Gearing Up For Your New Puppy

Your new puppy will need a few essentials when you bring them home – especially a bed, food and water bowls, and a collar and lead. Having these ready will mean your puppy can settle in to their new home straight away.

ID tags

An ID tag is essential for quick identification of your pup, in addition to his registration and microchip. You can record your dog’s name, address and phone number, or the number of your vet for emergencies. Identification tags are inexpensive and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Order one from your vet before you get your puppy.

Collars, leads and harnesses

You can choose from adjustable nylon collars with quick release buckles, leather collars, soft hide or suede collars and cotton webbing collars. Many colours, patterns and styles are available but the most important factor is to choose a collar that is the right size and weight for your puppy. Have the collar fit snugly so it won’t slip off, but not too tight – you should be able to fit 2 fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck – and cut off any over-long strap that the puppy may chew.

Many public areas require your dog to be on a lead at all times when they are not fenced in. There are many types of leads available, usually in designs that match your pup’s collar. Make sure the thickness and strength of the lead is suitable for your puppy.

Never use ‘choke chains’ on young puppies – there are many training collars available that are much gentler on your pup and more effective. Retractable leads or harnesses, which go around the chest and ribs, are another option for puppies that tend to pull while they are being walked.

Food and water bowls

The most important thing is to choose bowls that are easy to keep clean and sturdy enough to prevent your pup from tipping them over. Plastic, stainless steel, porcelain and ceramic bowls are available.

It’s a good idea to have an extra water bowl available for hot days and a portable water bowl for travelling or long walks.

Toys and treats

There is an amazing array of toys available for your pup. Pick a few different ones suitable for your pup’s size and chewing tendencies, to keep them occupied while you are busy or away. Toys that are designed for chewing, such as hard rubber toys or nylon bones, are essential for teeth and gum care. Some toys can be filled with treats to keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated, and therefore out of mischief!


All dogs require some amount of grooming. A brush and a comb are a good start along with a puppy-safe shampoo – check with your vet first before using any medicated or insecticidal shampoos. A pair of nail clippers is also a good idea, but ask your vet to demonstrate how to use them if you are unsure.

Don’t forget a dog toothbrush and toothpaste – get your puppy used to mouth handling early and prevent dental disease by brushing their teeth!

Bedding and travel

Many different types of beds are available, from futon-like mattresses, cane baskets, cushions and pillows, soft mats, foam cuddlers and cubbies (for your dog to curl up in), to raised beds with nylon mesh or material covers. Choose a bed or covering that is washable. Place your puppy’s bed in a puppy-proof room along with its food and water bowls. The kitchen or a bedroom is ideal, not an isolated area where there is minimal human contact.

A cage or pet carrier is needed for transporting your puppy safely in the car if you do not wish to use a seatbelt harness. It is also a good idea to have your pup or smaller dog in a cage for visits to the vet. Large dogs are fine on a suitable lead. Airline approved cages are required for plane travel.

Anything else?

  • Container for food storage
  • Hair pickup device for clothing and furniture if you have a long-haired dog
  • Pooper scooper and plastic bags for picking up dog waste when you go for walks, and for cleaning up your backyard
  • Odour neutraliser spray for little accidents!
  • Jackets and jumpers are available for cooler weather
  • Sunscreen for dogs is a must for summer
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