14 Things You Need Before You Get a New Puppy (2023)

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A sturdy crate


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Investing in a crate the right size for your puppy is one of the smartest moves you can make. That’s because a crate is useful in meeting both the emotional and physical needs of a young puppy, says Dawn Hoover, DVM, who practices veterinary medicine through Veterinary Relief Services. “This space can give the puppy a safe haven, and also comes in handy when potty training,” she says. “Find one large enough for them to turn around and lay down in, but no larger,” advises Lauren Robinson, DVM, with Alabama-based Grayson Valley Pet Clinic. “Dogs don’t like to lay in their urine or feces and will often hold it. Make it too big for them, and you risk the puppy going to the back to do their business.”Not sure what size puppy you’re about to bring home? Look for a crate with dividers so you can adjust the interior spacing to accommodate the size of your growing dog. This folding metal dog crate from MidWest Homes for Pets comes in seven different sizes, each with dividers, making them ideal for tiny breeds like Chihuahuas all the way up to larger sized dogs like Labrador Retrievers. Just make sure you don’t make these puppy training mistakes you’ll regret later.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

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Chew toys


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To help your pup through its teething stage, Dr. Robinson recommends rope toys, stuffed toys, and Nylabones, like this puppy starter pack. However, Dr. Robinson advises not to turn your back for too long. “Always observe your puppy to be sure it isn’t breaking off pieces of toys and eating them.” Make sure you’re protecting your dog from these 11 common household items that can harm pets.

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A playpen like this metal playpen from New World Pet Products can be useful, especially if you don’t have a yard or you’re adopting your pup in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside for long periods of time. On the other hand, it’s also sure to get a lot of use if you have a large yard and want to keep your pup from wandering off. “This is one of those nice items to have around because it lets you create a larger area for puppies to play safely in—and that’s important because you can’t watch them constantly,” Dr. Robinson says. Here are some things you should know before adopting a dog.

(Video) 10 Things You'll Need For Your New Puppy

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Flirt pole

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Want to ensure you have a happy, well-adjusted puppy? One of the most important things you can do is to spend quality time playing with them and walking them, says Dr. Hoover. Investing in toys that foster interactive playtime, like this Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Flirt Pole, can be great to have around. It can also help your puppy burn through all that pent-up energy. Check out these cutest dog breeds as puppies.

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High-quality dog food


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This is one of the biggest ongoing expenses of having a dog. Most vets agree that while you don’t have to spend a fortune on dog food, you should pay attention to the ingredients and keep in mind that, as with most other things in life, you get what you pay for. “I look for a good quality protein as the first ingredient along with healthy grains and an AAFCO label,” Dr. Robinson says. This Victor High Protein dog food delivers on all three. Don’t miss these 8 things vets want you to know about your dog’s food.

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Puppy training pads


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In those first few weeks, some pet owners may be tempted to ease into the potty training routine by using puppy pads. Dr. Robinson says that while these are fine to use, she cautions against using them for too long; this can make it difficult to train your pup to go outside. These American Kennel Club’s Training Pads can be helpful as you transition to day-to-day life with your new pup.These are the 19 things your dog actually wants from you.

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Flea and tick prevention


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Another considerable but vital expense of pet ownership is preventative flea and tick treatments. Dr. Hoover suggests talking to your vet as some areas of the country don’t require year-round prevention, she says. She recommends looking for vet-approved brands like Advantix. Combination formulas like this K9 Advantix II protect against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Make sure you aren’t making these mistakes that most dog owners make.

(Video) 14 things you need before getting a new pup #SHORTS

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Healthy treats


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Dr. Hoover recommends Hill’s Science Diet Training Treats because they’re backed by veterinary research and are lean and lower in fat, so you’re not adding unnecessary calories or junk food to your puppy’s diet. Dr. Robinson adds that pet owners should also choose U.S.-made products (Hill’s fits the bill). “There have been issues in the past with toxicity in dog chews and treats from other countries,” she says. If you haven’t figured out a name for your new pup yet, check out the most unique dog names.

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Until you have trained your new puppy to walk alongside you, a head collar can help keep you both happy. Dr. Hoover recommends the PetSafe Gentle Leader Collar, because it helps to prevent pulling, while also protecting the dog’s neck. (If you are considering a brachycephalic or squishy-faced breed, like a French bulldog, Dr. Hoover advises investing in a harness.) “You can’t teach manners soon enough,” Dr. Hoover says. “It’s especially important with large breed dogs, as a puppy with no manners can quickly become a 90-pound menace.” Don’t miss the etiquette rules every dog owner needs to memorize.

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(Video) 14 things you should stop doing to your dog



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Dr. Hoover recommends a flat nylon leash to start. “Nylons are washable and they come in a lot of colors, making it easy for owners who like to coordinate their pet’s collars for the season.” She adds that the Lupine brand of leashes is known to perform very well and is backed by a lifetime guarantee, even if chewed. These adorable puppy pictures will melt your heart.

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Dog bed


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To give your puppy his or her own place to sleep (that is not your bed or the sofa), invest in a pet bed made from washable, breathable fabric. Dr. Hoover recommends choosing a sturdy nylon material or memory foam, as long as the bed includes a waterproof cover. This Friends Forever Memory Foam bed has all that, plus offers the added benefit of being chew-proof.Make sure you know the 14 things you do that your dog actually hates.

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Food and water bowls


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It can be tempting to spring for the cute bowls with bright colors and prints, but Dr. Hoover cautions against plastic bowls as they are porous and can harbor bacteria. Instead, opt for a stainless-steel set, like this pair of dishwasher safe dog bowls from Basis Pet. Here are the first 8 things you need to know when training your puppy.

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Grooming tool

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(Video) Puppy Training Tips - 14 Things New Owners Shouldn't Do

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When it comes to the ongoing battle between your vacuum cleaner and stray dog hair, the Furminator is well worth the investment, Dr. Hoover says. “They really get all the loose hair out of the puppy’s coat.” There is another advantage to buying (and regularly using) grooming tools like the Furminator brush, she adds. “It’s important for people to start brushing their puppies early so they’re used to being brushed, having their feet handled, and their faces wiped so they are not a nightmare when they get to the vet.” Here are moresecrets pet groomers wish they could tell you.

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ID tags


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For identification that is easily read and unlikely to be lost, Hoover recommends these personalized collars from GoTags, which include the puppy’s name and owner’s phone number embroidered into the fabric. However, you should also have your pet microchipped. “Collars can be lost or removed, so a microchip implanted by your veterinarian is the best way to ensure lost babies come home.”Next, read up on these20 things to consider before adopting a rescue dog.

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Originally Published: November 14, 2019

14 Things You Need Before You Get a New Puppy (15)

Rebecca C. Walden

Rebecca C. Walden is a freelance writer with Deep South roots, an Alabama native now living in north Texas. Her writing has appeared in Reader's Digest, the Huffington Post, Southern Living, and many other regional publications, focusing on everything from health and wellness to parenting, family, and women's interests. Walden also writes for corporate clients in finance, government, healthcare, and higher education. Check out her latest work @rebeccacwalden.com.


What are 5 things that are absolutely necessary for the dog? ›

But he will have a few tangible needs as well.
  • Food. We recommend high-quality, high protein, balanced dog food twice a day for adult dogs. ...
  • Water. Your dog should always have access to fresh, clean water. ...
  • Places to Sleep. A dog's bed is a source of comfort. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • An Enriched Environment. ...
  • Basic Supplies. ...
  • Grooming.

Where should a puppy sleep the first night? ›

On the first night, and for about three weeks, have the puppy sleep in a dog crate next to the bed. Line the base with blankets so that it is cosy and drape another blanket over the top to help it feel more secure. Give the puppy the stuffed toy that has its littermates' scent on it to snuggle up to.

Is it OK to let a puppy cry at night? ›

Leaving a puppy to cry at night is likely to increase your puppy's anxiety and may lead to other behaviour problems developing, such as separation-related problems.

What should a puppy do in the first 48 hours? ›

During the first 48 hours with a new puppy, we recommend you stay home, so you can spend as much time as possible bonding with your little companion. If possible, work from home or take a few days off to help your new puppy adjust to its forever home.

What I Wish I Knew Before owning a dog? ›

They're Like Children. Whether it's a puppy or an adult, dogs are a lot like children: they need training, exercise, attention, and preventative, sometimes emergency, health care—the list goes on and on. Dogs and kids have a lot in common—they both need attention, love, and discipline. Photo via Flickr.

What do dogs want all day? ›

They want to be taken out for exercise.

They need exercise and a change of scene. Every dog needs a daily walk and if you cannot do it, try to find a dog walker. Exercise helps the dog to keep fit, avoid digestion and behavior problems. Vary the route and allow the dog to explore all the new smells.

What are the basic needs of a pet? ›

Basic Needs of a Pet
  • Food. Pet needs food like human as it gives energy. ...
  • Water. Aside from giving your pet food, water should also be provided. ...
  • Shelter. Yes, shelter is also a basic need. ...
  • Exercise. Exercise is not only done by pet owners; your pet needs it too! ...
  • Socialize. Pets need to socialize, too.

Should I ignore my puppy crying at night? ›

Ignoring them at night won't help them build confidence and may make them worse which isn't what anyone wants. They need to be taught how to be independent slowly. We would never recommend ignoring your puppy when they cry at night, especially in their first few nights.

Should I bathe my puppy when I bring her home? ›

You might be tempted to give your puppy a bath as soon as you bring them home, but this urge is best resisted. Puppies shouldn't be bathed until they are at least eight weeks old. Even if they are already of bathing age, it is better to let them settle in for two weeks before giving them a bath.

What time should puppy go to bed? ›

There is no set time you should put your dog down to rest. Puppies can and will fall asleep at any time of day. However, it's important to take your own sleep schedule into account when training your puppy.

How do you pick a puppy from a litter? ›

In order to select a healthy puppy, it is important to do your research:
  1. Talk to the owner. Ask about appetite and eliminations. ...
  2. Observe the litter mates in action. Do they all play together or is there a quiet one that retreats to a corner? ...
  3. Survey their overall appearance. Do the puppies' coats shine? ...
  4. Watch them move.

Can dogs see in the dark? ›

Obviously, his stronger sense of smell is useful, but it's also because dogs can see movement and light in the dark, and other low-light situations, better than humans. They are assisted by the high number of light-sensitive rods within the retina of their eyes. Rods collect dim light, supporting better night vision.

How often do you feed a puppy? ›

Toy-breed puppies will need 4 to 6 meals per day for the first three months of their lives. Medium-breed puppies will require three meals per day, and large-breed puppies typically need 3 to 4 meals per day.

How do you calm a puppy on the first night? ›

Keep bedtime as calm as possible for your pup. Give them gentle praise (such as a few strokes) when they settle where you want them to. Sleep in the same room for the first few nights. For the first few nights, your puppy will need time to adjust to being without their mum.

Why do puppies cry the first night? ›

Preparing for puppy's first night

As your puppy gets used to their new environment, you'll encounter lots of whining, howling, crying, and barking. But fear not – this is normal behavior for a young puppy and as they settle in, this behavior will stop.

Will a puppy pee in his crate? ›

It's completely normal for young dogs to pee in their crates, especially if you're not home to take them out when they need to go. However, if you're home and can't seem to prevent accidents, it's always best to rule out any medical conditions.

How do Beginners raise dogs? ›

10 Tips for Raising a Dog
  1. Life Balance. Your dog is part of your family it's important to manage your time properly. ...
  2. Foster Good Self Esteem. Dogs have self esteem? ...
  3. Set Limits. Just like children, dogs thrive on rules and structure. ...
  4. Management vs Relationship. ...
  5. Responsibility. ...
  6. Giving Space. ...
  7. Do Things Together. ...
  8. Model Your Values.

How do I prepare my house for my dog? ›

Preparing to Bring Home a New Dog

Before bringing your dog home, make sure you have areas set up where it can feel safe and that your home is adequately dog-proofed. The dog should have access to its bed, food and water bowls, and toys. If you plan to crate train, be sure the crate is ready as well.

Why is having a puppy so hard? ›

There is so much you're trying to teach your new puppy, that it can feel overwhelming: house-training, sleeping through the night, not to nip, not to chew, and all the other household rules you've established. Add to that a puppy's natural curiosity and energy, and you might start to feel as if he'll never get it.

What makes a dog happiest? ›

Make sure they eat a healthy, balanced diet appropriate for their life stage and specific needs. Provide adequate mental stimulation with food puzzle toys, chew toys, and playtime. Engage them in an appropriate amount of physical exercise for their abilities and life stage. Give your pet loads of love and affection.

What do dogs do at night? ›

Any dog owner might guess that dogs are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. However, this isn't necessarily true. In fact, dogs are not nocturnal or diurnal. They're social sleepers and simply take their cues from their owners.

What dogs love the most? ›

Top 5 words dogs love to hear the most
  • Walkies.
  • Dinner/food/eat.
  • Treat.
  • Get it.
  • Fetch.
14 Jan 2021

What is a cute puppy name? ›

If you're looking for cute name ideas for your new dog you've come to the right place.
500 Cute Puppy Names.
Female Puppy NamesMale Puppy Names
236 more rows

What vaccines do dogs need? ›

Dogs are vaccinated against: Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and the serious respiratory infection, Canine Cough. Your dog may require two vaccinations a month apart so that they are fully protected. Adult dogs require an annual vaccination booster every year.

How long can a puppy be left alone during the day? ›

Once your dog reaches three months old, they can usually hold it for an hour for each month they've been alive. After six months, dogs can usually hold it for up to six hours. However, even adult dogs shouldn't be home alone for much longer than six to eight hours without a chance for a bathroom break.

What does a puppy need at 8 weeks? ›

At 8 weeks of age, your puppy's primary focuses are basic needs like eating, drinking, sleeping, eliminating, and playing. At this point, a puppy can remember which behaviors are allowed and where and when they are fed. They can even begin housetraining and start feeling comfortable with being groomed.

Is it better to get a puppy at 8 weeks or 12 weeks? ›

One experienced dog trainer and expert on dog development suggested that the optimum age for a puppy to go to its new owner is about 8-to-9-weeks, when the pup is ready to develop a strong bond.

Can you take a 10 week old puppy for a walk? ›

Don't be afraid to walk your puppy!

It's good to lean on the side of caution and not overdo it with a puppy's exercise. But you should be safe walking your 10 week old Lab puppy for 30 minutes at least once a day, for example. A half-hour is a safe distance for most puppies at 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 16 weeks, etc.

How do I take care of a puppy if I work full time? ›

First, crate train your puppy, and second, arrange for regular toilet breaks at appropriate intervals. Before leaving for work, play with your pup and take them out for a potty break. When they go, give the usual praise and reward. Then pop your pup into the crate with a safe chew toy.

Where can I leave my puppy while at work? ›

To keep Fido (and your belongings) safe from harm, create a safe confinement area just for your furry friend. Crate training is a great way to keep older puppies safely sequestered while you're at work.

When can I stop crating my dog? ›

You can usually stop closing your dog into your crate when they are around two years of age. Before then, they are usually more likely to get into trouble. It isn't until they mature fully that they are able to behave properly when not supervised. This is especially true for larger dogs, who tend to mature later.

What time should 9 week old puppy go to bed? ›

Some puppies are starting to sleep through the night at 9 weeks, at least from midnight to around 6am, which I do appreciate is still night time to some of you. However, some pups are not quite there yet. Hang on in there, it will come.

Can I take my 8 week old puppy for a walk? ›

When to start walking your puppy? You can start walking your puppy after 1-2 weeks of them being fully vaccinated. This is usually around the 8 week mark. However, make sure you keep a strict eye on them and ask your vet to confirm when they are allowed out on a walk.

Can a puppy go outside at 8 weeks? ›

Most puppies go to their forever homes between 8-10 weeks. This is also the crucial period of puppy socialization. If you receive your puppy at 8 weeks, you can safely take him outside, but with precautions. You should take your puppy outside to use the bathroom and start activities in the home.

What time should puppies go to bed? ›

There is no set time you should put your dog down to rest. Puppies can and will fall asleep at any time of day. However, it's important to take your own sleep schedule into account when training your puppy.

How long can 12 week puppy hold pee at night? ›

They are learning to differentiate between smells. Ability to Hold Urine – 12-week-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 4 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 4 hours to get them “housebroken”.

How long should you let a puppy sleep in your room? ›

A puppy should sleep in your bedroom until they're potty trained which usually happens around 4 months.

What age can a puppy go outside to pee? ›

How Long Should I Wait Before Taking My Puppy Outside? Due to potential outdoor biohazards, most vets will advise that pet owners wait until a puppy is at least three months old before taking them outside.

What age can you leash train a puppy? ›

When to start leash training your puppy. You can start teaching leash lessons as soon as you bring your puppy home. Ideally puppies will remain with their mothers for the first eight to 12 weeks, so you'd likely be starting around this time, but you can introduce basic principles earlier.

How often should I walk my puppy to pee? ›

Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking. Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot.


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