Before bringing your puppy home, purchase the following supplies. Preparing
in advance for the arrival of your new pal will allow you and your puppy to
spend time getting to know each other.
Food and Water Bowls
Look for a bowl that won't easily tip over and is easy to clean. A separate
bowl for food and water will keep your puppy's feeding area clean. You may
want to buy smaller bowls at first, and upgrade to larger ones as your puppy
grows. Stainless Steel or Stoneware work the best.
Collar and Leash
Your puppy's first collar should be made of lightweight nylon or leather. To
measure your puppy's collar size, measure his neck and add two inches. To
ensure that the collar fits properly, you should be able to slide two
fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. If your fingers fit
comfortably, you have the right size collar. If there is extra room, you
need a smaller size. If both fingers don't fit, the collar is too small. It
may take a while for your puppy to get used to wearing his collar, so don't
be discouraged if he is uncomfortable and scratches his collar. Be sure to
adjust the length as your puppy grows. A six-foot leash is the ideal length
for both training and walking. Always keep your puppy on his leash unless he
is in a confined area. Many states and cities have leash laws, which make it
mandatory for your puppy to be on his leash at all times, even at public
parks and playgrounds.
All puppies need toys to help them exercise and to provide them with a safe
way to satisfy their natural desire to chew. Be sure to choose toys that are
made for puppies and cannot be splintered, torn apart or swallowed. Large
rawhide chips, nylon chews and hard rubber balls are fun and safe. As a
general rule, if the toy can fit comfortably in a puppy's mouth, it's too
Crate or Sleeping Bed
Your puppy will need a warm, comfortable place to sleep. A crate provides a
den for your puppy when you are not home. Crates usually come in one of two
types: a portable, enclosed, plastic crate with handles; or a wire crate.
Your puppy's crate should be large enough for him to stand up, turn around
and lie down and should have adequate ventilation. If you buy an adult-sized
crate, purchase partitions or place a cardboard box in the back to provide a
cozy space for your puppy. You may want to have a separate sleeping bed for
him when you are at home. Make sure you buy a puppy-sized bed rather than an
adult-sized bed, so your puppy will feel safe and snug.