When adding a new member of the canine persuasion to the family it can be super overwhelming to know what to get! There are SO many options for toys, training aids, essentials and more that you can get when bringing a new puppy (or even an older dog) home. I’m here to help you out with those decisions by providing my suggestions for what you’ll need – keeping it to the essentials that will not break the bank but will also provide a happy and healthy environment for your sweet little one!
As many of you know, a few weeks ago we added a new member to our family – Pippa the puppy! She’s a Shiba Inu and is extremely adorable. Seriously, people stop their cars and back them up when we are walking around the block and ask to pet her!
The cutest right? She even has her own Instagram account @pippatheshiba so you can keep tabs on all her adorable adventures!
Now, mind-blowing cuteness aside – let’s get down to business. What does a new puppy or dog need? I’ve separated it into 3 categories: everyday items, training aids, and fun toys! The items linked below are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you buy something at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure policy click HERE. All opinions about these products are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post – just wanted to share what puppy knowledge I have with all of you lovely readers 🙂
Wellness Puppy Food – A healthy happy puppy needs to have good food that will help it grow big and strong! Wellness brand was recommended to us by a Shiba Inu breeder/shower who has had the breed for decades. It provides all the nutrients that puppy needs – and we can attest to it – Pippa has been growing like a weed ever since she’s been on this food!
Dog Bowls – An obvious one – puppies need a place to eat and drink water! Look for a base that is sturdy or has rubber on the bottom so it won’t get knocked over. Also make sure that the bowls themselves are either metal or ceramic – this reduces bacteria and germs and are easier to clean.
Puppy Collar – Getting your puppy a collar while they are young will help them get used to having one on for the rest of their lives. There are special puppy collars that are smaller and lightweight if your pup is a pipsqueak like ours is! Be sure to add a tag with your phone number in case they get lost, especially since puppies aren’t usually microchipped until 16 weeks or so in age!
Reflective Dog Leash – It’s also a great idea to start walking your puppy as soon as possible to get them used to being on a leash. Start with a shorter one so they can’t wander too far and then slowly graduate to a longer one. Reflective strips also always help for visibility at night!
Doggie Waste Bags and Dispenser – Yep. Dogs are going to do the doo when you’re out and about, so it’s good to have waste bags handy. We have a similar bone one that we just always keep hooked to her leash so we can grab a baggy as needed.
Pet Bed – You want your baby to be comfortable! We have a couple of different beds – a cushier one for out in the living room when she’s hanging with us, and a flatter one in her kennel for her to sleep on at night. Pippa doesn’t actually like cushy things too much and prefers to sleep on hard surfaces (weirdo!) – so just test to see what’s right for your dog.
Dog Kennel – The kennel is your dog’s home or safe place – you don’t ever want it to be a place of punishment! This is where we put Pippa to bed at night or when she’s eating her dinner and at various times throughout the day so she can get some rest. Make it homey by adding a bed or towel to the bottom and then throw a blanket over the top – this helps it feel more like a ‘den’ and makes it easier for them to feel safe and cozy. One other thing to note – if it’s too big your puppy might also use it as a bathroom and you don’t want that! We made our big crate smaller by adding a divider in the middle that we can take out as she grows.
Exercise Pen – An exercise pen is great for when you can’t keep solid eyes on your puppy but don’t want to leave them in the kennel all day. The come in various heights and sizes and can be placed inside or out for your puppy to have a safe place to hang out. We unhooked ours and are currently using it as a sort of fence so she can’t get onto the carpet of our living room.
Tieout Stake – This is also another tool for training your pup to stay close by. If you are outside doing yardwork and don’t want your pup to run away, just hook their leash to a stake so they can have some freedom but also learn how far they can go.
Clicker Trainer – A lot of dogs respond really positively to clicker training, which is where the owner clicks and gives a treat for the proper behavior. We are starting puppy class next week and will learn how to use these most effectively!
Wellness Puppy Treats – What puppy can resist a treat?? Treats are great training tools – if they do something you want, like sitting, or going potty in the right place, a treat is a great way to let them know they are doing a good job. We stuck with Wellness brand for Pippa’s treats and she just loves them! Just be sure not to give too many so they don’t get pudgy 😉
Plush Dog Toy – A soft plush toy is a great companion for a puppy when it’s time to go in the kennel. We got Pippa a pink koala when we brought her home and it stays in her kennel for her to snuggle with during bedtime. If you have a dog who likes to shred things, be wary though, as many times squeakers can be pulled out and consumed.
Tennis Balls for Puppies – Playing fetch is a great way to bond with your puppy and to teach her basic commands like go get it, bring it here, and drop it. We had to get Pippa tiny tennis balls because her mouth was too small for big ones! The ones I linked also squeak so it’s extra fun and an attention grabber for puppy!
Kong – Kongs are great for heavy chewers as they are made of almost indestructible rubber. They are also fun and interactive if you hide treats or peanut butter inside, which will provide minutes (or hours!) of entertainment.
Rope Toy – A lot of dogs like tug of war, so a rope toy is a great multipurpose option – they can have fun chewing on it, playing tug, or dragging it around.
Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit – Puppies explore the world with their mouths (much like human babies) and they like to chew things A LOT. Did you know that puppies go through teething and lose their teeth? Between 8-12 weeks puppies teethe so they need good things to chew on (that doesn’t include your shoes or furniture!) Nylabones make great teething bones that will help ease puppy’s sore mouth and keep them occupied for a long time.
Pippa says ‘See you later!’ And those are my picks for new puppy essentials! There are lots of other products you can buy, but these are ones that we’ve liked and had success with. Best of luck to all you new puppy parents out there!
Have you ever had any puppies? What were your essentials?