Things you will need before you bring your puppy home.
You can also download the full puppy starter checklist
Give your new puppy the best start in life! The PEIDGREE® Puppy range is formulated with high quality ingredients. Choose from PEDIGREE® Puppy canned or dry food and have this ready for your puppy when they arrive. It's specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional demands of growing puppies.
A must-have item are identification tags which should be firmly attached to your puppy's collar. Remember to include your current address and phone number, as well as the puppy's name. It's also a good idea to include a separate tag with your veterinarian's name and phone number. Microchipping is now mandatory in all Australian states and territories - always check with your local council.
Choose a nylon or soft leather collar. The collar should fit so that two fingers easily fit underneath it. The collar is likely to need replacing as your puppy grows - so keep an eye on it.
Some pet parents prefer short leashes, some long - having both in the house is a good idea. If you're just going out for a little walk, take the short one. If it's a long walk or you're heading over to the park, a longer leash gives your puppy more slack to stretch their legs - and they may not pull as much, either. Remember to limit the exposure of your puppy to other dogs and dog parks until they've completed their puppy vaccinations.
You'll need separate food and water bowls for your puppy. To keep your puppy's feeding area neat and safe, try the "non-tip" variety of bowl, or put a plastic, non-slip mat underneath the bowls. This will help your puppy eat more easily without getting their ears and nose in their food and will save you on clean-up time. Stainless steel bowls are also recommended, as they're easier to clean; if you have kids, stainless steel bowls are more durable and won't break if dropped like ceramic ones.
Keep your puppy's feeding area hygienic and clean both the food and water bowls every day. Remember to re-fill your puppy's bowl with fresh water regularly too, Puppies need to stay hydrated to be healthy. If you're serving wet puppy food, ensure that it's kept refrigerated and that your puppy eats it within 15-20 minutes. If they don’t finish all of the food, discard it and put down fresh food for their next meal.
Puppies love to chew. Generally, they chew to entertain themselves, because they're teething or if they're a little bored and want to expend some energy. Choosing toys and chews that are the right size, shape and texture for their growing teeth, mouth and jaws is important for healthy physical development. Ask your vet for suggestions on which ones are best for your breed of dog.
Because your puppy can (and will) have accidents as they become house-trained, it's a good idea to pick up some stain removers and enzymatic deodorisers. The reason for removing accident stains goes beyond making sure your carpet still looks nice; if the area isn't completely cleaned, your dog will continue to smell their personal scent, and keep returning to the area to keep it refreshed! Remember, your dog has a superior sense of smell, so even if you can't smell traces of urine, they can.
If a 'wet' accident has just happened, soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. If you're able to remove the fresh urine before it dries, it will be easier to remove the odour. Repeat this process until the area is barely damp. Next, rinse the area thoroughly with clean, cool water. Again, you'll need to remove as much of the water as possible by blotting with paper towels and newspapers. A wet vacuum is also very helpful. Apply the deodoriser once the area is completely cleaned.
For washable items, launder them as usual and add a box of baking soda or a cup of vinegar and leave out to air dry.
Because puppies have sensitive skin, talk to your breeder or vet about a shampoo that's pH balanced just for them. Brushes and combs are custom-made for different breeds and lengths of hair; again, it's important to select the ones that help the coat stay healthy and tangle-free.
Brushing your puppy's teeth (using a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste) can be a challenge at first. However, if you introduce brushing while they're young and use positive reinforcement through treats and praise, they'll adjust to the process (and even enjoy the taste of the toothpaste!). Brushing regularly will help keep the teeth clean and strong for years to come. Ask your vet how often is often enough. Remember – never use human toothpaste as this is toxic for pets.
Your puppy needs to feel like an accepted member of the family, and having their own home within your home will help them feel secure and comfortable. First, choose a quiet area of the house where your puppy can sleep without being disturbed whenever they're tired; a quiet corner of the kitchen or family room is ideal. You may want to partition off an area around their bed for a few days to create a little "den" where they can feel secure and be out of harm's way. Try not to spend too much money on an expensive bed at this stage as a puppy is likely to chew their bed. You'll also need to line the bed with something soft and warm (for snuggling with) and an old blanket can work well.