New Puppy Checklist

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time, but it is important to have your home puppy-proofed prior to the puppy's arrival. Here is our checklist of items you may already have on hand, and a few that you should definitely make sure you get ahead of time.

1. A Dog Crate. Crate training your dog is one of the best things you can do- not only is it an extremely helpful training tool for potty training, but it can also help provide a safe place for your dog to retreat when they're anxious. There are different size options out there, and the type you choose depends on what you plan on using it for, where it will be placed in your home, and your dog's size, behavior, and needs. We have experts at all of our stores who can help you determine which crate is right for you and your puppy.

2. Leash and Collar. Introduce your puppy to her leash and collar or harness, and get her accustomed to wearing it by letting her wear it in the house prior to taking her on walks. We have a huge selection to choose from.

3. Puppy Food and Bowls. Puppies need to eat about three times a day and require a bowl of freshwater nearby. We suggest discussing the diet you intend to select with our veterinarian to ensure it is balanced and specially formulated for your growing puppy.

4. Identification Tags. There is nothing worse than losing sight of your puppy. You can rest assured knowing your puppy will have your name and phone number on it. You can make these instantly in our stores. We also suggest you make an appointment with our vet to get your puppy micro-chipped.

5. A Dog Bed. You want to give your new puppy enough space to lay down comfortably at the end of a hard day. How do you choose the best dog bed for your puppy? While he's not able to speak up about his "sleep preference" or his fondness for firm over plush, you can get an idea of what will suit your puppy best by evaluating his size, age, and habits. We have sizes, shapes, and styles to fit your puppy and decor.  

6. Chews. Your puppy is going to be teething and will chew on everything, your furniture, your shoes, and clothes. A good dog chew will help redirect this unwanted behavior until your puppy matures and sheds his puppy teeth. We do have Bitter Apply Spray that can help deter your pup's nibbly behavior. 

7. Puppy Treats. When do you start training your puppy? The day you get him! We have a huge selection of puppy treats. 

8. Puppy Shampoo. You don't want to use harsh human products on your puppy.  Their skin is delicate and it could burn their eyes. Make sure you have puppy shampoo on hand, we promise you will need it. 

9. Puppy Pee Pads. Potty training your new puppy takes works. We suggest a puppy pee pad. They have many great features including a quick-drying surface, which prevents your dog from tracking urine in your house. 

10. Puppy Vaccinations. The first few months of your dog's life are his most formative. He's meeting his family for the first time and learning how to interact with the world around him. It is best to get your puppy examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), puppies should be vaccinated every two to four weeks between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks with the final vaccines given no earlier than 16 weeks of age. We have a low-cost vaccination clinic every day of the week Monday-Saturday. Please check the schedule to see which location it is being held at.