Written by Hollie Williams, founder of Lawoofs of Devon
Bringing home your first puppy is full of excitement and squeals of joy, but it can also be very daunting.
You want to be prepared with everything your new pup will need; you want your pup to be safe and comfortable; you don't want to forget any essentials, getting caught short out and about without any poo bags is no laughing matter!
But where do you start? What's essential and what's just convenience? And more so what's just fad maskerading as essentials?
In this short guide I'll run through the basics with you and give you the insider knowledge to decide for yourself.
Where to start
Let's start with a little known secret that will immediately blow everything you might think you know out of the water: the only essential is food.
It's important that you stick with the same food the breeder was feeding them to start with, to avoid any upset tummies, (there's a lot of advice available on the internet on how to change the food if you want to).
Everything else you need can be improvised.
Beds made from old towels and poo bags from repurposed carrier bags, and food and water from mixing bowls or tuppaware. As for toys, any seasoned dog owner will tell you, that no matter how many toys you buy them they much prefer everything they're not allowed anyway, socks, furniture, shoes, cardboard boxes, and your hands and feet!
Having said that, part of the excitement of having a puppy is buying him or her the cutest accessories and taking a billion photos of them looking adorable, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If that is the way you want to go, and honestly who wouldn't, then this is what you'll need
- A bed. Nest, mattress, donut, cushion, chaise lounge, there are many options to chose from and most dogs are just as happy sleeping on the floor as they are on their bed. Really it comes down to the style and colour that suits you and your home.
- Bowls. One food, one water, any style you like. Many breeds can get a bit excited by water so unless you go for a heavy, or fixed bowl you can expect it to be knocked over, or investigated with gusto at some point
- Toys. Although they want to (and will relentlessly) chew on anything and everything, it's a good plan to at least try and encourage them towards toys instead from the start. All dogs will favour different toys so it's really just trial and error, but a good starting point would be something rubber, something rope, something squeaky, and something plush.
- Collars and leads. For brand new pups you won't be walking for a few weeks until they've had all their jabs, and to start with for the first few months while they are still small (at least for most breeds) they won't need anything heavy duty. Now is the ideal time to play around with collars, leads and harnesses just for how cute they look
- Poop bags. These will be your new best friend, found in every coat pocket, bag and glove compartment in your life. For the sake of the planet please consider buying biodegradable/eco-friendly brands, scented, or unscented at your discretion.
- Treats. Whether you prefer meaty, or fishy, biscuit, or completely natural, dogs love to chew, it helps them relax and helps you reward good behaviour. Win win!
Try not to fret about the small things you might not have right at the start, any product you need is just a click away after all!
There are of course many more doggy products out there, designed to make you and your dog's life a little comfier, if you would like some ideas or inspiration, pop over to our shop