Planning on getting a puppy? Got the expected dates of arrival of your puppy(if you are getting direct from a responsible breeder)? Walked into the pet shop and took a puppy home on impulse(Ideally not! But we understand it happens!)?
Whether you are a first time pawrent or many times over, we have put together a list of stuff you would want to make sure yours and your puppy's every need is taken care of.
DAY ONE OF GETTING PUPPY HOME!
1. Playpen : for sense of security and potty training!
Your home is a new strange environment for your little puppy. Having a designated area for your puppy will help it feel safer in the new place. And unless you want your puppy to be peeing and pooping all around the house or apartment, you will want to restrict your little one to a smaller area that gives it enough space to roam and still be potty trained. Even if you can dedicate a whole room in your big bungalow to your puppy, DON’T!
A good option is to get a playpen that is expandable as your puppy grows. If you can supervise your puppy frequently, you should give it just enough space in the playpen to sleep. This is because dogs do not like to pee and poop where they sleep. What you need to do is to bring your pawkid to its designated potty place very frequently so it gets conditioned to the practice of holding it's business till it gets to the designated place. A rule of thumb is that your puppy can hold their bladder for age + 1 hours; e.g. a 3 month old puppy can hold for 4 hours. But every puppy is different so the more frequent you can bring it to its potty area, the less accidents you will have and the faster your puppy get conditioned to pee at the designated spot.
If you are not able to supervise your puppy that regularly, you may want to expand the playpen area to include space for a pee tray on one side whilst your puppy sleeps and eat on the other side. Ideally, you will be able to expand your playpen and place the pee pad or pee tray further and further away from your puppy over time. Eventually, you will want to move the pee tray to the designated pee/poo area, e.g. the toilet or the yard.
We have seen some articles recommending to let your puppy sleep in a crate. Nothing wrong with that but we do feel that is too restrictive and we don’t like the idea of keeping doggos caged up.
Here’s some playpens we have curated for your easy shopping. Check them out!
Doggos are not born to eat kibble. It is easy for you to think that way when all you see is packs of kibble in pet stores and heavy marketing on media. Don’t! Just google and you will find a lot of reasons not to feed kibble or processed food to your doggo and give them human grade nutritious raw or cooked food instead. We prepare healthy home cooked meals for our doggo and witness the proof in its firm, soft and non-stinky poop every day! Come on board and start serving your puppy human grade food! If you are too busy to cook and are in Singapore, order from us!
If you still decide on feeding your puppy kibble, here's 1 DO and 2 DON'TS.
1. DO get from trusted brands, not just the cheapest.
2. DON'T buy in bulk as the expiry date only applies to unopened bags.
3. DON'T repack into separate bags or containers as the packaging of quality kibble brands have an extra oil resistant lining to protect the food from oxygen and moisture, and to help retain flavor. Also, the original bags have the production and expiry dates for reference.
3. Food and Water Bowl/Tray
The first feeding bowl should be fit for the size of your puppy and not too fanciful. Unless your puppy is a toy breed that won't outgrow its bowls, it won’t be long before you need to upgrade the bowls! Other than upgrading your bowl to fit your doggo’s size, here’s some considerations you should have too:
Bowls for long ear breeds: If you use normal feeding bowls for doggos with long ears, be prepared to have to clean or dry their ears after feeds. There are bowls specially designed for long ear breeds. Find out more from our blog.
Slow Feed Bowls : Doggos that eat too fast risk choking or getting bloat; both conditions are potentially life threatening. If your doggo has a tendency to eat too fast, you most certainly should get slow feeding food and water bowls to help it eat slowly and safely. And if your doggo is fussy with food, avoid slow feeding bowls at all cost! Read more about slow feeding bowls or get one from our store!
Spills and Splashes : Some doggos are messy eaters whilst some pawrents are stressed by mess. Not a problem as there are solutions for this. Check out these non splash, non spill options to reduce or prevent food and water from spilling and splashing over!
Ha, so many bowls to consider! Want to see them all? Here's all our bowls in our online store!
4. Pee Tray & Pee Pad : for potty training!
These 2 items go hand in hand to help condition your puppy to answer nature’s call at a designated area. Even if you intend to grass train your puppy once it is ready for the outdoors, you should still potty train your puppy indoors so it is conditioned to do so when you can’t bring it outdoors. We made this mistake with our second dog, thinking that we want to keep it's business outdoors...but we learned that there will be times our doggo needed to do it indoors and it didn't know what to do then so we ended up having to train him when he was older.
It is also good to have a pee tray to cover the pee pad so your doggo doesn’t chew up the pee pad when it is teething or the pee pad is not blown away by your fan. Alternatively, you can also use old newspapers or just use the pee tray without pee pads but these alternatives mean you have to wash the floor or the pee tray regularly.
Check out our pee tray and pee pad options here. Consider buying a year’s supply of pee pads for bulk savings!
5. Cloth or Wet wipes
Expect lots of wiping and cleaning to do for your puppy as it will step on or lie on its own poop and urine! So it is handy to have cloth or wet wipes within reach to quickly clean your puppy before it messes up other areas!
6. Cotton Pads
There is one more essential area to clean! Your puppies’ eyes! You should clean your puppy’s eyes daily to remove eye boogle before they clog up the eye area and cause eye infections. All you need is cotton pad and water. Simply clean the eye area with wet cotton pads!
7. Ear wipes and Ear cleaning solution
Cleaning a doggo’s ear is an important part of their care and grooming. It can be very challenging if your doggo is averse to ear cleaning. So, get them into that habit when they are a puppy! Use ear cleaning solutions for deep cleansing of the ear and ear wipes for cleaning the areas that your fingers can reach. Get some advice on how to clean your puppy’s ears from AKC!
Here's some ear wipes for you.
8. Enzymatic cleaner
No matter how diligent you are in potty training your doggo, expect pee and poo accidents to happen. And no matter how much you love your puppy, the mess from pee and poo can make you wonder what you got yourself into! Get yourself an Enzymatic cleaner to remove the stubborn stains and odor, and more importantly, your stress too! We recommend that you get the cleaner that also deters your puppy from repeatedly soiling the same spot!
If your puppy is a breed with long, wavy, curly or thick fur coats, you certainly need a brush to maintain a nice coat before the hair gets matted and dirty. Some doggo breeds need daily multiple brushing to maintain a smooth healthy coat and prevent the fur from getting matted. So, it is essential to get the right brush for your doggo breed.
10. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
It is definitely a good practice to get your puppy into the habit of having his teeth cleaned! It goes a long way in maintaining dental health and fresh breath! Here’s a good blog on how to clean your puppy’s teeth.
11. Bath Towel and Bath Tub
Your puppy is ready for its first bath at 8weeks old! All you need is a bath towel, bath tub and lukewarm water! We know some pawrents can be quite panicky at the thought of bathing their little pawkid, like new parents are with their hooman newborns! So, we have found you a good article on bathing your puppy! https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/bathing-your-puppy-step-by-step-guide/
We've got some nice comfy super absorbent bath towels in our store too!
12. Hair Dryer
Ok your first reaction is that you already have a hair dryer for hooman. And that works but with a few cautions. A doggo blow dryer has lower heat settings and noise compared to human hair dryers. So if you are using your hooman hair dryer for your puppy, set to the lowest heat and hold it away from your puppy so it is not too hot or loud for it. The Dyson supersonic hair dryer can be a good option as it has the cool mode that is also quieter! Ideally, you should get a dog blow dryer.
13. Diaper (Male / Female)
Diapers can be useful if you can’t attend to your puppy’s pee regularly and yet want to let it roam around more freely. With the diapers, you can focus on what you need to do for a few hours without having to worry that your puppy will be leaving urine everywhere. One caveat is that it can’t hold your puppy’s poop, but with some luck, your puppy might not need to poop during that few hours!
Not only would you be keen to give your puppy nice snacks, you will need small treats for training and rewarding them. We absolutely recommend you to only get human grade treats for your puppy and not go for unhealthy bad processed snacks with long shelf life. We make our own snacks for our doggo, so can you! Alternatively, if you are in Singapore, you can also order treats from us!
15. Leash, Harness and Collar
Let’s be clear…you are not going to be taking your puppy out for walks until 7 days after completing the full round of vaccinations at about 16 weeks! But you will still need a leash and harness or collar to bring your doggo to the vet. At this stage, we recommend that you get a fit for purpose harness or collar as your puppy will grow out of it pretty soon. You can also use this period to try different types of harnesses and collars before choosing the right one for you and your doggo’s adult age. If your puppy has a relatively reserved personality and doesn’t exhibit escapist behaviours, you may not need a harness and can just rely on a collar. If your puppy is very active and easily excitable, you should get a harness for a safer control of your puppy, compared to using a collar.
As for the leash, you can get one that is suitable for your doggo’s adult breed size so your doggo won’t outgrow the leash. We have tried many leashes and nothing beats the multi loop leash for control and comfort. You just need to choose the leash width depending on your doggo’s size and the level of restraint you need to apply on your doggo. Check out our collection of Truelove Multi-loop leashes!
16. Car Safety Gadgets
You will probably have to bring your doggo out to the vet for vaccinations and you may not always have someone in the passenger seat to carry your puppy whilst you drive safely. If that is the case, you would need a seat belt to give your doggo a safe ride. Simply attach the seat belt buckle to your doggo's harness. Do not attach the seat belt to your puppy's collar as a sudden impact would be too strong a pull on your puppy's neck.
Look out for our blog to find out which of the 3 types of seat belts suit you best!
Safety first! Get the seat belt that suits you and your doggo soonest! We have also included car seat covers and hammocks to our collection so you have the option to keep your car seat clean and scratch free too!
17. Storage Box
It’s easy to find your house full of doggo stuff everywhere and soon you will be searching everywhere for your doggo stuff too! Get a storage box to keep everything in one place, and be disciplined doing that. It can save you lots of time and anxiety from having to locate your doggo’s stuff when you need them most!
18. Home Improvement (Baby Gate/ Furniture Protector / Fence)
Imagine your hooman toddler starts crawling and bumping into things and chewing stuff or putting things into his mouth….well the same will happen with a puppy, just much quicker and more damaging. Think "No Eat!"; "No Go!"; "No Chew!"
No Eat! - Keep out of reach or remove everything that is toxic or dangerous for your pawkid, e.g. chocolates, plants, grapes, sharp objects, medication, cleaning solution, rat poison etc. Check out these pet safe disinfectant cleaners that are used by vet clinics!
No Go! - Install barriers (e..g baby gates) or fences or deterrent mats to keep your puppy from accessing places they shouldn’t; e.g. making sure they can’t jump out the window or balcony, nor squeeze through your entrance gate or garden rails or going into the kitchen or jumping onto your antique chair etc.
No Chew! - Protect your beautiful and expensive furniture from your puppy, especially when they are in the chew phase. Get them chew toys that last and chew-proof your furniture with chew deterrent sprays and furniture covers!
It’s a good idea to get your puppy covered early so you can have the widest medical and accident coverage for your doggo whilst it is still a young puppy. Make sure you shop for one sooner than later!
PUPPY IS ABOUT 3 MONTHS OLD!
20. Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner
First things first….don’t use human shampoos and conditioners as they may not have the right ph levels and may cause irritation for your doggo! Depending on your doggo’s type of fur coat, and whether your doggo has any skin condition, you would want to choose the right shampoo and conditioner to keep your doggo clean, healthy and looking smelling good!
21. Chew Toy
Your puppy’s urge to chew gets intense whey they are about 3 to 6 months old. A good way to satisfy their urge and distract them from your beautiful furniture or shoes etc. is to get them a few chew toys to play with. A good chew toy should be made of quality safe material that is not too hard but yet durable enough to last a long time. We find the KONG range of chew toys to be of very good quality and so we have listed a few KONG chew toy options for puppies to senior dogs for you to choose from.
22. Nail Clipper
Trimming your doggo’s nails is not just cosmetic, it is essential for your doggo’s health and hygiene. Read all about nail trimming in this expert advice on AKC.
So, start trimming your puppy’s nails and get them conditioned to let you do so in future! If you are squeamish about clipping your puppy’s nails, it’s ok you are one of the majority; consider getting your groomer to show you!
23. Poop Bags and Dispenser
Be a responsible Pawrent and pick up your puppy’s poop! Don’t give hooman kids and pawkids the chance to step on poop or worse, eat poop! Tie the poop bag before you throw into the bin to keep the smell and flies away too! We have seen pawrents picking up poop with newspapers…that works too except that the smell will be hard to contain.
Hook a poop bag dispenser to your leash handle so you won’t forget to bring your poop bags along! Some dispensers with torch are very useful in helping you search for all the poop treasures during your night walk. We have sourced these for you so you can easily purchase a whole year’s supply of poop bags(cheaper too) with a free dispenser. We have also included the more fanciful dispenser designs for the more fashionably conscious or for those who need the night light assist. Check out our poop essentials!
24. Water bottle / Collapsible Bowl
Going for long walks? Make sure you bring along a collapsible bowl or a water bottle with attached cup so your doggo can get a water or food break too! What we like about the collapsible bowl is that it is light and you can just fill it up with water from your own hooman water bottle or from the water point along your walk if there is one. Alternatively, the water bottle with attached cup is great for longer walks when you need all the water to yourself and still have enough for your doggo!
WOAH! YOUR PUPPY IS 6 MONTHS OLD!
25. Bed / Raised Bed
Why get a nice bed now and not earlier? Because your doggo should have been potty trained by now and have gone past its intensive chew period so your nice comfortable dog bed can last a lot longer! We don’t want you to make the same mistake we made….buying a luxurious bed for our puppy only to have it chew it up in no time!
And by now, you would have decided if your doggo sleeps on your bed or its own bed!
If you are getting a bed for your doggo, we recommend that you consider getting a raised bed. Some of the benefits of an elevated bed are that your doggo doesn’t have to sleep on the hard floor and the space between the raised bed and the floor allows for even temperature to flow through, ensuring your doggo doesn’t get too hot or too cold.
And of course, we have curated a collection of good beds on our online store that you can gift to your doggo!
Have we missed anything? Please email us other suggestions to help new pawrents!