Friday, July 9, 2021

The Puppy Chronicles - Preparing For Your New Arrival

 You’ve done all the legwork, decided on a breed that is suitable for you, found a good reputable breeder. Now you’ve met your new family member and put a deposit down. Now is the time to start getting excited.

The wait from meeting your new baby to actually bringing them home will feel like an eternity. However enjoy this period of quietness as once you bring that little bundle of fluff home everything will change.Use this time to get everything ready, puppy proof your home, get all of their essentials in ready.

If this is your first puppy you might be wondering exactly what you need to buy and what you don’t really need. There are so many puppy checklists around and to be honest some of it you really will not need yet.

I’ve gone through the most popular puppy shopping lists and here is my verdict from my own experiences.

New Puppy Checklist

Puppy Food

The best place to start is your breeder, ask them what food they are currently feeding the puppies. Then get a bag of it in ready.

When I brought Phoenix home I had overbought the food her breeder was using, I’d bought three bags of 15KG.

Once she had been home a few days I noticed that whenever I fed her she went absolutely hyper shortly after. I discussed it with a nurse at our local veterinary practice (I lived there the first few months) who advised I changed her food. Which I did. I put her onto Burns Puppy Food and have never looked back.

So to start off with just buy around a weeks supply of food and see how your puppy is on it.

Puppy Treats 

These will become your best buy! There are so many varieties to choose from. I would recommend a good quality treat such as Burns training treats, Lily’s Kitchen, Wagg. There are so many to choose from and your puppy will have their own likes and dislikes. Once you find some they really like you will want to use them for their training. To start off with buy 2-3 packets of different treats and see how your puppy likes them.

Food and Water Bowls 

An obvious one. Once again there are so many choices with bowls. It will mostly depend on the breed of your puppy. If it is a very small breed then you might be better off buying a rabbit bowl to start with. Puppy sized bowls are usually a good size for most breeds. For a water bowl you will want a slightly larger bowl.

Puppy Collar

This will again depend on the breed. Puppy collars are a great starting point but make sure it is an adjustable one so you can ensure a good fit.

Puppy Harness

If you plan to use a harness for walks then buy this once your dog is home and has had both vaccinations. You can then try on the harness to ensure it fits correctly and comfortably. You won’t be able to go for walks until puppy has had both vaccinations and they will have grown in that time so best hold off on a harness.


Buy one before you bring your puppy home. Even though they cannot go for walks until both vaccinations you will need one for the vet trips. It’s also a good idea to use it around the home so they are used to putting on their collar and lead.

Puppy Shampoo

Nope not yet!

Chances are you are not going to need to bathe your puppy at this early stage so again you can hold off on this one. When you do buy one ensure it is a puppy one as they have delicate skin so will need one specially formulated for puppies.

Puppy Grooming Brush

Not really an essential but something that is good to have to hand. You can then get your pup used to the idea of being brushed and groomed. However your puppy will be more interested in trying to eat the brush.

Puppy Bed

Good Luck! Puppy beds are so cute, whether puppy sleeps in it is another story. Be prepared for it to be chewed to pieces, ripped, torn, mullered. Oh and watch out for “The bed wrecking monster” a mythical creature that sneaks in and wrecks puppies beds when they’re not looking aka The puppy. 


Poo Bags

Not really needed until you can go out but a good idea to have some to hand for little accidents around the house. There will be a lot.

Puppy Pads

Buy loads, and I mean loads. You will not believe how many of these you will go through in a day. From the minute you bring your puppy home encourage them to use the puppy pad as their toilet. If you see them squatting place them on the puppy pad. A little trick puppies like to ‘circle’ before pooping. If you catch pup circling place them on the puppy pad.

Puppies can poop up to 8 or more times a day and you will want to change the puppy pad soon after or puppy will eat their poop. Seriously buy loads of these.

Pee Post

Absolutely NOT essential.

Car Safety Guard/Harness

Obviously only if you have a car or the bus driver might give you funny looks. It is always advised to fit a car guard/gate and safety harness/seatbelt to your car for your puppy or dog to travel safely.

ID Tag

Not really an essential until you can go out. However they are required by law for once you can go out. Ensure your pet’s name and your phone number are on them just incase your puppy gets lost.

Puppy Pen or Crate

I don’t really like crates myself. However a puppy playpen is definitely recommended. Especially for those first few months. The playpen was the best thing I ever got for Phoenix, I ended up buying another one and making it huge so it took over the living room. The only thing was she liked it a little too much and it took her years to feel comfortable enough to give it up.

These are also handy to keep incase of emergencies. After surgery etc when they need to be kept quiet.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

It is a good idea to get your puppy used to having their teeth brushed from an early age. Ensure you have a soft bristled brush and puppy suitable toothpaste.

Teething Gel

As long as it is for puppies. Just like babies puppies will also be teething. Usually at around five months old however it can be earlier. Phoenix was nine weeks old when she started teething. It is painful for them so having a teething gel will help them feel a lot more comfortable. It’s a good idea to put some teething gel on a chew toy.

Chew Toys

Puppies love to chew and will need plenty of different toys to chew on. Kong do some fantastic durable toys, also a classic Kong filled with treats or food can be a great chew toy.


Chew toys, cuddly toys, tug toys, all good. Avoid balls for at least the first year as puppies should not be jumping to catch a ball for the first year as their joints and muscles are not yet strong enough for that kind of exercise. Running and walking is good so toys you can play fetch with are also a great addition. Favourite toys are also great to use for training.



If you already know what you will call your puppy then you can pre-register them at your vets clinic. Most breeders will require you to have had your puppy vet checked within 48-72 hours of being home.

At the first appointment your vet will do the first vaccinations, give your puppy a thorough health check and discuss flea and worming. Your breeder will give you a record of their flea and worm treatments. Take this with you and your vet will tell you when the next treatment is due.

Before I brought Phoenix home I remember going to the pet shop and doing the big puppy shop. I think we practically bought the shop. I remember being at the checkout and unloading the trolley and my poor partner at the time was just looking at the total going up and up in disbelief.

In hindsight half of it we definitely didn’t need at the beginning. However I was a new mummy getting excited for my new baby. The day we brought her home I got all of her things out and arranged them nicely for when she came home.