Take this list with you to check off the essentials you'll need for your puppy's first big day home.
Give him a great start on life! Choose PEDIGREE® PUPPY canned, dry or LITTLE CHAMPIONS® in pouches puppy food to have ready for him when he arrives. Specially formulated with concentrated nutrition and essential antioxidants, PEDIGREE puppy food contains:
- Finely chopped high-quality ingredients
- ADVANCED ANTIOXIDANT RECIPE™ blend to promote healthy cell development and support the immune system
- Balanced calcium & phosphorus for proper growth of all breed sizes
A must-have item for your puppy, his identification tags should be firmly attached to his collar. Remember to include your current address and phone number, as well as his name. It's also a good idea to include a separate tag with your veterinarian's name and phone number. You may even want to consider microchipping as an added identification measure.
Choose a nylon or soft leather collar; collars that expand with your dog are also suitable.
- Some owners prefer short leashes, some long—having both in the house is a good idea. If you're just going out for a little walk, take the short one, if it's a long walk or you're heading over to the park, a longer leash gives your puppy more slack to stretch his legs—and he may not pull as much, either.
- Remember to limit the exposure of your puppy to other puppies and dog parks until he's received his vaccinations.
Food & Water Bowls
You'll need a set of bowls to feed your puppy—To keep your puppy's feeding area neat and safe:
- Try the "non-tip" variety of bowl, or put a plastic, non-slip mat underneath his bowls. This will help him eat more easily without getting his ears and nose in his food and will save you on clean-up time.
- Stainless steel bowls are also recommended as they're easier to clean; if you have kids, stainless steel bowls are more durable and won't break if dropped like ceramic ones.
To keep your puppy's feeding area hygienic:
- Clean both his food and water bowls every day, if possible.
- Remember to re-fill your puppy's bowl with fresh water regularly too; puppies need to stay hydrated to be healthy.
- If you're serving your dog wet puppy food, ensure that it's kept refrigerated and your puppy eats it within 15–20 minutes; if he
- doesn't finish all of his food, discard it and put down fresh food for his next meal.
Toys and ChewsPuppies love to chew. Generally, they chew to entertain themselves, because they're teething or if they're a little bored and want to expend some energy. Choosing toys and chews that are the right size, shape and texture for their growing teeth, mouth and jaws is important for healthy physical development; ask your vet for suggestions on which ones are best for your breed of dog.
Stain Removers and Deodorizers
- Because your puppy can (and will) have accidents as he becomes house-trained, it's a good idea to pick up some stain removers and enzymatic deodorizers.
- The reason for removing accident stains goes beyond making sure your carpet still looks nice—if the area isn't completely cleaned, your dog will continue to smell his personal scent, and keep returning to the area to do it again. Remember, your dog has a superior sense of smell, so even if you can't smell traces of urine, he can.
- If a 'wet' accident has just happened, soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. If you're able to remove the fresh urine before it dries, it will be easier to remove the odor. Repeat this process until the area is barely damp. Next, rinse the area thoroughly with clean, cool water. Again, you'll need to remove as much of the water as possible by blotting with paper towels and newspapers. A wet vacuum is also very helpful. Apply the deodorizer once the area is completely cleaned.
- For washable items, launder them as usual and add a box of baking soda or a cup of vinegar and leave out to air dry.
Shampoo, Brush and Comb, and Toothbrush/Paste
- Because puppies have sensitive skin, talk to your breeder or vet about a shampoo that's pH balanced just for him.
- Brushes and combs are custom-made for different breeds and lengths of hair; again, it's important to select the ones that help his coat stay healthy and tangle-free.
- Brushing your puppy's teeth (using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste) can be a challenge at first, but if you introduce it while he's young, not only will he adjust to the process (and even enjoy the taste of the toothpaste!) brushing regularly can keep his teeth clean and strong for years to come. Ask your vet how often is often enough.
- Your puppy needs to feel like an accepted member of the family, and having his own home within your home will help him feel secure and comfortable.
- First, choose a quiet area of the house where your puppy can sleep without being disturbed whenever he's tired; a quiet corner of the kitchen or family room is ideal. You may want to partition off an area around his bed for a few days to create a little "den" where he can feel secure and be out of harm's way.
- Try not to spend too much on an expensive bed he's likely to chew; because you still need to line his bed with something soft and warm (and he needs something to snuggle with) choose an old blanket instead.