogs which prefer the spaniel bowls… and you need puppy to drink, so buy a few cheaper bowls of different shapes and materials and place them around the house. Take a note of which one your puppy likes best and then buy the fancy one with your dogs name on it if you want to. A puppy needs to drink to stay healthy, offering them the choice of bowl can help them settle in quickly and avoids you having health related problems if your pup doesn’t drink enough!
- Nail clippers – or a dremel – whatever you choose, get it before puppy arrives and start working on making handling and grooming joyful and stress-free from week one. Nail clipping is an essential part of puppy and dog ownership that often gets over-looked. Hey – I get it – it’s not sexy or award winning, nail clipping can be a bit scary the first time you do it too. But! The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this at all, it can be fun, it can be easy and it can be simple to keep you dogs nails trimmed. Also – huge benefit for you – trimmed dog nails don’t scratch half as much!
- A Treat Pouch – these things are so personal, you’ll get recommendations all over the internet on the “best treat pouch to buy”, but honestly it does depend on what you like the best. Things to think about are – do you want one with a built in belt or one that clips onto you waist band? Do you want one with a draw string opening or a zip? How big – enough to do one short walk or one which stores enough treats to have in all day? Do you want it to go through the dishwasher or the washing machine – because yup, you need to wash them! What do you want it made from? Will you be using dry or soggy treats? Once you have had a think about all of these questions, go out and invest in a decent treat pouch, the easier it is to use the more you’ll want to use it! My (current) favorite is this one: https://thetrainerspouch.com/
- A list of dog friendly places to hangout – I could of written “pen and paper here” or “Microsoft Excel”, but the reality is it doesn’t matter how you keep the data, you just need to know where you can take your pup for days out in your local town or city. Before your puppy comes home, walk around your local area and make a note of every place you can take your dog. For example, dog friendly cafes, pubs, shops, community halls etc. Make a note of how busy the places are and try to find a mix of places which are jam packed and also just one person every hour. When your puppy is ready to socialize, this list will make your plans so much easier! Of course, if you want to know more about the important of puppy socialization and training, we invite you to join our Puppy group classes held near to Knighton, Powys OR take a look at booking a one-to-one for your new puppy with Be Brilliant Dogs.
So that is it! 8 usual essential things you need for your new dog that often get over-looked!
If you want more guidance on what to buy for your new puppy, or just want to have a nose through my dog essential recommendations – you can email me and request it at Jen@BeBrilliantDogs.co.uk