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  • Writer's pictureDaneesha Jonescu ABCDT

Pawsitively Prepared: The Ultimate New Puppy Checklist for the Perfect Start

Written By: Daneesha Jonescu

Welcoming a new puppy into your life is an incredibly exciting and joyful experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and responsibilities. To ensure a smooth transition and to set the stage for a happy and healthy life together, it's crucial to take the time to get organized and prepared before bringing your new puppy home.


Our 2023 Pawsitively Prepared: New Puppy Shopping List has been carefully curated to provide you with everything you need to make your new puppy feel right at home from day one. This comprehensive guide covers all the essential supplies and resources that will help you create a safe, nurturing, and comfortable environment for your new companion. Additionally, it will assist you in finding the right products and tools to care for your puppy's needs and ensure their well-being in the days, weeks, and years to come.


By following our new puppy checklist, you'll be well-equipped to meet your new puppy's needs and provide them with the love and care they deserve as they settle into their new home. From essential items like food, bedding, and toys to important health and safety considerations, our checklist is designed to support you in every aspect of welcoming a new puppy into your life.


Whether you're a first-time puppy parent or a seasoned dog owner, our new puppy checklist is a valuable resource that will help you navigate the exciting yet challenging journey of bringing a new puppy into your home. With careful planning and the right supplies at your disposal, you can look forward to building a strong, loving bond with your new furry family member as you embark on this wonderful adventure together.


In our blog, we recognize the diverse needs of new pet owners, and to make the shopping journey more manageable and informative, we've strategically broken down our comprehensive shopping list into distinct sections.


Each section, whether it's essentials, nutrition, toys, training, or grooming, will be spotlighted in a separate blog post. This thoughtful segmentation allows us to delve deeply into the nuances of each category, providing valuable insights, recommendations, and expert tips tailored to specific aspects of puppy care.


By presenting our content in this organized manner, we aim to guide and support puppy parents through the exciting yet sometimes overwhelming process of gathering everything their furry companions need to thrive. Whether it's the must-haves for a cozy puppy home or the latest in training techniques and grooming essentials, our blog ensures a well-rounded resource for every facet of responsible puppy ownership.


The Pawsitively Prepared: New Puppy Shopping List


Embarking on the journey of welcoming a furry friend into your family is an exciting and heartwarming decision. Once you've made the commitment and feel confident that you and your family are ready for the pitter-patter of tiny paws, it's essential to equip yourself with the necessary tools for a seamless start to your new puppy's life.


To assist you in this delightful adventure, we've curated a comprehensive new puppy checklist. Discover the must-have items that will pave the way for a smooth transition and set the stage for your puppy's well-being and happiness. Let's ensure that your newest family member receives the warmest welcome and is provided with everything they need to thrive in their new home.



A vibrant and heartwarming snapshot capturing the essence of a new puppy checklist. The checklist is thoughtfully designed, featuring cheerful illustrations of essential items for welcoming a furry friend into your home. It includes colorful bowls for food and water, a plush bed for cozy naps, a selection of engaging toys for playtime, nutritious puppy food bags, a comfortable collar with an adorable tag, grooming tools for pampering, and a training manual for building a strong bond. The checklist exudes warmth and anticipation, embodying the joy and responsibility of preparing for a new puppy's arrival.


 


Nutrition

#9 Food

When welcoming a new puppy into your home, their diet becomes the cornerstone of their health and well-being. Making the right choice when it comes to their diet is crucial for their development and long-term health. With a variety of options available, it's important to explore and understand all the choices at hand before making a decision. Keep in mind that for optimal nutrition, young puppies require specially formulated puppy food.


Embarking on the journey of pet parenthood with PawTree has been an absolute delight for us, and we're excited to share some popular diet options to consider for your newest family member:

  1. Kibble: A staple in many households, kibble offers convenience and a balanced nutrition profile for your furry friend. PawTree's kibble options are not only tasty but also crafted with a focus on your pet's well-being. We love the Real Whitefish & Brown Rice Recipe POULTRY FREE Recipe!

  2. Raw Freeze-dried & Dehydrated Dog Food: For those looking to provide a diet closer to a dog's natural, ancestral preferences, PawTree's raw freeze-dried and dehydrated options are a fantastic choice. Packed with nutrients and flavor, these alternatives bring a raw feeding experience without the mess. We love the Freeze-Dried Raw Food Real Beef Recipe!

When welcoming a new puppy into your home, it's wise to consider the diet they've been accustomed to with their breeder or rescue. Transitioning to a new diet is a process that requires care, and starting with familiar food can minimize disruptions to their digestive system and routine. While you may explore different diet options down the road, maintaining their current food initially can help them adjust seamlessly to their new environment.


Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience for a puppy, and maintaining their familiar food can reduce the likelihood of digestive upsets during this transition period. It's important to allow them time to acclimate to their new life before introducing significant changes to their diet and routine.


Remember, the well-being of your new puppy begins with the food you choose for them. By understanding your options and considering their current diet, you can lay the foundation for a healthy and happy life for your newest family member.


PawTree prioritizes the health and happiness of your furry family members, offering a range of diet choices to cater to their unique preferences and nutritional needs. Whether it's the tried-and-true kibble or the raw freeze-dried goodness, our commitment to quality ensures that your pet receives the best possible start to their culinary journey.

PawTree's commitment to providing high-quality and customizable options ensures that your pup receives the best possible nutrition tailored to their individual needs. As you navigate the exciting world of puppy parenthood, rest assured that PawTree has you covered with a range of nourishing choices for your newest family member.

Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience for a puppy, and maintaining their familiar food can reduce the likelihood of digestive upsets during this transition period. It's important to allow them time to acclimate to their new life before introducing significant changes to their diet and routine.


Remember, the well-being of your new puppy begins with the food you choose for them. By understanding your options and considering their current diet, you can lay the foundation for a healthy and happy life for your newest family member.

#10 Probiotic & Prebiotic

In the journey of caring for your new furry friend, ensuring their digestive health is of utmost importance. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues rank among the most common reasons for veterinary visits, and addressing these concerns proactively can contribute to your puppy's overall well-being.

Enter Gastro Pro Plus—a natural and comprehensive solution crafted to support proper digestion and bowel health in both dogs and cats. This unique formula combines probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and soothing herbs, providing a holistic approach to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for your pet.

Gastro Pro Plus is designed to promote gastrointestinal health, helping your puppy maintain optimal digestion. This specially curated blend is suitable for dogs and cats of all sizes and breeds, emphasizing that every furry companion can benefit from the support of Gastro Pro Plus.

Probiotics play a crucial role in balancing the gut microbiome, while prebiotics nourish the beneficial bacteria, creating an environment conducive to overall digestive wellness. The addition of digestive enzymes aids in the efficient breakdown of food, ensuring nutrient absorption, and the soothing herbs contribute to a calm and settled GI tract.

Whether you're embarking on the puppy-parenting journey for the first time or adding a new member to your pet family, Gastro Pro Plus is an essential tool to help keep your puppy's GI tract in optimal condition. Prioritize your puppy's digestive health, and let them enjoy a vibrant and active lifestyle with the support of Gastro Pro Plus. After all, a happy tummy contributes to a happy and thriving puppy!

#11 NuVet

In the pursuit of ensuring our beloved pets lead healthy and fulfilling lives, we recognize that proper nutrition plays a pivotal role. That's why we not only use but highly recommend NuVet Plus®—a transformative supplement designed to go beyond simple vitamin replenishment. This nutrient-rich formula is crafted to provide comprehensive nutritional support, with a specific focus on bolstering your pet's immune system and overall well-being.

In today's environment, maintaining a robust immune system for your pet is more crucial than ever. Household toxins, fertilizers, pesticides, and even certain pet foods can leave your pet's immune defenses vulnerable. Surprisingly, even premium pet foods may contain undesirable elements such as toxins, harmful bacteria, and ambiguous "meat by-products." Fillers like corn, wheat, and barley are common in pet foods and can contribute to suboptimal health.

NuVet Plus® was developed by a team of experts in the pet industry, including scientists, veterinarians, and medical specialists. This high-quality supplement boasts a precise blend of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, herbs, and more. The formulation is geared towards enhancing your pet's health by addressing a spectrum of essential needs.

What sets NuVet Plus® apart is its commitment to using natural ingredients. These components are meticulously compounded to maintain their integrity and bio-digestibility, ensuring complete cellular infusion. The inclusion of "paddle dried," whole chicken liver not only enhances vitamin potency but also appeals to your pet's taste buds.

NuVet Plus® serves as a pathway to optimal health for your pet, promoting vigor, vitality, comfort, and sustained energy throughout their life. To understand the impact of these essential elements, we invite you to explore our comprehensive Ingredient List and descriptions. Make NuVet Plus® an integral part of your pet's wellness routine and empower them to lead a life brimming with health and vitality.

#12 Food & Water Bowls

As you embark on the journey of choosing the perfect bowl for your puppy, the myriad options may seem a bit daunting. From plastic and ceramic to stainless steel, weighted, elevated, or automatic, the choices abound. Let's dive into some crucial considerations and tips to ensure your puppy's dining experience is not only enjoyable but also safe.


Starting with plastic bowls, while they are a cost-effective choice, they may not be the best fit for every puppy. If you have a little chewer in your midst, a plastic bowl could look like an irresistible toy. Their lightweight nature makes them easy to manipulate, potentially leading to playful destruction.


For the enthusiastic eater, a slow-feed bowl can be a game-changer, helping regulate the pace at which your puppy consumes their food. However, it's essential to be mindful of the materials you choose, particularly for water bowls. To maintain optimal hygiene, reserve stainless steel exclusively for water bowls. Its non-porous surface is less susceptible to bacterial buildup, promoting a clean and safe water source for your pup.


Now, let's address a common concern with plastic dishes—bacteria. As plastic bowls wear over time, bacteria can find hiding spots in the scratches and grooves of the material. This not only poses a risk for digestive issues but can also lead to puppy acne, manifesting as small pimples around their muzzle. To steer clear of these concerns, it's highly recommended to use stainless steel for food bowls and diligently clean them regularly.


To sum it up, the right bowl for your puppy depends on their habits and your preferences. Whether you choose a slow-feed bowl to manage their eating pace or opt for stainless steel to ensure hygiene, making a thoughtful decision guarantees your puppy enjoys their meals in a safe and delightful manner. Remember, regular cleaning of stainless steel bowls is key to maintaining a healthy dining environment for your furry friend.

When it comes to selecting a water bowl for your puppy, steering clear of plastic is essential. Much like food bowls, plastic water dishes can harbor bacteria in the dents and scratches of the material.

Even with diligent cleaning and regular water changes, plastic bowls are prone to becoming excessively soiled over time. This accumulation of bacteria and grime necessitates more frequent replacements compared to their stainless steel, ceramic, or glass counterparts.

To prioritize your puppy's health and well-being, it's advised to reserve plastic for food bowls only. When it comes to their water bowl, opt for stainless steel and ensure it undergoes regular cleaning. This precautionary measure not only helps maintain a hygienic water source for your furry friend but also contributes to their overall health and vitality. Remember, a clean and bacteria-free water bowl is a simple yet crucial step in fostering a happy and healthy life for your beloved puppy.

Here are a few of our favorites:

#13 Food Storage

As you embark on the exciting journey of raising a new puppy, feeding accessories become a crucial component of your puppy checklist. The right tools not only streamline your puppy's routine but also contribute to their safety and well-being.

Proper dog food storage is a key aspect of puppy-proofing your home. Using storage bins and containers to house your puppy's food helps keep curious paws at bay and ensures their meals remain fresh and free from bacteria contamination.

Investing in receptacles designed for food storage not only safeguards the quality of your puppy's meals but also extends the longevity of the food. To further enhance mealtime, consider incorporating handy tools like food scoops and mats, which not only make feeding more convenient but also keep the eating area cleaner.

Ensuring the safety of your puppy's food doesn't end with storage—it extends to how you manage opened packages and leftovers. Here are some simple puppy food storage tips to keep in mind:

  • Store puppy kibble in its original bag within an airtight container for optimal freshness.

  • Once opened, refrigerate wet puppy foods for up to 3 days and use can lid covers to prevent spoilage.

  • Transfer wet foods in pouches or tetra paks to glass storage containers for maximum freshness.

  • Frozen raw puppy food can be stored in its original packaging or transferred to freezer bags for extended storage.

  • Defrosted raw dog food should be stored in the fridge in a glass or metal container for a maximum of 3 days.

  • Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, whether prepared or ready-to-eat, are best stored in their original resealable packaging, a pet food storage container, or freezer bags for optimal freshness.

By adhering to these storage practices, you not only ensure the safety of your puppy's meals but also contribute to their overall health and enjoyment during mealtime. A well-equipped feeding station sets the foundation for a happy and healthy life for your newest furry family member.


 

Training

#14 Treats & Chews

Training your new puppy becomes a delightful experience with the right treats, making the process both easier and faster. Finding a variety of healthy treats that your puppy absolutely adores is key to keeping their attention during training sessions.

When it comes to high-value rewards, opt for treats that are meat-based, smelly, or soft and chewy. However, for food-motivated pups, the type of treat may not matter as much as the joy of devouring it!

Look for dog treats that boast healthy, whole-food ingredients. It's important to ensure that these puppy treats are not only small enough but also low-calorie, allowing you to reward your pup consistently throughout the day during training. Remember, when it comes to training sessions, the mantra is "the smaller, the better."

Consider the type of treat that aligns with your puppy's needs and activities:

  • Soft treats can be easily ripped or cut into smaller pieces, making them ideal for frequent training sessions. Some examples are string cheese and hot dogs

  • Crunchy biscuits work well for rewarding and reinforcing routine behaviors.

  • Freeze-dried treats, such as Pawtree's Freeze-Dried Raw Food Real Beef Recipe or Pupford's freeze-dried single-ingredient treats, are flavorful and highly effective in capturing your dog's attention during training.

To ensure you're always ready for positive reinforcement during training, don't forget to equip yourself with a treat pouch and a supply of training treats. Rewarding your well-behaved puppy with a delectable morsel not only strengthens the training bond but also turns each session into a joyful experience for your furry bundle of joy.

Transitioning to the teething stage, puppies have a natural inclination to chew. To avoid them finding unsuitable items, provide softer chews during this period. Pupford's Standard Beef Tendons chews and Bully Sticks are top picks, offers a safe and satisfying chewing experience for your teething puppy.

By incorporating these treats and chews into your puppy's routine, you not only facilitate effective training but also promote healthy dental habits and provide a positive outlet for their natural chewing instincts.

#15 Clickers


When preparing for the arrival of your new puppy, a well-thought-out shopping list is essential, and one item you shouldn't overlook is the clicker. Clicker training has proven to be a highly effective and positive reinforcement method for teaching your puppy new behaviors and commands.


Advantages of using a clicker:

  1. Precision Communication: The clicker provides a distinct and consistent sound that immediately marks the exact moment your puppy performs the desired behavior. This precision helps them understand what action earned them the reward.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Clicker training relies on positive reinforcement, associating the click with a reward (treat, praise, or play). This creates a positive learning experience for your puppy, reinforcing good behavior.

  3. Clear Communication: Clickers offer a clear and unambiguous form of communication between you and your puppy. It bridges the gap in language, making it easier for your furry friend to understand what you want them to do.

When diving into the world of clicker training for your new puppy, selecting the right clicker is a crucial step towards successful and enjoyable training sessions. The variety of clickers available ensures that you can find one that suits both your preferences and your puppy's learning style.

Classic Clickers: Among the most common options are classic clickers—small, handheld devices that emit a distinctive clicking sound. These clickers are straightforward to use, requiring a simple press to create the audible cue. Their popularity lies in their simplicity and effectiveness, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced trainers.


Clicker Rings: For those seeking a hands-free option, clicker rings provide a convenient alternative. Worn on your finger, these adjustable rings allow you to issue the click without the need to manipulate a separate device. This can be particularly advantageous when you need both hands free for other aspects of training, creating a seamless and uninterrupted experience for you and your puppy.



When choosing a clicker, consider factors such as the size of your hands, ease of use, and the noise level of the click. Some clickers emit softer sounds, which can be beneficial if your puppy is sensitive to loud noises. Additionally, think about the training environment—opt for a clicker with a sound that carries well in various settings.

Your training style and preferences may also influence your clicker choice. Whether you prefer a discrete handheld device or the convenience of a ring, ensuring that the clicker aligns with your training approach will contribute to a more harmonious training experience for both you and your puppy.

The right clicker is a personal choice that depends on your training goals, style, and your puppy's responsiveness. Experimenting with different types can help you discover which clicker enhances communication and engagement during training sessions. Whichever option you choose, the clicker is a valuable tool that fosters positive reinforcement, creating a rewarding and effective training experience for your new furry companion.

As you prepare to welcome your new furry family member, ensure the clicker finds its place in your puppy shopping cart. This small but powerful tool will not only enhance your training sessions but also strengthen the bond between you and your puppy through positive and effective communication.


#16 Long Line

In the realm of puppy training, the use of long lines stands out as a valuable and versatile tool, offering a myriad of benefits for both the canine and its owner. Long lines, typically extending anywhere from 15 to 100+ feet, provide an extended range for puppies to explore their surroundings while still maintaining a degree of control.


This proves particularly useful during outdoor training sessions, allowing the puppy to experience the freedom of movement while the owner retains the ability to guide and redirect as needed. Long lines also play a crucial role in reinforcing recall commands, enabling the puppy to develop a reliable response to coming when called.


Beyond training, these extended lines foster a sense of independence for the puppy, promoting confidence and curiosity within a safe environment. Additionally, long lines serve as a helpful tool in managing behavior during socialization, allowing controlled interactions. In essence, incorporating long leads into a puppy's training regimen contributes to a well-rounded and well-behaved companion, fostering a strong bond between the owner and their furry friend.

#14 Kong & Interactive Feeders


In the realm of puppy care and mental stimulation, Kongs and interactive feeders emerge as indispensable tools for fostering both physical and mental well-being.


Kongs, a classic in the realm of canine enrichment, are durable, rubber toys that can be filled with treats or peanut butter, providing hours of engaging entertainment for puppies.


These toys not only satisfy a pup's natural instinct to chew but also serve as a great outlet for excess energy, reducing the likelihood of destructive behaviors. The unpredictability of treats hidden within the Kong adds an element of challenge, promoting problem-solving skills and cognitive development in puppies.


Similarly, interactive feeders take the concept of mealtime to a whole new level. These specially designed food-dispensing toys engage a puppy's mind as they work to extract their meals bit by bit.


Not only does this slow down the eating process, reducing the risk of digestive issues, but it also turns mealtime into a mentally stimulating activity. Interactive feeders are particularly beneficial for puppies prone to boredom, as they provide a positive outlet for mental energy and contribute to a sense of accomplishment.


Both Kongs and interactive feeders serve as invaluable assets in the puppy owner's toolkit, offering a combination of physical exercise, mental enrichment, and a healthy outlet for natural behaviors.


Incorporating these toys into a puppy's routine not only keeps them entertained but also contributes to a happy, well-balanced, and mentally sharp companion.


Happy Shopping!


Love,

Daneesha



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