You are here:Getting prepared

Time to make a puppy checklist! Waiting for your puppy to be old enough to arrive at their forever home can feel like forever. Puppies should be a minimum of 8 weeks old before they leave their mum, although it can be common to see puppies leave at 12 weeks. Your breeder will advise what the plan is, if you would prefer for them to stay with their mum a little longer then this usually isn’t a problem for a good breeder. All this waiting gives you plenty of time to get prepared! 

We’ve selected our recommended must-haves below in our essential puppy checklist, click the plus symbol to learn more about the items.

A good breeder will provide a scented blanket for you to bring home. This has been with the litter and mum for a few weeks and should help settle your new pup once they arrive at their forever home.

Don’t worry if it only lasts a few days before it needs washing, it still doubles up as a comfy blanket to snuggle up with.

puppy with comfort blanket

A crate for your puppy is a valuable piece of equipment for both of you. The most important thing to know about the crate is that it is not a place of punishment, it is your puppy’s cosy den full of treats and toys.

It offers you the reassurance that you can leave them alone without any forbidden chewing, plus it’s ideal for enforced naps when young.

Be sure to select a good size for your puppy. Too big and it can encourage toilet accidents and reduce confidence during ‘alone time’. Too small and your pup could begin to feel anxious and confined. As a general rule, your dog should be able to turn around inside and have room for their bowls and toys.

Your puppy’s bed also needs to fit in the crate. There are plenty of options available from fluffy matts to cosy raised beds.

Pop into your local pet store for guidance on the best size crate and bed for your new arrival. It’s a good idea to get 2 beds whilst one is in the washing machine after accidents.

If you’d like to learn more about crate training click here.

puppy with crate and bedding

A good variety of toys will keep your puppy entertained until they need another nap. Vary these from soft, hard and the occasional squeaky one! The variety will help with teething, comfort and exploration.

Teething toys are especially important as your puppy’s teeth come through. Also known as ‘land sharks’, these needle teeth hurt so have a teething toy ready to swap in to save your hand!

Do keep regularly checking the toys, once they become damaged or stuffing has become loose it’s time to move on from these.

puppy playing with toy

You may forget what it’s like to eat your dinner in peace when you first welcome your puppy home. Treating them to a chew will keep them calm, quiet and occupied. We suggest visiting your local pet store to discuss which chews are specifically designed for your puppy’s size, age and breed. Remember to supervise when your puppy has these and ensure they are the appropriate size.

If your pup is food motivated, treats are a must for training. Make sure you select ones suitable for your dog’s age. Our Naturally Meaty Treats are suitable for puppies 4 months and over.

puppy chewing treats

We know that choosing which dog food to feed your puppy can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, as you want to ensure you’re giving your new arrival the best start in life.
Choosing a specific puppy food is the first crucial step. Puppy food contains more protein, fat and calcium than adult dog food to enable a healthy growth into adulthood.

Our Puppy Perfect recipes have been specially developed to provide your pup with all of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth and bouncing energy, as well as supporting their natural immunity.

Our recipes contain salmon oil for all-important Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids and prebiotics to promote healthy gut bacteria. Being grain free, these recipes are naturally gluten free, containing no grains or bulkers.

Food full of good stuff to support the new pup in your life.

Click here to learn more about how and what to feed your puppy

Dog standing next to butchers products

You’ll be needing two bowls: One for water and one for nourishing food.
It can be a sigh of relief knowing your four-legged friend is enjoying their natural balanced meals. Some love it so much they have a tendency to wolf their food down. In this case we recommend using a slow feeder bowl which you can pick up from most pet specialists or online. This should make dinner more comfortable on your pup’s stomach.

dog waiting for bowl with food

It’s common to use a cat collar for the first few months whilst your puppy grows. Remember to take the collar off before going into the crate as this can be a safety hazard.

It’s a legal requirement for your dog to display their vital information on their collar/harness. General advice is to include your surname, postcode, mobile number. Avoid putting your puppy’s name on the tag, as in the unlikely event of your dog being stolen, it would be easier for the thief to attract your dog’s attention if they knew their name.

Historically we would fit our pup with their collar and lead and off we go. Recent research suggests that the collar can cause strain on your puppy’s neck and spine from pulling, therefore harnesses are becoming more popular and comfortable for your puppy as they distribute pressure more evenly.

It may be best to wait until your puppy is ready to go on his/her first walk to order the harness. Puppies grow quickly, you’ll need to measure your dog for a harness that fits perfectly.

A house lead (sometimes called a house line) is great for the first few weeks, this lightweight lead gives you control for keeping puppy off any furniture as well as getting them used to having a lead on.
Then once your puppy is ready for their first walk, introduce their new outdoor lead for adventure time! These are usually heavier and have more secure leash clips.

family going out for a walk with dogs

Ideally eco-friendly compostable bags.

For all of the toilet accidents enzyme cleaner removes the scent so your puppy doesn’t create their own inside accident area!

…and plenty of it! Puppies wee a lot!

Your home will inevitably be a little less pristine now you own a puppy. A thick doormat which absorbs mud will help in keeping those muddy paws away from the sofa!

Keeping your dog happy and clean are the basics to owning a dog. Depending on their breed they will need daily – weekly brushing. Be sure to research which type of brush/comb is best suited to your furry friend.

There are plenty of options when it comes to puppy shampoo. These are specifically made to be gentle on their delicate skin and fur. We love Mountain Garden Botanics Natural Pet range.

It’s good to get your puppy used to daily tooth brushing from an early age. Introduce this slowly with rewards to make this a fun experience. Doggy toothpaste can be found in liver flavour so this can help the process.

For more take a look at our puppy grooming tips.

puppy enjoying a bath
man playing with puppy

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