Preparing for your new puppy is a very unique feeling - after all, you're about to be welcoming a brand new family member into your home!
After picking out your new pup, you find yourself awaiting the exciting day. But this can be a little overwhelming. What are the essentials? Which food is suitable? Which treats can he eat? Which toys will he like the most?
We've got you covered with our handy puppy checklist to help you get started!
Food & Water Bowls
Your new puppy will need two bowls - one for food, one for water. We would recommend choosing a heavier ceramic or a stainless steel bowl, as they're heavier and less likely to be knocked over by your excitable pup. They're also far less likely to be chewed.
We would strongly advise against plastic bowls, as they're just asking to be chewed! The only time we would recommend plastic is for noise sensitive dogs.
The Right Food
A carefully curated dog food, packed with nutrients, is a must for your growing puppy. While you may wish to slowly transition to raw as your dog reaches adulthood, kibble is great for starting out, as it's easier for portion control.
Whatever you decide on, this should be fed consistently, and shouldn't be switched on a whim.
With this in mind, you will need a solid, all-rounder dog food with all-natural ingredients.
Our personal pick for great dry dog food is the Accana puppy food It's packed with 70% animal ingredients, and the remaining 30%? Fruit and veg! This effectively supports your dog's rapid growth throughout puppyhood, and is available in large bags to match those larger breeds.
If this isn't the food for you, take a look at the ingredients on the bag you've chosen. Can you recognise every ingredient? Great! Is some of it like another language? We would recommend that you keep looking.
Treats make training your puppy more enjoyable for them, and it helps then learn quickly - it's a win-win!
We recommend that you buy high-value treats, that smell good and taste good. Great examples are meat-based, all-natural treats. They should be small (or easy to break in half) and low in calories, so you can feed them multiple treats throughout the day.
A Selection of Toys
Unless you invest in some toys, you're asking for your home to be destroyed! Toys are great enrichment for a curious puppy, and they help turn their attention from your furniture.
You won't know which toys make your pup tick yet, so you will need some variation to see what they like best!
Below are some of our top picks:
KONG Puppy Activity Ball - this great little toy helps teach dogs appropriate chewing behaviours. It fulfils that instinctual need to chew, while helping with the teething phase with how soothing it is. To keep your pup occupied for a little break, you can fill the grooves with a puppy-safe paste, such as the KONG Easy Treat for Puppies.
KONG Shakers Honkers - the small size of this fun toy is a great option for your pup. It features a low honking sound to keep your dog engaged, and the texture is designed to satisfy chewing instincts. This can also be used as a tug toy, which helps you bond with your dog!
KONG Puppy Flyer - this flyer is made from a unique puppy rubber, that soothes their sore teeth and gums. It's sized specifically for puppies and allows for a softer catch for those pups that haven't quite got the hang of the catch part!
A Suitable Crate
For your puppy's own safety, it's best to keep them in a cage until you're they won't hurt themselves when out of eyesight. It's also great for letting your puppy sleep, offering a safe place for them to relax.
Your pup should be able to stand and turn comfortably in their cage. If they can't, it's too small! However, you don't want this too big, as it will make house training a little more difficult.
One of the most important things you need to teach your dog is recall - the earlier, the better. This helps ensure your dog will come to you when needed to keep them safe.
Luckily, Mountain Dog have just released our own Longline Recall Lead, available in a range of lengths! Simply hook your dog up to the line, and you'll be able to work on their recall, without worrying about their safety. This also helps you keep their attention to you if training in the house or garden, as they can't wander too far off.
Collar & Lead
Your puppy will have limited access to the great outdoors to start. However, getting your puppy used to walking gear is never a bad idea!
The collar you pick should be super adjustable to last your pooch as long as possible, and very lightweight for maximum comfort.
The lead should be light, with a secure yet lightweight clip. While leads designed specifically for puppies are quite rare, a leash designed for smaller dogs is a great option.
You may want to hold off on purchasing a harness - you will very likely need to replace the harness as the dog grows, which can be very costly!
Puppy Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Your puppy's teeth are probably sparkling white right now, but neglect their dental hygiene, and that won't last long. It's also easier to get your dog used to dental care at an early age, as it becomes much more manageable in the future.
A toothpaste that's appetising, with a meat-base, is a great start. A smaller toothbrush for small mouths is easier to get used to, and you can switch to a standard toothbrush when the dog is old enough.
You've got everything you need (for now)...
...and now it's time to wait for the big day!
This may seem scary, but now you're fully prepared to take on your new bundle of fluff!