So, you’re officially getting a puppy and you want to start getting your home ready for their arrival day. What supplies do puppies need? Products that are necessary? That isn’t? I will divide this part of the Puppy Planning Series up into 3 categories: Necessary, Good-to-have, and Not necessary. If you missed Part 1 of the series, read it here, Are Puppies Hard Work.
Again, puppy supplies can feel overwhelming with everything on the market, so let me break it all down for you and what worked best for me and my home! Below, I will have all items listed that were suggested in this post! The links listed mean I make a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for always supporting me to keep this puppy healthy and fed!
Firstly, the main thing that is necessary is a kennel. Depending on the breed you are getting, you want a kennel large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably when they are fully grown. Since Alburt is an American Bully, we knew he would be a pretty big boy. So we got an extra-large kennel that came with a cage divider. The divider allowed Alburt the space he needed for every stage of growth without having too much space where he could defecate in one corner and sleep in the other. When we first got him, he only had about 1/8 of his actual kennel! And that was plenty of space for him at 3 pounds!
Secondly, a bed is necessary. I highly suggest getting a cheap bed at first because if your pup is like our Alburt, he chewed it up and we had to get a new one only a few months later! You do want something your puppy knows is theirs though. That way they will gravitate towards their bed rather than the sofa or your bed. Positive associations when first introducing this are crucial too! Alburt loves his bed and he knows it’s his, which is really special to see. Even though I pick up stuffing from it at least every day.
Third, Food and water bowls are of course a necessity! Through trial, we realized that the plastic bowls were giving Alburt “puppy acne” because he had red bumps all on the bottom of his little chin! Plastic harbors bacteria, which makes sense, but it caused irritation on his delicate skin. Once we made the switch to stainless steel, the red bumps went away within a couple of days! So I would recommend to skip plastic altogether and get stainless steel or ceramic bowls.
PS: If you think your puppy needs a slow feeder (like ours), we used the stainless steel slow feeder from chewy! It was great for the puppy stages of him eating like he’s never seen food before lol. Thankfully he has grown out of inhaling his food in ten seconds.
Most Importantly, you’ll definitely need food! What is a good food to feed? Should I feed kibble, home-cooked, or raw? These questions really overwhelmed me. Then I started doing research and I felt even MORE overwhelmed…. The amount of information out there is exhausting and they all say different things. One thing I will suggest to you is to do the best you can with researching and do what you think will be best for you (your budget), your dog, and for their breed! Whether that’s raw food, cooked food, high-quality kibble, or prescription diet, get yourself familiar with all possible diets! Each Breed has its own history of certain illnesses or challenges, so be sure you know what you’re getting into, and being proactive about prevention is key! I loved the documentary with Dr. Karen Becker called “Pet Fooled” on Tubi. She also shares great tips on her Instagram!
Whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, or sky rise, you want to have ONE designated spot for your puppy to potty while they are transitioning from free-peeing to potty training. Being in an apartment, it has fortunately been pretty easy to potty train! My favorite thing about these starter puppy supplies has been a potty patch. However, I’m not talking about those stupid absorbent pee pad because those make potty training longer… So, skip that all together and opt for a piece of fresh sod on a disposable tray. I would pick up a fresh piece of sod from my local home improvement store and put it on a disposable aluminum baking tray from the dollar store. The sod at home depot is about $2.99 and that was the single best thing about potty training on a second-floor apartment. I left this outside on our balcony and only a couple of weeks in, Alburt would sit in front of the balcony door letting us know he needed to go potty.
Accidents will still happen, no matter how diligent you are. Just remember, if your puppy potty’s in the house… It’s your fault. You might think they know better… but they don’t! So do not shame them or shove their nose in it. It’s proven that does not teach the animal to not pee in the house. So since accidents will happen, the best thing for your budget and your carpet is plain and simple Hydrogen peroxide! This is also great for cleaning poop and vomit remnants. You can research all the marketed “urine carpet cleaners” like I have done, and spend decent money on them only to find out it actually makes it worse. (Read my note about this in the “Not necessary” paragraph…shocking!!
Now let’s talk toys….. I do think this needs to be on the necessary list. Why? One word….teething! Redirecting puppy bites to a toy that is theirs, will help them cut the desire to nibble on your hands and other items they are not allowed to chew. Typically, puppies will start to bite you because they want to play! That’s how they initiated play with their littermates. You are not their littermate so redirecting them from a bite to play with a toy is encouraging them to grab their toy whenever they have the desire to play. When I was first shopping for toys, my theory was to be conscious about what I was buying and why….not to just spoil him with all the cutest toys! So my suggestion is to start basic. By one toy from each category and see what toy your pup gravitates to most. Toy categories: Teething toy, tug toy, a ball, and a bone.
After your new puppy is acquainted with its new home, try introducing a good harness and leash. At least for us, Alburt haaaaated the first harness and leash he had. I believe it was due to the fact that it wasn’t properly introduced and that it was just kinda put on him and it was very uncomfortable at first! So don’t make the same mistake we did and neglect to properly introduce a new harness and leash. We ended up needing to buy a completely new one so that it was something he’d never seen before and could be properly re-introduced. I recommend Zak Georges Youtube video on leash training for this intro! After following along with the video, Alburt loves his new harness and is a big-time adventure pup now.
Speaking of training…training should be an absolute non-negotiable. If you do not have the money to send your pup to training, you can learn very easily and quickly through a little searching on YouTube. If you do not have the patience or the time for training….please, don’t get a puppy. I mean that with all seriousness. Most freak accidents, incidents, fights, and injuries happen to untrained dogs who don’t listen to their owner. Training your puppy can and will literally save its life one day. Also, don’t think that because you sent your dog to training means they are “trained for life.” You need to keep up with the training and learn and repeat daily everything the trainer did with your pup. More about training in Part 5 of this series!
Get These Necessary Items
Grooming supplies! A good sharp nail clipper and kwik stop or nail Dremel. Desensitizing your puppy to these items and also their feet/nails being touched. Lots of treats and patience is required for this! a Dremel is basically a large and tough electric nail filer and can be ticklish to your pup’s toes! However, it is much safer than clipping their nails if you are not experienced. There is a part of their nail called a quick. On white nails, it’s easier to see through to it. The quick is soft tissue filled with blood vessels and nerves. So cutting too close can be a bloody painful mess! Some dogs have naturally long quicks which means you won’t be able to cut them as short as you would like! If your pup has black nails, a Dremel would be better than clippers.
Lastly, a hydrating shampoo that has aloe or oatmeal in it. You can try my ultra moisturizing Best Homemade Dog Shampoo made with oats and aloe! Or for pups with severe skin irritation, shampoo with Chlorhexidine will work wonders! Bath time also requires a lot of positive association! (There is always something to teach your puppy!) We would smear some peanut butter on the shower wall so he could lick it while he was getting bathed. Worked great!
good to have
good to have
Not totally necessary, but if your pup is anything like ours and loves to snuggle, a blanket will be nice for them to cozy up with. Alburt cycles through about 3 blankets and loves to be “put to bed” by laying the blanket over the top of him. He buries his nose in it and just all around loves snuggling with his blankies. Fortunately, we haven’t had any issues with him chewing through them! He does love to chew on tags though. Every. Single. Tag…Of everything…is chewed off lol.
We had a playpen for a while, but since Burty was a quarantine pup and we are just in a one-bedroom apartment right now, we are mainly always home with him and didn’t find a big need for it. The playpen lived outside on the balcony along the rails because the rails were too wide and he could have gotten through if we weren’t paying attention. But once his head got bigger and wouldn’t fit through the rails anymore, we got rid of it. But if you live in a larger home and don’t want your puppy to have free-range or don’t plan on doing crate training, by all means, a playpen would be super helpful!
Puppies grow like weeds! It’s true. Since they grow every week, that means they’re gaining weight, which means they need to be fed the correct amount of food for their weight! This is where a scale comes in handy. Nothing fancy, just a traditional scale so that you can keep up with their growth in between vet/booster visits. We found it was easiest to hold Alburt, step on the scale, then place him down, and step on without him. Take the first weight and subtract it by your weight and that’s the weight of your pup!
We got a lot of gifts from friends and family when Alburt first came home with us. This included a ton of extra toys and at this point, they needed to be contained! A toy basket was a wonderful addition to our living room, where Alburt mostly plays. I’m so happy I did this, because it’s so cute now, how he knows that’s where all his toys are. He will go and pick up a specific toy that he knows he wants, and he even will put one toy back to get a new one out. It’s the sweetest thing! Definitely not necessary, but if you hate the look of toys bunched in a corner or all throughout the house, this is a good option.
Let’s talk about collars….I didn’t put this in the necessary category because, in my opinion, I do not think collars are necessary. I think of collars more so as a dog’s “jewelry” and that it shouldn’t be worn all hours of every day. That is unless your dog is not trained and is a high risk to run away and might need a dog tag. Most animals are microchipped now. Harnesses are better overall for the development of a growing puppy’s neck and spine. Especially if your puppy isn’t loose leash trained and they pull a lot, a collar is just going to hurt them and provide a lack of oxygen to their developing brains. Get a harness for your walks and adventures, and teach them to walk correctly before they start learning bad habits.
A sound machine would be super nice if you don’t already have one. We already had one for our bedroom and since Alburts kennel is in our room, he definitely benefits from the sound machine! It was especially great when he was sleeping 14-18 hours a day because we could lay him down for a nap and still do all the things around the house without the fear of waking him up. Plus, quality sleep is super important for a growing pup!
A travel water bottle! This has been one of thee best supply purchases for Alburt. It’s not on my “necessary” list because Burty is exceptionally outdoorsy with us and I know a lot of dogs aren’t. BUT if you are outdoorsy and are getting a breed that requires a lot of exercise and activity, you would love to have this bottle!
Get These Good-To-Have Items
If your pup is as outdoorsy as ours and gets his paws on all types of environmental grounds, allergens are bound to present themselves. Red, itchy paws, and licking can be a good indicator your pup needs a good foot soak. For this, I recommend a Chlorhexidine solution or povidone-iodine diluted with water. Fill the tub with a couple of inches of water and add iodine until it looks like iced tea! Let your pup stand in the solution for 5 – 10 minutes. No need to rinse off! Just pat dry. Same with Chlorhexidine, minus the dilution. To save the solution, you can fill 4 bowls and set each paw in a bowl. This was hard to do with an energetic puppy so we use a paw cleaner!
9. If your puppy isn’t acting its normal self, one thing you can do at home before deciding to bring it to the vet is to take their temperature at home. Using a rectal/oral thermometer with a cover and some vet lube, you can take their temperature rectally to see if they are spiking a fever. A normal temperature for a dog is 101-102.5. Anything higher and you should take them in!
Lastly! The 2 BEST purchases we have made when getting our puppy is a Puppy Care Plan at our local VCA. This care package is a fixed monthly price and includes, unlimited exams, 2 fecal testing, first deworming, all vaccines, microchip, spay/neuter, and email access to our vet should we have any questions! Through our vet, we also have a monthly Prevention Home Delivery service. So Alburt and Einstein both get their flea/tick/heartworm prevention meds automatically delivered each month so we don’t forget! It comes on the same day each month which is super convenient. Hiiiiighly suggest asking your vet office if they offer something like that!
Get These Good-To-Have Items
Marketed urine cleaner. DO NOT BUY INTO THEM! I did! It made the accidents SOO much more frequent! The moment I started cleaning up potty messes with hydrogen peroxide, I kid you not, we have had zero accidents. Next time, I will use this from the start! We ended up having zero accidents around 4-5 months but I feel like this could have been sooner if we had used the right cleaning product in the first place. A nice bonus is that peroxide is so much cheaper than a marketed urine cleaner. I bought a spray bottle from the dollar store and filled it up in that. After an incident, soak up as much of it as you can spray a generous amount over the area, wait a couple of minutes to let it kill all the bacteria and ammonia, then blot dry. Repeat if necessary.
Dog cameras……you do not need one! Unless you are gone all day, then, in that case, don’t get a puppy in the first place. The first time Bryan and I went on a date after having Alburt for several months, we set up a Zoom call in front of his kennel on my laptop to our cellphone. We were able to see him, hear him crying, and could chime in to talk to him if we needed to.
Bitter spray….this did absolutely nothing and Alburt didn’t care that this tasted like absolute sh*t! Plus it was like $14… Such a waste. In conclusion, save your money!
Training treats. My first plan when we got Alburt was to make him feel loved, then train the crap out of him lol. But little did I know, just how food crazy puppies are! They do not need treats to be motivated to learn…..So what I did, was during meal times, I would just use his kibble as “training treats” and train him with that until his meal portion was gone. It worked like a charm and he did absolutely amazing! I still do this with him several times a week just to keep his training fresh and keep him on his toes. He learned very quickly and I owe all my training success from Zak George on Youtube lol. Highly recommend checking him out!
Thanks for reading! I hope this article gave you some good insight into choosing the most necessary puppy supplies for what puppies need. Let me know in the comments below what you think or if you have anything else to add!
Enjoy the ride and you’ll be just fine.
Love and puppies,
Follow me for more info, just like this!
Share this page or, Pin to your Pinterest account for later (: