The first trip down the pet store aisle can be overwhelming for any new dog parent. The wide variety of products and brands, all expertly marketed to make it appear as though they are ‘must haves’, can leave one wondering how much is actually necessary to properly raise their new canine companion. NuVet Labs created a new puppy checklist to help you be ready before you bring your new pup home!
The new puppy checklist identifies the most important items when adopting a new dog and some tips for selecting the perfect one for the family. Get more pet information by following the NuVet Twitter page.
While it’s nice to offer your pet a soft, cushy bed to lie in while you are around, a crate is an important part of training your puppy. The crate will become a safe, secure place for your pet. It will help you immensely as you potty train your dog. Entice your pup to enter the crate by making it as comfortable as possible. Consider adding a blanket or a fun toy.
The ideal crate will be large enough for the dog once he has reached his adult size, but also capable of being partitioned while the dog is still a puppy. While not all puppies require partitioning, some may be tempted to use a portion as a bathroom if the crate is too large. It is really only necessary for the dog to be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down within the crate. While some people find that dogs seem to prefer plastic crates, they are more difficult to partition.
Food and Water Dishes
Especially when the dog is young, avoid using bowls that are excessively large. Controlling food and water can often play a large role in house training. Since many dogs enjoy playing in water, finding a water dish with a splash area can prevent a potential mess. Choosing stainless steel dishes can also allow the bowls to be easily washed in the dishwasher.
You probably have picked out a high-quality pet food for your new dog. However, you might not realize that it won’t give your pet all of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs.
Pet nutritional supplements, such as NuVet Plus, are essential to helping build your new puppy’s immunity. The chicken liver in NuVet Plus K-9 wafers makes them taste great. You can even use them as a training treat! Learn why these supplements are an important part of your new puppy checklist on YouTube. They give your puppy the best start in life, and give them all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that it needs.
There are a wide variety of collars on the market. Most people only need to get a standard flat collar to hold the dog tags and attach to a leash. The collar should be fitted to allow for two fingers underneath. Certain types of dogs, such as greyhounds, or dogs who are particularly talented at slipping out of their collar, may be better served by a martingale collar.
If you decide to purchase a training collar, it is best to do so with the guidance of an experienced trainer. It is very easy to misuse the various collars such as shock collars, choker collars, or pinch collars and cause serious harm to the pet. If absolutely necessary, most professionals believe the pinch collar to be the least dangerous.
For new dogs, it will be best to buy a leash that allows four to six feet of walking distance. The popular ‘flex’ lead leashes can hamper training efforts. When puppies are very young, the martingale collar or slip lead leash can help prevent them from escaping their collars and putting themselves in danger.
Identification is an important aspect of the puppy checklist ‘must haves’. Dogs should have up-to-date, personalized ID tags at all times. This is necessary in case the animal should ever become separated from the owners. Some professionals also recommend putting phrases such as, “this dog requires regular medication” on the tag to prevent people from being tempted to keep the pet.
It is becoming increasingly popular to microchip dogs as another form of identification. These electronic database tags contain your contact information so that your pet can be returned to you in the event that you both are separated. While some people like to put this information on the dog tag, they should also be aware that this can alert thieves to the microchip and make them less likely to bring the dog to a vet where the chip could be discovered.
Keeping a variety of chew toys and bones around can help keep dogs occupied, improve oral health, and help protect the furniture. There are a variety of chew bones available. Some are toys that allow food to be put inside whereas others are fully edible bones. Those who prefer the more natural approach can get frozen raw marrow bones from a butcher. Do not give dogs regular cooked bones from a plate, especially not chicken bones. These bones can break and swallowed pieces can cause internal damage. If you prefer rawhide, only buy chunks that seem too big for the dog to avoid having pieces break off and cause injury.
This item on the puppy checklist is less for your new pup, and more for you. These products can be a lifesaver for a carpet that has been exposed to dogs. Between grass stains, accidents, and other natural hazards of having pets, a quality enzymatic cleaner can make an enormous difference. For safety and efficiency, find one that is marked specifically for pet use.
Dog Shampoos and Brushes
Dogs, like children, love to play in mud, roll around, and can quickly make a mess of themselves. Dog shampoos and regular baths will help keep them clean. In an absolute pinch, baby shampoo can be a suitable substitute. However, a dog shampoo will be the best suited for the animal’s fur and skin. It is also important to regularly groom dogs, so pick up a quality brush, metal comb, and nail clippers to help keep your new friend looking sharp.
Some owners will find it easier to buy special ‘poop bags’ that often come in easily transportable rolls. Others will be fine simply saving their garbage bags and using them on walks. Whichever scenario applies, it is important to remember to always clean up after dogs. It is often required by law and out of courtesy for others in the neighborhood.
By checking all of the above items off of your puppy checklist, you can ensure you are prepared before you bring your new puppy home.