Here are a few suggestions for items you'll need for your new puppy. Be sure to check out our Amazon store for items on this shopping list if you'd rather shop at home!
Shopping for puppy
- Snuggle Puppy: This is a must have prior to take-home. We suggest that everyone purchase this to make the first few nights at home a happy transition away from litter mates. This little stuffy comes with a heating pack that is warm for 24 hours and you can purchase extra to place inside for additional days and it also has a heart beat that helps calm your puppy in their new home and while sleeping in their crate. They love these! You can purchase on Smart Pet Love or Amazon.
- Crate: For the first few months you'll need a crate sized 20" L x 19" W x 27" H for our minis and smaller medium dogs. For standard puppies and larger mediums, we recommend getting the next size up, approximately 37" L x 25" W x 27" H. These sizes should last your puppy until around six months, at which time you may need to upsize. You can also buy used crates on Kijiji or Craigslist, but if you do buy used (even from friends!) please carefully disinfect the crates so there are no germs left.
- Dog collar and leash: We send you home with a collar for your puppy. It is also very important to get a dog tag with the puppy's name and your phone numbers. Most lost dogs who are found are fairly close to home, and if your phone numbers are on the tag they can be reunited with you right away instead of waiting for a vet or shelter to check the puppy's microchip.
- Doggie bed: Don't buy a wicker bed, since your puppy will eat it. It's very important to buy a bed with a zip-off cover so the cover can be washed regularly. We've found good beds at Amazon, Costco, and Winners, and have heard good things about Dog Bed Works waterproof beds.
- Dog dishes: Be sure to buy stainless steal or ceramic dishes. Plastic, wood, or other dishes made from porous materials are not recommended, as they easily collect bacteria.
- Dog food: At Prairie Doodles, the puppies are fed TLC for Puppy. Our coupon code for $5 off is 62974-1025. We suggest you order this from TLC as to not change the puppy diet too quickly upon their transition into your home. We also recommend Go Natural and ACANA. Always get dog food that is made with human-grade ingredients. If your vet or anyone recommends a dog food, make sure you research it online and read reviews. Check it out first on this site or Google "Top 10 Dog Foods."
- Toys: Your puppy will love Kong toys, rope toys, stuffed dog toys with squeakers and balls, and bully chews. They also like stuffed toys that make crunchy noises, and soft stuffy toys that they can carry around. If you want an inexpensive toy, get an old sock, put an empty water bottle in it and knot the end of the sock. They love it as it crunches.
- Training treats: Any freeze-dried treats are very good, like liver, etc. We also recommend any elk products — like antlers or training treats made of elk velvet antler. Also, Puppy Love has some wonderful, Alberta-made treats.
- Puppy shampoo, conditioner: Any mild type works well. Check with your groomer for good recommendations. We use Les Poochs shampoo. It is very concentrated and lasts forever.
- Brushes: Brushes from Les Poochs are excellent for the labradoodle coat.
- Nail clippers: Cut your dog's own nails with dog nail clippers, or go to a groomer if you prefer not to. If needed, baby nail clippers work on puppy nails.
- Puppy blankies: We send you home with a blankie that smells like your puppy's littermates and mom. Walmart has good dog blankets.
- Bell: Poochie Bells are very good as a house-training method. They are bells that hang on your doorknob, and every time you take your puppy outdoors you ring the bell. Eventually he/she will ring the bell when he has to go out. Lots of our clients use these and say they work.
- Dog training books: There are many different respected training methods, and you'll need to find the one that's right for you and the personality of your puppy. Some puppies and gentle-natured and don't require strong corrections, and others are headstrong and will need a firmer training style. We like Cesar Milan's books and DVDs. Dog Training For Dummies, Puppy Training by Charlotte Schwartz, or any puppy training book by Ian Dunbar or Patrician McConnell are good.
Before your puppy comes home
- Find a vet if you don't already have one. Find one that you trust, or one that has been recommended to you by a friend or relative. It is very important that you trust your vet to make accurate, truthful diagnosis and to feel confident that they will not do unnecessary testing of your dog or puppy. Please don't just pick any vet out of the Yellow Pages: be sure to get recommendations. We use Elizabeth St. Pet Hospital and SAVE in Okotoks and they are very good. We recommend the following vets which we either know well or other clients have recommended: Bridlewood Vet (our old vet works out of this clinic, her name is Maya), Elizabeth St. Pet Hospital in Okotoks, and Highview Animal Clinic in High River. We have had lots of families use and be very happy with Tuscany Vet Clinic.
- We recommend that all our families get pet insurance for peace of mind in the event of an accident or illness. So many things can happen on holidays or evenings and weekends when you will likely have to go to an emergency clinic. Puppies eat stuff that they shouldn’t so it’s best to be ready just in case. When you pick up your puppy, we will provide you with a certificate from Trupanion for 30 days of free pet insurance. This give you time to research other options and decide what you want to do.
- Check into puppy socialization and obedience classes for your new puppy. We strongly recommend this! We recommend starting with puppy classes and then moving on to basic obedience classes and beyond. The puppies love going and are the star in most classes. For those of you in the Calgary area we recommend Kirsten Rose of Canine Mind and Manners, Diamonds in the Ruff, and Dogma. For one-on-one classes, we like Larry of Konfident Kanines. We have personally used Larry and he is firm but good. We use Michelle at Country Cuts here locally for a lot of our training!
Questions? We're always available at firstname.lastname@example.org.